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We Are All Beautiful

By Justin Sondak in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 4, 2005 9:00PM

beautifulCTA.jpgAt Chicagoist, we have a lot of love in our hearts: for our friends, our colleagues, our readers, and even our critics. It’s not always easy to express our appreciation for everyone who visits our humble little site.

So we’re grateful that the fine artists at You Are Beautiful provide a memorably whimsical way of showing the love. The anonymous collective has been spreading those three words all over Chicago and mailing mountains of stickers all over the world in the hopes of bringing a simple, positive message to a hardened, cynical culture. They’ve encouraged their fans to creatively reproduce this message, provided it’s done non-commercially.

When seeing their moniker all over the world wasn’t enough, the collective launched the interactive “You Are/I Am” project, distributing books and postcards that invited a response to each of these phrases. Respondents filled the empty spaces with prose, poetry, drawings, jokes, commentary, or whatever struck them in the moment.

You-Are-I-Am-web.jpgThis Friday, the Beautiful people open an exhibit of returned “You Are/I Am” postcards and books in River West’s Foundation Gallery. An opening reception will be held from 6-10pm, with a panel discussion Sunday. If you think this concept is simply beautiful, browse through shelves of astoundingly creative books in the gallery’s Reading Room Sunday afternoons through August 21.

The Foundation Gallery is located at 700 N. Carpenter St, 2 blocks from the blue line Chicago stop. “You Are/I Am” runs August 5 – 21. Admission is free. For more information, call 312-860-0740 or visit

Images courtesy of You Are Beautiful.