Category Archives: Art

Dance Dorchester!

dance locally to vintage sounds culled from Dorchester Projects’ Dr. Wax Collection heavily leaning on music that ‘jus grew’ out of our community: this friday, june 24th, 7pm til 10pm.

bring your favorite summertime dish to share with friends

100% wax spun by dj ayana

from The Dr. Wax Collection


Mark Bradford at the MCA: exercises in community, texture, and collaboration

"Scorched Earth" (2006), The Artist pictured in Foreground

So, I am totally late on this one… which is inexcusable really, because I was at the Opening of the exhibition.  Least I could have done is pub it.  But, alas….

Mark Bradford‘s Exhibition currently on view at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art is a Retrospective that really gives a sense of the artist’s use of layers to establish history and depth in his work.  A number of the pieces displayed (like “Strawberry”, [pictured below]) feature small square wrapping papers (the sort used in beauty parlors to augment rollers) as a medium.  One particular work utilizes sun faded wheatpaste movie posters.  A good measure of his materials are, in fact, well known residents of his neighborhood, and his work whispers of larger community-based issues. Some of his work even echos Topographical maps.

In part due to his works’ scale, and in part due to his use of texture, his work needs to be seen in person, rather than in print or on a screen.

On the Collaborative tip, during this past year, the Artist was Skyping and Zipping back and forth between his homebase of Los Angeles and our fair city working with youth from both Lindblom Math and Science Academy in West Englewood and the YOUMedia Program at the Harold Washington Library culminating in a well received Pop-Up Gallery exhibition of the Students’ work.  The exhibition (a part of the MCA-backed Mark Bradford Project) dealt with issues of community and mapping, while using a variety of mediums.  Many of the students agreed that they learned as much about life as they did about artistic practice from Bradford, who beautifully validated the burgeoning voices of the self-proclaimed “Art Kids”.

Mark Bradford’s work will be on display at the MCA from May 28-September 18, 2011

Museum of Contemporary Art

220 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago


Bridgeport Neighborhood Sees Identity Shift

Detail of a larger mural created by Juan Chavez and located at Fellowship House, 32nd and Lituanica, Bridgeport. Image from Mad About The Mural.

Below is an interesting piece from WBEZ by reporter Natalie Moore that sheds light on changes that the Bridgeport neighborhood  (home base for the Version Fest [see below]… and the Daleys) has been going through in recent years.  As a new generation (among them an influx of artists and immigrants) are choosing to make Bridgeport their home, the older working-class roots and racially-charged reputation of the community seem to be fading away.  But are they?

Bridgeport Neighborhood Sees Identity Shift.


version 11: the new chicagoans

This Month, Chicago welcomes back both springtime and Versionfest (BTW, I think I saw a daffodil on South Shore Drive the other day).

Organized by the good folks behind local Arts & Culture publication Lumpen, the Fest runs from April 22nd until May 1st in Bridgeport (a neighborhood that’s been going through a lot of changes in recent years).  Speaking of change, according to their website:

These years of recession, insolvency, uncertainty, and calamity have affected us
in ways we couldn’tve imagined before.

…But there is hope… Version 11 is a
celebration of the Chicago communities — projects, spaces, groups, individuals
— creating their own strategies for participatory economies,  co-prosperity,
and the pursuit of genuine happiness. Version will demonstrate the possible,
celebrate the impossible, and showcase the ingenuity, spirit and passion that
create The Community we aspire to take part in together. This is an invitation
to share your community, your goals, your dreams for a better Community of the
Future. It’s all we have left.

Events for the Fest include:

* The New New Chicagoans
* The MDW
Fair

* Materiél Magazine
*
Maria’s Community Grant

* TLVSN
* reenactment of the Haymarket
Affair

Below, an image from “Printervention” (an part of Version Fest 10). Jive On.


Theaster Gates’ Dorchester Projects

What do you get when you mix a maverick artist with strong community ties and an Urban Planner? For one thing, Theaster Gates. For another, the Dorchester Projects, pictured above. Theaster has been purchasing properties in the Woodlawn/Grand Crossing neighborhood for a few years now, and has quietly acquired the stock of the former Dr. Wax record store as well as the now defunct Prairie Avenue Bookstore (both businesses were revered in their respective collector communities). He created a home for glass lantern slides that depict the canon of Western Fine Art. Using reclaimed materials, he is turning his properties into cultural community hubs, featuring curators and programming that reflects the collections and the community.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ll be curating the record collection in May and June of 2011, culminating in a series of talks on Chicago Music History (details to follow) and a couple of good, old-fashioned dance parties starring local-born music.

Read the New York Times article about what’s poppin on the South Side with the Dorchester Projects.


The Makings of Groove

Xraydio 2 Disc Table [2009]
Diesel for Moroso

This coffee table is almost as cute as my boombox throw pillow…  It’s made by printing the X-ray of a dj console on glass.  The glass is still transparent, which adds dimension.  I’m thinking it’ll look fresh in my record room. 


Don’t Care Bears. Hilarious.

 

You know you love it. Or else, you don’t care.   This t-shirt, featuring a trio of apathetic bears modeled after the iconic Care Bears is available from Chicago’s own Threadless, by artist Alex Solis.


ReMake Estate: Brand New Day.

ReMake Estate is a really cool project going on in Gary (Indiana) in which an abandoned house on 24th and Massachutsetts will be reborn as a meeting space and a community garden.  The project is being organized in conjunction with interested local community groups and Australian-based artists Keg de Souza and Zanny Begg.  The artists (from an Australian Collective called You Are Here) are heavily influenced by the aesthetics of The Wiz (yessssss!), in honor of Gary’s most famous son, Michael Jackson.

In other MJ related news, according to the Gary Post-Tribune, the City of Gary is moving forward with plans to build a Memorial/Museum dedicated to Michael Jackson. Rudy Clay, the Mayor of Gary, was quoted at saying the only thing that could come between the City and the Memorial is “it’s people”.

 

images from the project….


Cocktails and Clay: sensual overload in hyde park

cocktails-and-clay

Perhaps one of the greatest (Nancy Reagan-approved) conceptions of sensual overload ever!  Hyde Park brings it back one-mo’-gin :

Friday, March 12 at the Hyde Park Art Center… play with clay, explore the exhibitions, enjoy drink specials, and dance!

Hyde Park Art Center

5020 S. Cornell Avenue
Chicago, IL 60615


African Art and the Modernist Eye: at the Art Institute

For my art-lovers: something to check out tomorrow evening…African Art and the Modernist Eye, a lecture exploring how traditional African Art was catapulted to the cutting edge of the Modern Art scene

Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 6:00 p.m.

Inspired by a modernist fascination with the “primitive,” the first half of the 20th century saw a developing aesthetic appreciation for objects from sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere, which formerly were dismissed as mere curiosities or classified as ethnographica. In this lecture, Christa Clarke of Newark Museum considers the influence of modernism in shaping Western perceptions of African art, as reflected in exhibition display as well as the formation of institutional and private collections in the United States. 

 The Art Institute of Chicago – Price Auditorium 111 South Michigan Ave                             Tickets FREE

art pictured: Fang; Gabon. Reliquary Figure (Nlo Bieri), Late 19th/early 20th century. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Wielgus.


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