Regin Igloria

Document Type


Publication Date



2011 interview with Regin Igloria by Julie Hernandez


Artist Bio: Born 1974 Manila, Philippines. Lives and works in Chicago, IL. Regin Igloria maintains a studio practice which revolves around teaching and serving as an arts administrator. He teaches studio courses at Marwen, a nonprofit youth arts organization, where he has also served as program and exhibitions coordinator. An alumnus of the program, he helped establish their Alumni Advisory Board and served as its co-chair, run their Alumni Gallery, and served as a teaching artist for many of their study trips to New York City, Boston, and Maine. He has also taught for the children's program at Anderson Ranch Arts Center, where he served as a studio assistant for three summers and worked with many influential artists. Other teaching experiences include Rhode Island School of Design, Terra Museum of American Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and various workshops throughout the Chicagoland area. Currently he serves as the Director of Artists-In-Residence at The Ragdale Foundation, an artist residency program for visual artists, writers and composers in Lake Forest, IL. He received his MFA in Painting from Rhode Island School of Design and is represented by Zg Gallery in Chicago, IL.

Regin Igloria was raised in Albany Park on the northwest side of Chicago, where he has returned and opened North Branch Projects, an independently run project space which offers community bookbinding and serves as a resource and outlet for the creative process. The youngest of five children, he attended public schools and was immersed in an environment which, as financially limiting as it was, encouraged exploration. His joy was found in movement, though his family almost never traveled or went on vacations (being driven to the suburbs seemed an adventure in its own right). He considered his community, made up of Korean variety shops, supermercados, and Indian video stores, home, for nearly twenty-five years. Within walking distance of this neighborhood lay the forest preserves of the city—the urban woods—which provided solace from the complexities of city living. Under the cover of trees and next to the slow-moving North Branch of the Chicago River lay possible contentment. One's identity was neutral here, social obligations were irrelevant, money meant nothing, and power was dictated only by forces of nature. It was the kind of place he sought on a daily basis. Ultimately, however, his immersion in art school within the city—a breeding ground for dialogue amongst a community he felt disconnected with—propelled further disenchantment. Traveling would prove to be a remedy of sorts, and experiencing solitary landscapes would be associated with happiness.

Nature and travel have always been prevalent themes in his work, but actually immersing himself in both would allow him to understand its direct impact on the human condition. A solo bicycle trip done on the West Coast and exposure to an outdoor lifestyle in Colorado brought forth many simple truths: 1) everything he wants he cannot afford, 2) the things he wants he does not really need, and 3) he can never work enough, even in solitude. Ironically, he has since found himself living in very wealthy communities where luxury and privilege tempt him every day, a struggle brought upon himself only by choosing to be an artist. His work considers the compromise between these kinds of opposing forces, the efforts made that yield loss, the accumulation of equipment that becomes more burden than blessing, and the constant search for a better place.

(Artist Bio taken from