Tag Archives: art

100 Saxophones for Sun Ra Recap

IMG_2964Below is my audio recap of last week’s 100 Saxophones for Sun Ra. It originally aired on the radio program Reclaimed Soul on Vocalo, 89.5fm and 90.7fm here in Chicago. For more about the event click here.

I’ve also included a slideshow. Jive on!

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Garland M. Taylor: Chicago’s otherworldly metalsmith

When I met Garland Taylor recently, it was at a Jazz concert held on the lawn of Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. I commented on his sandals (brown leather that appeared to be custom), and he proceeded to tell me about how he blew all of his money on them some years back while interning with a metalworking artist in Italy. So far, they were still holding up, he said. The investment had not been in vain. Shoes do, in fact, tell stories.

Speaking of stories, Taylor says of his work:

“[It is] informed by characteristics of people, and designs in nature. My sculptures are short stories that illuminate the evidence of my labor, that is, my struggle to create logic, balance, and harmony with welding electrodes and tiny pieces of steel discards from railroad maintenance crews, the construction trades, and the manufacturing industry.”

According to his website, his works “deal with improving that which has fallen into decline.”

Unassuming and friendly, Taylor has a studio not too far from Bronzeville on the South Side, and he creates otherworldly metal sculptures utilizing reclaimed materials, slick finishes suited for an automobile, and organic yet mechanical forms. Jive on!

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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


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.


All Power To The People: The Revolutionary Art Of Emory Douglas

The University of Chicago’s Center for the Studies of Race, Politics, and Culture, DOVA (Department of Visual Arts) Temporary Gallery, Black Panther Party Illinois History Project, and Diasporal Rhythms for an exhibit of works by Emory Douglas, internationally known artist and former Black Panther Party Minister of Culture. Location: DOVA Temporary (5228 S. Harper). Exhibit runs December 2, 2009-January 2, 2010.

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some more about Mr. Douglas and his work after the jump


the heart of Funkadelic’s image, crafted in Chicago

Funkadelic - One Nation Under A Groove - Front

This week the Sun-Times published an article talking about Pedro Bell, the man behind the iconic cover art, liner notes, and other print ephemera for Funkadelic from 1973 till about 1986.  Pedro, a Chicago native who went by Sir Lleb, has hit hard times.  Today he’s facing dire straits in Hyde Park, though his work was recently featured in a retrospective of acceptional album art at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“Thick dust covers the gold lame shirt and silver leather coat in Pedro Bell’s closet.

The clothes are remnants from a brighter time when Bell, a rainbow Afro wig on his head and platform shoes on his feet, strutted through Chicago as a charter member of the ’70s funk revolution whose sound is heavily sampled in rap songs today. 

“It was psychedelic from a black perspective,” Bell said.

And despite the commercial success of Clinton’s music, Bell said he didn’t profit from it.

He’s broke.”  for more from Kara Spak’s article, click here

Last year, not only was his work featured in a retrospective entitled “Sympathy for the Devil”, but he embarked on a collaborative T-Shirt design project with Supreme, a skateboarding lifestyle store based in New York.  They captured a video interview with the man that you can catch here.  Despite this, he’s barely skirted eviction.  Every reissue that features his cover art is only a reminder of a former life, not a means of survival (which he needs).  Tragic, yet it’s one of the oldest story in the Music Industry.

Mr. Bell’s story is well worth digging into… For his 1994 interview with Jake Austen’s Roctober Magazine, click here

 


AREA/Chicago Release Party… inside and outside Chicago

pigasus for president chicago 1968

(above, Pigasus [the pig candidate for President from the Yippie party] at a rally, Chicago 1968.  classic Windy City protest)

AREA/Chicago announces a publication release / art happening….

(AREA Chicago Art/Research/Education/Activism is a publication and event series dedicated to researching, supporting and networking local social, political and cultural movements.)

AREA #9 Release Party marks the release of AREA #9 Peripheral Vision: A Local Reader Inside and Outside Chicago…November 1, 2009 from 2:00pm till 5:00 pm.

The release party will be coinciding with the closing party for the exhibit/event series titled Demise of the South Side Community Art Center at the South Side Community Art Center, 3831 S. Michigan Ave. (CTA: Indiana stop on the Green Line)

So there will be lots of great things to see alongside two events which are scheduled:

3:00 Peripheral Feminism: Readings by contributors
and 4:00 Performance by Sebastian Alvarez

This issue’s contributions are by/about:

Notes for a People’s Atlas of Calumet, Claire Pentecost, disability activism, Paul Durica, deindustrialization, Stephanie Farmer, Sean Noonan, Compass Group, Hobofest, Jayne Hileman, Ishpeming, Anthony Rayson, Forgotten Chicago, Dinah Ramirez, James Lane, Crandon mine campaign, Sarah Kanouse, Nick Brown, suburban segregation, The Brownlands, Mairead Case, rural pilgrimage, Beth Gutelius, feminism, Dale Asis, Southeast Environmental Task Force, Sarah Kavage, the Burnham plan, Lorenza Perelli, Chicago Otra, Donna Kiser, Erin Moore, immigration detention, Mara Naselli, used bookstores, Sue Simensky Bietila, Mary Patten, donation diasporas, Joann Podkul, MAS, Brian Schultz, ecology, Joey Pizzolato, regional energy, Alex Yablon, Native American sites, Carrie Breitbach, HIV in minority communities, Quincy Saul, Gary, Bert Stabler, Great Lakes waterways, Charlie Vinz, teaching urban studies in the suburbs, teaching art on the south side, Larry Shure, Southworks, Laurie Jo Reynolds, Dan Wang, Nazis in Skokie, No Se Vende, Mike Wolf, Human Action Campaign Organization, Ashley Weger, demolition, Ryan Hollon, Andrew Greenlee, Gloria Ortiz, Steel Shavings, Paul Sargent, slumming, Laurie Palmer, neoliberal poetry, Michelle Lugalia, world systems, Steve Macek, distribution, Rebecca Zorach, Nicolas Lampert, sprawl, Daniel Tucker, Tamms, Carol Ng-He, STAND, Wade Tillett, Nicole Marroquin, CTA, anarchists in the suburbs, Sam Barnett, Chase Bracamontes, Sergei Chrucky, Generations for Peace, Matthias Regan, Just Farming Small Farmers Confederation, parking meter protests, radical memory.

RSVP here: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/event.php?eid=150798202534&ref=ts 

For more info, email areachicagointern@gmail.com

(below, the South Side Community Art Center. The Art Center, which was established as part of the Works Progress Administration’s [WPA] Federal Art Project, has been influential in the development of the city’s African-American artists. It is the only continuous survivor of the more than 100 centers established nationwide by the WPA during the 1930s and ’40s.)

ssarts1a


Arts and Activism: Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis

pickets

art, above: from “Public Address”, an art installment/retail concept curated by Ellen Rothberg. Chicago, 2008.

Thursday, October 1st at Bronzeville’s Little Black Pearl Art & Design Center, there will be a panel discussion focusing on the Arts scenes in these three cities (and the intersection of art and community activism).  Panelists and other participants will be in attendance at Little Black Pearl, Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit, and The Luminary Center for the Arts in Saint Louis and will be connected via skype.  Chicago Panelists include Lindsay Obermeyer, Jennifer Karmin, and friends of Darkjive: Dan Godston, Theaster Gates, and Carol Ng-He.

The event is Free and Open to the Public

Thursday, October 1st

Little Black Pearl Art and Design Center

1060 E. 47th St., Chicago

7-9pm


“The Exchange” of Color and Sound at HPAC

custom_1240480333401_Art_Center

Thanks to Tricia Hersey-Patrick for the heads-up on this one…

www.trescolony.com

“The Exchange”
Curated by Tres & Kevin Coval
@ Hyde Park Art Center
5307 S. Hyde Park Blvd
Chicago, IL 60615
Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

@ 6pm

Featuring artwork and performances by…
Amanda Williams / Clifton Henri / Avery R. Young / Kevin Coval /
Kid Jungle / Sandra Ivelisse Antongiorgi / Sharrieff Muhammad / Lea Pinsky
Lady Terror / Erin Teegarden / Marta Garcia / Krista Franklin /
Parneshia Jones / Tyrue “Slang” Jones / Cecil McDonald, Jr. / Dustin Harris

Hyde Park Art Center
and the “70 Days for 70 Years” Series presents “The Exchange”, a collaborative event in which writers, dancers and performance artists are paired together with visual artists to respond to one another’s creations.  For instance, a spoken word artist may write a piece in response to a clay sculpture.  The event was curated by Tres Colony and Kevin Coval.

If you wind up East-of-the-Viaduct in Hyde Park Art Center country, don’t forget to pick-up some on-point gelato at Istria Cafe (adjacent to HPAC).  My favorite (today) is half pistachio/half marscapone cherry.  Mmmmm.


a Paper Record Player…..

Record-Player-1

according to creator Simon Elvins (a UK-based artist),
Fully working, manual record player made entirely of paper. To play the record the
handle needs to be turned in a clockwise direction at a steady 331/3rpm. The paper cone
then acts as a pickup, amplifying the sound enough to make it audible. (Record shown,
The Sound of Music 1965).

Amazing. A recyclable Victrola.