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Guerrilla Truck Show, The 'Harvard of Design,' Celebrates 10 Years Tuesday

By Chloe Riley | June 6, 2014 7:18am
  The  Guerrilla Truck Show  has been helping local designers get exposure for 10 years.  
Guerrilla Truck Show
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WEST LOOP — When Morlen Sinoway started the first Guerilla Truck Show in 2004, there were just six trucks, a handful of artists and a whole lot of beer.

Now the Fulton Market design event has expanded to more than 60 trucks and designers, including long-time Chicago designers and newer underground local artists and students.

And there's still plenty of beer.

"At the time, we had several things that were prime to put this on," said Sinoway, of Morlen Sinoway Atelier designs. "We had audience, we had talent and we had location. I told the artists, 'We’ll get the beer, we’ll get the people and the PR, you come up with the design and manifestation.'"

Artists and designers set up their goods in the backs of trucks — parked along Fulton Market from Carpenter Street west to Racine Avenue — and all are welcome to walk by and check out the scene.

Designers range from the well-known (like the West Loop's Crucial Detail and Garfield Park's Streng Design) to the burgeoning (students from Harrington College of Design, School of the Art Institute, and Shiner Photo, a Humboldt Park company that turns Instagram photos into wood blocks).

Only 60 out of some 200 applicants are chosen and the truck show is strategically set up to coincide with Neocon, North America's largest commercial design fair held at the Merchandise Mart Monday-Wednesday. 

"It's like trying to get into the Harvard of design," Sinoway said laughing. It's about letting the world know that Chicago has design talent. And about giving young people an opportunity to display what they do and voice themselves on their ideas."

The free show is from 5:30-9:30 p.m. Tuesday. Off-site events include a swing-set drum kit at Packer Schopf Gallery, 942 W. Lake St.; the School of the Art Institute's Whatnot, which will focus on progressive ideas in design education at 950 W. Fulton Market; and an afterparty at Colab Space, 312 N. Carpenter St., featuring live music from Kahil Elzabar.

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