Preservation Chicago announced its annual list of the most endangered buildings in the city. The list includes the Fisk and Crawford power plants in West Side, which were closed following years of pollution but were once engineering marvels.
Preservation Chicago announced its annual list of the most endangered buildings in the city. The list includes the Fisk and Crawford power plants in West Side, which were closed following years of pollution but were once engineering marvels.
Chicago's millennial generation will see some additions and changes to the city's architecture and landscape, according to Huffington Post's collection of projects that are either already underway or currently in the planning process.
Chicago investment executive Mellody Hobson and her husband, Star Wars creator George Lucas, are donating $25 million to support the creation of an arts center at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. The couple's donations make them one of Chicago's biggest philanthropists. With this donation, the couple has given at least $50 million to Chicago institutions since they were married here in 2013.
GB's politics editor, Monica Reida, was on WBEZ's "Morning Shift" this morning, discussing her story on the long-closed Edgewater Medical Center and ongoing efforts to do something with it.
Gizmodo takes a look back at the Garrick Theater and Chicago Federal Building as two of the most beautiful buildings ever torn down in the U.S.
China's urbanization process will be facilitated by Chicago architects, as the "boom country of the 21st century" will be home to nearly 1 billion people by 2030. In a series created by the Tribune's architecture critic Blair Kamin and photographer John H. Kim, the two reveal how remodeling China's cityscape impacts the most crucial pillars to urban life.
In his will, Philip Seymour Hoffman listed Chicago as one of the three cities where he would like his young son to live because of the art, culture, and architecture available here.
Forgotten Chicago recalls the towering bridge that might have crossed the river at 12th Street (aka Roosevelt Road) were it not for World War I.
North Branch Projects is a "community bookbinding facility" in Albany Park, offering classes as well as giving paper artists room to work.
Local photographer Seth Anderson has been cataloging the dozens of requests he gets for the unpaid use of his photographs.
The Chicago Spire might eventually grow into more than just a hole in the ground, after its developer said a new investor will allow the company to pay off its debtors and move forward with the project.
The trove of "found art" photographs curator Paul-David Young discovered in a Humboldt Park dumpster and planned to exhibit were actually taken by digital artist Molly Soda, who hastily threw them away before leaving Chicago.
Mayor Emanuel wants to turn Chicago into a City of Light, lighting up public spaces like historic buildings, roads, and the river walk to attract tourists.
Artist Jedediah Johnson laid lipstick-smeared kisses on 100 men, women, and babies for "The Makeout Project," but he's not done yet -- and would probably lay one on you, too.
Political activist and Heartland Cafe co-founder Michael James is working on a draft of his memoir. It's filled with local political figures and historical Chicago scenery -- in the form of stunning black and white photos.
American Thinker resurrects a "forgotten masterpiece," sculptor Carl Rohl-Smith's depiction of the Fort Dearborn Massacre. Black Partridge, one of the Native Americans depicted, nearly had a new park named after him in 2009.
Lynn Becker laments the loss of historic industrial buildings across the City That Works, including a Wrigley factory complex in the Central Manufacturing District.
Design Taxi highlights the work of Audra Hubbell, who projects letters onto buildings across Chicago, adding interesting dimensions to the typography and highlighting the city's architecture.
Organizers removed an artist's work from an exhibit at the West Chicago City Museum after he sent out fake, official-looking news releases for a minstrel show at West Chicago Community High School as part of the piece, intending to spark a conversation about racism.
The City Self exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art brings together insider and outsider views of Chicago.
The Chicago Building Age Map shows you the oldest parts of the city, as well as what's new.
Amid recent criticism of Saturday Night Live's lack of diversity (including on the show itself), programs at Second City and other comedy hubs are working to provide more support to minority comedians.
Electrician Chris Gillott pioneered lighting up rooms in the Blue Cross-Blue Shield building to write things like "34" for Walter Payton or "Go Hawks," so when he passed away unexpectedly, coworkers honored him with his own message: "Thanks Chris."
Is it really necessary to give TIF money to a developer building on lakefront property on the North Side? Apparently it is if it's the abandoned Cuneo Hospital (previously) in Buena Park, Ben Joravsky reports. On the other hand, it's just a little more than the City gave the owners of the Wrigley Building to modernize it.
The owners of the Hancock Observatory are considering adding a feature that doesn't just put a glass floor beneath your feet 94 stories up, but actually tilts you downward while you're strapped in.
The least boring building proposed for the site of the Goldberg Prentice hospital has been selected by Northwestern. Unfortunately, its interesting façade is going to be the one no one sees; instead, we all get to enjoy this gargantuan glass wall.
Illustrator Sean Dove is watching all of the James Bond movies in December, in order, and drawing an image for each one.
Speaking of Frank Lloyd Wright homes, Ald. Will Burns shut down Jennifer Pritzker's proposal to buy and rehab two Wright houses in South Kenmore and make them B&Bs after neighbors objected that they'd bring "transients" to the residential block. At least one resident took notice of the tone.
Willis Sears Tower looks like it's being built in a massive game of Tetris in a unique poster by Chicago designer Justin Van Genderen.
If you like urban history and film, you may want to check out tonight's event at Comfort Station. Preservation Chicago, the Chicago Film Archives and Kartemquin Films are teaming up to present three Chicago films about community change in the 1960s in 1970s in their original 16mm glory.
The Chicago Cultural Plan, launched last year after questionably inclusive town hall meetings, won the Metropolitan Planning Council's 2013 Burnham Award for Excellence in Planning, but what has it actually accomplished? Deanna Isaacs takes a look.
Now that Northwestern's demolition of Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital is underway, the school wants to know which of the three potential replacement buildings is least banal. Which angled glass box will you choose?
The Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat decides whether the new One World Trade Center unseats the Sears Tower as North America's tallest building... and it just delayed the decision by a week.
Curious City digs into the past, present and future of Lincoln Avenue's motel row.
Further reading here on GB:
• Ask the Librarian: What's the deal with all those motels on North Lincoln Avenue?
• The Stars Go Out on Lincoln
• Get a Room
Chicago's nail artists are riding high on the escalating popularity of phalangeal flair on social media sites like Tumblr and Instagram.
A short documentary revisits Old Prentice Hospital and the failed effort to preserve it for its architectural significance. [via]
Small children with angel wings, basketball players lying in pools of blood, and gray figures wielding handguns adorn haunting images painted by grade-schoolers at Richard J. Daley Academy showing the violence in their communities.
Forgotten Chicago examines the history of swing bridges, a now mostly extinct bridge type, in the city.
Chicago Magazine shares views of familiar structures from unfamiliar angles.
Channel your inner outsider. Draw Like Darger. Participate in creating a large-scale, collaborative landscape using reproductions of the coloring books from Henry Darger's collection at the Chicago Cultural Center this Saturday, Oct. 19 from 10am to 1pm.
A Chicago man visiting New York unwittingly bought four signed Banksy paintings for $60 apiece when the artist secretly set up a table in Central Park.
Former River North gallery owner Alan Kass will serve six months in prison for selling hundreds of fake works of art.
The world's largest film camera is currently sitting at Two North Riverside Plaza, about halfway through its stay here before touring the country, taking monumental photographs of members of more than 50 distinct cultures across the country. Help it happen through the IndieGoGo campaign.
Max Grinnell revists the "World's Busiest Corner" at State & Madison, where the street addresses of the grid begin.
From a child's legs dangling out of a sink to a bridge of golden arms, Chicagoist shares a few highlights of this weekend's EXPO Chicago art exhibition at Navy Pier.
Expo Chicago is this weekend at Navy Pier; it's the largest exhibition of fine art all year, so there's plenty to see even if you're not an art aficionado.
Newcity profiles the gallery operators, marketers, and other behind-the-scenes operators that support art in Chicago.
Chicago Patterns documents an abandoned worker's cottage, the lone holdout between expressway and Palmisano Park in its corner of Bridgeport. (Check out more abandoned buildings in GB's To Be Demolished project.)
With some paint and an artistic touch, Chicago's boarded-up, vacant buildings turn into works of art.
Pick up a copy of NewCity this week for a special art section designed and curated by artists Sarah Belknap, Joseph Belknap and Marissa Lee Benedict.
Paul Klein previews the works of galleries across the city as they prepare for the fall season.
Police and other city agents are currently at Whittier Field House, aka La Casita, preparing it for demolition. Read here for background about the building and the related struggle. UPDATE: The building is still intact, and demolition crews are leaving the area; CPS will meet with area parents tomorrow morning, but it doesn't look good. CPS says the building is unsafe for use and resulted in complaints from community members. UPDATE #2: It's being demolished. UPDATE #3: View additional information, including demolition photographs, in Mechanics.
Page through Art in Chicago Business, a book published in 1966 featuring art hung in the city's major corporations' collections -- along with executives who presumably had a hand in selecting them.
Cameron Frye's Highland Park home in Ferris Bueller's Day Off is on the market for $1.5 million. (The plate glass windows have been fixed.) It was first up for sale in 2009 after its owner died, causing Landmarks Illinois to fear for its future.
Check out ideas from several architects at the exhibit City Works: Provocations for Chicago's Urban Future, on display at Expo 72. [via]
There's a crowdsourcing fundraiser going on right now to restore Muddy Waters' home on the South Side, which in bad enough shape to have been included on Landmarks Illinois' Most Endangered Historic Places list this year (previously).
Chicago photographer Bill Guerriero recently got interested in macro photography, so he purchased a macro lens and wrote about learning how to use it for Encyclopaedia Britannica. The article has plenty of photographs, but you can see even more on flickr.
Whet Moser says you can learn a lot about on Navy Pier, and not just about tourist behavior.
Pearl Jam is donating a portion of ticket sales from its July 19 show at Wrigley Field to the South Chicago Art Center and Marwen. The Cubs and Theo Epstein's A Foundation To Be Named Later are pitching in to double the donation.
More than 300 vacant buildings have been demolished so far this year, under the City's effort to curb violence and crime; some say it will hurt the city more in the long run by hampering economic recovery efforts. Last year, David Schalliol documented 100 buildings on the City demolition list, and followed it up this year with a look at an entire neighborhood being bulldozed for a new rail yard.
Google will be moving into the former Fulton Market Cold Storage building, which was last in the news for the awesome video of it thawing out. Google-owned Motorola Mobility will stay in the Merchandise Mart.
The annual Guerrilla Truck Show takes over Fulton Market tonight. Check out the latest from both established and up-and-coming furniture and industrial designers, showcasing in the backs of cargo trucks.
Sixty Inches From Center, the Chicago Public Library and Chicago Public Media are joining forces to document local artists for the library's Chicago Artists' Archive -- maybe even you!
Scaffolding is currently being installed at the base of Bertrand Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital to prepare for the demolition process.
Good and bad news on the theater front today. The Ramova Theater in Bridgeport may soon be renovated, and the New Regal Theater is for sale for just $100,000. Meanwhile, the beautiful Patio Theater will be forced to close for the summer due to a broken air conditioning system; the owners believed TIF-based grant was coming through for repairs, but it didn't come through.
WBEZ assembled a group of hilarious details from the Navy Pier redevelopment renderings.
The massive old Main Post Office straddling Congress Parkway is being considered as a potential site of a casino should that state ever issue new licenses, WGN reports. (Since it floats over a stream of cars, is that close enough to a riverboat?)
Trubble Club's Infinite Corpse now boasts more than 205 three-panel comic strips loosely narrating the surreal life of a skeleton named Corpsey.
CBS's "Sunday Morning" show this week took viewers on a tour of an East Lakeview penthouse and the unfinished residential unit on the 89th floor of the Trump Tower, which has been for sale since May of last year for $32 million.
If you're looking for a good chuckle, turn to Rachel Shteir's out of touch review essay in the NY Times Sunday Book Review. In the essay she insists that Cook County is "known" as "Crook County," implies that "many of" the 6,000 buildings demolished from 1957 to 1960 were designed by Louis Sullivan, and claims the murder rate is the "second-highest" in the country. And that's just to start... Or maybe you'd like to read her 2010 essay, subtitled "Rahm Emanuel won't be Chicago's next mayor, because the city won't elect a Jew."
Media Burn has digitized and published more than 60 hours of raw video footage filmed in and around Cabrini Green from 1995 to 1999 as part of Ronit Bezalel and Antonio Ferrera's Voices of Cabrini.
On Tuesday, April 16, the Chicago History Museum hosts The Reinvention of Vivian Maier, an exploration of the evolving story surrounding the prolific late photographer. Investigative Artist Pamela Bannos will examine the prominent role technology and social media has played in the emergence of Maier's work and shifting accounts of her biography, which has led to the public's mounting interest in "Viral Vivian."
This talk is based on Bannos' project, Vivian Maier's Fractured Archive, which began after she appeared in two WTTW programs and was then granted access to 20,000 Vivian Maier images. Those unedited images revealed that there are more ways of seeing the woman and her work than have been packaged and published so far.
Maier's work was discovered in 2007 when a storage locker with her prints, undeveloped film, and negatives was auctioned. After her prints were posted online, Maier began to garner critical praise for her snapshots of everyday faces on the street. In this cultural moment, amidst the growing romanticism with street photography and the immediacy of the internet, Maier catapulted into popularity, which has created a unique phenomenon - and plethora of fictional stories.
Bannos, an artist and Distinguished Senior Lecturer in the Department of Art Theory & Practice at Northwestern University, has appeared on Chicago public programs Searching for Vivian Maier and The Meteoric Rise of Vivian Maier during the course of her research. Her project, Vivian Maier's Fractured Archive investigates the evolving story and work, and online rise to fame, of Maier.
The Reinvention of Vivian Maier will begin on April 16, 2013 at the Chicago History Museum with a reception at 6 PM and the program at 7 PM.
There are 149 pieces of stone and brick from various places around the world stuck into the sides of the Tribune Tower. The Chicago Architecture Blog photographed each one.
Phil Thompson of Cape Horn Illustration spent about a year drawing a vintage-looking map of Chicago's lakefront, "I spent about a year drawing it in my spare time," he says, "and combined an interest in history, the city, and of course, vintage Old World-style maps." Absolutely beautiful -- and available as a print.
Here's just a sample of the detail:
The City won a $100 million federal loan to renovate and extend the Riverwalk; construction will begin next year.
Local chainmaille artist Vanessa Walilko saw a pile of abandoned cards from a library's card catalog and turned them into a fantastically ridiculous dress/art object called a drum farthingale with a matching corset. But not everything she makes is unwearable. She also helped make some costumes for American Repertory Theater's production of Pippen this past winter.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was born on this day way back in 1886, and he made Chicago his home 75 years ago. If you're yearning for some background, check out the Mies Society's website, or if you want something more tangible, maybe you'd like to drop some change at tomorrow's Wright auction.
Britt Julious writes about The Perch, a Pilsen underground dining spot/indie press/arts collective that will be printing Todd Diederich's first book.
Earlier this week the city issued the wrecking permit for Bertrand Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital, and now Northwestern is simply waiting for an asbestos abatement permit so it can ready the building for demolition.
The Wrigley Building is undergoing a renovation that will see many architectural details restored -- including the return of two lobby chandeliers that were lost for years.
Preservation Chicago just published its annual Chicago's 7 list of threatened architecturally significant buildings. Among those included is St. James Church [pdf], one of the buildings featured in To be Demolished. View our Google map of the properties in Mechanics.
Medill takes a multimedia look at Bronzeville's arts-filled past and present, including three galleries: Gallery Guichard, Blanc Gallery and Faié Afrikan Gallery. Another important area gallery is Milton Mizenberg's gallery and studio.
The abandoned Edgewater Hospital on the edge of Andersonville could become a retirement home for gay senior citizens, if a proposal by graduate student Vea Cleary and the Friends of West Edgewater moves forward.
Check out the Boston Public Library's online collection of Tichnor Brothers postcards, including this set of 194 Illinois gems. Tip: the Chicago images, which include everything from historical skylines to more impressionistic industrial scenes, are towards the end of the set.
The U of C's Cultural Policy Center and the Southside Arts & Humanities Network want to know what you do on the South Side. The survey touches on civic engagement through art, music, work, worship, and research, and should take about 10 minutes.
Social history photographer Camilo José Vergara is developing a personal website to share more of his repeat photography work. Included are four Chicago sites: 4434 W. Madison, 4337 W. Madison, 1117 N. Cleveland and 5134 W. Madison. Each series starts in the 1980s and continues to present day.
The Art Institute launched a new online exhibition of its staging of the 1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art, a.k.a. The Armory Show. The site includes everything from interactive gallery images to the programs.
Brennemann School in Buena Park once had a secret hiding behind its simple street-side facade: shell-like Bertrand Goldberg-designed classrooms. Sadly, they've since been enclosed in a box to protect them from the elements. [via]
The Art Institute now has free wifi in the galleries -- all the better to use the free tour app just released for iOS. All the better to tour the new Picasso and Chicago exhibit that opened yesterday.
The St. Louis-based Preservation Research Office blog uses Chicago's battles over Prentice and Michael Reese to evaluate each city's hospital preservation experiences. The verdict: "Alas, Chicago has done the wrong thing while St. Louis years ago made a wise choice."
"The Area," the newest installment of our documentary film series, features Englewood residents who are struggling to maintain friendships and traditions while a freight yard is expanding into their neighborhood.
Last Thursday, Mayor Emanuel proposed that City Council approve the sale of 105 city owned properties to the company, Norfolk Southern, [pdf] for an average of just under $10,500 a parcel. While the press release trumpeted the creation of 300 jobs, it did not mention the remaining or displaced residents.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation and Landmarks Illinois have announced they will drop their lawsuit against Northwestern University over the planned demolition of Prentice Women's Hospital.
Chicago Artists Resource recently relaunched with a new design and more robust platform.
The landmarks commission revoked the landmark status of Prentice Women's Hospital for the second time, likely paving the way for Northwestern University Medical Center to tear it down. Another court hearing is scheduled for Feb. 15.
Bertrand Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital is currently before the city's Commission on Chicago Landmarks. If you're interested in real time updates, you can follow the Save Prentice coalition on twitter and facebook. UPDATE: Prentice no longer has preliminary landmark status, allowing another step towards demolition. Next: another court date.
In other architecture news, a New York exhibition of Chicago-born photographer Ezra Stoller is a good reason to revisit some his iconic photographs of Chicago buildings, including these stunners of the John Hancock Center under construction. If you like those shots, you may be interested in his book documenting the building's construction. The NYTimes offers some context.
ArchitectureChicago PLUS highlights some of the deep architectural connections between Chicago and Buffalo, NY. A few additional photographs of Buffalo buildings by Chicago-related architects are after the jump. [via]
While most people would tell you that the impending demolition of a Hyde Park apartment building where Ronald Reagan briefly lived is part of the University of Chicago Medical Center's long-planned expansion, at least one Fox News columnist is doubling down on the theory that it's to make way for an Obama presidential library.
Mess Hall, Rogers Park's "experimental cultural center," is closing at the end of March. Between now and then, though, will be many events and discussions about how to keep the space's legacy alive elsewhere.
Marktown, the landmark northwest Indiana community surrounded by industry, may be threatened by BP's expansion of its Whiting refinery. See an aerial view of the neighborhood after the jump.
Commission on Chicago Landmarks has taken the unusual step of adding the old Prentice Women's Hospital to its February 7 agenda [pdf]. As scheduled, it will receive a revised report regarding economic issues and then consider the decision to reject its preliminary landmark recommendation. The Trib has some background.
NewCity's annual list of the 50 most important people in Chicago's performing arts scene is out, with DCASE's Michelle Boone, Broadway in Chicago's Lou Raizin and the Goodman's Robert Falls topping the list..
Roger Ebert and photographer Eric Hubalow take you to some of the city's beautiful but mostly abandoned old movie theaters in Chicago magazine.
"Presidial is not political art," says Tubbs. "It is an artwork about the incessant media coverage of politics."
While we won't celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day until Monday, today is his birthday. The Neighborhood Writing Alliance posted in his honor the remembrances of K.C. Hagans from the fifth anniversary of King's death.
Lathrop Community Partners, the organization coordinating community input for the redevelopment of Lathrop Homes, just released its summary of public input [PDF]. Among expressed opinions were a concern about the mixed-income character of the development, as well as preferences for reusing a "critical mass" of the existing buildings, maintaining a low-rise site and establishing high public transportation connectivity.
A judge dismissed a complaint by Landmarks Illinois and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, clearing another hurdle in the path to demolition of Prentice Women's Hospital by Northwestern University. Judge Neil Cohen did, however, put a 30-day halt on demolition to give preservationists time to appeal.
Northwestern's senor vice president for business and finance, Eugene S. Sunshine, issued a statement following the ruling.
Northwestern University is pleased that a Cook County Circuit Court judge today dismissed a complaint that the action by the Chicago Commission on Landmarks in November not to give final landmark status to the former Prentice Women's Hospital was not legal. We appreciate the thoughtful consideration given by Judge Cohen to this issue.
The new building on the Prentice site will be connected on a floor-by-floor basis with the existing University research building just to the west of the site. Doing so will bring researchers together and thereby enhance the chances of finding breakthroughs in cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders, among others. The site is the linchpin for what will be a major new medical research hub.
Northwestern plans to conduct a design competition for the new biomedical research facility. The University will invite many of the world's best architectural firms, including Chicago firms, with substantial accomplishments in designing biomedical research or similar buildings to submit expressions of interest and statements of qualifications.
The University also will maintain its partnerships with the city and the Streeterville community on ways that Northwestern can continue to benefit both the neighborhood and the University's students, faculty and staff on our Chicago campus.
The Save Prentice Coalition issued the following statement in response to the ruling.
We welcome the outcome of today's hearing, which keeps in place a stay preventing harm to historic Prentice Women's Hospital and provides an opportunity to amend our pleadings within 30 days. We appreciate the care with which Judge Cohen is considering this case.
The City does not dispute that Prentice is architecturally worthy of landmark status. Indeed, the Landmarks Commission made a unanimous finding to that effect before rescinding the designation in a pre-orchestrated hearing. In court today, Judge Cohen called that process into question and noted that the public notice and swiftness of the proceedings were 'arbitrary' and 'nontransparent.' We agree.
Despite Northwestern's refusal to consider other options, a series of recent proposals shows that reusing Prentice would advance Chicago's economy and its leadership in biomedical research. On January 3, a group of former City officials, experts and architects unveiled a series of reuse alternatives for Prentice. Reusing Prentice as a support facility for adjacent medical research would deliver significantly greater economic benefits than Northwestern's current proposal -- including an additional 600 temporary jobs, 980 permanent jobs and $1.1 million in annual tax revenues. These reuse alternatives and economic figures can be viewed and considered at www.saveprentice2013.wordpress.com.
A collaboration between a dozen local institutions is creating the Chicago Architects Project, an "online genealogy of Chicago architects from the 19th through the 21st centuries." View the current document as a PDF.
The GIS Lounge's review of 2012's best maps includes some interesting views of Chicago in national context, but also points to Slate's review of the Essential Geography of the United State of America highlights Chicago as a fine example of cartographic representation (half way down).
City-sponsored emergency demolitions make up the bulk of our second-to-last update to To be Demolished, including two fine North Lawndale buildings. A notable exception is a modified Old Town frame residence.
The Trib updates the status of St. James Catholic Church, an 1880s structure documented in GB's To be Demolished project whose protection in the city's demolition delay program is lapsing.
Local photographer Jon Lowenstein's photographs of South Side immigrant families were the launching point for a new series about Latin American immigration featured today on the NY Times' photography blog.
Design Slinger Studio offers bold, beautiful linoleum prints of iconic Chicago architecture.
Chicago Detours, run by Amanda Scotese, is one of the best tour companies in town. Scotese offers tours to parts of Chicago you may never have seen -- even if you've lived here your whole life. Buy a gift card for your friends and family and see "Inside the Loop Interior Architectural Tour" or the "Good Times Historic Bar Tour."
For a one-of-a-kind gift for a pet lover, visit Hills and Hollows on Etsy to special order one of Kristen Romaniszak's hand-painted pet portraits. A word to the wise: order soon if you want it by the holidays!
Curbed Chicago has launched its Preservation Heat Map, a guide to some of the city's most endangered buildings.
Scrappers, the Chicago-based documentary about scrap metal collectors, was released today for digital download via iTunes and Amazon. The film was one of Roger Ebert's top documentaries of 2010 and was co-directed by the folks behind our short film series, The Grid.
In about half an hour, a Circuit Court will hear a lawsuit by preservationists challenging the process by which Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital was denied landmark status. In short, they argue that the Commission on Chicago Landmarks violated and overstepped its legal authority. Read the complaint after the jump. UPDATE: The judge temporality halted any demolition plans until both sides of the conflict can be heard.
The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago announced today that Susanne Ghez will step down as Executive Director in June 2013 after leading the institution for 39 years. She will be replaced by Solveig Øvstebø, who currently runs the Bergen Kunsthall in Norway.
Chicago has its share of odd public works, but well known are John Kearney's metal animal sculptures. This weekend, his work in Lakeview was removed by their owner after he sold the property on which they sat. Residents will now have to get used to a world without their favorite large chrome giraffe to welcome them home.
Photo by Michael Lehet.
The Architect's Newspaper reports on the controversy over the still unsettled future of Lathrop Homes.
Designer Joe Mills currently lives in Australia, so he's staying close to his home town by depicting it in art. Check out his typographic version of the Chicago skyline, Chicago food map and ode to summer in Chicago.
This afternoon the Commission on Chicago Landmarks voted 8-1 to deny landmark status to Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital. Paradoxically, the unusually rapid vote followed the board's unanimous decision that the building met landmarking criteria. Northwestern will demolish the building at an unspecified date.
The Landmarks Commission meeting to discuss the fate of Prentice Women's Hospital is still going on -- watch Twitter for realtime play-by-play. Here's a good overview of the years-long battle over the building. UPDATE: The Commission voted 9-0 for preliminary landmark status.
The meeting continues.
The Museum of Science & Industry's new Charlie Brown and the Great Exhibit is now open, featuring all sorts of Peanuts memorabilia, including Charles Schulz's original drawings.
Now that Mayor Emanuel has come out against the preservation of Prentice Women's Hospital, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks is hearing the case for the hospital during today's noon meeting in room 201-A at City Hall.
Rahm Emanuel penned an op-ed piece in today's Tribune showing his support for razing the former site of Prentice Women's Hospital for an NU research facility.
Frank Lloyd Wright designed some of Chicago's earliest attempts at subsidized housing.
The CHA has approved plans that would lead to the demolition of 1,800 public housing units in Lathrop Homes, Altgeld Gardens and the Cabrini rowhouses. The plans now head to Washington for HUD approval.
The African American Cultural Center Gallery of UIC's upcoming exhibition, "Black/Inside: A History of Captivity & Confinement in the U.S.," posits that "mass incarceration has replaced segregation as a form of social control for black people." The exhibit opens Oct. 23 and runs until Nov. 21.
The Burnham Plan Centennial has come and gone, but the Art Institute's Burnham Library of Architecture is just now reaching that point. To celebrate, the museum is exhibiting selections from its last 25 years of acquisitions.
The newest installment of our documentary series, The Grid, gets to know Envision Arts Studio, a branch of the social service agency Envision Unlimited that provides Chicagoans with intellectual and developmental disabilities a disciplined studio practice in a community setting.
MAS Studio's been busy in the last few months preparing for two events: It just launched the newest issue of MAS Context, Visibility, and is hosting its second public design symposium, MAS Context: Analog, on October 13.
The CTA is looking for artists to create public art work for seven soon to be rehabbed North Side Red Line stations. Proposal submissions are due by 3:30pm Oct. 10. Architecture Chicago Plus has rounded up some examples of current public art on the CTA.
Opening Friday at the Uptown Arts Center is "The Sharpie King," a collection of works by Immy Mellin, who works exclusively in the medium. The Sharpie Blog has an interview and pictures of his work. [via]
The two and a half year reconstruction of North Grant Park is now underway, during which Daley Bicentennial Plaza will be transformed into Maggie Daley Park. Three renderings of the park are available on the construction website (Tip: Open each rendering in another window to see the full resolution version).
The CTA is looking for artists to create work for seven rehabbed north side Red Line stations. Local, national and international artists are encouraged to apply by Oct. 10, though there will be community meetings to discuss the project both tomorrow and Thursday. [via]
Northwestern is resorting to dirty pool in its battle with preservationists over the old Prentice Women's Hospital, Deanna Isaacs says.
Crain's reports that the Art Institute passed on the opportunity to house Frank Lloyd Wright's entire archive. Instead, the famed Chicago architect's work will go to New York. Art Garfunkel could not be reached for comment.
Cheryl Kent writes if Bertrand Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital is demolished without review, it will be done outside of the city's legal process. The Commission on Chicago Landmarks has been either unable or unwilling to rule on the building's landmark status since its removal from the June 2011 agenda, and a closed-door negotiation has been substituted for the city's formal process. Put another way, if the landmarks commission doesn't do its job, who does?
The new owners of the Purple Hotel, that long-closed landmark on Touhy in Lincolnwood, want to give it a new name. This feels like a Sears Tower moment, but if you want to give them a hand, here's where to do it.
Singer-songwriter Tom Schraeder is organizing Chicago, I Love You, a 30-day arts and music festival at Lilly's in Lincoln Park. He spoke with Chicagoist's Jon Graef about why he put the festival together.
In Mechanics, Jason Prechtel gives an in-depth overview of the battle between parishioners, preservationists and Alderman Colón over the future of St. Sylvester's rectory on Palmer Square. Meanwhile, Ben Joravsky reports in the Reader on another political preservation fight.
The murals will go up on the Chase, Estes, Greenview/Sherwin, North Shore and Rogers Avenue CTA underpasses and the Birchwood, Estes, Farwell, Morse, Rogers and Touhy Avenue Metra underpasses.
Chicago 1955 by Aaron Wooten
Speaking of parking, two of four new parklets in parking spaces open this week, at 5228 N. Clark St. and 2559 N. Lincoln Ave. The one in Andersonville was partially funded on Kickstarter and co-designed by Studio Murmur and moss design, who has led PARK(ing) Day events in Chicago for several years. The next two parklets open on 47th Street next week.
Two Chicago folks want to build some whimsy and expectation for the upcoming election by producing the Election Day Advent Calendar. You can support them on Kickstarter. (See other local projects on our curated page.)
Hotelier John Pritzker has purchased the Chicago Athletic Club and plans to turn it into a hotel.
The Chicago Architecture Blog argues that we should be working to preserve the 400 block of South Clark Street, because "it transports you back to late 1960′s shithole-era Chicago. ... It shows the city how far it's come in the last few decades, while reminding us that this is still the every-day reality for so many thousands of our neighbors being left behind."
The Art Institute launched two new free iOS apps for its 91,000 members: a Digital Member Card for iPhone and a digital version of Member Magazine for iPad. Handy for sure, but they're no Magic Tate Ball.
Seen some oversized Monopoly game pieces in Logan Square? They're the work of Bored, a new anonymous artist or artists interested in creating 3-D street art. More pictures at Christopher Jobson's site, though it looks like the art project dates back to April. (via)
Roger Ebert writes about how science fiction fandom made him the man he is today in "Asimov's Science Fiction."
Applications are due by July 16.
© John Massey
UPDATE: Chicago magazine's Whet Moser shares background on the Container Corporation's contributions to modern design.
Get inspired by the Kickstarter campaign for Chicago long-time sign painter Ches Perry. He's painted signs by hand since the mid '60s, and shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, he wants to fund an instructional DVD to pass on his knowledge to a new generation. This, and other worthy local Kickstarter projects, can be found in our Gapers Block curated page of campaigns.
Tonight after work, get off at the new Morgan Green Line stop and hit the Guerrilla Truck Show, the annual indie furniture and design show along Fulton Market.
FoGB Phineas X. Jones has created a poster that will soon hang in half the hot dog stands in town -- unless you buy them all first.
If you can scrape together $32 million, the 14,260-square foot penthouse at Trump Tower -- the western hemisphere's highest residence, and the most expensive property in Chicago -- is all yours.
Rhona Hoffman Gallery is being sued by the owner of a Sol LeWitt piece because the gallery allegedly lost the piece's certificate of authenticity.
The Chicago Loop Alliance begins mounting Color Jam, a huge art installation by Jessica Stockholder that will cover State Street in geometric colored shapes, tonight from 7 to 9pm, Friday, June 1 from 9 to 10pm and Monday, June 4 from 8 to 9pm.
Chicago-based artist David Rueter is traveling up to the Twin Cities to produce The Kuramoto Model (1,000 Fireflies). HuffPo Chicago interviewed him about the project, which "transforms" bicyclists into LED fireflies. Help make it happen on Kickstarter.
Photos © the_mel, all rights reserved.
The Atlantic Cities blog talked with our own David Schalliol and Milwaukee-based urban historian Michael Carriere about their documentation of urban decay and revitalization.
Local artist Jane Sloss recently completed a series of 24 watercolor paintings -- one for each mile of Western Avenue. They're now collected at the Beverly Arts Center in her show At the Heart of the City. [via]
In its 12th year, Version has morphed into a monthlong celebration of Bridgeport, "Community of the Future." The festival kicks off with a party tonight at Maria's Packaged Goods, and continues with events every day through the 31st.
"We wanted to give [people] an opportunity to see her, if they haven't already." So says Jenee Castellanos, associate curator of The Sculpture Foundation, which is removing its gigantic Marilyn Monroe statue from Pioneer Court so she can show her underwear to some other town. De-installation begins May 7. (Previously, and your thoughts.)
© Johnny Sampson, all rights reserved.
Tomorrow night at 6:30pm at the MCA, Steve Krakow will conduct the Plastic Crimewave Vision Celestial Guitarkestra, in which as many guitarists (and players of other amped stringed instruments) will play a drone in the key of E. All you have to do to participate is bring your own gear.
The Commission on Chicago Landmarks is considering landmark status for the Portage Theater, which a controversial church wants to convert into a house of worship. In A/C, Dan Kelly delves deep into the theater's history and its role as a cinema and community center.
The Bridgeport Art Center now has a giant, terrifying sculpture of her head (that doubles as a functional stove) in its new sculpture garden.
As AON moves out of the Uptown neighborhood this summer, the neighborhood is gaining another type of commerce. The company's staff parking structure on Broadway (near Argyle) will be utilized as a part-time vintage market from June-October, with vendors selling straight from their methods of transportation on the third Sunday of each month.
Hot Box, two years later still Chicago's only mobile gallery space, is planning to tour the country this year, and they're raising funds on Kickstarter. (Check out other cool local Kickstarter projects on GB's curated page.)
LEGO has a site, Cuusoo, where you can propose a special set and if 10,000 people vote for it, it'll get made. Currently there are two projects to create Marina Towers and a much more detailed Sears Tower than the current version.
Version Fest is moving to Bridgeport for its 12th edition this May, and it's been raising money via Kickstarter to help make it happen. The campaign ends Tuesday at 1pm, and is only a little over halfway there. Give a hand if you can.
This year's "Chicago Seven" endangered buildings list, put out annually by Preservation Chicago, is a bit longer than seven. Three hospitals, several historic homes, and a cluster of old movie theaters are named to be saved and reused.
In A/C, a profile of the Open Studio Project, an unconventional art therapy program based in Evanston with only one rule -- keep your mouth shut.
The City has nominated the West Loop and LaSalle Street corridor to be added to the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district, which would allow the City to receive federal money toward preservation.
Paintings and sculptures from the Art Institute are among more than 32,000 pieces viewable on Google's new Art Project, which launches today. Streetview cameras were used to photograph many of the artworks in the gallery setting, providing a virtual visit to more than 100 museums worldwide.
The City is set to consider the Portage Theater for landmark status, which would prevent the Chicago Tabernacle from turning the movie house into a church if they were to buy it.
One of Google's April Fool's pranks this year was to release an 8-bit "Quest" version of Google Maps, which supposedly runs on the Nintendo Entertainment System. But while it may be a prank, it results in some pretty amazing low-res views of Chicago.
Google's doodle today is a depiction of IIT's Crown Hall, in honor of architect Mies van der Rohe's 126th birthday. The Mies van der Rohe Society is throwing a party tonight, with a focus on the architect's influence over hair stylist Vidal Sassoon.
Designslinger takes a closer look at Theophil Studios, one of the artist-reworked homes on Burton Place in Old Town. View additional images of the building and others by the artist in our gallery of photographs from a book about his work.
The Chicago Urban Art Society and Good News Only have teamed up to install Chicago versions of New Orleans artist Candy Chang's "Before I Die..." wall in Edgewater, Pilsen, Wicker Park and Chinatown. They're looking for spots for two more.
"Before I Die..." encourages residents to fill in the blank in the sentence, "Before I die I want to ____" on a large expanse of chalkboard. Twenty-fifth Ward Alderman Danny Solis helped install the Pilsen wall, and was one of the first to write on it. He wrote, "to see Pilsen as the safest neighborhood in the city."
The newest entries in To be Demolished are products of both sides of the housing market. The 1930 multi-unit building at 7819 S. Kingston Ave. is being demolished after foreclosure and neglect, while the relatively new single-family home at 1957 N. Orchard St. is being demolished for what will likely be a considerably grander residence.
Demolition has begun on the Shepherd's Temple Baptist Church building, 3411 W. Douglas Blvd. Before the building was a church, it was the Anshe Kanesses Israel Synagogue, the largest Jewish congregation outside of New York. A photograph of the demolition is after the break.
View additional threatened and demolished buildings in To be Demolished.
The Urbanophile gives major props to Chicago's flag and its many manifestations in city culture.
A retrospective of the Guerilla Girls, the legendary group of anonymous feminists fighting sexism in the art world, opens tonight in Columbia's A+D Gallery. There's also a free Q&A with members of the group at 6pm; details in Slowdown.
Historians and photo-lovers have long-browsed the extensive Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection and its amazing Chicago entries, but now you can view some of them in book form. For some background, read Lee Bey's interview with the book's editor, Eric Sandweiss.
Next week, Feb. 28, The Chicago Architecture Foundation debates the design of a potential Chicago casino that Senate Bill 744 would allow at its event Beating the Odds. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and the former mayor of Milwaukee, John Norquist, join a panel of city political and design figures.
Today's To be Demolished entries are derelict residences located in South Chicago. Both 8522 S. Burley Ave. and 8554 S. Burley Ave. date back to the time when steel mills were rapidly expanding in the area -- and are victims of the region's economy collapsing.
This year's Art Loop installation will be Jessica Stockholder's "Color Jam." The installation will involve wrapping an intersection on State Street with colorful sculptures, paintings and possibly even fabric. [via]
Theatre group Collaboraction is adding an additional layer to Luminous Field by performing and leading interactive games. Catch them next on Friday at the beginning of each hour from 7pm to 9pm.
photos by Critter
The Chicago Architectural Foundation recently launched DiscoverDesign.org, a free online tool for aspiring young architectural designers. This month, CAF introduced a design competition for high school students, challenging them to redesign their cafeteria.
The John Hancock Center may be siezed from its owners by one of its financiers.
Today brings three starkly different entries to our series To be Demolished: a mixed-use building located at 8947 S. Commercial Ave., a derelict residential building at 6030 S. Wolcott Ave. and an orange-rated residential building located at 1950 N. Burling St.
Chet Haze's sister, Elizabeth Hanks, interviewed Chicago/New York street artist Hanksy for The Awl.
On Friday evening, Cloud Gate will interact with a new work of art. Luminous Field by artists Luftwork combines video graphics and music by local composer Owen Clayton Condon. It'll be on view this weekend and next.
The Chicago chapter of Architecture for Humanity is looking for creative ways to make vacant land more useful to the community with its Activate! Temporary Public Space Design Competition
The latest building in To be Demolished, 5744 S. Lafayette Ave., is being demolished by Openlands. The organization is working with the city to level a cluster of residential buildings to create a new South Side park.
Today's Rearview photo is part of GB flickr pool contributor John Crouch's series of exploratory photographs of the nature boardwalk pavilion at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Each final image in the series is generated from the same initial 60 photographs.
The newest building featured in To be Demolished is a brick residence located at 3040 N. Seminary Ave. An unusual building for the block, it has clearly been retrofitted to satisfy multiunit regulations.
You would have thought it already was one, but the Wrigley Building is another step closer to being designated a landmark.
You might have noticed a 32-story blue glass tower being built in the South Loop- it's Roosevelt University's "vertical campus" and the school's $123 million gamble.
A historic terra cotta building partially collapsed in Auburn Gresham yesterday, injuring four pedestrians. As Eric Rogers notes, one shame in the whole situation is the city bought the building more than ten years ago to try to protect it and the community. A photograph of the partially demolished building is after the break.
The newest building featured in To be Demolished is a frame residence located at 1340 W. George St. The owner's address is identical to the owner's address for the first demolished building in the project, 3549 N. Reta Ave.
In other cartoon news, the Farnsworth House is being attacked by beavers.
Speaking of workforce development, the Public Media Institute is launching the Small Manufacturing Alliance (SMALL), and they want you to join. SMALL will promote and support local companies and individuals who make stuff: bikes, clothing, food, media, whatever. The first public event will be the SMALL Showroom, which will feature member products in the Co-Prosperity Sphere throughout May.
As Redditor DrapedInVelvet said, "And I thought I had too much free time."
Gapers Block is pleased to announce a new section supported by The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation: To Be Demolished. Over the course of 2012 I will be producing a photographic portrait of 100 of the hundreds of buildings threatened with demolition in the city of Chicago. This week launches with five modest and monumental buildings from the "demolition hold" list. More information about the project is on the "background" page.
Want to teach yourself how to be an architect -- or at least how to design like one? Black Spectacles can help.
Rashid Johnson, an esteemed photographer and graduate of both Columbia College Chicago and the School of the Art Institute, was featured in The New York Times' Art & Design section. The piece titled Fusing Identity: Dollops of Humor and Shea Butter, also includes information about his Message to Our Folks exhibit, which will be at the Museum of Contemporary Art in April.
Know Your Flag's latest poster explores the myths and theories surrounding the origins of the nickname "Windy City."
Need a gift tag for your Secret Santa exchange? Print a sheet of this cute "cozy turtle" tag from Laura Park on the color printer and affix as needed. It's her gift to you!
Union Station may soon receive an overhaul, and there's a meeting this Thursday to review the new master plan. You might also want to check out DowntownAirport.com, a proposal to turn the station into a hub for regional bullet trains.
The folks behind You Are Beautiful are looking for original YAB artworks for a January show in San Francisco. If you'd like to contribute, you can drop your piece off at The Post Family studio this Thursday.
The skyline gets a taste of the Big Apple this Friday, as the Art Institute of Chicago will be screening Andy Warhol's 1964 film Empire on the side of the Aon Center. The black-and-white piece consists of an eight-hour shot of the Empire State Building.
Curbed has created a map of indoor public art (or nearly indoor, in the case of some of the CTA works.)
Photo by Gabriel X. Michael.
Chimera's Comics had some good news for a recent customer: A comic he found in the attic was the first appearance of Spiderman and worth around $12,000.
A profile on the career and passion of Douglas Druick, who worked at the Art Institute for 26 years before being appointed Director in August.
Central Station and the Prairie District still have a glut of unsold condos, but plans are afoot for a new hotel and shopping complex in the near-south neighborhood.
Never The Same is a collection of "conversations about art transforming politics and community in Chicago and beyond."
Local site Escape Into Life collects beautiful works of art and literature in one place.
The MoCP recently announced its annual print auction, which includes some pretty great images and one-of-a-kind portrait sessions.
Iker Gil and Andreas E.G. Larsson's Inside Marina City takes you inside some of the apartments in the iconic towers. It's part of an exhibition on Betrand Goldberg currently on view in the Art Institute's Modern Wing.
If you've ever driven north on Elston from Fullerton, you may have noticed the large brick factory building directly south of the Home Depot parking lot. Slow down the next time you cruise by this long-closed building. It may be the last time you see it.
Andrew Coffey visited the home and learned a bit more about the sculpture, as well as some of the other artwork and architectural details of the home.
Take a creepy walk through art made from salvaged items at the William H. Cooper Co. warehouse this weekend.
Wooden street pavers were once a common sight in Chicago, before the Great Fire. Now there's just one complete wood block-paved alley left -- but it recently got an overhaul that should make it last another hundred years. [via]
Most travel recommendations from national publications are pretty uninspired, but the WSJ's weekend architectural blitz does a decent job of balancing architectural and culinary stalwarts with a few of atypical restaurants.
Hiding in the bowels of SkyscraperPage.com's forums is a treasure trove of photos of Chicago from throughout the 20th century.
Two Chicago friends recently launched Chicago Comb Co., which makes some fine looking combs out of single blocks of stainless steel.
Not the one they call Willis -- the original 1905 tower. It's one of more than a hundred architecturally significant sights you can see during the Chicago Architecture Foundation's Open House Chicago this weekend.
2012 approaches, and what better way to mark the year some believe heralds the end times than with beautifully illustrated fantastical creatures, macabre scenarios, and hellfire and destruction. The Apocalypse Calendar features a host of talented local artists (Jay Ryan, for one) -- but it needs your support (via Kickstarter) to make the blood and fire reign in striking colors and delicate lines.
If you're interested in urban issues and are looking for something to do this month, ArchitectureChicago Plus has you covered. [Thanks, Kara!]
Turns out the Marilyn statue is useful for something after all.
There are two new developments in the Southside Hub of Production (SHoP): It's having its first open house from 4pm until late on October 1, and it just launched a Kickstarter campaign for physical improvements and programing.
Over in A/C, we've launched our "graphic journalism" feature series. The first story follows a Chicago woman through her marriage at the Cook County courthouse to her fiancé, an inmate at the county jail who will eventually be tried for first-degree murder.
Architecture firm Cartogram publishes Soiled, a print-and-digital zine. The latest issue, "Skinscrapers," explores "our bodies interact with the spaces around them and how the spaces we inhabit can become extensions of our bodies."
The Art Institute's Bertrand Goldberg retrospective has been getting a lot of press, but don't forget to head to the other side of the cafe and visit the other Goldberg exhibit, Inside Marina City. The exhibit offers an important counterpart to the retrospective by focusing on how residents have made their homes inside the landmark structures.
Tired of all those sordid headlines, news junkies? Local art performance group tackles the news of the day by wadding up all those newspapers into a gigantic ball, which they will be rolling up Milwaukee Avenue in the Wicker Park neighborhood from 5 to 7pm tomorrow. Part of their Out of Site series of "unexpected encounters of public performances."
Apparently Logan Square is over already, the real action's hiding out over in Garfield Park. Of course, we already knew that.
Chicago-based artist Dzine is drawing fire from online art-news magazine Artinfo.com's Judith H. Dobrzynski for furthering perceptions of New York's New Museum's too-cozy relationship with commercial interests. The artist's project, providing custom nail jobs while sitting in the museum's store window, is being presented as "in collaboration with Salon94 and The Standard Hotel." The museum drew fire in recent months for, as Dobrzynski describes it, allowing "trustee Dakis Joannou to sponsor an exhibition of his own works, curated by his artist-friend."
A debate is underway, via WBEZ, over a new proposal by Alderman Danny Solis to formalize a live/work arrangement that would permit artists to inhabit their work spaces in the neighborhood's industrial district buildings.
The Sears (now Willis) Tower would have withstood a 9/11-style attack -- or it might have buckled quickly, according to structural engineers. It would all depend on where a plane hit.
Newcity has released its list of picks for a Fall Art Preview, providing a little discernment from the tidal wave of art worth seeing in coming months.
Art on Track, Chicago's much-lauded CTA train art event, returns next week for its fourth edition. Artists from Chicago will repurpose the train cars as temporary gallery spaces, open for public view as the train circles the Loop, "making stops at Adams/Wabash, Washington/Wells, Quincy/Wells, and Randolph/Wabash." Enter at Adams and Wabash. $10, tickets available online. Sept. 17, 5-10pm.
Staci Boris, the newly-appointed Director of the ailing Art Chicago, this morning announced that the fair will be combined with Next, previously a separate sister fair showcase of emerging art. The combined fairs, presented as Next Art Chicago, has its own new website.
The City is preparing to celebrate the 175th birthday of the "oldest house in Chicago," the Henry B. Clarke House -- but the true oldest house may be clear across town, in Norwood Park. It was built four years earlier, and unlike the Clarke House has stayed in one place the whole time.
Fans of systems art, take heed: annual tech-art festival Gli.tc/h is still taking submissions for its return to Chicago this year with "Gli.tc/h 20111" (yes, the extra "1" is intentional). Deadline for submissions is Sept. 27. There's also a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the event, as well as a Facebook page and website packed with lots of fun, glitchy interfaces for fans and hacker-types alike.
Citing the "citywide debate ignited over the value of our public art" ignited by the controversial Marilyn Monroe statue on Michigan Avenue, for this week's issue of Newcity, Art Editor Jason Foumberg brilliantly asked 26 "Chicago-based artists to create an ideal public artwork." The resulting imaginary monuments are viewable at Newcity's website.
Trying to sort out what galleries to check out for the big fall city-wide season opener of this Friday? The recently-launched Visualist art event site has compiled a guide. You can also join their Facebook page for additional updates.
Looking for the cool after party this Friday night? Weary art-goers will find refuge from the drudgery of making the citywide gallery circuit at the Fourth Annual After-Openings Dance Party at Phyllis' Musical Inn. Hosted by artists and local art world mainstays John Phillips and Nevin Tomlinson, the action starts at 9:30pm and rolls on until 2am.
Op Shop honcho Laura Shaeffer recently announced the expansion of her art-as-community-building project into S.H.o.P., the Southside Hub of Production. Made possible by a one-year lease at the First Unitarian Church of Chicago's Fenn House, a detailed call for involvement is up at CAR. The space is open Saturdays 10am-6pm until the grand opening on Oct. 1. More information is available at the S.H.o.P. website.
Check out a different, beautifully lettered definition of work on this labor-centric day in the form of Impractical Labor's "39 Kinds of Work" pamphlet. Sold through local online store Half Letter Press.
Trump International Hotel and Tower got the Lego treatment curtsey of Sean Kenney and about 65,000 Lego pieces. Since the tower itself is a glass and steel structure, the "reflected" skyline was built on the inside of the 10-foot sculpture to better simulate the glassiness. On display at the Chicago Lego store. Sean's Tribune Tower is awesome too.
Popular among visual artists in Chicago to the point of near-ubiquity, site design template Other People's Pixels has proven the ease-of-implementation go-to for artists and small to mid-size arts orgs. The Trib profiles Brian Kirkbride and Jenny Kendler, the husband and wife team founders behind OPP, and provides a glimpse into upcoming side projects including The Visualist, a new "online database of local artists and venues."
Chicago's smart young slip of an art magazine, Jettison Quarterly, celebrates its Fall 2011 issue with a block party and "outdoor pig roast and dance party" this Sunday.
While it's great to see these fledglings get their wings in the air, even more exciting is the prospect that they'll go beyond articles on area scene establishment figures like Scott Reeder and Tricia Van Eck, both covered in this issue. While certainly worthy subjects, they're seen plenty of ink, and pose an odd fit for a young publication that should be discovering rather than rehashing. In the meantime, join the party outside of Logan's Square's much-loved Longman and Eagle from 4-10pm. Music provided by Windy City Soul Club DJ's.
VirtualTourist.com has rated that eyesore statue of Marilyn Monroe in Pioneer Square as the worst public art in the country.
Last year, noise and tech and new media and those who love them came together in the form of the GLI.TC/H festival. For five days, the strange and wonderful ways data can be corrupted were celebrated with videos, art, coding and more. Although a success, the people behind GLI.TC/H need more than pops and errant flashes to bring it back to life. Head to their Kickstarter page to make it happen again.
No, not really, but Matthew Buchholz's "Alternate Histories" Etsy shop has rather convincing prints of events that never really happened, such as the steam-powered, Colum-Bot from the 1892 Columbian Exposition.
Street-Level Youth Media returns to Wicker Park after a fire destroyed their community center 3 years ago. The new 5,250-square-foot facility features state-of-the-art A/V labs, sound stage and gallery space. A grand opening benefit reception is slated for September 29th.
The Art Institute blog features a pretty amazing video of Alexis Petroff recreating a print from the museum's new TASS News Agency exhibition.
Each year, the Sun-Times Charity Trust awards grants to Chicago organizations that support youth in education, art and civic engagement. This year, the Trust has set up the Sun Shine Project for the greater Chicago community to "shine a light" on worthy charities and select projects that deserve a grant. The nomination phase is happening right now!
The somewhat controversial "Forever Marilyn" statue was tagged overnight in Pioneer Square, her right calf now includes the words "Pi$tola" and "Ariel" with a heart between them. Young vandals in love.
HowIAlmostDiedToday.com is among the projects created for Moving Design's Call to Action's Our Road, a multidisciplinary gallery exhibition and public engagement campaign on the advancement of bicycle safety showing in the Comfort Station on Logan Square this Sunday.
As reported by Newcity, the annual Coyote Festival will return this September, returning to its former, uncurated form, under management of the Flat Iron Artists' Association (FIAA).
The archive of artist Meg Duguid and critic Abraham Ritchie's appearance on lo-fi art and culture program Front Street was recently posted to the program's site. This writer shamelessly monopolized their time with chat feed questions. It's a two-parter, since the feed dropped shortly into the conversation. Part one is here, and the second part can be found here.
Jeanette Ingberman, co founder of the New York's influential Exit Art Gallery with artist Papo Colo, died yesterday at the age of 59 reports the New York Observer. Given Chicago's rich history of alternative practices, Exit Art has long been a valuable entry-level resource and oasis for up-and-comers from the city and around the world.
Yesterday, the Art Institute named Douglas Druick its new president and director [pdf] after 26 years at the institution. Druick has been interim president and director of the museum since James Cuno's June departure.
Bridgeport favorite Maria's Packaged Goods and Community Bar announces a celebration of the one-year anniversary of its makeover on September 3 at both the bar and art space Co-Prosperity Sphere down the street.
Art journalist Eric Wenzel, who is leaving Chicago, recently published an article about why artists keep leaving Chicago. Apparently, (and ironically?) it's because nobody stays in Chicago.
Colossal chronicles LA street artist Ludo's recent visit to Chicago.
Photo by Brock Brake.
Local artists Taylor Hokanson and Chris Reilly have reached their Kickstarter goal for their low-cost CNC machine, but the fundraiser's still going until 11 tonight, so check it out if you're into art made by robots.
A blogger named Chris is visiting every landmark in Chicago by the end of this year.
Photo by Wayne Gunn, from waaay back in the Gapers Block flickr pool.
James Cuno, who recently left the directorship of the Art Institute, is already making waves with a new approach to acquisitions at the Getty Museum.
Minnesota-based photographer Beth Dow is interested in the creation of false ruins in the United States. Of course, the Leaning Tower of Niles makes an appearance. Here are some other photographs of the tower.
Landmarks Illinois has had a busy forty years working to protect the state's historic buildings. Here are forty highlights [pdf]. Among the local successes are the Clarke House, The Chicago Theatre and the Historic Bungalow Initiative.
The Renaissance Society's upcoming benefit auction includes this amazing portfolio of Michael Jackson photographs from Todd Gray's Before He Was King.
The Archeospiritist Study and Consortion Initiative, Illinois (ASCII, get it?) have an exhibition tonight; attend and you might go home with some free multimedia art.
Speaking of churches, ever wondered about that church on top of a skyscraper in the Loop? It's Chicago Temple, and there are free tours on the weekends -- or your could go on Chicago Detours' version and get an experience that ends with Champagne on the pastor's balcony.
GB flickr pool contributor reallyboring recently started a set composed of interesting Chicago houses and some additional information about them. Today's photo provides an atypical view of the Austin community.
A new way to help raise money to repair Garfield Park Conservatory's hail-damaged greenhouses is to purchase one or both of these new original paintings by Chicago artist Diana Sudyka.
Jonathan Gitelson moved to Vermont awhile back to teach, but his latest artwork is about his commute to and from work here in Chicago. Oddly enough, it'll be showing at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art this fall.
OK, enough about the Old Main Post Office; how about development plans for farther down the river?
The responses to the proposed Old Main Post Office redevelopment have been pretty skeptical, and yesterday's thorough thrashing of the plan by Blair Kamin is no exception.
Art Barcs is a novel way to share your art with the world: through QR codes that provide additional information about a work on display. (Thanks, Elizabeth!)
The British developer who purchased the Old Post Office Building announced a high-flying proposal for the property, including a 2,000-foot skyscraper that would become the city's tallest. David Greising calls it a pipe dream, and Lee Bey wonders where the money is.
The League of Courteous Cyclists, that is. Today's the last day to pre-order a discounted t-shirt designed by local artist (and cyclist) Sarah Becan promoting bike etiquette. (We interviewed Sarah in Bookclub last year.)
The owner of the Old Chicago Main Post Office thinks it's "not big enough," so he's planning on redeveloping the full site and nearby property with 16 million square feet of residential, entertainment, retail and hotel space, including the construction of the hemisphere's tallest building. See the full plans on the Booth Hansen website.
Speaking of Soviet imagery, the University of Chicago's Special Collections Research Center is launching an exhibit of Soviet children's book illustrations. The show doesn't open until August, but there are already some interesting pieces online. Check out The Soviet Arts Experience for additional related events.
While covering the DMB Caravan, Jim Reedy had issues with the US Steel South Works as a concert venue. Our managing editor, David Schalliol, has done a good amount of research on the site in his day job, and shares some background on how it came to host a music festival and where it's heading from here.
Ivan Brunetti wants to teach you how to cartoon. If you can't take his class at Columbia, check out his new book.
"Chicago is known for two things: its improv comedy scene and unique architecture," says Improvecture, a tour company that brings them together.
In A/C, Alan Lake shares the story of Green Star Movement, an organization helping CPS students decorate their schools with murals.
After the sale of radio stations The Loop and Q101, many insiders are saying at least one of the two will be converted to an all-talk format. This could mean substantially less rock on the airwaves in Chicago, since only four stations -- including The Loop and Q101 -- are currently classified as "rock stations."
Very soon, Chicago will have to share the Pitchfork Music Festival with another city, and another country. The venerable music fest just announced the launch of a 2-day Pitchfork Music Festival in Paris this October. Is this just the year for crossing the pond with awesome Chicago-born events? The Renegade Craft Fair has just opened up applications to a first ever London version of their massive craft show, also in October.
Local architecture firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture won a competition to build the Wuhan Greenland Center in Wuhan, China. It will be the fourth tallest building in the world when finished and will still feature a variety of environmentally friendly details.
IIT architecture professor Marshall Brown imagines a future Chicago with more than a bit of Oprah magic.
South Side Projections and the South Side Community Art Center are putting on a rare screening of the classic Chicago Vice Lord films The Corner (1962) and Lord Thing (1970) on Thursday. Check out the Cinefile review for attendance encouragement.
Take advantage of Free Tuesdays at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 220 East Chicago Avenue. As a bonus, see Japanese artists Eiko & Koma as they perform their living installation, Naked from 1-8pm.
Ryan Browne (creator of weekly webcomic God Hates Astronauts, contributor to comics put out by IDW and Image, and much more) launched his latest project today: Blast Furnace, an illustrated exercise in improv and DIY.
Still looking for something to do tonight? Head to the Daily Planet Rock And Art Poster Party at 720 North Franklin: it's showcasing some of the city's best screen printing artists, their posters, and beer from Finch's Brewery. You've got four hours, go!
Art fans may want to check out Art Slant's new interview with local talent, Rachel Niffenegger. Chicago Magazine named her Chicago's best emerging artist in 2010 and New City named her one of "Chicago's Next Generation of Image Makers" in 2010, this after naming her the "Best Painter Under 25" in 2009. She currently has a two person show with Paul Nudd up at Western Exhibitions.
Design With Company imagines an imminent future in which Chicago decides to build on George Streeter's vision and push the borders of the city eastward into the lake -- this time on "patties of land out of trash."
Ladydrawers, a student group at SAIC that sprung from Anne Elizabeth Moore's class by the same name, has been sending out postcards highlighting gender issues in the comics industry to various people in said industry. More here.
Bertrand Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital has been included in the National Trust for Historic Preservation's 11 Most Endangered Places list, which was released this morning. The local arm of the Trust, Preservation Chicago, Landmarks Illinois and the Illinois chapter of the American Institute of Architects are holding a rally to protect the building from demolition at 11am [pdf].
Efforts are moving forward to tear down the shuttered Edgewater Medical Center and turn the land into a park. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill will lead a discussion of the plan June 27. Meanwhile, a developer is trying to push for an apartment complex on the site.
Lee Bey reports that a South Side auditorium building known as The Forum may soon be demolished, but there is a vague hope for the building in a demolition delay.
The Cultural Landscape Foundation catalogs historic designed landscapes throughout the country in their What's Out There database. This weekend, you can check out what's out there throughout Chicagoland with their series of free guided tours around parks, ponds, gardens, boulevards, and all sorts of other sites.
The keynote speech at the U of C's symposium on the arts and the city is a conversation between David Simon and Wendell Pierce of "The Wire" and "Treme" fame. Watch the conversation live on facebook now.
Letterhead used to be much more elaborate -- as evidenced by a sampling of Chicago companies in the Biggert Collection of Architectural Vignettes on Commercial Stationery.
GB alum Craighton Berman has been sketching for Core77 for awhile, but they just gave him his own channel devoted to "sketchnotes," visualizing information in a combination of drawings and text. His first big project was covering the IIT Institute of Design Strategy Conference last month.
Here are a few, uh, choice courtroom sketches of our former governor and his, apparently, tiny, creepy hands.
Designer Olly Moss (previously) has created a collection of cut paper silhouettes of pop culture icons (mostly movie characters) for a show in LA. The 300-some pieces include a couple near and dear to Chicagoans.
Sonny Fischer tells the story of the founding of the Neighborhood Writing Alliance, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary a week from today with a conversation between David Ritz and Aaron Cohen, as well as readings by members.
The Glessner House is celebrating its 125th anniversary in June and marking it with everything from a recreation of the groundbreaking ceremony to book reprintings.
99% Invisible, a radio show about design, tackles the Metropolitan Correctional Center, that weird triangular prison in the South Loop.
Vassi Slavova adds another worthy entrant into the Chicago neighborhood map poster collection.
Speaking of the U of C's new Mansueto Library, its Grand Reading Room is opening to U of C students faculty and staff on Monday. So if you know someone affiliated with the school, maybe you should give them a call.
Lucy Knisley has been drawing posters of each of the Harry Potter books in abridged summary (ahoy, spoilers abound). She just completed The Half-Blood Prince, with only one left to go. Eventually you'll be able to buy them all.
This Saturday, University of Chicago's Rockefeller Chapel plays host to The Gift Project Chicago.
This fall, help the Chicago Women's Health Center move: you'll support health care, education, and counseling for people of all backgrounds and get bonus prints, minicomics, or uterus-sporting flags from illustrator Laura Szumowski.
Community printshop Spudnik Press wants to expand opportunities for local artists with three letterpresses and an offset press, and they need your help. Their Kickstarter campaign offers some awesome incentives: Lilli Carré prints, Old Town School of Folk Music harmonica classes, custom silkscreen posters and more.
Evanston-based graphic and fabric designer Jessica Jones makes her new fabric line named Outside Oslo available for sale this month thanks The Needle Shop. They worked together to make this happen. I look forward to seeing what local makes create from these great prints.
If you're itching to get outside and amble this weekend, check out the newest of the Chicago historical tour scene with a "Good Times Around Michigan Avenue" tour by Detour Chicago. Public tours start today and include the use of interactive iPads for each participant and plenty of info. about jazz clubs, grand balls, elite soirees, and all sorts of diversions, past and present, on the Mag Mile.
Prices for the tours range from free (kids under 12) to $26 for adults ($24 for students/seniors). The group, Detour Chicago, will also launch some other great-sounding tours this summer, including "Our Chicago Sound: Jazz, Blues & Beyond" (tickets free-$70) and "Inside the Loop: Explore the Unexpected" and they also offer up private tours and school group tours as well. They also have cool online multimedia resources great for teachers and those just wanting to learn more.
Opening tonight: the Chicago Cultural Center will display Primitive's collection of outrageous 1980s and 90s Ghanaian hand-painted movie posters. Queasy stomachs may wish to avoid clicking those links.
The Museum of Science and Industry's annual Smart Home exhibit is up on the museum's grounds in Hyde Park and is available for viewing until January 2012. Cool repurposed interior items curated by Andersonville's Scout shop owner and efficient tech hookups courtesy of Gizmodo make this one spiffy abode. (via)
Developer Scott VanDen Plas teamed up with designer Dustin "UPSO" Hostetler to create some of the smallest art ever. Using a focused ion beam they etched an image about the size of a bacterium onto a silicone chip, then scanned it with an scanning electron microscope.
Dick Simpson shares some suggestions for the Emanuel administration on how to help the arts in Chicago.
Illinois bulges with popcorn in Lucy Stephens' "American Gastronomy" print.
Today we release the second feature in GB's short film series, The Grid. "Textile Discount Outlet" roams the aisles in the Pilsen fabric destination. As fabric cutter Chris says, "Bring some trail mix and a bottle of water."
The Art Institute has installed a throne (sort of) in certain CTA cars to promote its exhibit "Kings, Queens, and Courtiers: Art in Early Renaissance France." Snap a photo of yourself sitting in one and post it on Facebook to enter the "Royal Treatment" contest.
Chicago Meter Maid has collected a series of hilarious stickers attached to inoperative parking meters left as a courtesy to cyclists. "Tiny lumberjacks"! Har!
The Arts Engagement Exchange published this interesting article last week about "overcoming cultural barriers" -- basically a history of public arts programming in Grant Park and how Millennium Park is carrying on the tradition of tricking people into listening to music they wouldn't normally seek out.
According to this report by WBEZ -- old municipal buildings never die, they just turn into theaters. Next in line? Griffin Theatre Company -- they just bought an abandoned police station near Foster and Damen for one dollar. When your neighborhood police station gets replaced by a theater, well, I think that's a good sign.
Rock & Roll apparel, etc. company Assault has come out with a line of old-timey gangland Chicago-themed, highly-detailed graphic t-shirts. Every order comes with a free mixed CD featuring local bands. Check them out here.
Humboldt Park art and community center Rumble Arts is (once again) in danger of closing its doors because the family-owned pawnshop that provides its primary source of funding is in danger of being replaced by a Cash America. Show your support for Rumble by attending the townhall hearing tonight at 6pm at the Humboldt Park Fieldhouse.
FoGB Ron Slattery recently came across some really interesting drawings.
Worried about being kicked inside by April showers and got a taste for Illinois-themed horror? Check out The Transient, a film from Kill Vampire Lincoln productions about a homeless detective on a mission to stop the deadly undead (wait for it) Abraham Lincoln, who's on a literally bloodthirsty quest. If you're waiting for the DVD, they also have a Youtube channel featuring their short films.
Local comic book, design and illustration house Four Star Studios (Tim Seeley, Mike Norton, Josh Emmons and Sean Dove, respectively) recently created DoubleFeature, an iPad app featuring original comics for all ages and eventually, genres. Check out the reviews, which use phrases like "a solid 16 pages of awesomeness", "everything we want in digital comics", and "pretty great".
Alderman Reilly convinced Northwestern to delay entering their demolition permit request for the Bertrand Goldberg designed hospital for 60 days. Of course, the Stone Institute of Psychiatry won't move out until September, so that might not be much of a concession.
The Villa Taj, a 45,000-square-foot suburban home that hasn't sold since 2009 was flooded by about 6 million gallons of water in the last few weeks, leaving the building deemed "unsafe" by local authorities.
BLDGBLOG's recent interview with Greg Lindsay identifies Chicago as an exemplar of a city that reflects its railroad heritage, in contrast to contemporary cities which may soon be direct responses to their airports.
Bill Davies, the developer who bought the Old Main Post Office at auction is in negotiations to purchase the nearby Sugar House, which could be demolished to make way for a new ramp network for Congress Parkway. The word is he's looking at other property too.
Local plush maker Steff Bomb's created a soft-yet-deadly Han Solo blaster, so well-made any intrepid hero would be proud to have it at their side. Pick up one of these limited edition stuffed sidearms this weekend at C2E2: 2301 South Lake Shore Drive, Booth #1026, 2pm-3pm. Did I mention it comes with a holster?
Today we release the second feature in GB's short film series The Grid. "Congress Conducts El at Cal's" explores the construction congestion at Congress Parkway through the music and activity at Cal's, a nearby hangout and liquor store.
If you biked through the winter, you deserve to celebrate -- and even if you didn't, the 14th Annual Bike Winter Art Show, opening this Friday, promises a good time. Chicago Freak Bike makers will be on hand to demonstrate some of their delightfully impractical creations, and more than 50 artists' work will be on display. Check out Slowdown for more details.
Pawn Works Sticker Club hooks you up with artist-designed vinyl stickers to place wherever you like. They're working on a storefront space, but in the meantime you can buy stickers online.
Yesterday, Preservation Chicago released its list of the seven most threatened buildings in 2011. This year's range from the North Pullman Historic District to skyscrapers, and includes two buildings with university connections: the Prentice Women's Hospital and the Chicago Theological Seminary.
"'Twas born to the House of Lorraine in 1478 in the town of Bar-le-Duc of northern France. Mine occupation is court royal to Louis XII, a fine king indeed." And now Robert the Courtier tweets about the Art Institute's new exhibition of art in Renaissance France.
Long-time patrons of the Chicago art scene Ambassador Louis B. Susman and his wife, Marjorie, have merged their love of art and their roles as the U.S. representatives to Britain with an American art collection anyone would envy.
In just two hours, the Abbey Pub will transform into an industrial, whimsical world of yesteryear through Clockwork Vaudeville: A Steampunk Circus Extravaganza.
Today GB is kicking off its new short film series, The Grid. Look for the documentaries throughout the site as well as in their own multimedia feature section. The first feature is a look at Market Fisheries, a South Side store that has been owned and operated by the Brody Family since 1957.
Find out by reading this Comics Journal interview with the famed Oak Park cartoonist.
Have ideas about how to make Chicago most sustainable? ChicagoREgen is a place to share them.
DIY lifestyle mag ReadyMade recently gave props to (already beautiful) Pilsen bar Simone's for their accidental artistic venture: blank beer coasters. Patrons are enjoying the chance to draw their own designs and decorate it with a glass of their favorite bevvy.
Looking for a place to print? Spudnik Press is creating Space Race, a new open studio for printmakers new and old. They've got a couple fundraising events in the next few weeks.
Sixty Inches from Center is a new arts publication and, sometime in the future, a collective art project.
If you like the shot from today's Rearview photographer, nofauxchicago, you may want to check out his set of Chicago photographs dating back to the 1970s.
MAS Studio and the Chicago Architectural Club are organizing a new international architectural competition sponsored by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture to "reactivate the Boulevard System of Chicago and rethink its potential role in the city."
There's a petition going around to remind the next mayor that the arts industry is important, too.
Architecture Theory delves deeply into Frank Lloyd Wright's Quadruple Block Plan.
Local artist Mitch O'Connell has two major showcases for his artwork in January: the new show at Las Manos Galley that opens Friday (details in Slowdown) and B-Fest 2011. In preparation for the latter, Mitch has posted artwork he's done for the festival since 1995 on his blog (part 1, part 2, part 3).
The discovery of street photographer Vivian Maier has gotten mounds of press, but is the story all it seems?
After TimeOut Chicago reported that the Art Institute will change its free hours in the coming months, it heard back from the museum's director of public affairs, from which the following article was generated.
Meet Sky Cubacub, a freshman at SAIC with a penchant for unconventional materials and a good amount of fashion experience already behind her.
Craig Shimala turns Chicago into a water wonderland with a digital camera strapped to his windshield (and a nice ambient soundtrack).
The Illinois Artisans Program is holding an Holiday Art Spree this Wednesday through Friday, Dec. 15-17. Twenty artists and crafters from around the state will be selling their work in the Thompson Center atrium, 100 W. Randolph.
Cultural weekly NewCity gives us their 2010 top picks in vintage TV shows filmed in Chicago, food trucks, indoor make-out spots, and many more.
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's Winter Series -- featuring four works, including a Chicago premiere -- is this weekend. And "weekend" is the key word: enter it in the promotion code box when you buy a ticket to Sunday's matinee, and you'll get another ticket for free.
Activate your breath mints. The Art Institute just installed a gigantic (four feet in diameter) ball of mistletoe above the Grand Staircase. Visitors are encouraged to pose beneath it (presumably macking), take a picture, and upload it to the museum's Flickr group. Good lord, that thing is big.
Flavorpill ranks and describes some beautiful libraries, with Harold Washington coming in third.
The Art Institute lions will soon sport their winter wreaths, but their new accessories will be solar-powered.
Columbia College announced it is purchasing 820 S. Michigan Ave., the headquarters of Johnson Publishing. The company, which is the publisher of EBONY and JET, will move out within 18 months as part of a cost-cutting strategy.
Some ambitious, architecturally and environmentally minded people are delving into vertical farming and industrial reuse, right in the heart of the New City neighborhood.
Jason Lazarus, a photographer and instructor at the Art Institute, wants the personal photographs people can no longer bear to look at for his "Too Hard to Keep" archive. Details on how to submit photographs to Jason are posted on his blog for the project.
Just because Daley's not running for reelection doesn't mean he can't have a campaign sign.
When she's not singing the praises of Chicago's roasted chicken offerings, Tina Fey is poised to become the youngest recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor tonight at the Kennedy Center. Catch the broadcast of the award show on Sunday 11/14 on PBS.
A prominent component of recent Chicago art history, art critic Kathryn Hixson has passed on...
Not sure where it's located, but here's a nifty 19th Century Chicago Lutheran church re-purposed as a artist's loft. Unfortunately, sometimes God's old college buddies show up in the middle of the night, looking for a place to crash.
Remember how Mayor Daley promised he would preserve the prairie-style main building of Michael Reese Hospital? Well, the administration didn't heed warnings about protecting the buildings and has reneged on the promise. Today it officially announced that the main building will be demolished along with two of the three other remaining structures.
Marc Chagall's America Windows have been reinstalled at the Art Institute, and make their public debut Monday, Nov. 1. If you're a museum member, you can get an early look today and all weekend.
Check out Oak Park blogger Nicole Balch's Halloween project for Better Homes & Gardens: an appealingly eerie front porch, complete with twisting branches, stone statues, and (fake yet scarily realistic) rats. You can vote for her vestibule here.
Voting for Art Loop Open didn't go as smoothly as the artists -- or the organizers -- hoped.
St. Boniface has been saved from destruction and will be turned into senior housing.
EDIT: This post originally said St. Boniface was the "the cool old church next to the El tracks near Cabrini Green." That's actually St. Joseph's; St. Boniface is in Noble Square. Thanks to Chris and Tony for the correction.
Local photographers and camera tinkerers Justin Lundquist and Ben Syverson have created Pinwide, a wide-angle pinhole cap for Micro 4/3 cameras. They want to produce it and bring it to the picture-taking masses, but they need your help.
Artist, musician, writer, and general gadabout Damon Locks came up with summer homework for his silk-screening friends: Over an allotted period of time, each artist had to produce five silk screens using only the color black. The result, which Locks shares in a Facebook "gallery," is Desaturate: Silkscreen Summer 2010, featuring art by locals Ethan D'Ercole, Jay Ryan, Locks, Derrick Buisch, Dan S Wang, Dan Grzeca, and John Hitchcock.
In A/C, Kelly Reaves gives us a glimpse of the vibrant creative activity in Garfield Park, boiling away under the radar.
Melbourne, Australia's newest proposed park got a good chunk of its inspiration from you know where.
Miss yesterday's opening of the new Apple Store at North & Clybourn? Check out the recap with photos at ArchitectureChicago Plus.
Speaking of Lucy Knisley, she made this great print, perfect for the wonderful women in your life.
Claire Zulkey interviews Blair Kamin, the Tribune's architecture critic.
Oak Park's Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District was listed by the American Planning Association as one of the best neighborhoods in the country.
Designer Meng Yang thinks you should Know Your Flag, so he's created an amazing set of four silkscreen prints focusing on each of the Chicago flag's stars. He's also sliced up the city in a novel way.
The Northwest Chicago Historical Society is hosting a tour of the beautiful, long-shuttered Patio Theater at 6008 W. Irving Park Road. Designed by Rudolph G. Wolff, the Patio, built in 1927, is, more or less, intact, never having been chopped up into multiple screens. See it before its grand re-opening!
Apartment Therapy profiles Chicagoan and production artist James Wurm's industrial and practical, yet attractive and welcoming kitchen-studio-living space, created in a Pilsen storefront. It's worth checking out for the chandelier alone.
Quimby's and Baltimore's Atomic Books are sponsoring 2011: The Revenge of Print!, a challenge to all former zinesters to produce the latest issue of their long-dead zine. Get out the long-reach stapler and ironic clip-art, kids.
Anyone walking past 1430 W. Berwyn Ave. has probably wondered what the inside of the strange old home looks like. BLUEPRINT: Chicago gives you a peek -- though the this Yelp review paints a different picture.
Looking for another reason to come to our Chicago Artists Month kickoff party in Pilsen East? How about the Third Coast Festival's Listening Room, presenting winners from its Book Odds challenge. It's happening a couple blocks south of our event, at the Urban Art Society, making it a great pairing.
Chicago-based glassware company By the Glass has been getting some attention lately for their tasteful lines of drinking glasses inspired by several cities around the world. Maybe I'm biased, but I like the Chicago line.
Willing to take a risk? Delicious Design League is selling mystery tubes containing a test print, two editioned prints and two misprints for just $30.
The Endangered Species Print Project is a series of limited edition prints of endangered plants and animals, with the edition size corresponding to the remaining populations. If you expect to get a dwarf trout lily, you'd better hurry.
While no one seems particularly optimistic about the likelihood the Chicago Spire will ever get built, the building's developer recently experienced yet another financial setback.
The 33rd annual Kennedy Center Honors have been announced, and the incomparable Oprah Winfrey is to be lauded in December with a lively celebration in Washington. Also on the list for the night are some other people named Paul McCartney, Merle Haggard, Bill T. Jones, and Jerry Herman. You know, if time permits.
A new mural has been added to the Little Village memorial to Manuel Perez, Jr. by Enlace Chicago, but some American Legion members are upset by its introduction -- and maybe its style.
From Chris Ware to Mies van der Rohe, Chicago Magazine names the city's top 40 artistic breakthroughs.
The Art Institute has a Cartier-Bresson photo contest running until Sept 20th. Enter up to five photos inspired by the Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibit and compete for a membership, catalogues and general admission passes.
Speaking of free publications, the four issues of The Imp, "booklets about comic books" written by Daniel Raeburn about Book Club fave graphic novelists Daniel Clowes and Chris Ware as well as Jack Chick and Mexican historietas, are available for free download. Raeburn also offers a free excerpt from his book on Ware.
Downtown high-end apartment occupancy rates are a surprising 94.5%, prompting developers to pursue options for new construction.
Did you know the Wrigley Building isn't an official city landmark? Neither is the Merchandise Mart, Marina City, or a few other storied architectural icons. Blair Kamin explores some of the reasons why. One commenter points out that you can explore the city's preservation yourself on an upcoming CAF tour.
Dan Grzeca, who designed our 6th anniversary poster, has a new print commemorating the murder of Fred Hampton in 1969.
Oak Lawn has its own art installation by Jeff Koons in an unusual location: the CT scanner at Advocate Hope Children's Hospital. Koons's pop-culture panoramas and sculptures were the subject of a 2008 solo exhibition at the MCA.
The Art Institute's popular photorealistic painting of soggy French people -- rendered by artist Gustave Caillebotte -- is paying a visit to the Museum Folkwang in Germany from Sept. 7 to February 2011. See it before it departs, mes amis.
Phyllis Lambert, founder of the Canadian Centre for Architecture, graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1963 and apprenticed with Mies van der Rohe. Now 83, she is still kicking butt.
Break out your crayons, markers, and colored pencils: local artist Mindy Fisher is making a coloring book, and giving you a chance to win one of her paintings.
A long-running art installation at the Neo-Futurarium, the Hall of Presidents contains a portrait for every US President... except for the most recently elected one. And now the call has gone out for artists to submit their Obama portraits to take the coveted 44th spot in the gallery. In addition to the fame of having his/her artwork on display, the winning artist receives a cash prize of $250 for their trouble! Full details at the Neo-Futurists' Website.
Don't have the cash or time to sit for a portrait? Oil Painting Express is your solution!
The Architect's Paper has the lowdown about the Pullman Walmart and its surrounding development.
This weekend kicks off the 48 Hour Film Project, where 800 Chicago filmmakers have two days to make a film based on a character, a prop, a line of dialogue and a genre, assigned Friday night. Films show August 17-19 and August 24th. Sound awesome? There's still a few slots left.
The Art Institute is hosting a one-minute film festival -- and you're invited to join in, whether as a filmmaker or audience.
Local postermaker Phineas X. Jones (also a FoGB) was the artist who wrought this fine piece of work for Lollapalooza this year. It'll be for sale this weekend at the festival, and on his site in small numbers later on.
It looks like we've lost another promising young artist to New York. But we still love him. Right? Check out Abraham Ritchie's interview with emerging art star and SAIC alum Angel Otero at Art Slant and decide for yourself if you're willing to forgive him for leaving us.
Artists, don't forget -- you have until Friday, Aug. 6 to submit work for our Chicago Artists Month exhibition, which will be shown at the opening party Oct. 1.
The headquarters of the Society of Architectural Historians, the Sullivan and Wright designed Charnley House, is currently a living history museum thanks to an archeological dig going on in its (very small) backyard.
There aren't enough urban planning stories about nuclear scientists, the mob and the feds unwittingly working towards the same end.
In A/C, learn about Ag47, a Logan Square nonprofit giving voice to girls who have a lot to say.
Chicago's best-known political street artist Ray Noland (a.k.a. CRO) was interviewed by Art Slant Chicago's Abraham Ritchie while he passed out Blagojevich-themed cupcakes outside the courthouse during his trial.
Chicago Art Magazine takes a look at the rise and fall of River North and the ascendancy of gallery districts in other parts of the city.
Local artist Dolan Geiman recently announced a partnership with Fossil that's part of their Long Live Vintage campaign. If you'd like some background, check out GB's interview with Dolan and Ali, his business partner and now wife, from 2008.
The 6th Annual National Self-Portrait Exhibition begins tonight at 33 Collective Gallery downtown. Go to check out over 40 pieces created by artists from across the country.
Lucien Lagrange, the architect of Park Tower, the Blackstone Hotel renovation and others I wish had been built, is retiring and declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the same time to "to plan ahead, organize and close in a decent way."
The summer interns at the Art Institute have started a twitter account where they post funny things they overhear patrons say in the museum. The results are hilarious and sometimes adorable. Oh, and they have a blog now, too.
Millennium Park gets a nod in Vanity Fair as one of the most significant works of architecture created so far in the 21st century. Sadly, it's the only local representative on the list, compiled from 52 noted architects and critics.
Your health and creativity go hand in hand, i.e. it's hard to paint when you can't afford antibiotics, and anyone who romanticizes consumption probably never got an emergency room bill. The Artists' Health Insurance Resource Center is a directory of health care resources for artists, performers, freelancers and the self-employed -- and wouldn't you know it, Chicago's part of it too.
Fascinated by feats of illusion, trickery, and sleight of hand? The Elmhurst Historical Museum explores Chicago's connection to the world of magic in "The Magical History Tour," running through September 12.
Forgotten Chicago is hosting a boat tour of the Calumet River in August. Check out the US Steel South Works and other heavy industrial sites while sipping beer and wine!
Artist Tony Tasset's giant eye sculpture is now under construction in Pritzker Park at State and Jackson.
Speaking of Kickstarter, local designer Justin David Russo's videogame posters were a major success. Hopefully they'll be available for purchase for those of us not lucky enough to get in on the funding.
The spire atop the Trump Tower will be turned on for the first time tonight around 8:29 pm.
Last Friday's storm finally made the building at 22 W. Washington look interesting, Lynn Becker says.
Chicago blog Strange Closets takes a close look at the charming and beautiful all around us. Similar to Apartment Therapy, but 100% local, the blog features shopping, interior design, and architecture you'll love looking at.
Chicago magazine has the first video tour and photographs of the recently cleaned interior of the historic Wood-Maxey-Boyd House, the lone survivor of two waves of construction and demolition on Lower Prairie Avenue.
Ever notice some older buildings look like they're missing something? It's because of those darn cars.
You may not be able to call the time lady any more, but you can always call the audio tour of the MCA at 312.635.2274 if you're interested in some surprise art information. A bonus: Typing "9" isn't as creepy as seeing Gillian Wearing's work in person. If you'd like a more traditional MCA audio experience, you could always check out previous structured audio tours.
One thousand helium-filled mylar balloons are currently floating around IIT's Crown Hall. They're Andy Warhol's Silver Clouds, and you should go see them before they float away on August 1.
Have you ever dreamed of locking your bike to a 21st century German? Dream no more, as this could potentially become a reality when Chicago implements its newest public art project. The project would offer local artists the opportunity to create artistic bike racks to be placed around the city, so keep your eyes out for bike racks that look like Germans or dogs or even fish.
If you've ever wanted to know more about your favorite show posters, tune in Wednesday at 1pm at the Rock for Kids' website to pose questions to some awesome rock poster artists. The nonprofit's new online interview series launches this week with Jay Ryan of the Bird Machine and continues Friday and next week. More in Slowdown.
Lightology, the locally based largest contemporary lighting showroom in North America, is having a design contest. The concept must feature at least one foot of Lightology's LED Soft Strip, and prizes include a $2,000 Lightology gift card and a feature in i4 design magazine. More details here.
Local (and formerly local) boys Chris Ware and Dan Clowes pose pensively with R. Crumb and Adrian Tomine in France with one lucky lady. UPDATE: It's been brought to my attention by DovBee that the collective noun for cartoonists is a "doodle." Excellent!
This week in Book Club, One-Shots talks to comics artist by day, accordionist by night Sarah Becan.
Friends of Pritzker School is raising money by auctioning off some pretty cool birdhouses by local architects and others.
The New York Times uses The School of the Art Institute's Fashion Department to illustrate Chicago's most common dilemma in the arts.
Speaking of Wicker Park, the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce is looking for artists to fill storefronts in the neighborhood. The theme is "Make Believe."
Speaking of company stores, if planned industrial communities pique your interest, you'll love CAF's upcoming guided tour of Pullman and the "industrial Shangri-La" of Marktown. The tour costs $50 but includes a guide, all transportation and a box lunch.
If you're a dealer of reasonably priced vintage and antiques décor, etc. who'd like to get in on the shopping frenzy caused by the inaugural pop-up Vintage Bazaar, you can now fill out a vendor application to sell at their upcoming summer show. The next spree will take place at the Congress Theater on August 22.
As noted in A/C, the MCA recently announced that Michael Darling will be the museum's new chief curator. If you'd like to know more about Darling, here's an article from when he became the Seattle Art Museum's modern and contemporary curator in 2006.
Lee Bey takes a look inside the proposed bathrooms of Outer Planets, the Schaumberg complex that would have contained the world's tallest building.
Apartment Therapy is looking for some guys who have a room in need of a do-over. Lucky for you, Chicago is one of their five selected metro areas (but sorry, ladies, this project is for boys only). Apply by May 24.
The Art Institute is installing jet engines on their third floor terrace, as part of an installation by artist Roger Hiorns. Mr. Hiorns really likes jet engines, apparently: he had one pulverized for a previous exhibition. UPDATE: According to TimeOut, the engines are filled with antidepressants. Yes, you read that right. What a downer.
At noon, The Bird Machine will start selling stunning 25-screen prints of Jay Ryan and Aaron Horkey's recent collaboration. The poster's creation process is documented throughout this thread on gigposters.com.
Vocalo's Lee Bey sees some of Chicago architecture's best views in hip-hop videos.
Bureau of Self-Promotion: I wrote an article for the Chicago Journal about the beautiful, bizarre, and frequently insane Ghanaian movie posters on sale at Primitive, a Fulton River District art gallery/store. More images can be found here.
Details of the redevelopment of the Old Main Post Office are starting to leak out, including the news that Philip Johnson/Alan Ritchie Architects has been hired. They are considering making the mammoth building even bigger.
...with a little creative editing, courtesy of street artist Nick Adam.
The Chicago Architecture Foundation's Devil in the White City tour this Thursday is 20 percent off with the promo code "facebook."
Landmarks Illinois released its annual list of most endangered historic places today, and Chicago's Uptown Theatre and Prentice Women's Hospital make the cut along with the St. Lawrence Complex and North Pullman. (Related: the Uptown just launched a Twitter feed this week.)
"There's a big dark town/ It's a place I've found/ There's a world going on/ Underground"
Speaking of Mr. Wright, Matija Grguric of Croatia built this amazing Lego version of Fallingwater, much more realistic than the set available from Lego. With approximately 15,000 bricks compared to the 811 in the Lego set, it's layers of awesome.
Apparently the AIC got sick of kicking the hordes of tourists out of the new Matisse exhibit on Friday nights so they've decided to keep the museum open until 8 on Fridays while it's up. Might make for a nice little date after work.
Susan Augustine of the The Art Institute's Ryerson and Burnham Libraries recently determined the veracity of an often used (but typically unattributed) Henri Matisse quote. The in-house translation of the now authenticated quote is, "It has always bothered me that I don't paint like everyone else."
Chicago Architecture Foundation's Jennifer Lucente has tasked herself with a challenge: participate in all of the CAF's 85 tours over the course of one year. Best part? You can join her (or at least watch from the social media sidelines).
Midlothian residents Gary and Cathy Crawford are missing a velociraptor, and they'd like it back.
Local comic book artist Sarah Becan chronicles getting healthier in a sort of sequential weight loss diary. Good for anyone who likes beer and delicious food but is trying to slim down, and/or enjoys sweet, autobiographical, journal-style comics.
A.V. Club Chicago gets the inside word on the closing of the Lakeshore Theater this weekend.
It's a case of making lemonade out of the lemons of vacant storefronts. The New York Times recognizes Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood and Evanston as leading the way using that space for art displays.
Now that Blago doesn't get a portrait in the State House, Chicago magazine wants you to make one.
The Shoreland Hotel, once housing for University of Chicago students, is now set to become apartments. The developer that bought the historic building in 2008 for $16 million has hired Jeanne Gang, the same architect behind Aqua, for the apartment conversion.
Anish Kapoor is responsible for one of Chicago's most notable landmarks: Cloud Gate, better known to locals as "The Bean." Now, Kapoor will be making his mark in an even bigger way on the city of London. Designs for "Orbit," a climbable steel tower that's nearly 400 feet tall, were just unveiled to the public.
In a wacky juxtoposition of old and (less than) new, the Andersonville Commercial District and the Mies van der Rohe designed IBM Building have been just added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Horizon Realty Group, the firm that gave the world the gift of the (dismissed) twitter lawsuit, is back in court. This time, the firm is suing Landmarks Illinois because it doesn't want to rebuild part of a historic hotel wall. Seen in the lower right of this photograph, the wall was once part of a ballroom and is part of a preservation easement.
Over in Book Club, Josh Elder (founder and executive Director, Reading With Pictures, a nonprofit organization that advocates the use of comics in the classroom) talks about how comics play a crucial role in education. Also, Optimus Prime.
In case you missed it, check out Alison Cuddy's expose on Radio M last Friday about local artists who are also musicians. Or is it musicians who are also artists? It's all art anyway, isn't it?
This week IIT is celebrating its Miesian heritage with signs posted around campus indicating which buildings were designed by Mies Van Der Rohe and which weren't. For more information about the campus architecture, you can check out the IIT history page, as well as the Mies Van Der Rohe Society website.
MAS Studio's design for creating community greenspace anywhere you like, entitled Cut.Join.Play, took first place in Architecture for Humanity Chicago's street furniture competition. It will be installed as part of Archeworks' +space project.
Broaden your architectural acumen at Blueprint Chicago, a blog about buildings both famous and forgotten. Its author, a docent for the Chicago Architecture Foundation, also offers a "Word of the Week" to build your building vocabulary.
A house designed by Don Erickson, an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright, is on the market for $1.6 million, complete with two conversation pits, a pool surrounded by the kitchen and the family room, and a bathroom with a glass ceiling. Oh, and it sits on 10 acres in Barrington.
A new documentary about master architect Louis Henri Sullivan, Louis Sullivan: The Struggle for American Architecture, is having a preview screening at the Gene Siskel Film Center on Sunday, March 14.
Bruce Graham, SOM's architect of the Sears Tower and the Hancock Center passed away on Saturday.
Tickets for artist Chuck Close's May 6 lecture/book signing at The Art Institute went on sale on Monday. Get yours now if you want any hope of getting a seat--this will fill up fast. Call 877-307-4242 for tickets.
Demolition enthusiasts will appreciate Noah Vaughn's latest post about the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District's Sludge Disposal Building removal.
Neil Freeman makes interesting map collections; two of his latest include views of Chicago in which the all the north-south and east-west streets are centered, and all the numbered streets are on a color gradient.
Earthquake survivors in Haiti are getting assistance from an unlikely source: a homeless shelter in Elgin.
35th Ward Alderman Rey Colon would like to think so. Check out his entry about his commitment to art on Studio Chicago's blog.
While the Mine the Gap competition plugs along, Shelbourne Development, the developer of the Chicago Spire, is in the news for all the wrong reasons again. This time the problem is they haven't paid their credit card bills. They also seem to have some troubles with their web security.
Chicago-based photographer Alan Thomas's Chicago Self-Park was recently featured in Design Observer alongside a review of The Architecture of Parking -- which reconnects with Chicago via Leven Betts's Filter Park Garage.
Hey, do you like colorful, cartoonishly illustrated visions of consumerism, with a heavy dash of 1960's and a hearty sprinkling of monsters? You do? Have you checked out Shag's new exhibit at Rotofugi?
Despite being hit hard by the economic slump, the Art Institute is hanging on-- they're even able to offer free admission during February, as always. How? Hipsters, among other things.
Speaking of graffiti, a Gold Coast home undergoing a multimillion dollar renovation was hit by a couple graffiti artists Monday night. The artists, Mole and Nine, recently hit a building on Sheridan Road, too -- but that work's already coming down, along with the building.
The Chicago Architectural Club's 2010 Chicago Prize Competition is called "Mine the Gap," and asks entrants to explain how they would fill the gaping hole left by the stalled Chicago Spire project. [via]
The Illustration Corporation is not only Chicago's first illustration agency, it's also a place to check out some pretty cool drawings.
Newcity has a new review of a show at DePaul that features reject art. The art will be sold from its collection to purchase more desired pieces, but visitors can still cast their vote on what they think is good, bad or just plain ugly.
Early 20th Century graphic designer Lester Beall--educated and employed in Chicago for many years--was a trailblazer who created an immediately recognizable look for his work that incorporated modernist notions imported from the Bauhaus and other art movements. Here's a site devoted to the man and his ideas.
Just a reminder, the Art Institute is free (and full of events) throughout the month of February.
No more excuses-- The Art Institute will be free the whole month of February.
If you've got a great new design on your mind for some temporary outdoor furniture, the Chicago chapter of Architecture for Humanity wants to hear from you. They're sponsoring a street furniture competition, with entries due by February 26th. Check out this PDF for further guidelines. (Via the Reader blog.)
Yesterday Apartment Therapy's House Tours section featured FofGB George and Sara Aye's beautiful Logan Square home. You might remember George shot amazing photos from Pitchfork in Transmission in years past, and the couple run the company Hubwear, among other projects.
Seeing spots before your eyes? How about red cubes? The Art Institute's delightful Red Cube project is explored in today's Trib. The Institute is also making a request to help locate 186 cubes that are currently MIA, possibly due to a cubist movement.
For those creatively inclined Valentine's Day lovers, Andersonville and Lakeview card and frame shops Foursided and Twosided want to see your best handmade Valentine's cards. Winner gets $50 gift certificate. Deadline 2/7. Details and rules.
A high-flying lass dances, balances, and jumps rope from the heights of a Chicago building in 1955.
The most expensive property currently on the Chicagoland real estate market is the $28 million dollar La Grand Reve mansion in Winnetka. You could throw a helluva party there, though it might take a while to reach the front door when your guests arrive.
The six-point intersection of Milwaukee, Kimball and Diversey is getting an economic boost in the form of a mixed-use redevelopment plan for one of its flatiron buildings.
A Northbrook man pleaded guilty to selling fake Lichtensteins and Picassos on eBay.
Staying on budget should never mean missing out on Chicago's magnificent museums. Thankfully, The Local Tourist has compiled a handy list to help you get the most cultural bang while saving your bucks in 2010.
John Rininger was a local artist who passed away a few years ago at the age of 45. Wicker Park/Quimby's old-timers might remember him for his stamp art in particular. Marc Fischer paid a visit to John back in 2001 when Rininger was disposing of many of his possessions. He's since posted the story, and a selection of scans of the odd, disturbing, and thought-provoking materials he recovered, on his Flickr page. UPDATE: More here; thanks Salem.
Yes, you can even eat the lions at the Art Institute's Gingerseum.
Frank Lloyd Wright's first public building was Oak Park's Unity Temple. The building has been deteriorating for years, and its restoration foundation is seeking millions to save the structure. The National Trust for Historic Preservation keeps us up-to-date on related events in this recent article.
Chicago Art Magazine would like the Art Institute's Modern Wing a lot better if it wasn't so confusing to navigate.
If these gift guides didn't grab you, perhaps you'd like to surprise the art lover in your life by adopting one of the dots in "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte." The Art Institute is celebrating that painting's 125th birthday with this unique fundraiser. They'll send you a commemorative button in the color of your dot and a description of its location on the painting. Order your dot with this PDF form.
Bike racks don't have to be generic metal brackets simply bolted to the ground, or even now-useless parking meters. The Village of Algonquin is looking for artistic types to design new bike racks for the community. Get the info here.
In A/C, we feature a photo essay by Alexander Vertikoff taken from the new book Edgar Miller and the Handmade Home: Chicago's Forgotten Renaissance Man.
The Chicago Loop Alliance is filling empty storefronts in the Loop with art exhibitions and studios. Currently, Pop-Up Art Loop's current tenants include Chicago Underground Film Festival, the Chicago Photography Collective and artist Sara Schnadt.
If you're going to be out and about with a camera tomorrow, perhaps you should consider contributing to the Picture Black Friday project.
Demolition of Mies van der Rohe's "Test Cell" at IIT is under way, and architecture critic Blair Kamin still thinks it's a good thing -- and indirectly addresses the criticisms raised by Edward Lifson (previously).
Bears linebacker Lance Briggs has a (sort of) secret hobby, and he knows where to go to to get his sequential art fix. Listen here as he talks about growing up with comics, keeping that love alive in the NFL, and his fan site. GO BEARS! GO COMICS!
Garrison Keillor reflects on art for The New York Times after a visit to The Art Institute: "I see no reason to paint flowers. You can buy fresh flowers. Still lifes are only an exercise. And abstract expressionism is for the lobbies of big insurance companies. The true calling of an artist is to paint women and the greatest challenge is the naked female form. That's what separates the true artists from the wallpaper-hangers."
The Trump Tower hasn't gotten any taller, but it's just moved up in the rankings to the sixth tallest in the world thanks to a revision in the way the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat measures buildings.
You may have noticed his Goons hanging out in a nearby alley or tunnel, but now the elusive Chicago street artist responsible for the highly recognizable creations has managed to bring them to life with a stop-motion video sponsored by Orbit.
As the city gets ready to tear down a Mies van der Rohe building on the IIT campus, former "Hello Beautiful" host Edward Lifson writes a letter to Blair Kamin at the Tribune.
Today only, Chicago is hosting a 24-hour decentralized somewhat guerilla-type art event. Dozens of artists, some internationally known, are either showing art pieces or performing them around the city. Get the details in A/C.
Ever wanted to learn how to make stencils? Christian Scheuer gives you some tips in A/C.
Photographer Michael Wolf took pictures in the "central downtown area" (we just call it the Loop, New Yorkers) with a telephoto lens, sneaking peeks into the offices and apartments of individuals who either can't afford blinds or don't bother to use them. Yeah, that's not weird.
Loyola University is having trouble prioritizing-- as usual, art is the first thing to go.
The Art Institute polled their employees about the "scariest/creepiest/spookiest" works in their collection. They selected these bits of nightmare fuel. However, I think the staff is mentally repressing Jeff Koons' Woman in Tub. It's art, so I guess it's safe for work. People might wonder about you though.
British photographer Will Pearson spent some time in June making gigapixel panoramas of the Chicago skyline at dusk. It should go without saying, but the detail is impressive.
Two local artists have turned a three-car garage into a mock pawn shop in which much of the stock is art. Kelly Reaves has more in this week's A/C feature.
Travel+Leisure named the Harold Washington Library one of the world's ugliest buildings.
Chris Ware and Pete Wentz wander about an industrial area and sit on a pipe, chatting about their work. Boy, the director sure likes cross-cuts.
FoGB Laura Park received a commission from an expat to draw "a portrait of everything she missed in Chicago." Do you recognize everything in there?
Have you ever seen the Art Institute's new logo and wondered "Why a v instead of a u?" Design firm Pentagram explains the whys and wherefores of Abbott Miller's lovely and precise designs for the museum's interior and exterior signage. (via)
The Reader's big feature this week surrounds the mysterious Clyde Angel and his true identity.
Artist Joe Baldwin is trying to implement his idea for a CTA "mobile garden," a subway flatcar covered with native plants that rides the rails. So far the CTA hasn't said no, but he needs help raising funds and such. Get in touch with him at the site or through the Facebook page.
The mosaic under the 47th Street Metra station is finished, and it is lovely. Hyde Park Progress has pictures.
Allison is "an avid Art Jumper," which I do not think was a word until she coined it. Anyway, she likes to jump in art galleries, and she's not the only one. Naturally, the Art Institute is represented.
Landmarks Illinois has released its annual Chicagoland Watch List of endangered buildings. The list includes Cameron's house from Ferris Bueller's Day Off, the Lincoln/Fullerton streetscape and three Frank Lloyd Wright homes.
If you're an admirer of artist Joseph Cornell (I am, to an embarrassing degree), you might want to stop by the Art Institute at noon today to hear a lecture on Cornell's fascination with ballet and its influence on his art.
Blair Kamin reviews the "Big. Bold. Visionary. Chicago Architects Consider the Next Century" exhibit at the Chicago Tourism Center. Is it wrong to think the slightly creepy Blade Runneresque version of the Windy City, covered in a "transparent blanket that resembles a giant piece of Glad Wrap," is kind of awesome?
This Friday is one of the biggest in Chicago's art world as nearly every gallery kicks off the fall season with an opening. Fortunately John Lendman created a convenient googlemap to many of the openings over in A/C.
Chicagoist's Lauri Apple takes a tour of East Chicago, Indiana's historic and crumbling Marktown district.
Blair Kamin has glowingly reviewed the renovation of the 104-year-old Homan Square Power House, which powered the West Side Sears complex before the firm moved to the Sears Tower. The building will be used by the Henry Ford Academy: Power House High. Historic and pre-renovation photographs are available through the Power House's official site, and a handful of post-renovation photographs from the grand opening celebration are available elsewhere.
Disney may have acquired Marvel, but superheroes and anti-heroes will still be out in full force in a few weeks at the Windy City Comicon, a growing and lively comic convention featuring a diverse array of local talent.
In A/C, Lindsay Muscato talks with Busy Beaver owner Christen Carter about how she got started and the company's new store.
If you've ever had the desire to see a 2.7-million-square-foot post office auctioned, head to the Intercontinental Chicago O'Hare Hotel in Rosemont by 1pm today. UPDATE: The building sold for $40 million to an as-yet unknown bidder, Chicago Real Estate Daily reports.
Today might not be the most fun for it, but the Chicago Architecture Foundation runs a tour of Louis Sullivan buildings in the Loop, including one today at 2:30pm.
Hey! You have just a couple days left to purchase prints from the Gapers Block-curated "Chicago Week" on WallBlank. Prints by Dmitry Samarov, Sharon Parmet, Mark Hansen, David Schalliol and Clare Rosean are all still available.
Nine years after the death of Jeff MacNelly, the Chicago Tribune's editorial cartoonist, the paper has hired Scott Stantis to pen original work for the paper. For a glimpse of what to expect from Stantis (and the Trib's editorial vision), check out this gallery of selected work.
The Spire is drilling its way back into the headlines with a new lawsuit brought by Bank of America against Shelbourne Development for its failure to repay $4.9 million.
As anyone who has visited Millennium Park recently knows, the Burnham Plan centennial pavilions are taking a beating. To help out, Ben van Berkel's structure, which is pictured in Rearview today, will be closed for repairs during the next four days.
"O'Hare Staging Area #10," by Dmitry Samarov, is the first in a series of five works to be featured during Chicago Week, a collaboration between GB and Wall Blank. Each print will be available for one week through Wall Blank, with 10% of the proceeds benefiting Chicago Artists' Coalition. Check A/C every day this week for a new piece by and interview with a Chicago artist.
North Shore blogger Poppy Buxom bought every issue of Domino magazine after the title folded earlier this year. Maybe if she'd done it earlier Domino might still be in business? Anyway, she's reading every issue - from Spring/Summer 2005 to March 2009 - and blogging about it over at The Dominotrix.
Is collecting street art preservation or theft? Just one of the questions raised by an article in New City.
Don't forget: Friday is the deadline for submissions for the Gapers Block and Wall Blank "Chicago Week" visual arts competition, so get those paint brushes, vectors and camera shutters going!
A British newspaper columnist believes a fireplace that kept Queen Elizabeth I warm in 1574 is hiding somewhere in Chicago. So if you have "a pretentious overmantel bearing the royal coat of arms," he'd like to talk with you.
Carfree Chicago profiles artist David Csisko and gets a sneak peek at the public art he's creating for for the Belmont CTA stop.
Derek Erdman says, "There's something nice looking about gang graffiti, I think."
My favorite webcomic, former GB film critic Gordon McAlpin's Multiplex, today features a stunning rendering of Andersonville's Calo Theater façade (now a Brown Elephant store).
Bravo TV is casting for a new reality show a la "Project Runway," and you're invited to try out -- assuming you're a contemporary artist with the skills to produce great art in a limited time. The as-yet unnamed show auditions in Chicago on July 16, so get your portfolio ready.
Gapers Block is teaming up with Rockford-based arts purveyor Wall Blank to host a visual arts competition. Four winners will be featured on GB and have prints offered for sale on Wall Blank during "Chicago Week" in August 2009. Get the details in A/C.
Artist Dan Peterman's 100-foot-long art installation "Running Table" will be set up in Millennium Park in time for the July 4 party/food/drinking holiday. The artwork is a commentary on American consumption and recycling. Perfect timing.
This past weekend was Rogers Park's annual Artist of the Wall festival, when local residents paint new murals on the long concrete bench along Loyola Park's beachfront. Here's a video walking a good portion of the wall.
The Sears Tower is about to get a $350 million makeover to reduce 80% of its energy consumption over five years. How's it going to do that? Wind turbines, among other transformations. Oh, and don't forget it's going to have a LEED certified hotel next door that will draw no energy from the power grid.
No, don't give money to the former governor -- help fund a group art exhibit featuring works about him.
From today until June 28 you can check out Canstruction Chicago 2009 at the Apparel Center, an architecture competition where 19 teams have build sculptures using canned goods. After the competition, the food will be donated to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Suggested admission: one canned good.
Over in A/C, Carl Giometti reviews Renzo Piano's new Modern Wing at the Art Institute now that it has had a little breaking in.
Want to give your place that perfect 60s or 70s countercultural ambience? Lead Pipe Posters has original prints (some with Chicago themes) of the black light, hippie-dippie, up-against-the-wall-pig, muggle-huffing ilk quite possibly still hanging up in your trippy uncle's basement. Guess there's nothing left to be said but...
Have you ever noticed that the architecture website Emporis has neighborhood-based building lists? Because it focuses on major projects, a lot of lists are thin, but the site provides a decent amount of information about the buildings it does cover. Hyde Park and Lakeview are particularly full because of their decent number of high-rises.
Aqua, the much admired Studio Gang showpiece, has nearly landed a hotel for 15 of its floors. If you don't have the cash to visit -- not to mention live there -- you can still experience the joy of belonging by regularly reading the Aqua Homeowners website.
The Trib's Blair Kamin covers a startling transformation of the CHA's Dearborn Homes on South State Street from utilitarian eyesore to an idyllic college-like campus. Back in 2008, Carl Giometti gave another perspective in A/C.
The funsherpa blog was launched last month with the mission of "Uncovering what interesting people are interested in." The most recent post is an interview with artist Jay Ryan, who also happens to be the designer of the GB 4th Anniversary Poster.
Last week, Gabriel Villa was finishing his legal mural when it was painted over by a Streets and Sanitation crew. Chicago Public Radio has the scoop about what happened and who's being blamed. [Thanks, Justin!]
Or Guggenheim or, if the site's splash page is any indication, the Sears Tower, with LEGO's new Architecture line, which soon include several sets of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings.
Well-loved vinyl toy, clothing and sneaker boutique and art gallery A.Okay Official will be open for the last time this Saturday. Come by for DJs, refreshments, and a blowout sale.
Author Aleksandar Hemon tells the Wall Street Journal about a handful of places around Chicago that are meaningful to him, in connection with the release of his short story collection Love and Obstacles.
Blair Kamin isn't really a preservationist, but it's still interesting to see an architecture critic argue for the demolition of a Mies van der Rohe designed building, regardless of its diminutive nature. Of course, as he demonstrates in the article, not everyone agrees with him.
Taking a cue from all those people with their heads pressed against the windows, the Sear Tower Skydeck will open a new feature in June: glass enclosures that stick out from the building, giving visitors a look straight down.
Oak Park's Unity Temple is on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's list of America's 11 most endangered historic places -- yet didn't make Landmark Illinois' list announced earlier this week. Interesting. (It's not on Preservation Chicago's list either, but then it's not in Chicago.)
Landmarks Illinois has released its 2009 list of the 10 most endangered places in Illinois. Chicago entries include two hospitals -- Michael Reese (as covered in Mechanics) and Prentice Women's. Chicago's Landmarks Ordinance itself got special 11th designation.
Version, a festival of arts, music and education, kicks off tonight and runs through May 2. This year's theme is "Immodest Proposals."
As we mentioned, Alderman Ed Burke is nonplussed about the upcoming Art Institute fee hike. The council votes tomorrow on some sort of finger wagging legislation. I recommend privatizing the lions or maybe installing "sitting meters" on the steps.
Despite assurances from the city that the 1907 main building at Michael Reese is safe from demolition, pieces of it are going missing and being damaged. There is still no word on the modernist portion.
When farm-implements heir Brooks McCormick passed away, he donated his 8,000sq ft condo in the name of his wife, Hope, to four local organizations and the World Wildlife Fund. They may each receive $1 million from the sale.
A major financier of the redevelopment of the largest "open" land in the city, the former U.S. Steel South Works, has dropped out of the plan. To give you a sense of scale of the project, the other partners are continuing preparations to build "17,000 housing units, a million square feet of retail space and a 1,500-slip marina on the site."
Is the East Village a historical landmark? Neighborhood resident Carol Mrowka doesn't think so, and took her case to court when the city deemed it so. This kind of legal action has local preservationists worried about the "future of scores of such landmark districts and buildings in a city that adores its architectural legacy."
"I can't imagine 'My garage is also an art gallery' would serve as a successful pick-up line." Meet The Suburban.
In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Burnham Plan, Chicago Public Radio launched a new section, Chicago Matters: Beyond Burnham. Among other features, don't miss the regional population growth timeline and fact list.
Former GB staffer and web extraordinaire Dan X. O'Neil just launched a new website that documents buildings on the city's Demolition Hold List. If you'd like to know how he made the site, check out his description of the process.
The Chicago Public Library is accepting submissions for a poster design contest to promote the library and its "Not What You Think" campaign. Poster artist extraordinaire Jay Ryan will be among the judges. You can read all the official rules here. Submissions must be received by Thursday, April 9.
According to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, Chicago's Inland Steel Building, Spiegel Office Building, and Independence Park were all recently added to the National Register of Historic Places.
It hasn't been easy, but formerly Chicago-based independent cartoonist, teacher, and wind energy protester Lynda Barry has risen through a troubled childhood and rocky adulthood to become a creative legend.
A homeless poet finds salvation in his words. Hear some of his work over at Medill Reports.
Haven't you always wanted to build your own furniture? In A/C, Christian Scheuer shows you how to make a cool side table.
The owners of the Sears Tower are considering painting/cladding it in silver, to save energy and draw new attention to our tallest building. And possibly blinding people on sunny days.
In Isreal's Negev Desert is the Tze'elim Military Base, and on that military base is the city of Chicago, "so named because its bullet-ridden fake walls apparently recall the punctured real walls of Al Capone's Chicago."
This week's Reader feature investigates the financial troubles threatening the eviction of Loren Billings, the 89-year-old widow who lives in and runs the Museum of Holography.
Following Preservation Chicago's inclusion of the Michael Reese hospital in its most recent Chicago 7, Blair Kamin writes about new evidence that Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius played a bigger role in the design of Reese than previously thought. If you're unfamiliar with the look of the hospital's modern buildings, here are additional photographs.
InterContinental's new O'Hare hotel is part of a wave of high-end design sites replacing no-frills airport hotels. It has amenities like an art gallery with in-house curator in adddition to an overall contemporary design.
My first apartment in Chicago was in a four plus one. It was pretty awful.
Preservation Chicago's annual Chicago 7 draws our attention to the house of photographer and preservation activist Richard Nickel, the mid-century Modern portion of the Michael Reese campus and the "Old-fashioned" wood windows that decorate many older Chicago buildings, among others.
Get a sneak peek at the Art Institute's new Modern Wing, designed by architect Renzo Piano.
Last fall, local artist Kathleen Judge curated this extraordinary exhibit of a city made (mostly) of cardboard at the Viaduct. The exhibit closed in December, but you still have a chance to check it out. Starting Thursday, the exhibit runs--complete with sound effects--at the Chicago Tourism Center. Details in Slowdown, or check out the Exquisite City site.
If you haven't explored Google Book Search, you owe it to yourself to find the time. Lynn Becker has an excellent starting point for you. [via]
Shepard Fairey's iconic, ubiquitous "Hope" portrait of President-elect Barack Obama has been acquired by the National Portrait gallery. The work should be on display by Inauguration Day. Can't make it to D.C? Check out Go Tell Mama! if you haven't already done so.
Street artist Saro is looking for photographs of Joseph Zeman from which to create a tribute. Zeman was struck and killed by a van in the December of 2007.
After several attempts, the Trump Tower's mandated spire was installed on Saturday. Watch video highlights of the more-than-four-hour spectacle.
The construction of the beleaguered Chicago Spire has a new headache: Dublin-based Anglo Irish Bank Corp., who is the main lender of the Spire's developer, is going through its own American-style financial woes with the resignation of a president who concealed $121 million in personal loans and rapidly falling stock values.
Did you know there's a huge "mixed use mega-complex" in development for the southeast corner of Clark and Addison? Addison Park on Clark would take out all the businesses on the east side of Clark Street all the way down to The Irish Oak.
About six months ago, the Art Institute of Chicago lent around ninety Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces to Fort Worth's Kimbell Art Museum while the AIC galleries were being expanded. Today, the paintings are back, including Gustave Caillebotte's Paris Street, Rainy Day, which returns to its old place at the top of the stairs.
The ever-vigilant architecture critic Lee Bay looks at the rise and fall of the controversial Robert Taylor Homes on his blog. He even includes a link to video clip of Mayor Daley the Elder speaking at the grand opening.
From "50 Things You Might Not Know About The President Elect": he collects Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian comics. I think his motto leans more towards "With great power comes great responsibility." than "By Crom...free my hands and I'll varnish this floor with your brains."
Tonight at 7pm, FoGB Anne Elizabeth Moore will be reading new work about "life among the cute and the Cambodian," based on her recent travels to the country, at The Parlor, a reading series sponsored by Bad At Sports Podcast and hosted by The Green Lantern, 1511 N. Milwaukee Ave, 2nd Floor.
The old main post office maybe finally be getting a new life as an office and condo development, according to the Sun-Times. The plan also calls for reducing the middle section that rests over the Eisenhower Expressway. To be fair, the building hasn't been totally useless over the years, appearing in two very popular movies recently.
The AIA Chicago awards for excellence in interior architecture are up. Wish I worked in some of these places.
Now that plans for the Chicago Spire have been put on hold (due to economic reasons), Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamen is wondering what we could with the hole that's been left behind. He's gotten lots of suggestions so far, most of them making reference to Mayor Daley and/or Todd Stroger.
The Addam's Family musical will debut at the Oriental Theater in November 2009. It hasn't been cast yet, but Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth have participated in readings as Gomez and Lurch. Just kidding. Obviously, the lovely and pale Ms. Neuwirth was born to play Morticia.
The New York Observer speaks of ill tidings for Donald Trump's nearly completed Trump International Hotel & Tower. The curiously coifed real estate magnate owes lenders $1 billion, but has sold only $600 million in condo units. Well, at least it looks snazzier than the old Sun Times building. For now.
The days may be numbered for Hyde Park's Village Center shopping district. Plans for a 150-unit condo are underway and just needs the city's John Hancock on the deal. One of the area's blogging watchdogs, Hyde Park Progress, wrote about the future of the site a while back.
Local artist Patrick Welch unexpectedly passed away last Thursday. He originally hailed from England, and founded an art movement he called micromentalism. Welch was interviewed for Gapers Block in 2007. You can also listen to an interview he did for Chicago Public Radio this past June. Memorials are appearing on his MySpace page. Welch will be much missed by Chicago's art community.
More than you ever expected to learn about "sculptured glass modules," a particular subgenre of glass blocks.
Upset that he hasn't been paid the $11.34 million he's owed, architect Santiago Calatrava has stopped working on the Chicago Spire and has filed a lien against the developer. Although underground utility work is still being done at the site, the developer has postponed all other construction work due to the problems with the economy.
GlobeSt.com is reporting that work has stopped on the Chicago Spire at 400 N. Lake Shore Drive, planned to be the biggest residential structure in North America. A spokesperson for developer Shelbourne Development Group blames the economy, but says condo unit sales at the 150-story tower are still happening and that completion is still expected in 2012.
GB is doing a photo feature for Detour on the theme of "Transitions," and we'd love to get submissions from readers. If you'd like the chance to be included, please add your photographs to our flickr group with the tag "Transitions" by noon on Saturday, October 18. More details are available in the group's discussion section.
A nude painting of vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin (or is it Second City alum Tina Fey?) now graces the wall at the Old Town Ale House.
Next weekend, the Museum of Sustainable Style opens for a four-day look at sustainable clothing, accessories and furniture.
Despite earlier hints that the Gunner's Mate School in North Chicago would be preserved, the Navy will go ahead with plans to demolish the building.
Edward Lifson digs up a video of Frank Lloyd Wright on the game show "What's My Line?" in 1956. [via]
Architecture fans take heart. Plans are afoot to rebuild Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan's Pilgrim Baptist Church, which caught fire in January 2006 (one of three Sullivans to burn to a crisp that year). The current estimate for repairs is $37 million. Donations are encouraged.
As noted by the Reader's "Chicagoland" blog, Mies van der Rohe's famous Farnsworth House has fallen victim to the recent heavy rains. Donations are being accepted to help restore the landmark structure. If you can, contribute.
And you can prove it. The Washington City Paper (in D.C.) organizes a cool craft show called Crafty Bastards. This year they're running a contest to vote for the
bastardiest crafter craftiest bastard. Norah Utley of Sheriff Peanut (and Berwyn) is in the contest. And in case you've never seen her cool-ass stuff in person, you can pop into this weekend's Renegade Craft Fair to say howdy.
This week is recycling week at GB, with two features exploring what is typically perceived as the underside of the economy. In A/C, we take a look at Scrappers, a documentary film featuring the lives of three local scrap metal collectors. Over in Detour, we visit with Barry "Can Man" Woodson, leader of a street crew of recyclers in Wrigleyville. After reading the articles, you may want to check out the Scrappers fundraiser on Friday.
Last week's discussion of a preliminary landmark designation for a section of River North was on the schedule then off again due to intervention from Alderman Brendan Reilly. The action will now go down during the Landmark Commission's October meeting.
Chicago architecture fan Lee Bay takes at look at the recently unwrapped Louis Sullivan-created Chicago Stock Exchange arch on his blog, as well offers as some great random people shots at Buckingham Fountain.
This Saturday you can experience the Orange Line like never before. Art On Track will convert an eight car CTA train into a mobile art gallery from 6-10pm. Sorry kids, no strollers will be allowed on this ride. Tickets are only $5!
Ever wondered what the world's most famous film critic thinks about Olympic ceremonies, China or President Bush? Wonder no more.
Cultural Chicago thinks the Harold Washington Library is a fitting tribute to the late mayor.
The Holy Consumption is a site showcasing the work of Chicago-based cartoonists Jeffrey Brown, John Hankiewicz, Paul Hornschemeier and Anders Nilsen. Get a peek inside their sketchbooks and how they develop their work.
Veaux.org (which is French for veal) is a new site launching today for artists and designers to showcase their work for the advertising industry. The site was designed by local studio Synthetic Infatuation.
Juxtapoz magazine has a truly moving article about the life and death of and memorials to recently slain street artist, Brendan "SOLVE" Scanlon. After you're done reading this, wipe your eyes and go check out SOLVE's last show at Swim Cafe, up through August 1.
You can relax now: The list of "America's Best Public Restrooms" is out and, yes, Illinois has two of the top 10 spots, including one in Chicago. You can vote for the No. 1 place for No. 1 (or 2) here.
Speaking of domes, plans to create a multi-million dollar fitness center are making progress [lower right side] on the South Side.
The always-interesting Urban Observer (aka Lee Bey) offers serenely beautiful shots from around the city, as well as a visual tour of the underappreciated John W. Farson House (The Pleasant Home) in Oak Park.
The July/August issue of Preservation magazine, published by the National Register of Historic Places, gave Logan Square a nice write-up for its lovely abodes, complete with a descriptive walking tour.
It's time for our monthly GB Get-Together, and we've got a big evening planned for this Friday! Join us at artist Mike Genovese's studio in the pedway below the Chicago Cultural Center from 5 to 7pm, then follow us to Phaiz Gallery at 8pm for free wine and an exhibition of pop song-inspired art. The only catch: you'll have to RSVP to get in. Details in Slowdown.
An artist from Austin is coming to Chicago soon and setting up a Love Factory, with assembly line, where messages of love will be built and delivered by bicycle to various zip codes in Chicago. It's an art project on a grand scale. The artistic director of 'Pink on Tour' has a website with more info about the project and they are seeking volunteers to help out.
If you're all parked out, why not try a waterfront museum? The McCormick Tribune Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum is located on lower Wacker Drive at Michigan Avenue and gives visitors a look at "visions for the river realized or forgotten." It's open Thursday through Monday and costs just $3.
Know any awesome bungalow rehab or garden projects? Nominate these Chicago classics for a Richard H. Driehaus Bungalow Award. Winners will get $750, appear in an exhibit and receive other recognition. Download an application on the Historic Chicago Bungalow Association's site.
Following his murder, the Trib profiles SOLVE and provides details about an arrest made in his case. Tributes are being posted in a new flickr group and an ongoing discussion, which has plenty of links to other tributes and information.
Following the recent announcement about new construction at the U of C, the school's announcing a new medical pavilion building designed by Rafael Viñoly. The Trib has the most details, but there's an image in the Chronicle article.
Plenty, apparently, particularly when it comes to redeveloping HP's Harper Court, as Hyde Park Progress points out.
ArtWorks, a new community center in Uptown that offers affordable art classes for the whole family, is having an open house this weekend to show off the works of community residents. Details in Slowdown.
Hyde Park Progress attends the grand opening of the new swanky Solstice luxury condo development in Hyde Park ... and gets a touch of vertigo.
Mike from Chicago Carless got an unexpected treat on a recent Great Chicago Places and Spaces tour: a visit to the secret observation deck atop the Intercontinental Hotel.
Blair Kamin alerts us that the National Trust for Historic Preservation will name the Michigan Ave. streetwall to its annual list of endangered places. The Trust is concerned about threats of rooftop development, like proposed plans for the Chicago Athletic Association Building.
Congrats to FoGB Revise CMW on winning the Montana paint's "In Search of the Best Writer" graffiti contest.
Hideous Beast recently announced a short film project, Show and Tell. Find a member of their community willing to teach something they feel is valuable to a larger public, and make a one- to three-minute movie about it. The finished flicks will be shown here and on the Beast's Movie Bus.
Hyde Park Progress celebrates the planned removal of a piece of public art in the neighborhood that has fallen into disrepair, yet remained standing because of its precarious location in the middle of two wards.
Helmut Jahn's proposal for the addition to the U of C's Joseph Regenstein Library would definitely be the most radical building on campus. More details are available in a Trib article, along with these thoughts about the design: "The hesitation is: 'Where is my large, drab rectangular box to have books stored in?' This is very different, but it will still do what that box was going to do."
Today, in its weekly Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed series, the Comics Should Be Good site shares the sad story of Sidney Smith -- Trib cartoonist and creator of the incredibly successful but seldom remembered comic strip "The Gumps".
After the demise of the Berwyn Spindle last weekend, word comes that the Spindle may be rebuilt, if the former owners can work out a deal with the artist. Also in Spindle news: an appreciation of the artwork by one of Berwyn's most ardent supporters, Svengoolie.
If you want some lovely movies to past the time, look at the efforts of local collective Look At Rubbish. They've won heaps of praise for their music videos, and are exhibiting at Cannes this year. You can probably follow some of the fun at their blog, Trash on Rubbish.
Couldn't make it to Looptopia this year? Flickr with Looptopia 2008 pictures if you want to see some of what you missed.
The Berwyn Spindle comes down, and the Sun-Times has the video. Wayne Campbell was unavailable for comment.
Close to 90 paintings from the Art Institute of Chicago's collection of Impressionist art are heading to Texas, where they'll be displayed at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth. The good news: they'll be back in time for the winter holidays.
A ticket to this weekend's Artropolis, the international art show at The Merchandise Mart, is normally $20 for a one-day pass, but if you bike to the event you'll get free admission to Art Chicago, NEXT, The Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair, The Artist Project and The Intuit Show of Folk and Outsider Art. That's a whole lot of art to look at for free, people! Just park your bike in the racks when you arrive and check in at the South Lobby Concierge Desk to get your ticket.
We know that a big portion of you, our dear readers, work in advertising, design and marketing. If you're looking to put your skills to use through volunteer opportunities, consider joining the ranks of the Arts & Business Council or the Taproot Foundation. Help non-profits while expanding your professional network.
Garrett Kelleher's development group didn't meet property tax filing deadlines in March. Is it a sign of trouble, or is everything moving along just fine?
The Berwyn Spindle, a bargain at $50,000 (shipping costs $100,000). The Sun-Times reports that the Spindle is still coming down to make way for a new Walgreens, so it's either going to a good home or being taken down by the current owners, who will then "take a look at our options" to see what they can do with the sculpture.
WFMT critic and interviewer Andrew Patner has a blog covering the arts, classical music, and occasional forays into local politics--all in his inimitable Patnervian style.
The Art Institute has an impressive collection of oral histories from Chicago architects. [via]
The Landmarks Preservation Council announced its annual 10 most endangered buildings in Illinois, and this year it goes to 11: Wrigley Field joins the others due to the renovations and proposal by Tribune Co. to "relax" city landmark status to let some major changes slide.
If you haven't already, head over to A/C and check out this week's feature, which is an interview with performance and installation artist Sara Schnadt.
Lee Bey presents some fascinating, unrealized plans for the South Loop and the Cook County/City Hall building in the current Chicago Journal issue. As always, you can check out the Emporis unbuilt high-rise section for more crushed dreams.
Two Northbrook men are among seven arrested in a bust of counterfeit art rings that sold thousands of counterfeit pieces to art buyers around the world.
Given that the Chicago Spire is a speculative building, there's the question of how to raise the funds. Apparently one way is to host exhibitions in a variety of cities, such as Dublin, Hong Kong and Singapore, about which this release was written.
West Town residents and Art Institute faculty members Frances Whitehead and James Elniski make the New York Times Home & Garden section today for their elegantly styled, green tech-tacular pad. The couple's home features photovoltaic and thermal panels, geothermal desuperheaters, dual-flush toilets and other enviro-sound amenities.
School of the Art Institute faculty member Wafaa Bilal's controversial video game/art installation "Virtual Jihad," in which viewers are supposed to kill U.S. soldiers, penetrate a bunker and assassinate President Bush, has been pulled from an exhibit by a Troy, N.Y. university. Bilal, born in Iraq, gives his side of the story on his website.
Don't count Tribune architecture expert Blair Kamin among the biggest fans of the newly rennovated Blackstone. While he applauds the effort, he manges to use words like "garish," "atrocious," "screeching," "psychodelic," "disconcerting tension," "jolting," "bizzare" and "grotesquely" in his review.
Trib architecture critic Blair Kamin warns about what Sam Zell's plan to sell naming rights to Wrigley could mean for landmark buildings across the city.
Dwell Magazine takes a walking tour of Ukrainian Village, hitting a range of the expected and the lesser known in art and commerce.
Sadly, the Dick Tracy Museum in Woodstock, IL, will close June 1. Dick Tracy was created by Chester Gould, who wrote and drew the comic strip from 1931 until he retired in 1977. Cartoonist Ed Piskor provides a colorful account of a meeting between the rather conservative Gould and cartoonists Jay Lynch and Robert Crumb here.
From the creators of Midwest-born Formula Werks comes Freshly Dipped, a site where you can find local art, wearables, and more. Right now, you'll find stuff for sale from local street artists Artillery, The Grocer and more.
Around the Coyote is joining forces with Looptopia this year for its spring arts festival on May 2 and is looking for artists to participate. Perhaps this is the perfect time to take that piece of visual art, literature or music that you've been pouring your soul into and give it the audience it so sorely deserves? Move quick, because the application deadline is this Friday, February 15.
Head on over to the Caro d'Offay Gallery at 2204 W. North Ave. tonight for Textaport 2008, in which artists try to interpret descriptive text about a particular mystery object and create an original work of art based on that description. When the creating's done, the results -- made on-location, and remotely -- will be put on display. 6-9 p.m. Call 773-235-7400 for more info.
The March issue of Dwell shows a lot of Chicago love; first with a profile of Wilkinson Blender Architecture's gut-renovated, Gold-certified LEED-H home the Wis Tavern Building and secondly an interesting article about architect Bertrand Goldberg, best known for his landmark Marina City complex and the endangered cloverleaf-towered Prentice Women's Hospital.
George Greenhalgh, an 84-year-old pensioner from Manchester, U.K., received a two-year suspended jail sentence on Jan. 29 for selling forged works -- produced by his son, no less -- to museums around the world, including the Art Institute of Chicago. Greenhalgh's piece to the Art Institute was a fake Gauguin, the Glasgow Daily Record reports. Due to his old age and poor health, Greenhalgh won't go to jail, but will instead be free to stay at home and listen to his old Oasis and Fall records.
CTA art isn't usually all that interesting, but this work by Jonathan Gitelson looks amazing, at least online. We'll have to wait for the Armitage stop to reopen to be sure.
If you caught the MCA's Sympathy for the Devil exhibition this past autumn, you might recall encountering a couple of photographs by local artist Melanie Schiff. The 30-year-old Chicago photographer is now the subject of a three-page profile in the February issue of the international art magazine Modern Painters. The attention arrives after Schiff was recently selected for inclusion in the 2008 Whitney Biennial. The artist is currently represented by the Kavi Gupta Gallery in Chicago.
The Art Institute of Chicago will offer free general admission every day from Feb. 1-29. You'll still have to pay for the Hopper and Homer special exhibitions, which open Feb. 16, but the museum makes it up to you by offering weekend Q&A sessions with its curators, Saturday lessons in conservation and other perks.
Chicago photographer and Nelson Algren buddy Art Shay once took an artfully racy photo of Algren's lover, French author, philosopher, and feminist Simone de Beauvoir, which writer Susie Bright has thoughtfully provided on her blog. (Possibly NSFW, hardly hardcore, but definitely lovely.) For background on Algren and De Beauvoir's legendary affair, go here.
If you're in the mood for some spooky photography and artifacts (a coffin, outmoded medical restraints!) this weekend, check out the opening of Ward 7: America's Abandoned Asylums at the Co-Prosperity Sphere Saturday evening.
"Less is more (boring)" for local financial investor Richard Driehaus, who takes a swipe at the city's modern architecture in favor of the classical style. So much so that he's opening his own museum for decorative arts in the Nickerson Mansion here in Chicago in the spring.
Art Against AIDS, the annual art auction that raises funds for Heartland Alliance's AIDS/HIV programs, takes place February 28. But if you'd like the check out the art before the benefit, head to Gallery 180, 180 N. Wabash, from today through February 14 to see (or buy) work donated by artists from around the nation.
Get your checkbook out. Residences in the yet-to-be-constructed Chicago Spire went on sale today. Prices range from $750,000 to $40,000,000 for a two-floor penthouse. No word on whether that includes free cable.
We've pointed to Green Bean before -- the blog run by Erik Olsen, the Green Projects Administrator for the City of Chicago. Today he writes of a remarkable DIY green building project run by two brothers in the South Chicago neighborhood. Their use of reclaimed old growth forest wood framing, hardwood flooring, sub-flooring and joists to make cabinets, patch floors, and frame out new triple-glazed windows is a welcome change from the bulldoze-and-build crowd.
The city's opaque Department of Planning and Development, which controls development of and rehabilitation of landmark buildings and areas, has approved an additional 70 "bullpen box seats" and more digital signage.
The Reader brings us word that a radical Italian theatre company is looking for 40 dudes to come on stage and beat a young lady with pillows. Oh, don't give me that -- it's for art! Check it out for more info on the company, the performance and how to apply. Watch out for those feathers.
If it's too cold to stroll, you can still check out your favorite street artists -- indoors at New'd. Artist Artillery curates a show at the new/used clothing shop each month. Currently, he's showing blutt work. Next month, it's tiptoe and Saro.
Now that the smoking ban is in effect, what to do with all of those leftover ash trays? West Town Tavern chef Susan Goss is currently collecting some of them for use in an "Ashes to Art" exhibition which will feature creations by local artists. The exhibition, to be held at The Architrouve and benefitting Erie Neighborhood House, is slated to open February 19.
This week is your last chance to view Jasper Johns: Gray at the Art Institute. The special exhibition, which closes on Sunday, showcases Johns' use of the color gray as a "statement of skepticism, quietude, or anticipation." Besides being a critically acclaimed artist, Johns also guest starred as himself in a 1999 episode of "The Simpsons" entitled "Mom and Pop Art."
The NY Times draws attention to Marion Mahony Griffin, the first licensed female architect in Illinois and primary illustrator of Frank Lloyd Wright's Wasmuth Portfolio, among other achievements. Visit her 1,600 page memoir for more background.
In a warning to artists and other small businesses throughout the city, 30 tenants of the Fine Arts Building were issued $200 fines for not possessing a business license. The licenses cost $225 for a two-year period.
Been to the MCA lately? There's a slo-mo makeout session happening in the fourth-floor gallery, the work of British-born artist Tino Sehgal. Witnessing the crowd's reaction is half the experience.
If you've got some kids in school and have no idea what to do with them when they have weekdays off, do we have a solution for you. The Hyde Park Art Center is offering a series of five all-day creativity programs for kids. The series is $80 for members, $100 for non. Check it out here.
The Lakeshore Athletic Club Building, usually one of the entries on the list of the state's most endangered historic places, appears to be saved! The Sun-Times reports that Northwestern University is selling off the building to be turned into housing for seniors.
Apartment Therapy: Chicago is hosting a House Tour and after-party this Friday; join them for a tour of five live/work spaces in Fulton Market. Don't forget to RSVP!
Rearview contributor and excellent photographer Carey Primeau launches a new photography site and portfolio. While I've seen my fair share of deserted and abandoned photography sites, Primeau really does elevate these photos to stunning. One of the more stellar sets has to be his Uptown Theater set, a building that has intrigued me for years. So good.
They may not be designed by Louis Sullivan or Frank Lloyd Wright, but preservationists still see architectural and historical importance in Chicago's 178 gravity-fed rooftop water tanks.
The second Gapers Block/Calumet Photographic Photo Swap is a little more than a week away, so print up five 4"x6" photographs to exchange with other photographers. Of course, there'll be plenty of free food and drinks to accompany the swapping. Details in Slowdown.
Iraq war veterans join artist Aaron Hughes to discuss their anti-war projects on Sunday, Nov. 25, 3-5 p.m. at the Hyde Park Art Center. The discussion is an extension of the Center's current "Consuming War" exhibit.
Dina Elenbogen, representing Israel, and Palestinian poet Issa Boulos will join voices at "Free Verse, An Evening of Compassion, Peace and Renewal" tonight, 6 p.m., at Flatfile Galleries, 217 N. Carpenter. The event, sponsored by UniVerse of Poetry, will also feature live music as well as 20 other local poets and an organic buffet. The event is free but donations are accepted.
Artist Keith Edmier recently unveiled his latest work Bremen Towne at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. Bremen Towne is a full-scale reproduction of several rooms of Edmier's childhood home in southwest suburban Tinley Park, circa 1971.
Lynn Becker, who runs the local blog Architecture Chicago Plus, writes about a head-scratchingly strange resolution on the table of the Marina Towers Condo Association. It proposes that they alter Rule 5 of their charter to say that no one can use the image of the Marina Towers without expressed written permission of the board. This includes filmmakers, advertisers, and apparently amateur photogs. It's raised a number of eyebrows, including those of some more open-minded residents. They vote on the resolution on November 15. [via]
Local artist Barbara Koenen is currently at work on a war rug--composed not of thread but of various spices, seeds, and firecrackers--at the MCA all this week. For more information on the original Afghan war rugs, go here, here, and here.
Not quite the expose on Santiago Calatrava (also known for his work on the Milwaukee Art Museum), but Creative Review, a design magazine based in the UK, showcases the design work of Third Eye Design who did the collateral for The Chicago Spire. Even if you don't like the Spire itself, the accompanying literature praises our fair city.
Inspired by My Kid Could Paint That (the documentary of a father who sold his four year-old daughter's paintings for big bucks), the what-is-art debate rages amongst Chicago's storefront theater intelligentsia over at the blog Angry White Guy. You can still catch the film in Wilmette and rue your own unappreciated kinder-masterpieces, or see Mr. Fluxus at The Neo-Futurarium and decide whether you agree with Yoko Ono's take on art.
In February, Millennium Park gets an installation by Canadian artist Gordon Halloran. Its official name is "Paintings Below Zero," but the Tribune has already nicknamed it "The Popsicle."
One of my favorite designer-artists out there, Cody Hudson, is having a solo exhibition at the MCA. Hudson brings a mix of street art, urban graphics and blends it with his own personal inspirations to create his work. The exhibition, which is titled that long title up above, begins tomorrow (Nov 3rd) and runs through December 2nd with Hudson presenting an Artist Talk on November 20th which will have him leading a tour of his exhibition.
An announcement was made yesterday that "Paintings Below Zero," an outdoor exhibition of a multicolored, 95-foot-long wall of ice, will be on display at Millennium Park during the entire month of February. Finally, the Bean will have someone to talk to when he's feeling a little gloomy.
Nau, the outdoor atelier whose clothes are eco-friendly is hosting a Film & Fashion Night in the South Loop on Tuesday, November 7th from 8pm to midnight. There's going to be BMX Ballet, food and drink (first drink free or so we hear) and other festivities. Learn about sustainable economy! It's free if you download, print and bring this ticket. More details in Slowdown.
A new site about the Marina City building complex just launched, including a great promotional film from 1965. (As you'd expect with any condo association, there were some disagreements about how it should be done, so two condo owners did it themselves.) [via]
The Sound of Young America, a public radio show out of Los Angeles, is doing a live show tomorrow night at Second City. The main event is an "in-depth interview with legendary music producer Steve Albini". Schadenfreude, Team Submarine, and Hannibal Buress will be doing comedy.
You have until Oct. 31 to submit your art and interactive installation proposals for LAWN NATION: Art & Science of the American Lawn, an exhibition planned for May 2008 by the Notebaert Nature Museum. The in-house exhibit will explore America's love-hate relationship with grass through works of art, installations and special events. Here's a suggestion: An installation featuring sprinklers that actually water the grass, not the sidewalk or the heads and feet of passersby.
The Terra Foundation for American Art hasn't been in the news much since closing its Michigan Avenue Museum in 2004, but it's back in the limelight with a new $3 million program: American Art American City: A Chicago Celebration.
If I were to add up all the knitters I know in person, or online, I could get probably get to a hundred or so. However, Chicago photographer and knitter Franklin Habit of The Panopticon is hoping to meet 1000 knitters and photograph them. The next public shoot is at My Sister's Knits (9907 S. Walden Parkway) on October 26. Since he's gotten Kaffe Fassett to knit with white yarn, maybe he'll even be able to convince Delores to pose for him.
Remember the Partners in Preservation contest? Well, the On Leong Merchants' Association/Pui Tak Community Center won the vote. If you're interested in the rest of the rankings, here are the full results.
If you find yourself at California and 21st, look around! You're right near Little Village's own Museum of Objects Left on the Sidewalk. It's a mini museum from artist Rebecca Wolfram. Some objects left at her outdoor museum include a dead frog, shoes, coat hanger sculptures and lots of other odds and ends. Says columnist Tom McNamee, "If Wolfram tried this in, say, Kenilworth, they'd call the police on her -- and you people in Kenilworth know that's true."
Visitor to the newly opened McCormick Place West Building may catch a glimpse of this very cool light installation by Jason Peot. It represents all 102 counties in Illinois as wooden houses, containing a proportion of wood that matches the county's population.
The NY Times features Chicagoan John Spack's $100,000 domed observatory in its discussion of the burgeoning trend in home construction.
Chicago Public Radio's "Hello Beautiful" interviews lawyer, author and MacArthur Grant recipient Stuart Dybek on this weekend's show; last week they talked with Patrick Welch, founder of the "micromentalist" art movement (whom we profiled earlier this year).
The 12th Annual Chicago Artists Month is under way, and offers a ridiculous number of opportunities to meet artists, ogle their studios, stroll through unfamiliar neighborhoods on gallery walks, schmooze at openings, and even try your hand at something creative. Slowdown notes just some of the highlights; click here for a complete schedule.
To celebrate "40 fearless years," the Museum of Contemporary Art is offering 40 days of free events starting this Saturday. Lots of chances to get inside and stare at art for free if you can't get to the museum on Tuesday, the usual free day.
Photographer Ian "only-connect" Lorenzo (whose photo was featured in Rearview on Thursday) does some amazing things with his flickr account. Individual photos shine, but it's best to view his archives page by page by page.
National Geographic is bringing its popular Festival of Maps to Chicago Nov. 2 -- spread out over nine museums, libraries and other locations.
Omnipresent CNN's all up in our stuff with an article about Chicago's architectural legacy, along with some photos and a short video about Frank Lloyd Wright's local connections.
If you've started or are planning to start a fashion business in Chicago, the City of Chicago and Macy's would like to give you the opportunity to win a Designer in Residence position at the new Macy's State Street Chicago Fashion Incubator. There are some stipulations and a $75 application fee, but you can download the application and get the full details now [pdf].
As debate escalates over the Chicago Children's Museum's proposed move to Grant Park, Blair Kamin offers a scathing critique of the current Richard J. Daley Bicentennial Plaza while reminding us of the 1836 statement: "Public Ground -- A Common to Remain Forever Open, Clear and Free of any Buildings, or other Obstruction Whatever."
You have till tomorrow to catch the very cool Big & Green exhibit at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, featuring 15 green building projects in Chicago or by local architects. Ugh, turns out the exhibit was from 2004. (Sorry, the pages included the date, not the year.)
American Express and the National Trust for Preservation have teamed up for Partners in Preservation, a very worthwhile contest: 25 Chicagoland architectural and historical landmarks vie for $1 million in grants for preservation and protection. Who wins is dependent on votes, so vote for your favorite -- and in classic Chicago style, you can vote more than once, every day in fact.
A huge collection of Chicago's street artists have come together to raise money for a Cicero public school. Check out the show (and buy some art, will ya?) at the Grind Cafe in Lincoln Square. The show opens this Friday evening, and features artists such as Blutt, Codo, Sonny Rainclouds, Solve and more.
Into freecycling? You're invited to The Free Store sponsored by Ausgang Gallery. To donate, email Melinda [at] ausgang.com To shop, visit The Free Store this weekend at 51st and Racine, from 11 am to 6 pm.
Keep your eyes trained on the new LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon mural being painted by the Kennedy right now. It's by local muralist Jeff Zimmerman, who incorporated the ideas of Chicagoans reacting to the fact that this year's race might be the last.
Local bi-lingual paper El Extra has run an article about an interesting sounding exhibit at the National Museum of Mexican Art. Titled "Dialogo", this installation chronicles three artists reactions to discussions between mothers and daughters within the Pilsen and Little Village communities.
Shawnimals is coming out with even tinier versions of its pocket ninjas, with a loop so you can have one guard your keychain. Sweet! In other art/craft news, two of Delicious Design League's Flatstock posters are now for sale on UrbanOutfitters.com.
Chicago Magazine's current issue includes a feature on the state of Chicago's contemporary architecture scene, complete with a fairly interesting top 10 list, which includes gems like The Contemporaine. Check out their feature, then weigh in on your favorite and least favorite buildings.
Toy Karma, an exhibit of the works of artists and designers inspired by classic Japanese toys, starts September 8, at the Rotofugi Designer Toy Store and Gallery. Adorably bizarre creations by folks like Alex Wald, Frank Kozik, and many others will be on display.
With the recent demolition of Dart's Emmanuel Presbyterian Church, Blair Kamin makes another call for including modern buildings in the city's architectural protections.
The Illinois Department of Health inspected the gorgeous-inside-and-out, Art Deco Pittsfield Building last week and then sealed off floors 13 through 21 after discovering asbestos during remodeling. I assume the lobby is still open, and safe. If so, why not stop in and enjoy a nice "alfresco" tuna melt at the Pittsfield Cafe while gawking at the magnificent Gothic ostentatiousness of the Pittsfield's five-story atrium?
The world of archaeaology is blowing up over the secretive start of a tour of the fossils of Lucy, the 40% complete Australopithecus afarensis skeleton discovered in Ethiopia in the 1970s. Many are calling the tour a "dangerous gamble with an irreplaceable relic". The Field Museum is slated to be one of her stopping points.
I told you last week about local designer Anna Fong being in the top 20 for AOL's AOL's Latino Fashionista contest. She's in the top 5 and could use your vote before Saturday to push her into the top 3.
DvA Gallery is auctioning off original artists' brushes to help raise money for Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit working to increase the visibility and stability of arts education across the country. Each brush is signed by the artist and framed in shadow boxes (a few even come with drawings or books). Check out The Brush Project for photos of the brushes and the artists' works. The auction is on ebay, and ends this Friday.
If you find yourself wandering Chicago museums this summer (whether alone or with out-of-towners), one thing you can do to spice it up is to add a podcast to the mix. The AIC has a monthly Musecast that discusses its current exhibitions and goings-on. The MCA also has a long list of podcasts about a current exhibition that address multiple pieces, like this one for Escultura Social with bilingual versions.
Starting on Sunday, the Stockyard Institute, AREA Chicago and other organizations will initiate "Pedagogical Factory: Exploring Strategies for an Educated City" at the Hyde Park Art Center. Throughout its run, topics will include "How We Peoples Make a People's Atlas of Chicago," "How We Grow: Self-Education and Urban Farming Gathering" and "How We Brew/Bake/Mead Etc Cottage Expo."
If you're going to Pitchfork this weekend, don't forget to bring money for Flatstock, the "ongoing series of exhibitions featuring the work of many of the most popular concert poster artists working today". If you're not going to Pitchfork, you can spend the next 4 hours or so clicking on poster links here. UPDATE: This week's Reader has a nearly-comprehensive take on 17 of the best Chicago-based screen print artists here.
If you're near Columbia College today (600 S. Michigan), take a look up and you'll see something singular: Sigmund Freud, dangling from one hand off a steel beam. Entitled Man Hanging Out, this fiberglass replica by Czech artist David Cerny is being exhibited as part of Chicago's Prague Days celebration. The sculpture (ahem) hangs through August.
First there were the Cool Globes. Now there are Mini Cool Globes, basketball-sized globes designed by everyone from Sheryl Crow to Joe Lieberman. If you'd like to see them in person, head to the Wacker Lobby and the Jackson Pavilion of the Sears Tower.
In the arithmetic of today, 8 acres = 3,000 homes + 1 hotel + (unspecified) stores + 1 marina. Now this developer needs to turn in its homework on time.
Branch out from the downtown and Wicker Park gallery scene with a spin through Pilsen. Stop at Polvo, an alternative art space run by a group by the same name; art-pilsen, a community art blog; and the Chicago Arts District, coordinators of the second Fridays art fest.
T.S. Eliot allegedly said "Mediocre writers borrow; great writers steal." Applying that to artists, what is Flemish cartoonist Ief Claessen supposed to be? Come to think of it, what's up with that British Petroleum guy? (Scroll down.)
Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois is holding a conference on preservation this weekend, starting tonight with free tours of the K.A.M. II Synagogue and Hyde Park Bank. Much more is planned throughout the weekend, and it's not too late the register.
Julie Thoma Wright, a noted designer, passed away earlier this week after a battle with colon cancer. Thoma Wright, along with her husband Richard Wright, was known for being the force behind Wright, a Chicago auction house specializing in modern furniture and art. The Wrights were profiled last year in an article in The New York Times.
An ordinance to privatize the selection of public art, among other things, proposed by Mayor Daley and the Department of Cultural Affairs is being considered by the City Council this morning. Artists and activists will be protesting the silencing of artists' voices at City Hall starting at 10am. You can help keep public art meetings open by calling or emailing your alderman's office -- look it up here -- or head on down and join them.
Lee Mingwei's multi-part exhibit, "Impermanence" (at the Chicago Cultural Center through 1 July) includes a Guernica made of sand and a room containing multiple configurations of bed and nightstand; but check out the Letter Writing Project: an arrangement of three enclosures that invite you to write that letter you've been putting off. You can have it mailed or leave it for others to read; and reading other people's letters is no small pleasure.
If you're interested in seeing the new Niki St. Phalle exhibit in Garfield Park (more than 30 playful sculptures by the noted artist are placed amidst gardens inside and outside the Conservatory building) but the thought of long waits for the west-bound Green Line discourage you, click here for details about new express trains running between Randolph and Wabash and Garfield Park Conservatory Saturdays and Sundays.
Word from Kartemquin Films regarding their in progress film: "Kartemquin is currently working on Typeface, a documentary about cultural preservation, rural renewal and graphic design history in the Midwest.To support these efforts, we're holding a benefit on June 15th at the Center for Book and Paper Arts here in Chicago. Toad Hollow Vineyards is providing the bubbly, MJ Catering is bringing the sweets and a number of local artists (including Jay Ryan and Dennis Ichiyama) are donating original works for the silent auction." While the much lauded Helvetica opens the same night at the Siskel, it is a weeklong engagement. So, why not support the locals? Looks good to me.
Chicago area based printmakers are invited to submit original prints and artist books for a joint group show being organized by The New York Society of Etchers, Inc. for the Loyola University Museum of Art on Michigan Avenue. The exhibition is scheduled for presentation in the fall of 2008. For the exhibitionl, "The Art of Democracy," they are seeking artist prints and artist books featuring the topics of war, domestic politics, constitutional rights like privacy an free speech, human rights, environmentalism and related areas of social activism.
As previously reported on GB, the historic Lakeshore Athletic Club building is on the list of the 10 most endangered buildings in Illinois, and Preservation Chicago is planning a rally at the building (850 N. Lake Shore Drive) this Sunday, June 3 at 1pm to raise awareness of the historical value of the property.
Sure, there's more to it--like tomorrow night's panel discussion on innovation in social housing, activities for kids, and open access to intriguing indoor spaces--but the chance of a free Architecture boat tour may seem more compelling. Other tours get you inside some of the bridge houses on the Chicago River (cool!), point out Arab influences on the city, and discuss how restaurant decor and cuisine can go hand in hand. Click here for complete details; all tours and programs are free.
Estrogen Fest 2007: Back on the Fringe starts its 10-day lady-made extravaganza of performance/dance/theater/music/vaudeville/etc. Wednesday night at Prop Thtr., 3502 N. Elston. Watch people do stuff in the performances and panels, learn to do stuff in the workshops, and buy stuff at the craft fair (curated by DIY Trunk Show and featuring GB staffer Cinnamon Cooper). The All Est Fest Pass is $50, but you can see individual events for various prices.
Man, we were all set to tell you about the awesome Jay Ryan poster that went on sale yesterday over in Coudal.com's Swap Meat, but they sold out before morning. So instead, go check out the equally awesome Brendan Dawes C-prints of 2001: A Space Odyssey and all the other cool stuff.
Now that the Buckingham Fountain is going full blast, maybe you'd like to astound your friends with some related trivia. For example, it opened on May 26, 1927, and its computer's name is the "Honeywell Excel-Plus."
If you are at all sentimental about old-tyme movie theaters, or have a particular soft spot for the DuPage Theatre in Lombard, you better high-tail it over there, because a judge has just cleared the way to knock it down. If you can't get there, see pics at Google and Flickr. Want to be a friend of the doomed theater? Go here.
Wafaa Bilal, an Iraqi-born artist, has set up a little target practice in Flatfile gallery -- and he's the target. Domestic Tension is an installation involving Bilal, a room and a motorized paint gun controlled by a webcam; line it up and try to shoot him. Follow his video diary and learn more on CrudeOil.us, or see it in person; the installation lasts till June 1.
Da Mare announced that the city, through the Department of Cultural Affairs, will again award Cityarts grants totaling more than one million dollars for the year of 2007. Of the 296 organizations receiving grants, 55 are new this year. Many of the grantees are arts programs for youths, but established groups are also included. Since 1979 the Cityarts program has awarded more than 13 million dollars in grants.
George Jetson's high-rise order is nearly ready to be filled in Chicago, but not everyone's a fan of his new digs. If you're curious about similar projects, check out the bizarre Dynamic Architecture website.
Newsweek takes a look at the renovation plans for Frank Lloyd Wright's Glasner House, with not one but three videos explaining what will happen. [via]
At yesterday's Daley Urban Forum, Bruce Mau, the designer/futurist behind the MCA's recent "Massive Change" exhibit, confirmed that he's not only going to open an office here, but he's also moving his family down from Toronto. Why? He admires the city's energy and our talent pool.
Several cars in Printers Row received smiley face makeovers last night. The Trib astutely predicts "if the taggers are caught, there will be no smiles."
This week is the start of a series of events spanning over 2 months about "making you feel good, about feeling bad." The group Feel Tank Chicago started several years to explore what they thought was missing in discussions about politics - discussion about depression and the relationship between feelings and political activism. Their new event series of lectures, performances and meals"Pathogeographies: Or, Other People’s Baggage" starts out on next week and lasts all month. The exhibition under the same name they are organizing opens at UIC's Gallery 400 next month (June 15-July 7).
If you're a fan of Chicago architecture, you should definitely check out Great Chicago Places and Spaces 2007. Advance sign-up for more than 200 tours is only available online and starts today at noon.
Chicago blogger Kathy Moseley is fascinated by the mystery of Wicker Park scrawler "Jimmy Carter," whose work is carefully curated at her Flickr account. Has the Georgian ex-president taken to tagging, or is there another explanation? All that's left to say is, Jimmy Carter says, "Yes."
Elementary students at the Lab School have been building their favorite pieces of the Chicago skyline in Joyce Carrasco's class for more than a decade. Check out examples from the class of 2004-2005. Dibs on the Morton Salt building! [via]
While everyone is still abuzz about the Calatrava Spire (it just won approval for a zoning change, btw), developers have quietly pushed a plan for a 49-story condo tower in downtown Evanston that would become the tallest building ever in Chicago's suburbs. If you've visited Evanston lately, you know that it's gotten pretty tall in recent years, but this one would be twice as tall as what's there now.
The Renaissance Society, the University of Chicago's contemporary art advocate and gallery, is hosting its next opening on Sunday. If you've never visited, the Katharina Grosse show should be a fine introduction to the gallery, which has exhibited everyone from Picasso to Bourgeois. If that's not your thing, you may want to check out the Hyde Park Art Center's 24-hour Creative Move TOO.
Now you can get inside Mies' masterpiece, Farnsworth House, with the help of the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Join the CAF for a seven-hour tour of Farnsworth House, located near Plano, Illinois, and other landmark buildings. Find out more about the tour as well as how you can reserve your spot.
With all of the hubbub about the Olympics, there's an argument that sports shouldn't get all of the attention. In a city currently alive with Version>07, and soon to have Artropolis going too, art should also be at the forefront. Tribune art critics provide a few conceptions of how art could work with the Olympics.
For the last several years Three Walls has been an international artist residency program based in Chicago. Today they announce ThreeWallsSOLO, a new space (at 119 N Peoria, Unit 2A) dedicated solely to local artists. They are interested in supporting difficult and challenging projects, and what's best -- they offer a peer jury review and a materials stipend. The space will open in September, so check out the Fresh News sidebar for submission information.
The city's planning board just endorsed a proposal for the Chicago Spire, which will be erected (chuckle) in Streeterville and top off at 2,000 feet. When completed, Chicago will once more have the tallest building in the Western hemisphere. Ha! Take THAT future Freedom Tower and the Taipei 101 building in Taiwan. But wait! Gradually, even the Spire will be dwarfed by up-and-coming stud, the Burj Dubai! Hope this doesn't affect anyone's performance.
This summer, 122 globes will be installed on Chicago's lakefront for an art project called Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet. The five-foot-tall spheres have been decorated with artistic representations of ways to conserve energy, from wind power (represented by pinwheels) to recycling (represented by junk mail). The Sun-Times reports that the globes will appear on June 1, and will stay out until October 2, when they will be removed and auctioned off to benefit environmental education in Chicago Public Schools.
The Chicago Spire took another step towards reality by moving through a "critical" stage of the zoning process.
Cool kids will converge at Version>07. This year's festival begins this weekend and runs through May 6, 2007. There's all kinds of cool-kid arty stuff happening. Check it out.
Diane Sudyka, best known for her concert posters and other printmaking, has been spending time at the Field Museum preparing bird specimens. The work has inspired her to draw birds to fill her own Tiny Aviary. (Thanks, Jennifer!)
Yesterday, All Things Considered ran Edward Lifson's fine examination of the architectural preservation photography book Richard Nickel's Chicago. Bonus: the song that plays at the end of the piece is from the Rachel's album Music for Egon Schiele, which was composed for a Chicago theater production.
The Sun-Times' "Neighborhood" column profiled the owner of Sacred Art, Sarah Chazin. Her shop sells affordable art by undiscovered artists. Find out more about her shop and check out a list of more stores that sell pocket-friendly collectibles.
Novelist, essayist, playwright, artist, activist, and, yes, City News Bureau of Chicago reporter, In These Times contributor and University of Chicago graduate, Kurt Vonnegut, has died. "So it goes."
Michael Horvich is more than a supernumerary, he's the curator of Michael's Museum. Unfortunately, the physical museum is currently not open to the public, presumably due to high demand because of a recent Tribune article. For now, enjoy the photographs and lists.
The Arts Club of Chicago, which apparently doesn't have a website, is hosting an excellent retrospective of Myron Goldsmith's architectural and teaching career. Go before the show closes on April 13, if for no other reason than to see the model of the unrealized Ruck-a-Chucky Bridge in person. While you're at it, the club has an interesting history that's worth reviewing.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is taking great strides to expand its audience and influence, notably including a retooled nationally syndicated radio program and a performance and educational video series.
Photobooth-o-philes, get excited! You'll soon be able to take a zany picture of yourself and your close friends at Quimby's.
There's quite a stir over the Barack Obama as Jesus sculpture over at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Only time will tell if the controversy rises to Mayor Harold Washington in Lingerie or Step on the Flag levels.
The final installment of the Chicago Opera Theater's Claudio Monteverdi series, The Return of Ulysses, is earning strong reviews, including accolades for Rafael Viñoly's minimal set design. There are three performances remaining, so get hoppin'.
Solo Cup officially abandoned its new factory plans and will sell its portion of the former U.S. Steel South Works site. The new owner, Southworks Development LLC will fold the new property into its existing holdings and create a multi-use development. To put the project into context, the development area, including adjoining parkland, is bigger than the Loop.
While Calatrava claims he will "keep on working on the shape of the building to the very end," Crain's is calling the latest Chicago Spire design the "final plans." Of course, no one knows if the building will actually get built, but design advances and political maneuvering continue.
Feel like some hometown exploration? The American Institute of Architects just released their list of 150 Illinois Great Places. The list includes must-sees like FLW's Robie House but also the Sofitel, bungalows in general, the van der Rohe-designed IIT campus and, well, 146 more.
Two mid-Southside arts organizations, Material Exchange and Experimental Station, are sponsoring the "First Annual Putt-Putt Green Design Competition" and are opening a temporary public mini-golf course from March 29th to April 3rd. There are still spots to play, so sign up soon.
Hey, Busy Beaver is having a design contest for its next So&So button set! You could be famous in one-inch increments!
It's been a rough few years for Chicago's Chagall fans. His beautiful America Windows has been off exhibit at the Art Institute because of construction on the museum's new wing (and won't be back till 2009). And in 2005 one of his paintings was sold to a private collector. However, we still have the Four Seasons, and there's a new biography. Its author, Jonathan Wilson, is discussing it tonight up in Evanston. Slowdown has you covered, or visit the Nextbook website to buy tickets.
Someone smart at the Tribune asked its arts and architecture critics what prompted them to reevaluate artists in their disciplines. Some second looks include the Trap Door Theatre, William McDonough and Walker Evans.
The New Yorker recently published a piece on Chicago-based Poetry Magazine and its recent large gift from Ruth Lilly. Commenting on the article in this weekend's NY Times is David Orr, who raises the question: despite the New Yorker's criticisms of Poetry Magazine, why does the poetry in the New Yorker suck so badly? (Whatever you think of Poetry Magazine, they are having a lot of readings around town, if you're interested.)
Need a new volume for the "booty corner" of your home library? Everyone's fave Chicago burlesque diva Michelle L'amour is releasing her book "The Most Naked Woman" featuring artistic nudes from some of the country's most celebrated photographers including Bettie Page shooter Bunny Yeager. Get it now or see Michellel at G Boutique on April 7.
Get ready for another fight over the Farwell Building: it's back up for review by the Landmarks Commission tomorrow. This time the odds of preservation are a bit slimmer, as the city's planning officials are throwing their support behind the plan to gut the building and slap its façade onto a new Ritz Carlton hotel and condo high-rise. Once again, Preservation Chicago and Lynn Becker are pushing for people to protest the proposal; the fight isn't just for the building now but for Hanig's Shoes, the ground floor tenant that will close after 30 years if the project is approved.
If you're looking for the toniest neighborhood for your next real estate purchase, maybe you should check the Chicago Business High End Homes section. The feature includes maps, photos and sale prices for the most expensive homes in the region in 2006.
Robert Fitzpatrick, the Museum of Contemporary Art's Pritzker Director, will step down in 2008. His ten years in the job were marked by considerable change at the institution, including the acquisition of $16,000 worth of GAP t-shirts. So polish up your résumé and keep an eye on their job page!
The Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois has produced its 2007 list of the 10 most endangered buildings in Illinois, and 4 out of the 10 are in the Chicago area: Lake Forest's Sacred Heart Chapel; Cedar Court in Park Ridge; the Lakeshore Athletic Club building on Lake Shore Drive; and the Lathrop Homes on Diversey & Damen. Also on the endangered buildings list: a ship! A 19th century Viking ship which sailed from Norway to Chicago for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, the vessel now resides in Geneva and is in dire need of restoration.
"Props," as in "kudos," rather than "theatrical set pieces." The Times has been fawning over Chicago's vibrant theater scene in recent years. Today's article reinforces to New Yorkers that culture indeed exists outside of gotham (and in fact, it's much better here), and it focuses on the cutting edge House Theater's production of "The Sparrow."
PeteLit has a great link to some of the neat public art available in Joliet, which is expanding beyond murals into "identity columns", a trend I think municipalities should encourage. (And while you're at his site, you might want to donate some dough to help him fight childhood cancer!)
Big fans of Barack Obama may be interested in bidding on Southern folk artist Panhandle Slim's portrait of the senator and presidential candidate.
Today is the last day the landmark Carson Pirie Scott store on One South State Street will be open for business. If you want one final memory of purchasing something within the elegant Louis Sullivan designed confines of the store, best pop in today.
The keystone building of a unique five house crescent development is currently threatened by demolition in Park Ridge. The houses are significant for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they were designed by Barry Byrne, one of Frank Lloyd Wright's disciples, and the sculptor Alfonso Iannelli. UPDATE: More photos are now available.
It's 1961 and the communists have overthrown the government of the United States of America. Prepare yourself for the U.S.S.A.! What is the communists' first step? Move the government to Merchandise Mart! As J. Edgar Hoover says, read this comic now in order to "help us recognize and detect communists as they attempt to infiltrate the various segments of our society."
Wondering what those things are in today's Rearview photo? It's called "Pinch," a salt cellar and pepper shaker designed by GB alum Craig Berman. Pinch was awarded an honorable mention last night in Design Within Reach's Modern + Design + Function: Chicago Furniture Now competition.
Check out photos and memorabilia from the WPA-funded South Side Community Art Center on view through March in the Pedway Display Cases below the Richard J. Daley Center and Plaza. The exhibition includes historic photos, posters and recent artwork created at the center. Here's a link to our own tour of the Pedway.
Artist and friend of GB Phineas Jones caught pneumonia over the holidays, and ended up with fluid in one of his lungs. As you'd expect, he has some big medical bills, but he's uninsured, so he's selling art on his site, No Commercial Potential, to cover the costs of "lung reclamation." Help him out and get some beautiful art in the bargain.
As if you need another reason to head into the tropical climes of the Lincoln Park Conservatory, you have until the end of the month to check out Shawn Decker's "Chorus," playing in the oh-so-warm Fern Room.
The AIA recently surveyed 1,800 Americans about their favorite architecture and released the top 150 as a web feature. Chicago did well in the polls, with the third largest collection of "favorite" buildings in the country, behind New York and D.C. Some obvious Chicago favorites like Wrigley Field, the Tribune Tower and the Sears Tower are listed, but other buildings such as the United Airlines Terminal and the Harold Washington Library also made the cut.
The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation just completed its Chicago Region Arts Scan, a major research report surveying all non-profit arts organizations in the Chicago region in 2006. In addition to being a comprehensive directory, the report provides especially fascinating information pertaining to the growth, location, composition and funding of these organizations.
Bruce Mau, Toronto's star designer, is moving to Chicago. He was apparently wooed by the warm reception he received in connection with "Massive Change," the show he curated at the MCA last year. (Thanks, Craig.)
I like free. That's precisely the cost of admission to the Art Institute all day, every day, from the moment you register this sentence through February 21st. For free events, check out the AIC's calendar.
The Aqua Teen Hunger Force advertisements that caused serious problems in Boston have been in Chicago for weeks. After all of the hubbub in Boston, most of ours were collected last night. [If you happened to snap a photo of the Chicago Ignignokts/Errs, please post it to our flickr pool for all to enjoy.]
This spring, Version '07 is looking for street artists to participate in a totally awesome exhibit, "Urban Gardening and Exterior Decorating: Hostile Takeover." It's all about how urban environments can become areas for personal and ideological transformations. Sound intriguing? Then put together your stickers, stencils, billboard mods and more for submission to this year's UGED, a mobile operation and exhibition system that will have temporary "shows" throughout the city.
They can stir our civic pride, instigate contemplation or even reflection, and if nothing else, give us something interesting to look at. But Crain's says the city's 700 plus public art pieces can have a commercial benefit as well.
What appeared to be the theft of an original Monadnock Building ornament turned out to be the theft of the only replica ornament in the building.
Glancing through Wikipedia's entry on Pilsen, I happened to find out about the neat Art Pilsen site, devoted to highlighting arts events in that historic neighborhood. And what else did I find? The Art Pilsen blog is highlighting the first annual Drag King and Queen Show, Bananas y Tortillas, tomorrow night, with proceeds from the show to help combat the effects of domestic violence.
Hanna Holborn Gray was U of C's president from 1978 to 1993, serving as the first female president of a major university. As admirable as the professor's life has been, Gray's official presidential portrait has a more colorful history, having been repeatedly critiqued, stolen, and, in one case, inscribed with Apocalyptic verse.
Chicago artist Cayetano "Tano" Ferrer has been doing amazing things with otherwise drab "No Parking" signs for a minute now, but it seems like you have to be fluent in a romance language to have even heard of the guy. Here are pictures of the faux-transparent signs themselves, and a video of the man in action. Now hit the streets, line yourself up just right, and convince yourself of your own superpowers. I'd take these over those whacked-out cows anyday.
After a significant design change in December, the Chicago Spire is losing the blunt top and undergoing further changes,
although the current plans have not been publicly released [UPDATE: and sketches are now available].
Preservation Chicago has announced its seven most endangered buildings for 2007, and it's a doozy, including the recently-in-the-news Farwell Building and the Wicker Park commercial district along Milwaukee Avenue.
Tense Forms, the collaborative multi-disciplinary, project-based workgroup, is holding their 2nd annual Winter Showcase at Subterranean on February the 2nd at 8pm onwards. The showcase features an insane amount of buttons (1000+), a wall of televisions screening all kinds of visual art as well as live music.
If you haven't yet seen the Leo Burnett-created Allstate ad with the car that plunges into the Chicago River from the Marina City parking deck, the companies have posted both the 30-second and 60-second versions and a behind-the-scenes video at YouTube. YouTube blocked at work? The videos and a "how'd they do that?" FAQ get their own mini-site at Allstate.com, too.
After last year's small success in Chicago, we've heard word that the Bicycle Film Festival will be back again. Currently, founding director Brendt Barbur and co are looking for new submissions for the 2007 round of film festivals set to take place in up to 15 cities: "We are looking for films with a strong theme or character of bicycles. This includes all mediums and styles such as animation, experimental, narrative, documentary and music videos." The deadline is February the 17th so you have about a month to get going or fine-tune that piece you've been working on. Details at the site or take a look at the flyer here.
Much as I love Chicago, after days of chilly, gray, damp weather I sometimes wish I were elsewhere. So the Cultural Center's new exhibit of large-scale Venice photographs is just perfect. Details in Slowdown.
The Tribune offers a fine selection of art exhibits worth checking out in the coming months, including some out-of-the-way gems. Other informative prospective pieces include features about architecture, dance, and jazz, to name a few.
Last Thanksgiving, my mother-in-law gave my 5-year-old niece a little green ink pad and she started creating unique masterpieces based on her thumbprint while waiting for the turkey to appear. Unfortunately, some of these still decorate our dining room walls. New York-based artist Merle Temkin presents a much more sophisticated take in Fingerprints, a self-portrait exhibit that opens today at the Cultural Center. Slowdown has the details.
Follow-up to the previous item on the plans to gut the Farwell Building: the plan failed to get a majority in today's meeting of the Chicago Landmarks Commission. Play-by-play details at The Place where We Live.
The History Channel recently asked designers to submit concepts of their cities 100 years in the future. Teams from Chicago, New York and Los Angeles are now facing off for the grand prize. Check out and possibly vote for Chicago's entry from UrbanLab today.
Resolved to learn something new, or just get your hands in some yarn—either way, head over to the Winter Delights Stitching Salon now through February at the Chicago Tourism Center. There will be lunchtime knitting, knitting movies, special classes for all skill levels and lots of like-minded yarn addicts around to fuel your obsession. Many details online, but most important is, it's free.
If today's Rearview photo (courtesy of the ever excellent Archie Florcruz) bewilders you or makes you want to do the same thing, take a look at his entry explaining his photo and then head over to the Create Your Own Planets Flickr pool for info on how to do this.
Lynn Becker makes an impassioned case for why the Commission on Chicago Landmarks shouldn't allow a developer to move forward on its plans to tear down the Farwell Building on Michigan Avenue, build a parking garage, and then "skin" the garage with the Farwell's exterior. The commission is voting on the plans today at 12:45pm; the meeting is open to the public, should you wish to be heard on the subject.
At last year's recent DIY Trunk Show, I made my usual rounds looking at who was doing what. The quality keeps getting better and better every year, a testament to those who organize the Trunk Show. However, one vendor caught my eye — Pink Loves Brown. The goods were smart, well-designed, retro-modern and quality. Nicole Balch puts out some really nice stuff — her apartment is quite inspiring, an extension of her work and aesthetic.
Add the Art Institute to your list of local cultural centers with podcasts. Musecast will deliver stories and info about the museum's current and upcoming exhibits and events every six weeks.
If you're hungry for more Chicago-themed gingerbread houses after seeing the Francisco Brown Line stop, feast your eyes on a gingerbread version of the Pilgrim Baptist Church, the Louis Sullivan church that suffered a fire in January. Some design notes and photos are up at the builder's blog.
Don't forget, the Field Museum's King Tut exhibition closes on January 1. The show has been wildly popular, and to accommodate an expected final rush of visitors the museum will extend its visiting hours for the last two weeks of the exhibit.
The Tribune picks up on the story of security cameras installed atop the Crown Fountain, a story that was first posted at Chicago Carless. Millennium Park director Ed Uhlir is quoted in the story as saying that the cameras are only temporary until they can install a more permanent solution next summer. UPDATE: "Millennium Park cameras removed after outcry"
I don't know how many times I've been to the Quimby's site, but I'd never noticed the "live at quimby's" section until this morning. It has audio recordings from almost two-dozen events, although the one I really wanted to hear (Al Burian) is broken.
After much controversy, WBEZ released its 2007 schedule last month. It's important to note that music, the focus of most of the debate, was not eliminated. The Tribune provides an opinionated but informative summary.
United States Artists, a new nonprofit arts organization, announced its first round of $50,000 fellowship awards, and two Chicagoans are on the list: Nick Cave (no, not that one, this one) and Chris Ware.
Over at YoChicago, they posted a photo of a $1.45 million Lakeview home with an American flag engraved on the address plate ...and all hell broke loose in the comments.
Design Within Reach North Avenue is holding their third annual furniture competition, MODERN + DESIGN + FUNCTION: Chicago Furniture Now. So, if you think your Mid-Century Modern idealism is top notch and you have found a new way to turn heads with that sway-back chair you made, this contest is for you! Up-and-comers will be judged by a panel of 25 local Chicago architecture, art, design and fashion experts. The deadline in January, 12.
In case you've been wondering, that Calatrava-designed "spire" building proposed for the lake shore is still in development, but the name has been changed from Fordham to Chicago after the original developer bowed out. Here's the whole team as it stands now. Still no start date for construction, though.
As a sort of companion piece to the NYTimes article about our city being overrun with condos, here's a story in the Wall Street Journal about the successful conversion of the old Montgomery Ward warehouse into the flourishing 600 West Chicago.
The Times on the city-wide condo conversion epidemic: "Fiercely proud of both its architecture and its distinct neighborhoods, Chicago is losing entire tracts of older buildings." [via]
Hey, remember when we talked about our favorite sounds in the city? Well, those and many others have been recorded and shared with the world at Your Favorite Chicago Sounds. A sampling of what's they've collected is up on the site, including a great recording of the Lincoln Park Zoo's wolf pack howling along with a passing ambulance.
A recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship "genius grant," Kerry James Marshall is probably the most internationally esteemed of contemporary Chicago artists. The crew of Bad at Sports was able to sit down and talk to him in front of a studio audience, and the interview is now available via the latest edition of their podcast.
Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin describes a phone call regarding Trump Tower -- from The Donald himself.
If you saw the "Wonder Twin Power, Activate!" group exhibition at Gescheidle a few months ago, you might recall a small but eye-popping collage by Rob Yamabushi. The artist is a designer and collagist who lives in North Carolina, and the show was apparently Yamabushi's first time publicly exhibiting in an art gallery. Reportedly, the work was stolen from the gallery earlier this month, and gallery director Susan Gescheidle is offering a reward for its recovery or return.
Hoping to stand out from the glut of generic "season's greetings" cards this holiday season? Try this: Sign up for the Chicago Center for Books & Paper's cheap papermaking class (Nov. 4 -- only $25!) and make your cards yourself!
Apartment Therapy is running a fall colors interior design contest; the winners receive a CB2 shop card for up to $2500. Go check out the Midwest entries, which are also running as they come in on Chicago.ApartmentTherapy.
This Halloween season has plenty to offer the ghoul lurking inside of you. Unusual offerings include KFAR's Spookagogue Synagogue, the Apollo Theater's Haunting History, the Six Corners Monster Film Festival, and Ursula Bielski's Creepy Chicago Hauntings. Check slowdown for additional options.
All summer -- until Sunday, actually -- Catherine Opie's photographs were on display in one of the top-floor galleries of the MCA. Now, some of them are online, accompanied by an interview, thanks to the Morning News. [via]
This week, Bad at Sports commences a residency at West Loop gallery ThreeWalls (119 N. Peoria). Known for their irreverent podcast, the Bad at Sports team will conduct several "salons" and live interviews over the course of a month. The first, "What the heck do you mean Chicago art?," happens Friday night at 7.
It's almost time to say "goodbye" to the wooden bridge from the Roosevelt Metra station to Michigan Avenue. So break out your camera and sepia processing and take some old-time photographs this winter.
Support this award-winning art/theatre collective by attending their October 14 gala, The Beggar's Banquet. In attendance will be stars from Gilmore Girls and Arrested Development, plus a bitchin' live auction. Buy your tickets today -- and support Collaboraction, whose offices were recently broken into and cleaned out!
Okay, so check this out. On Nov. 2-5, the MCA is sponsoring "Can You See Me Now?" by Blast Theory, a British interactive-art group. It's a chase game that happens simultaneously online and on the streets of Chicago. Players from anywhere in the world can play online in a virtual Chicago against Blast Theory chasers on the streets who use GPS and cell phone technology to guide them in tracking the players down. Totally awesome.
The You Are Beautiful public art collective's new show, "4 Years Later," opens at Ai Gallery, 676 N. LaSalle St., Friday night from 6pm to 10pm. Free stickers, posters and buttons, oh my! And if you pay close attention, you might be able to figure out who the anonymous artists are.
As the Body Worlds 2 exhibit is being prepared for Chicago in January, some opposition to the show's artistic display of human bodies has already started. A Boston man started up a Website to protest the exhibit in Boston last summer, and he's added a page for the Chicago stop of the exhibit. But as the Sun-Times reports today, the MSI received few letters of protest for the original Body Worlds, and guestbooks at the museum had many favorable reviews of the exhibit. We'll see what effect the protest has on the second Body Worlds show when it opens at the MSI on January 17.
This week's Reader profiles Rogelino Tijerina, an SAIC instructor turned rancher, who casts his livestock as models: "'some of my pieces resemble 3-D butcher's diagrams,'" he says. And, true to "food as art" form, Tijerina's also involved in restaurant Dodo on Damen, where "green thumb" options let you admire the sculpture without having to eat the inspiration.
Following the Tribune's list of ugly Loop buildings, the Chicago Journal is asking for nominations for the worst buildings in your neighborhood. There's only one nomination so far, so let the archislaying begin.
Missed the Body Worlds exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry last year? Don't fret; Body Worlds 2 will show up at the MSI next January. The new exhibit will contain 20 plastinated human bodies, along with "200 human parts". Tickets go on sale October 2.
Lee Bey -- former Sun-Times architecture critic, frequent Rearview contributor and one-time Audible City interviewee -- talks with architect Brad Lynch of Brininstool + Lynch about Chicago architecture and his favorite places in the city in the October issue of Dwell. (Thanks, Dayna!)
The inventive Museum of Contemporary Art has opened a new exhibition, Massive Change, questioning the role of design in understanding (and mitigating) our use of the earth's resouces. I was glad I went, and was fascinated by what I saw as a presentation of data and design as art (such as the nifty Twike and earthquake piece). But I felt disappointed when the exhibit didn't question the elements of design that mattered, and overall found the show slightly shallow.
The MCA deserves a lot of credit for redefining "Contemporary Art" -- this exhibit contains none of the typical objects that make up "art" as there are no sculptures, paintings, or artsy photographs in the gallery. What unfolds as you explore the different rooms is the consistent exploration of uses of design to improve sustainability or understand sustainability. And that was something I found difficult, as each new gallery had only a slight connection to the next and there was little unity in the overall presentation. Also, the exhibit feels corporate at times, with nice promos for HP and Patagonia for their use of printers that compost or using recyled materials, without necessarily questioning how their previous bad designs have contributed to toxic e-waste or unrecyclable plastics.
My favorite area -- the data visualization gallery -- demonstrated what thinking beyond Powerpoint could do to understand significant problems: a pulsating earth does a much better job of demonstrating earthquakes than a Richter scale, and the map of Canada's air traffic had my attention for a long time. Ultimately, I think the exhibit might have bitten off more than it could chew, and covered a very broad area without getting deep in any specific one. Would I recommend it? Absolutely. Can an MRI be beautiful without understanding what it tells you? Yes -- the role or intersection of data in art is field worth exploring, and that's the level this exhibit heads towards. I would have liked more depth, but it got off to the right start.
Speaking of green architecture, new blog Green Bean tracks ecologically friendly buildings in and around the city. It's written by Erik Olsen, who's the Green Projects administrator for the Chicago Department of Construction and Permits.
Humboldt Park gallery Reversible Eye is unveiling a mural created inside the gallery to celebrate street art. If you look carefully at street lights and viaducts, you might recognize many of the artists' works. It's one of many events at the gallery as part of its Chicago Artists month.
Starting Saturday and running through the end of the year, a few simple ways to get 2-for-1 admission to the MCA: drop off your cell phone or batteries for recycling or show your bike helmet. The occasion? The museum's new exhibit, Massive Change, which examines "the future of global design" and calls for responsibility and sustainability in that design. Of course, Tuesdays are always free, but consider this an added bonus for doing what you oughtta.
Speaking of Chicago Street Art, on September 7, the Higher Gliffs murals at the Metra underpass at 47th Street and Lake Park were mistakenly painted over. Among those who worked on the murals are former Art Institute Instructor Mario Gonzalez; founder of the University of Hip Hop, Lavie Raven; and youth organizer Sam Mulberry.
That's the name of the best darn online repository of the best in Chicago Street Art. Check out this Flickr stream to get regularly updated shots of art, comments by the artists and general inspiration.
NPR's Present at the Creation provides unique insight to some Chicago-related icons. Our fair city pops up in some obvious place like Animal House, A Raisin in the Sun , and Nighthawks, but it's also there for Cracker Jacks!
Here's a nice gift for the archiecture and/or Frank Lloyd Wright fan in your life: the desktop Mile High skyscraper.
Today is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Louis Sullivan (sesquicentennial, for big-word lovers), and groups all over Chicago are celebrating with free and ticketed tours, discussions, films, classes, and other events for the next six weeks. We highlight a lot of the good stuff in Slowdown, but click here for every last detail.
"People Powered adopts consumer culture's aesthetic forms to distribute information about sustainable living practices such as community composting, recycling, and free public transportation." Cutting through the crap, check out the new Blue Bike program at the MCA.
Flickr geotaggers and those viewing one recent post may have noticed that Chicago's historic neighborhoods like Little Hell and Shantytown are alive on the Internet. Other interesting locations include the Berkeley Cottages and Packingtown.
Taking another step away from scissors, glue, and late night photocopying sessions, our city's very own Punk Planet has redesigned and expanded its website. Of particular note is the addition of user blogs.
We usually just let you know when the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival is actively making people laugh, but check this out: the 2007 Festival is currently accepting applications for sketch group participation.
CitizenShay's 'L' sign artwork -- details available at his website -- seems like it'd make a great gift for a transit enthusiast. Or for someone who just likes this fair city. (If the onscreen images aren't enough, see the work in person at Sacred Art, 2040 W. Roscoe Ave. Or at the Renegade Craft Fair next month. Options. So many options.)
You know our current Rearview subject, the immediately iconic Cloud Gate. But, should you find yourself in New York in the next couple months, you may want to meet its conceptual cousin, Sky Mirror. Today's Times looks at sculptor Anish Kapoor's burgeoning public art career, one driven by work that viewers see as "a kind of populist gift." (The story is accompanied by a slideshow of some of Kapoor's gallery-bound work.)
The city's recent appointment of Melissa Turner as Chicago's fashion czarina brought a challenge from treehugger: become the green fashion capital of the U.S. Designers, will you embrace the challenge?
Ben Husmann saw this "thingy" on the platform of the Oak Park Green Line stop. No telling what it is, but he's right: it sure looks like a Matthew Barney sculpture.
Architecture critic Lynn Becker runs down the latest exchange of Block 37 development rights on his excellent blog.
When it comes to urban planning and forward-thinking, San Francisco is turning to Chicago for inspiration. "When you walk the streets of Chicago, it enlivens the spirit," said SF Mayor Gavin Newsom. San Francisco environmental and architectural groups are touring the city to emulate everything from the "greening" of our rooftops to our wrought-iron gates. The two cities seem to have a give-and-take approach to architecture: a June Sun-Times story described the redesign of the North Ave. bridge as a "mini-Golden Gate."
The Mies van der Rohe Society is offering inexpensive architecture tours at IIT, highlighting not only Mies' work (e.g., Crown Hall and the Carr Memorial Chapel), but also the grounds (designed by Alfred Caldwell), the campus center (designed by Rem Koolhaas), and the new student residence (designed by Helmut Jahn). Click here for details about self-guided and docent-led tours.
The Art Institute's Casas Grandes ceramic exhibit is worth checking out (you can stop in free tonight and tomorrow after work) before it closes Sunday. Native American ceramic objects between a few hundred and over a thousand years old are displayed and what's striking (aside from their amazingly good condition) is how modern they are: you wouldn't be surprised to see some of these designs at a local arts and crafts fair. Click here for details.
Those of us who miss the Terra Museum (formerly at 666 N Michigan, now the home of the temporary Motorola store) can now visit our favorite paintings online. The site also includes information about where the collection can be seen in person--part of it is still in Chicago, at the Art Institute.
An unusual installation at the Chicago Cultural Center is closing Sunday: a lush tropical landscape created from discarded clothes (mostly socks, as far as I can tell) and background music. The effect is irresistibly smile-inducing--certainly worth a visit before it disappears, especially if you've had a hard week and are short on smiles. Click here for details.
This summer, Kafka Wine and Wendella Boats have been getting together for a series of Wine Tasting Cruises, which pair vino with architectural tour on Wednesdays each month. The next one is August 23 at 5:45pm. Tickets are $50 and reservations are required. [via]
An Exquisite Corpse, the locally based collaborative art project site created by friend of GB Phineas X. Jones (and run on a CMS by GB MVP Jim Allenspach), posted the 500th corpse since its relaunch today. (It's technically the 627th corpse if you count from the beginning of the site, but why do that?)