Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Tuesday, April 16

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Art Sat Mar 08 2014

Wicker Park: First Fridays @ The Flat Iron Building

The weather, warming up slightly this week, urged a substantial amount of Chicago makers, gallery goers and visual arts lovers, to the Flat Iron Arts Building last night. I, finally wearing something that wasn't reminiscent of a Christmas Story, trekked out to Wicker Park for the open studios, refreshments and socializing. This was my first time "First Fridays" at Wicker Park; I usually frequent Pilsen for "Second Fridays," instead. However, I am a fan of the area and decided to wander down for a peek at how they run things down at the Flat Iron Building.


First of all, the building is enormous; so much so, that I was lost a few times and went in circles on the second floor before I gathered my bearings. Some studios are open, some are not. The spaces are large, very homey and inviting. I stopped by Raw Toast Design's studio space where there were a plethora of illustrations, posters and cards out for display (and for sale). As I wandered further, I stumbled upon Brainstorm Comics. I never really got into comic books but I can only imagine the excitement that some people have when discovering this upstairs. The room was vast with tons of amazing colors. The books themselves were like art. Moving on in the building, I visited some photography studios. I was highly impressed with the work of film photographer Marc Sullivan, who captured desolate areas across the United States. His work was eerie yet beautiful, as he focuses on dilapidated buildings and night shots.

Overall, I felt like I wanted more after visiting Wicker Park. There weren't as many people as I had hoped there would be, yet, the artists seemed eager and excited to discuss their work. I guess that's what it's all about anyway, isn't it? I am hoping that once the weather starts to warm up, so will the visitors at these events. It's definitely worth it for the visual artists and the chance to get a little inspired when you're feeling the Chicago winter blues.

First Friday occurs every month, so stop by and support your local artists!

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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