Jean Parisi

18th Street Pilsen Open Studios - 2021

944 W 21st St, Chicago, IL 60608


Open to the public: October 16th & 17th / 12-8pm
*Outdoor Studio
* Must practice social distancing. We are an outdoor garden so masks are optimal.


I moved to Pilsen in 1976 and co-founded the Pros Arts Studio (became ElevArte in 2008) in 1978 from an arts residency at St. Procopius School. For all these 45 years I have been an active community member and have shared my art, both visual and performing, in schools, community centers and on the streets.


Jean Parisi is an artist, performer, and educator - a cultural activist collaborating with others, performing on the streets, clowning festivals, creating site-specific public art, all in a creative effort to make a difference.  In 1978 she co-founded the Pros Arts Studio, a community based arts organization in Pilsen, where she worked as Executive Director until 2008.  For over 40 years she has developed and taught curriculum integrating the arts (visual and performing) with other core subjects for classrooms in Chicago area schools.  She is a performer in the improvised physical tradition of Commedia dell’Arte presenting her work throughout Chicago, across the U.S. and at the Mercantia Street Festival in Italy.  Together with Lionel Bottari, the ‘couch potato puppets’ and other characters starred on CAN TV for 25 years. Her illustrations for Bottari’s Folktale series are a monthly feature in the Fra Noi, a national Italian American Magazine.  Since 2010 she has created timely, large scale installations annually at Pilsen Open Studios. Jean is the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Individual Artist’s Fellowship, the Public/Community Service Award from the Illinois Alliance for Arts Education, and several Neighborhood Arts Project grants from the City of Chicago. Jean Parisi has an MFA in performance from the School of the Art Institute and a BFA in sculpture from the Philadelphia College of Art.