Tag Archives: Englewood

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


In My Body’s House – Gene Chandler (1969)

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Here’s a tasty slice of funk from the Duke of Earl himself, Gene Chandler.  Masterfully dapper, ever-so-smooth, Chandler gets funky on this Checker side from 1969.  An early version of the Curtis Mayfield-penned track titled “Hard Times”, the record manifests a ‘creature feature’ vibe that’s fits this time of year like a rubber mask.

An alumnus of Englewood High School, Chandler is one of the founding fathers of Chicago Soul, having begun recording around 1960.  Click here for my interview with him.  You can’t see it, but that day he wore an O.G. diamond encrusted pinky ring that read “Gene”.  Smooth.


Graffiti and Grub: Slaying Food Deserts, One Pear at a Time

Englewood and Washington Park get a Sustainable, Organic Grocery Store to call their own

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Tomorrow, August 28th, marks the highly anticipated grand opening of Graffiti and Grub, a market ten years in the making. Serving the underserved South Side communities of Englewood and Washington Park, Graffiti and Grub began simply: a husband and wife embarked on a journey to find food that their son (allergic to eggs, shellfish, dairy and peanuts) could eat. In their West Side community, this proved to be nearly impossible. “You could find drugs in my community, you could find a gun in my community, but you couldn’t find a tomato,” LaDonna Redmond lamented. Born of this reality was Ms. Redmond’s life trajectory of working to solve food justice issues. She entered the realms of reclaiming vacant lots for urban farming, and ultimately, creating a store to serve communities starved for wholesome food options.

This Friday, Graffiti and Grub will open its doors, a culmination of many dreams. Profiled in the Chicago Tribune, on Chicago Public Radio, and CNN, the vision for the space is something fresh for the neighborhood: a grocer that not only offers healthy choices, but is in touch with the hip hop generation (two graffiti murals are in the works, and the staff is comprised of youth who also work on urban farming sites in an employment program run through the store).

Graffiti and Grub is located at 5923 S. Wentworth on Chicago’s South Side.   Hours, beginning Friday the 28th, are:

Fridays 3pm-7pm. 

Saturday and Sundays they’re open 8am-4pm. 

For more info, visit Graffitiandgrub.com.


“We are a Fist”

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Wednesday, August 19th from 7-8:30pm

Ronnie Kitchen and Martin Reeves – both released from prison on July 7th after being incarcerated for twenty-one years for crimes they did not commit – will share their personal stories with the community at Imagine Englewood If (1854 W Garfield Blvd). This is a special Café Society event co-sponsored by the Neighborhood Writing Alliance, The Public Square, and Imagine Englewood If.

Imagine Englewood “if” is a youth center whose mission is to strengthen and empower the greater Englewood community through teaching local youth healthy living, environmental awareness and positive communication skills.

According to Ronnie Kitchen, “We are a fist–and together, we can break down a corrupt and misguided criminal justice system through the abolition of the death penalty.”

Above photo by John Sundlof

Click here for their story, as reported by Chicago Public Radio, WBEZ.


What Happens to Words in the Sun?

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Quraysh Ali Lansana

From Public Square, a project of Illinois Humanities Council, news of a Saturday Afternoon session at Englewood’s Perry Mansion Cultural Center.  Mix poetry and conversation across generations, color, and neighborhood lines.  Add sunshine and grow…

“Join us for an afternoon of poetry, conversation, and sunshine as some of the most prolific and profound poets in Chicago come together. Each of the poets will perform their work and participate in a post-performance conversation, moderated by spoken word artist Kevin Coval about the power of words.

 

Called “Word: Across Generations”, this intergenerational and intercultural event will include Quraysh Ali Lansana, director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center at Chicago State University and author of They Shall Run-Harriet Tubman Poems and southside rain; Adrian Matejka, author of Mixology; Angela Jackson, acclaimed poet, playwright, and fictionist; and FM Supreme, Louder Than A Bomb poetry slam champion. The event will be emceed by Kevin Coval and music will be provided by DJ Seanile from Tomorrow Kings.
Reservations are recommended and can be made at events@prairie.org or by calling 312.422.5580.

Date:
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Time:
3:00pm – 5:00pm
Location:
Perry Mansion Cultural Center
Street:
7042 S Perry Ave
City/Town:
Chicago, IL

Choosing Food

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Yes, I love Englewood. I love the people because they refuse to quit.

I love the vacant lots because I can envision growth. I love the schools because I can envision a child learning to read and developing a love for knowledge. Block by block, Englewood shall rise and reclaim our children and community, and I love that too.

- Evelyn Johnson
Lindblom Park

from the Journal of Ordinary Thought, or JOT (Fall 2008), published by the Neighborhood Writing Alliance.

The Neighborhood Writing Alliance is an organization based at 60th Street that “provokes dialogue and promotes change by creating opportunities for adults in the inner city of Chicago to write, publish, and perform works about their lives”. They also publish the Journal of Ordinary Thought.  I am a fan.

Join them tomorrow night:

Choosing Foodscreening of the movie Soul Food.
Thursday, February 19th
Hull-House Museum
800 S Halsted
5:30-8:30pm.

After the movie screens, join activist LaDonna Redmond in a discussion on food and community. She’ll talk about her perspectives on the local food movement; the lack of diversity in dialogue about local, sustainable food; and the unavailability of fresh and healthy food in certain neighborhoods, including the “food deserts” on Chicago’s West and South sides.This event is free, but reservations are required. Please call NWA at 773-684-2742 or email rsoni@jot.org.


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