Near our newest Chicago home in Wicker Park, Common Maplewood, Adrianne runs a colorful studio and store called Ponnopozz filled with playfully abstract and minimalist prints and designs. As our selected artist for our Local Art in Action feature, Adrianne’s art is featured throughout the home’s interior decor to help our members connect to the local artistic community in their neighborhood. Keep reading to find out more about Adrianne’s artistic inspirations that fuel Ponnopozz, her favorite parts of the neighborhood, and more.
First things first, introduce yourself!
I’m Adrianne, the artist behind Ponnopozz. Ponnopozz was named after two imaginary friends I had as a child (Ponno and Pozzer) and is my creative resurgence after a decade in corporate America.
What’s the best part about living and being an artist in Chicago?
Chicago-ans keep it real – they don’t hide who they are. As an artist, it’s nice because no one is judging you too harshly here. They either like your work or they don’t, it’s that simple. Additionally (and unrelated), I love that Chicago has four distinct seasons, which truly inspires me and my work. Each season has a different personality and elicits different emotions. I find it comforting that the process of change is tangible when the seasons shift.
What advice do you have for people who are moving to the city for the first time?
I would tell people to take a day to see all the famous stuff: Sears Tower, Millennium Park, Navy Pier, etc. Just one day, though, to get it out of their system, and then spend the rest of the time exploring the real Chicago, which is in the neighborhoods. I would encourage newcomers to hop on the L and visit a different neighborhood each weekend to explore the local shops, restaurants, and bars. The heart of the city is with the locals – you can learn so much from us!
What’s your favorite piece of art you have in your home? How’d you find it and why do you love it?
My favorite piece is definitely a custom illustration of my childhood home by local artist Phil Thompson (of Cape Horn Illustration). I’ve so many good memories of growing up in that home, and this print really captures that nostalgia! I originally found Phil’s work through my partner, Seth. He wanted to surprise me with the childhood home print (and boy did he!) Since then, we’ve acquired two more of Phil’s prints and he’s become my mentor.
Can you tell us a bit more about the prints we’ve featured at Common Maplewood? What are the stories or inspiration behind them?
Funnily enough, I unintentionally only prints that I painted outdoors while on vacation! I love to paint outside and this is where Chicago has a downside–the winter months here make that impossible.
Starry Night (the one with the dark blue sky) was painted almost two years ago, at the start of Ponnopozz. I was vacationing in the Mojave desert and was so inspired by the landscape that I painted 6 pieces in the span of a week! Starry Night was inspired by nighttime in the desert, which I was surprised to discover how full of life it was after sundown.
Satsuma is the peice with the pink sky. I was inspired by the foliage in my parents’ backyard in Florida and the colors reflected there. Camille was also painted in Florida but I used gouache instead of acrylic so it has more of a “watercolor” look than the other two.
Ponnopozz has its own brick-and-mortar space in Ravenswood where you sell your work and host events. What was your mission in making your space more than just a shop?
The goal behind the brick and mortar shop was twofold — to fulfill my dream of curating a boutique in my home city and to have a place to paint that is not my second bedroom. The shop has been excellent since it gives me a permanent place to display my work and also allows me to showcase wares from other local makers and friends. Plus, I painted a huge mural in there that’s mostly pinks and yellows (my two favorite colors). The shop makes me happy and encourages me to keep going. So far, it’s been a hit with the neighborhood!
What does your dream day off in Chicago look like?
A lazy day of local shopping in either Andersonville or Wicker Park, followed by a meal and (depending on the season) a board game on a blanket in Winnemac Park or a drink at a neighborhood bar.
The one place everyone new to Chicago should go is…
Hands-down The Chipp Inn. It’s a nondescript bar in West Town that you’d probably never find otherwise, but it’s my favorite bar in the city! It’s about as local as you can get and the beers are cheap. The crowd there is very unassuming and very Chicago, the bartenders are awesome, and they even have a pool table. It always feels like I’m taking a step back in time when I visit, probably because the bar has been there since 1897.