The Chicago Loop Alliance has plans to make Wabash Avenue a more inviting streetscape. The alliance's Transforming Wabash Report describes how the project will highlight historic facades, install dramatic new lighting, and create "districts" along Wabash focused on different cultural and business uses.
Thirty Times a Minute, a video installation by Colleen Plumb, intends to draw attention to the plight of elephants in captivity. Plumb is projecting it on buildings around the city; see the schedule for details.
The Harriet F. Rees House, built at 2110 S. Prairie in 1888, has been hoisted up to be moved a block north to 2017 S. Prairie to make room for the new DePaul basketball stadium and hotel complex at McCormick Place.
The Lincoln Park house that was the setting for The Fugitive is now available for rent. It'll cost you $17,000 a month, but it's over 6,000 square feet and has five bedrooms, so maybe you can find a few roommates to split it with you.
Graphic novelist Chris Ware debuted a new comic in The Guardian this weekend. Called "The Last Saturday," it follows the story of six people from the fictional summer vacation town of Sandy Port, Michigan.
The City today announced recipients of its new Fifth Star Awards, "honoring exemplary Chicago artists and arts institutions who have made significant contributions in arts and culture." Hubbard Street Dance founder Lou Conte, sculptor Richard Hunt; jazz pianist and DJ Ramsey Lewis, Cultural Affairs Commissioner Lois Weisberg and the Auditorium Theatre will be honored at an event in Millennium Park on Sept. 17.
The City's new "Fifth Star Awards" will acknowledge exemplary artists and arts institutions, although winners will be hand-picked by a city agency and members of an advisory council who were appointed by the Mayor.
MAS Context's latest issue is about surveillance. While much of the issue deals with nefarious uses of surveillance, former Chicago CTO John Tolva wanted to present the positive side of civic data collection.
Mana Contemporary is having their third open house where they will be featuring the Renegade Craft Fair Mini Market, art exhibitions, performances by Mana residents and much more! This third open house is celebrating the opening of a new floor of artists studios. The event is occurring today, June 22, from 1 to 7pm at 2233 S. Throop St.
The Guerrilla Truck Show is celebrating their 10th anniversary tonight from 5:30 to 9:30pm at the corner of Aberdeen and Fulton Market. The event is free and open to the public. The Guerrilla Truck show is an event which gives all creatives the freedom to exhibit and show their work in temporary gallery spaces -- the back of a truck!
The folks at Forgotten Chicago have been busy, unearthing details about a shipping canal in the Gold Coast, radio showrooms on Michigan Avenue, 1 million vacant lots in Chicagoland, art deco masterpieces and many more long-lost works of architecture.
Seems a little late to be worried about the loss of the Meatpacking District, what with Randolph Street and half of Fulton Market taken over by high-end restaurants, but two new hotel projects really have residents and businesses concerned about the area's namesake being pushed out.
The iconic water tower atop Andersonville's Swedish American Museum is being removed due to dangerous damage sustained during the unusually bad winter. The museum is closed until it's removed; it's unknown if it will be replaced.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?)
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 twoWTTW 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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 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 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]
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 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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 Empireon the side of the Aon Center. The black-and-white piece consists of an eight-hour shot of the Empire State Building.
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.
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.
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 alotofpress, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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."
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.
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)
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 thingisbig.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bravo TV is casting for a new reality showa 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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 popularmovies recently.
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 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.
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.
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 Scrappersfundraiser on Friday.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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. Sogood.
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.
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]
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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].
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.)
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.
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.
The Illinois Department of Health inspected the gorgeous-inside-and-out, Art DecoPittsfield 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?
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.
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.
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 Claessensupposed to be? Come to think of it, what's up with that British Petroleum guy? (Scroll down.)
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.
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."
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.