COLLABO is a curatorial collective founded by Frances Dorenbaum and Claire Frost that intends to create space to experiment with local and emerging artists, primarily in residential settings. Our COLLABOration [ ;) ] began in 2016 while we were both in graduate school at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was born out of a shared interest in connecting with our artist-peers and local community through a comfortable and DIY space.  

Originally based in the Logan Square neighborhood, COLLABO engaged with the Chicago tradition of apartment galleries by considering the significance of the domestic setting. More than just as a venue, we questioned how the home acts as a shared environment that implicitly and explicitly frames the behaviors of our lives and the content and form of our work. We especially focussed on how these spaces support many purposes, ways of being, and collaborations that mediate between our intimate environments and our community.

Now in its second iteration, one that is bi-coastal and nomadic, we further question the meaning of art in relation to keeping in touch, growing relationships, and developing a sense of grounding, community, and home.


Frances Dorenbaum is a curator and critic from Toronto, now based in Chicago/New York. She holds an MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History, Theory, and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, with a focus on contemporary photography, video works, and the literary. Her research considers the affective and haptic natures of contemporary images through explorations of the relationships between images and texts, and artists and audiences.

Claire Frost is a curator and arts administrator who has been living and working in San Francisco since 2011, with a two year hiatus for grad school in Chicago. While studying Art History at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she focused on the intersection of identity and historiography and the way in which artists’ communities are documented. This research allowed her to blend her interest in archival materials with theories of information distribution and artistic practice/process.


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