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.
Woodson Regional is a gem of the South Side. I’ve always believed that. One of my favorite locations of the Chicago Public Library, bar none. The library, located at 95th and Halsted, boasts the Vivian Harsh Research Collection (all manner of Black Ephemera) and a really strong overall collection. 1 of only two regional libraries in the city (the others, save Harold Washington downtown are all “branches”), Woodson is stocked with literature and art from a good number of local sociologists, artists, and writers. Case in point, the temporary exhibit celebrating the Art (and activism) of sculptor Marion Perkins.
Born in 1908, he moved to Chicago as a small child. He worked as a dishwasher, freight handler, and postal clerk in his lifetime, and though in his artistic career he was lauded with awards (among them the Guggenheim Fellowship) he was never able to devote full time to his art. Perkins was not only an artist, he was an activist for social change, fighting for both Ethiopian freedom and civil rights in his own backyard.
Visit Woodson for Woodson’s sake, but don’t forget to carve out time to see the temporary exhibit: “To See Reality in a New Light: the Art and Activism of Marion Perkins”, at Woodson until December 31, 2009.
Tonight, Join my buddy Chris Hales (aka Tapedek) at the Chicago Art Department for an Art Opening (also featuring my guy Sean Alvarez on the Wheels of Steel).
Chris’s first solo show as a member of The Chicago Art Department showed an artist who knew what he wanted to do, yet was slightly unsure of his abilities. Though the show was pulled off with mild success, the thing that was missing was the attitude that personifies Chris Hales not only as an artist, but as a person.
This time around that mistake won’t be made again! “Mookie” has planned his revenge and has enlisted the help of others to pull off his second solo show at CAD. This one with little to no compromise. Come with no expectations and leave happy!
@ the Chicago Art Department
1837 S Halsted
Happening on Monday at Links Hall (for the SAUCY in you) is Poonie’s Cabaret:
The quarterly Cabaret features artists working in many different creative realms – dance, music, contact improvisation, performance art, voguing, drag, burlesque, cheerleading, etc. Proceeds go to the Duncan Erley memorial Coming Out of the Closet Fund for artists whose work explores healing, gay activism, and spiritual and sexual transformation.
Monday, June 15, 8:00 pm
$5 suggested donation
tickets available at door or over the phone
3435 N. Sheffield