(b. 1971)

M.F.A.  University of Chicago, 2005

studied with Rose Shakinovsky and Claire Gavronsky in 92, 94, and 96.

B.A. Gustavus Adolphus College, 1993



Sacrificial Beast as a Split-Level Rambler Zoned DX (Mixed Use), Gallery 1, Hyde Park Art Center.  Preus will be in residency at HPAC for the spring of 2014

@The Franklin, w/Deborah Boardman


Sounds Take Shape, Curated by Hal Rammel, Woodland Pattern Book Center, Milwaukee, WI

Boom-Chick Colloquium, solo exhibition, Experimental Sound Studio, Chicago

Growth Potential in the Private Sector, New Material @ the Museum of Contemporary Art

Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good, Chicago Cultural Center

Dock 6 seasonal art and design exhibition

remodeling home, home gallery, chicago

new material - performances with instruments made of broken furniture in Preus’ studio

dock 6 semi-annual art exhibition

house music, with marvin tate @ elmhurst museum

  with marvin tate @ black cinema house


Creative Director for the Rebuild Foundation.  Lead Fabricator for Theaster Gates Studios.

Project Director, and lead fabricator for Theaster Gates, 12 Ballads for Huguenot House, for dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel, Germany.    Following 6 months of design and fabrication, Preus led a crew of 7 builders form Chicago, 10 from Kassel, and 7 from Sweden, to restore the Huguenot House, one of the few remaining buildings from before the war destroyed 95% of Kassel’s architecture.  The HH, sat vacant for the past 40-some years and is now a thriving temporary cultural center.  Click the link to read the essay Preus published in the book, Theaster Gates, 12 Ballads for Huguenot House.

Anthem/Requiem-for dOCUMENTA 13, the Huguenot House, Kassel, Germany

Relational Prosthetics for You Complete Me. Devos Art Museum, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI

P-SAD: Program, Suffer, Abstain, Deprogram, Harold Washington College


-This House is Not a Home, co-curated with Laura Shaeffer, at SHOP, Chicago

-On Making Things Matter: Strategies for Preservation, co-curated with Laura Shaeffer and Alberto Aguilar at SHOP, Chicago


Co-founded SHOP (Southside Hub of Production-5638 s. woodlawn ave. Hyde Park, Chicago), a cultural and community center sited in a Victorian mansion, imagined as a model for underutilized residential and/or commercial property.  Based in the arts, SHOP offers independent social and cultural opportunities and events, classes and workshops, tools and knowledge, intended to help develop the skills of cooperation, and to reinvest in local community.   Fiscal Sponsor-The Resource Center, 501c3.

Slow Recovery -SHoP, Chicago

*The World as Text – Columbia College Center for Book and Paper Arts, Chicago, Il-

*If it Ain’t Broke – Open Engagement Conference – Portland State
University, Portland OR

Rebuilding Mayfield– for Gestures of Resistance, Museum of Contemporary Craft,
Portland OR

Repair Shop – Conversation Pieces, CEPA Gallery, Buffalo NY

*King Ludd’s Midway Arcade, The Experimental Station, Chicago IL

*2nd-hand Reading Room, threewalls, Chicago, IL

I’d Rather Be Fishin’ – for Beyond Green: Toward a Sustainable Art, The DeVos Art Museum,
Marquette MI

The Convergence Café–for Democracy in America, The Convergence Center, Park
Avenue Armory, New York NY

MX Pinball– for Other Options, Eyebeam, New York NY

*The Way Things Drag Their Futures Around, ThreeWallsSOLO, Chicago IL

*Points of Interest, Public Art Installation, Braddock Active Arts, Braddock PA

“MX Pinball” – Other Options, Goods and Services, Pittsburgh PA

“MX Pinball” – Other Options, Gallery 206, Grand Rapids MI

Beyond Green: Toward a Sustainable Art. (Travelling)
University Art Museum, CA
State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA
Museum London, London, Ontario
Joseloff Gallery, Hartford Art School, University of Hartford, Hartford, CT
The Ronna and Eric Hoffman Gallery of Contemporary Art, Lewis & Clark
College, Portland, OR

Another Story, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago IL

“Left Luggage” – Pathogeographies, UIC Gallery 400, Chicago IL

*Putt-Putt Green Design Competition, The Experimental Station, Chicago IL

Are You Ready for the Future? Street Level Youth Media, Chicago IL

Beyond Green: Toward A Sustainable Art. Richard E. Peeler Art Center,
DePaul University, Greencastle IN
Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH

“DIY Coat Check” – Pass it On: Connecting Contemporary DIY Culture, Columbia
College, A+D Gallery, Chicago IL

“Biographical Extensions II” – Negotiated Localities, SAIC Betty Rymer Gallery,
Chicago IL

*Biographical Extensions, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago IL

The Space Between, Del Prado Building, Chicago IL

Beyond Green: Toward A Sustainable Art, Smart Museum of Art, Chicago IL
Museum of Arts & Design New York, NY



panelist. Chicago Artist Resource, Launch Residency

artist talk-for Spontaneous Interventions at the Chicago Cultural Center

artist talk-Faheem Majeed’s sculpture class-SAIC

artist talk-Dan Peterman’s sculpture class, UIC


Respondent for Accidental Publics @ Threewalls


Panel Discussion-On Furniture, Columbia College center for Book and Paper Arts,

Artist Talk-Harold Residency, Ohio


Artist Talk, Backstory Café, Graduate Performance Seminar with Faith Wilding,
Chicago IL

2009  Guest Presentation/Workshop, University of Chicago, “Interventions and
Public Culture” with Theaster Gates, Chicago IL

Artist Talk, SAIC, Alison Rutan’s Graduate Seminar

Artist in Residency Presentation, In Conjunction with the exhibition Beyond Green, University of Northern Michigan, Marquette, MI

Presentation of “The Way Things Drag Their Futures Around”, ThreeWallsSOLO
For symposium on socially engaged art entitled, “Talking with our Mouth’s
Full,” Chicago IL

Panel Discussion, “Exploring Other Options” for Other Options Symposium,
Panelists include Stephen Burke (Ithaca Hours) William Howard (First
Community Land Trust of Chicago), Justin Rothshank (Union Project),
Sara Black and John Preus (Material Exchange). Goods and Services,
Pittsburgh PA

Art On the Move Tours- Artist Talk, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago IL

Guest Lecture- Artist Talk, Columbia College, “Chicago Art Now” with Adam
Brooks, Chicago IL

Presentation of Projects, “What we Know of our Past, What we Want from our
Future” Conference, Messhall, Chicago IL


Panel Discussion- “Creative Reuse in Art and Design,” for the Chicago Humanities
Festival “The Climate of Concern,” Panelists include: Lee Bey, John Ronin,
John Preus, Experimental Station, Chicago, IL

Guest Presenters/Student Workshop, Street Level Youth Media, Chicago IL

“Talking Point” Series, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL

2006  Guest Respondent, ThreeWalls Salon Series, “Remaking Culture” a Salon with Cat
Mazza, ThreeWalls, Chicago IL

Guest Presenters/Student Workshop, Illinois Institute of Technology, “Beyond
Surplus: A Material Exchange Laboratory,” with Isabella Gould. Chicago IL

Guest Critic, Harrington College of Design, “Experimental Design”, Chicago


2010  Project-Based Residency, Harold Artist residency, Ohio

Project-Based Residency, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland OR

2009  Project-Based Residency, Northern Michigan University, Marquette MI

2008  Project-Based Residency, Creative Time, InCUBATE, and The Elizabeth
Foundation for the Arts, New York, NY

Project-Based Residency, Braddock Active Arts, Braddock, PA


*note-listed are standard stipends and travel grants as well as commissions, or those projects for which I was contracted as both an independent artist and builder by the client.  I do not list work that I did as a standard builder even if it may look more or less the same.


Commission: seating for Spontaneous Interventions. Chicago Cultural Center


Project Stipend and Travel Grant: Prosthetics for You Complete Me @ the Devos Art Museum, Northern Michigan University,

Commission: Quotations and objects created under the ideological guidance of Theaster Gates


Commission: Quotations and objects created under the ideological guidance of Theaster Gates

Project Stipend: The World as Text @ the Columbia College Center for Book and Paper Arts


Project and Travel Stipend: Rebuilding Mayfield @ the Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland

Commission: Kitchen, As If It Were a Formal Abstract Composition

Commission/Stipend Hybrid-2nd-Hand Reading Room @ Threewalls

Project and Travel Grant: I’d Rather Be Fishin’, @ the DeVos Art Museum, Northern Michigan University,

Commission: Dorchester Project 6916- Reconsideration Of Existing Layout and Build-Out of Specific Objects and Spaces


Commission: Dorchester Project 6918 – Series of Repairs, Build-Outs and Reconfigurations Over the Course of a Few Months


Project and Travel Grant, Creative Time

Project and Travel Grant, Braddock Active Arts


Project Stipend, Biographical Extensions @ the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Project Stipend, The Way Things Drag Their Futures Around @ ThreewallsSOLO

Commission: Doors, Windows, Functional Spatial Interventions and Objects Created Under the Guidance of: Dan Peterman for the Experimental Station


Commission: Benches In Service of Looking at Beyond Green @ the Smart Museum


Fishman, Elly. Salvage Operation: John Preus’s Proustian Art is a Recycling of Things Past, Chicago Reader, Sept. 15, 2011

Wang, Dan. Book Points, Furniture Joints: John Preus and the World as Text: Catalog essay for the exhibition at the Columbia College Center for Book and Paper Arts,

2011 The World as Text-Columbia College Exhibition Catalog. voted as 1 of 10 best exhibitions of 2011 by New City.

Ise, Claudine. “The World as Text” Critics’ Pick, Artforum, July 29, 2011

Weber, Candice. Booked Solid: “The World as Text” immerses visitors in artists’ publications, TimeOut Chicago, July 14, 2011

Waxman, Lori.  An Alternative Summer Reading List, The Chicago Tribune, July 14, 2011

Links: Artforum, Chicago Tribune, Timeout Chicago

Stabler, Bert. A MORE IMPERFECT MACHINE: Sara Black and John Preus invoke the demiurge in Portland, Proximity Magazine, Spring/Summer 2010, p. 122.

Museum of Contemporary Craft.  Sara Black and John Preus : Rebuilding Mayfield. Interview.
YouTube.  February 2010.

Radon, Lisa.  Review : Rebuilding Mayfield.  Ultra Art + Performance Blog.  February 2010.

Moore, Anne Elizabeth.  The Art of Recycling.  The Progressive Magazine.  March 2010 issue.

Diem, Christopher.  Turtle Inhabits Teal Lake.  The Mining Journal.  February 1 2009.

Art Displayed on Teal Lake : Doubles as Fish Habitat.  Featured on WLUC TV6.  Michigan.  January

Lauren Hansen. South Side artist breaks down walls to build neighborhood sociability, inspire conversation, Medill Reports, Chicago, May 27, 2009

Thompson, Nato.  A Guide to Democracy in America. Edited by Creative Time. New York, New York.

Stabler, Bert.  Death to Law: Progressive Public Art In Chicago. Proximity Magazine.  Issue #1.
May/June 2008.

Furnari, Rachel. Artist Profile: Material Exchange.  Newcity Chicago.  June 9 2008.

Pill, Katherine.  Solar Panels and Sheetrock: The Challenge of Greening Museums.  F News Magazine.
April 2007.

Swanson, Pat.  Another Story.  Hyde Park Art Center. Exhibition Catalog.  September 2007.

Rubio, Mauricio.  Putt-Putt for Global Change.  The Columbia Chronicle.  April 2 2007.

QH.  First Annual Putt-Putt Green Design Competition.  Flavorpill.  Issue #132.  April 2007.

Arrain, Fauzia.  Lean, Green Putting Machine.  The Chicago Tribune.  Section 5a.  Thursday, March
29 2007.

Ponce, Phil. Putt-Putt Green Design Competition. Featured on Art Beat- Chicago Tonight- WTTW.
Tuesday April 10 2007.

Sheehan, Martina.  Where Does Old Art Go to Die?  Time Out, Chicago.  Issue 109, March 29th- April
4  2007.

Oren, Ben.  The Golf is the Message.  Chicago Weekly.  March-April 2007.

Preus, John and Sara Black.  Introducing Material Exchange.  AREA Chicago.
Art/Education/Activism.  Issue 2.  Volume 1.  February 2006.

Carnig, Jennifer.  Material Exchange Collective Saves Objects from Obsolescence. Chicago Chronicle.
Number 18. Volume 25.  2006.

Smith, Stephanie and Victor Margolin. Beyond Green: Toward a Sustainable Art.  Smart Museum of
Art.  2005.