Studio Visit in Chicago with Morgan Sims

Chicago, through the eyes of Wes Davis.

I have been trying to get Morgan Sims to do a show at Beatnik for many years. Finally, the stars aligned, and I convinced him to fill his van with artwork and make the trek from Chicago to Sacramento. Morgan will be showing work with Oakland artist Seren Moran this fall at Beatnik. “Shapeshifters” opens on First Friday, September 1st and shows until September 21st.

Earlier this summer, I made my way to Chicago to visit Morgan’s studio, and see what the life of an artist in the windy city is all about.

Chicago is home to a dizzying array of outstanding architecture. Some of the tallest skyscrapers in the world are in Chicago, and it’s hard to not get a sore neck walking along the urban canyons. It feels like Gotham, or Metropolis, or some city from the pages of a comic book.

Morgan lives in Logan Square and his studio is in between his house and downtown. His studio is in an industrial neighborhood along the river near Goose Island.  The old warehouse is home to several artists and small businesses. Morgan’s studio is clean, well organized and full of delightful details. We put Pink Floyd’s “Meddle” on the 8 track as Morgan gave me a tour of the last several years of his career.

Besides painting and print making, Morgan is a clever neon artist. Here he shows off one of many bubbles that will be used in an upcoming installation.

Here is a small sample of some of the paintings Morgan is bringing out to Sacramento for his show at Beatnik:

The view from the fire escape at Morgan’s studio in Chicago.

After a couple days of studio work, and gallery hoping, we took to the streets on the old skateboards.

Chicago has a new skatepark in the central city that is absolutely stunning. That’s me on the left side of the frame in the white T.

Every evening we jumped in Lake Michigan. The water and air temperature were perfect. I was surprised by how clean and clear the water was.  In fact the whole city of Chicago was sparkling clean.

Why not in Sacramento? This public art plaza featured waterfalls cascading over these giant projections of faces. Occasionally the faces would spit water into the shallow fountain. Thrilled kids were running and splashing in the water as they eagerly awaited the faces to spit again. Nicely done Chicago. I hope to visit again soon.

Morgan Sims and Seren Moran’s show, “Shapeshifters” opens Friday, September 1st, with a reception from 6pm – 9pm.

Please call or email for more info about the artists and the work.


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