The Cornelia Arts Building has provided incubator space to local and international artists and artisans for the past 25 years. Established in 1986, the informal community of the Cornelia Arts Building now hosts over 40 local artists whose work spans disciplines including painting and drawing, sculpture, photography, print-making, jewelry design and performance.
CAB Banner: Concept and photography by Doug Birkenheuer, Studio #108! “We are the artists…” banner design by Eat Paint Studio, printing by Dun-Wel Lithography on Ravenswood. Generous support provided by John Wertymer and the participating artists.
In 2010 building owner John Wertymer was nominated by the arts community and received one of three annual Ravenswood Arts Advocate Awards. C.A.B. artists have received numerous local, national and international exhibits, awards and commissions. There’s a lot happening in this building on the corner of Cornelia and Ravenswood…
Building-wide open studio events occur each October (for Chicago Artists Month) and various events and open houses are coordinated throughout the year.
Cornelia Building History
The Cornelia Arts Building has provided space for working artists from Chicago, across the US, and abroad to develop their work since 1986. Located in the Ravenswood/Roscoe Village neighborhoods, the building has had a vibrant history. Built in 1910 as an ice blockhouse manufacturing company, the portion that jets out from the building on the south side were stables – ice was delivered by horse-drawn carriage.
Somewhere between that time and the 1970’s it became a clay factory (and a major supplier for Lillstreet Studios), the building also manufactured airplane parts, and was a pipe bending operation before it was converted to artist loft spaces in 1986. In 1987, the first neighborhood ”art walk” was held (since 2001 the Ravenswood ArtWalk has become the hub of the October arts tour). In 1988, Friends Of The Arts, a not-for-profit arts support group specializing in emerging art & artists, was established and located in the Cornelia Arts Building. You can find out more about FOTA on their website.