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.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Tuesday, March 5

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


Art Tue Jan 27 2015

Call for Plants for (Provisional) Park at Co-Prosperity Sphere

Calling all plant lovers and plant parents! (Provisional) Park would like you to place your plants on temporary loan for a project in Bridgeport.

(Provisional) Park

(Provisional) Park will be a temporary indoor park made up entirely of your wonderful green and tropical houseplants, located inside of Co-Prosperity Sphere at 3219-21 S. Morgan St. The project was created by artist Allyson Packer, who graduated from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill with a BFA in 2009. The park will free and open to the public March 6-April 3 between 6am and 11pm.

If you would like to lend your plant to Packer for the duration of the park, email to schedule a pick-up or feel free to bring your plants to Co-Prosperity Sphere between 10am and 5pm on Sunday, March 1. Have no fear, your plants will be returned in April once the project is completed!

S. Nicole Lane

Neighborhood Tue Jun 25 2013

Wicker Park Resident Victim of Plantnapping


Wicker Park residents may have spotted an unusual banner hanging at Damen and Augusta over the weekend. In big orange letters, it read "Return my plants, They're sick." Gapers Block reader Friday S. was behind the sign, and emailed us to explain what was going on.

During the shower storm last Friday I took two tree size plants, a five foot tall oleander and a four foot tall Pointy Ficus outside. They were covered by a winter's worth of scale and dust and I hoped the rain would wash them off.

An hour after the shower finished I went downstairs to bring them back up. But someone had taken them and left mounds of dirt. According to the real estate agent, whose office is next door, a young man with a light beard driving a light blue volvo station wagon had asked him if they belonged to him. When he responded that they probably belonged to the store next door the young man said, "No, they're part of the community trust. I'll take them." He already had them packed in the trunk.

I threw a shouting fit for five minutes and threw a broken fan down the stairwell but then furiously made the sign in the photo. On the left side, barely visible in the photo, it reads "hey you, in the light blue volvo." barely readable on the right side is, "they need special care. my two trees!!! ring my buzzer, it's the bottom one or email me,"

So, there you have it. If you took those trees, or know who did, get in touch with their rightful owner so they can be taken care of. And if you have plants of your own, be careful where you leave them, lest they be plantnapped.

Andrew Huff

Feature Tue May 17 2011

Co-op Image Group Teaches Kids to Sculpt their Own Art Educations

photo courtesy of Mike Bancroft

There are many ways to a teenager's heart; you just have to know where to start. Co-op Image Group started with a few video cameras and has kept the kids interests by adding stencils, samplers, molten glass and hot sauce.

It all began in 2002 when Mike Bancroft (who was working for Street Level Youth Media at the time) and his sister, Bridget, were working on a project with the SLYM kids called "Post Our Bills." The idea was to use boarded up buildings as exhibition opportunities -- rather than looking at plywood-covered windows, wouldn't you rather look at paintings? Although they didn't get a lot of cooperation from the city, they attracted a lot of volunteers and positive attention from the neighborhood, and before they knew it they received a donated building and a community garden -- now the Campbell Co-op Garden (1357 N. Campbell St.).

Continue reading this entry »

Kelly Reaves

Gardening Fri Jul 16 2010

Late Summer Garden Walks

Editor's Note: This story was submitted by Patrick Boylan, editor of The Welles Park Bulldog.

The heat of summer may cause some wilting of the flowers, plants and the participants in these late season garden walks. In our own garden we've seen unusual growthamong some plants, probably due to the wet and warm late spring. Other plants have been disappointing.

So it goes with garden walks and even for caring for a garden walk calendar. What happened to the huge garden walk in Lakeview this year? Will someone step forward in Norwood Park to help that garden club move forward next year? Several walks I wanted to feature did not get their information together on time.

Who will review these garden walks? Can we get a rating system for them going?

The garden and gardening can be an activity full of love and surprises. Gardeners are secret politicians, with an environmental message. And they are traditional home makers, moms, husbands and even children. Their message is subliminally that we don't need to go to the grocery store, there are wonderful things to eat in our yard. Or as my mother always told me: go play outside!

The Victory Garden was an effort to help feed the domestic population in World War II. This year, to commemorate that effort the Peterson Garden Project planted a Victory Garden at Peterson and Campbell. You can read more about it on the blog of the founder: I look forward to their harvest.

We need your feedback. We are approaching the part of the year when there are no more garden walks, when the farmers markets pull out.

We missed a number of garden walks, ignored those that were away from the city. And we didn't talk much about gardening. Please take a moment and talk to us.

What did we miss? Should we review the farmers markets? Should we have discussed the lectures on gardening? How can you participate in this calendar?

Continue reading this entry »

A/C / Comments (2)

Gardening Fri Jul 09 2010

Mid-July Chicagoland Garden Walks

Editor's Note: This story was submitted by Patrick Boylan, editor of The Welles Park Bulldog.

It's mid-summer, the gardens are well watered from a continuing series of storms in late June and they should be at a glorious height of color. The issue in late June and also in mid-July is one of choice. There are far too many garden walks crowded in a few weeks and some of the largest take place at this time of the year.

However, some small, underappreciated neighborhoods also feature their yards. What a great chance to meet neighbors and see what the character of a neighborhood is. Bowmanville, a small North Side community with a tiny commercial heart, is tucked between a cemetery and Ravenswood. Yet it has award-winning gardens, community gardens, landscapes and has won the attention of Chicagoland Gardening Magazine. 
Bucktown devoted considerable attention to identifying its trees and put out docents and guide materials for its walk. It was very successful. Plus this trendy area has gotten its business community, principally its taverns, involved by offering entertainment to guests. What a winning combination!

Continue reading this entry »

A/C / Comments (1)

Gardening Fri Jun 11 2010

June Chicagoland Garden Walks

Editor's Note: This story was submitted by Patrick Boylan, editor of The Welles Park Bulldog.

purpleflower.pngThe cool summer rains of the last few weeks have created a lush palette for the June garden walks.

The Lurie Garden guided walks continue throughout the summer, allowing visitors a fresh guided tour of Millennium Park. The Northtown Garden Walk, which starts in Indian Boundary Park, is the only evening garden walk in either the city or the suburbs that includes residential gardens. It is also one of the few garden walks to happen mid-week.

On the far South Side, the Historic Pullman Garden Club is holding a garden walk, but with just 10 days to go they have no details to help us, except the date and the place. At least we know the date and place.

In Oak Park and River Forest the garden walk starts at the Oak Park Conservatory. Like many suburban walks, this walk is probably not appropriate for people without cars. That sort of defeats the purpose, don't you think? Still, I'm sure the gardens are lovely.

A Jens Jensen garden design is promised for those who walk the Beverly Hills/ Morgan Park tour (yowzah!), while my own neighborhood will be showing hidden places and gems in North Center. Can you handle two more garden walks the same day? Park Ridge has another of those garden walks you do from a car, and the quiet little neighborhood of the Manor is trying to quietly have a garden walk and not tell anyone! But your intrepid writer knows and tells all.

The Manor isn't the only neighborhood to hide its beauty. Perhaps you know details of the Midway Garden Walk and would like to share them?

We are seeking to update the calendar with city and near suburban garden walks. If you'd like to include your garden walk in future updates, please write Patrick Boylan at

Continue reading this entry »

A/C / Comments (3)

Gardening Sat May 15 2010

May Garden Walks

Editor's Note: This story was submitted by Patrick Boylan, editor of Welles Park Bulldog.

A pleasure of summer is the garden walks. The garden walk calendar starts early this year with a bustling marketplace in Hyde Park and continues to consider the Laurie Garden, part of Millennium Park.

A new entry this year, and a welcome start to the work day too, is a Thursday morning guided tour of Millennium Park sponsored by the Nature Conservancy.

We finish this first listing with an early June highlight, the Old Town Art Fair and Garden Walk. The alleys and quiet solitude of this first neighborhood garden walk is set upon the canvas of two wonderful art fairs, the Old Town Art Fair and the Wells Street Art Fair. In addition, Old St. Michael's Church, in the same neighborhood, offers distractions and entertainment.

Continue reading this entry »


GB store

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 »


An Angry White Guy
AREA Chicago
ArchitectureChicago Plus
Arts Engagement Exchange
The Art Letter
Art or Idiocy?
Art Slant Chicago
Art Talk Chicago
Bad at Sports
Bite and Smile
Brian Dickie of COT
Bridgeport International
Carrie Secrist Gallery
Chainsaw Calligraphy
Chicago Art Blog
Chicago Art Department
Chicago Art Examiner
Chicago Art Journal
Chicago Artists Resource
Chicago Art Map
Chicago Art Review
Chicago Classical Music
Chicago Comedy Examiner
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Daily Views
Chicago Film Examiner
Chicago Film Archives
Chicago Gallery News
Chicago Uncommon
Contemporary Art Space
Co-op Image Group
Co-Prosperity Sphere
Chicago Urban Art Society
Creative Control
Devening Projects
DIY Film
The Exhibition Agency
The Flatiron Project
F newsmagazine
The Gallery Crawl...
Galerie F
The Gaudy God
Happy Dog Gallery
Homeroom Chicago
I, Homunculus
Hyde Park Artcenter Blog
Joyce Owens: Artist on Art
Julius Caesar
Kasia Kay Gallery
Kavi Gupta Gallery
Rob Kozlowski
Lookingglass Theatre Blog
Lumpen Blog
Mess Hall
Neoteric Art
Not If But When
Noun and Verb
On Film
On the Make
Peanut Gallery
Peregrine Program
The Poor Choices Show
Pop Up Art Loop
The Post Family
The Recycled Film
Reversible Eye
Rhona Hoffman Gallery
Roots & Culture Gallery
The Seen
Sisterman Vintage
Site of Big Shoulders
Sixty Inches From Center
Soleil's To-Do's
Sometimes Store
Stop Go Stop
Storefront Rebellion
TOC Blog
Theater for the Future
Theatre in Chicago
The Franklin
The Mission
The Theater Loop
Thomas Robertello Gallery
Time Tells Tony Wight Gallery
Uncommon Photographers
The Unscene Chicago
The Visualist
Western Exhibitions
What's Going On?
What to Wear During an Orange Alert?
You, Me, Them, Everybody
Zg Gallery

GB store



A/C on Flickr

Join the A/C Flickr Pool.

About A/C

A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Nancy Bishop,
A/C staff inbox:



A/C Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15