Autotelic Studios

Autotelic Studios

Autotelic Studios is a nonprofit arts organization that creates alternative workspace for artists in Chicago.

Photo credit: Jason Judd of

An autotelic person needs few material possessions and little entertainment, comfort, power, or fame because so much of what he or she does is already rewarding. Because such persons experience  flow in work, in family life, when interacting with people, when eating, even when alone with nothing to do, they are less dependent on the external rewards that keep others motivated to go on with a life composed of routines. They are more autonomous and independent because they cannot be as easily manipulated with threats or rewards from the outside. At the same time, they are more involved with everything around them because they are fully immersed in the current of life.
— Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi


Autotelic was founded in 2010 by Andi Crist and Evan Carrison as a multi-purpose gallery, venue and studio. Over time, Autotelic evolved into a multi-faceted community arts organization that primarily functioned as artist facilities and studios. In 2014, Autotelic relocated from a small Chicago neighborhood known as Avondale, to a newly rehabbed storefront in Logan Square, and incorporated as a nonprofit. Since that time, Autotelic has become a booming artist support system, providing studios and facilities for over 25 emerging artists working in a range of mediums, disciplines and career levels.


Autotelic is committed to providing affordable workspace and facilities to artists interested in creating within a community-centric environment. Although the artists working in the studios are primarily visual artists, the creative community at Autotelic welcomes artists of all disciplines and mediums. Autotelic offers inexpensive individual studios to artists-in-residence, access to shop facilities and equipment, teaching and learning initiatives, and experimental exhibition opportunities and special projects. Through partnerships and collaborative projects, Autotelic strives to act as an advocate, incubator and resource for artists that thrive within a tight-knit community of artists and makers.  Cumulatively, these elements make up the heart of Autotelic's function—to make making easier for artists in Chicago.


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