There’s commitment to your passion, and then there’s Ciera McKissick.
In fact, the founder of AMFM Magazine and Canvas Primer alum found herself in the intensive care unit after a bout of exhaustion due to her work in opening her new art space and gallery. Though it turned out to be a bruised rib brought on by coughing so hard from bronchitis, it nonetheless serves as an example of Ciera’s devotion to AMFM.
She’s on the mend now, and after rescheduling our interview to attend to (much) more pressing medical issues, we were able to speak on her reflections on the event and her work.
Ciera explained that her main medium of art is curating it and organizing events. Although she does paint on her own, she doesn’t like to showcase her own art. Rather, she possesses a deep passion for appreciating and catalyzing all forms of art—especially that of young artists by providing them a platform for growth.
Through AMFM, she works to plan a variety of initiatives, including the monthly Jazz Series as well as events with the Chicago Arts Department in Pilsen, where she is currently a resident artist. On top of all of this, she still manages to keep a day job grinding as a social media marketer.
This past weekend, though, her hustle and determination paid off when she opened up her own brick and mortar art space for the AMFM brand—something she has always dreamed of doing.
The storefront windows were fogged up when we pulled up to the event. Upon my entrance, I found out why: the entire space was packed wall-to-wall. Not only was it physically crowded, though, but the entire room was filled with positive vibes.
After all, everyone was there to support AMFM and, more specifically, Ciera herself.
When she took the stage to thank everyone for coming out, her happiness was visible and it seemed most people in that crowded room had a personal connection with Ciera’s work which made the love in the room feel so much more genuine.
The event itself was sponsored by PBR, there was delicious vegan food provided by Chef Via Rosa. DJ Bonita Appleblunt and DJ LOKari provided the music while Dxtr Spits acted as the de facto MC. The artwork being shown included murals by Janelle Imani, Sam Kirk, Zorzorzor, and a beautiful art installation by Jane Georges that featured hundreds of little pink tapes on the wall.
Throughout the night fourteen musicians performed and there was artwork featured by fourteen artists. It was a stacked lineup to say the least.
After opening her new space, she still plans to continue her residency at the Chicago Arts Department and the Jazz Series in addition to showcasing art through events and gallery openings at the new AMFM location as well. There is plenty to look forward to for Ciera and AMFM, so keep an eye out for her events by following her on social media here:
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: @AMFMlife