Tag Archives: Bridgeport

Maria’s Packaged Goods and Community Bar: a Righteous Revamp

I was at this Bridgeport Bar/Packaged Goods’ Grand Reopening a while back, and really liked the space. Somewhat dim, brown beer bottle chandeliers and a framed black and white photo of Al Capone set a down to business mood.

Thursday night I DJ’ed there, so I was able to see the ebb and flow of clientele.  The crowd was a fresh mix of Old Bridgeport, New Bridgeport, and representatives from all the diverse neighborhoods adjacent.

Ed Marszewski of the Lumpen Art Media empire runs this cozy spot with his mother, Maria (who had run the space pre-revamp since the 80s). Great, well-curated bar selections, and a makeshift kitchen courtesy of  Pleasant House Bakery who delivers delicious savory Royal Pies from their digs next door.

Check Maria’s website for updates on a variety of cool special events. Jive on!

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Listen Locally: DJ Ayana at Maria’s (because chicago has a history of tripping out)

I am perhaps best known for spinning classic Chicago Soul records, but on Thursday, October 27, I plan to play cuts from the trippier and (even) grittier side of my Chicago Music collection. I will also feature what I like to call the Rock Hand Side of things.

Artists like Rotary Connection (pictured above), Hudsen Bay Company, New Colony Six, Howlin Wolf, Young Turks, Elmore James, Spanky and Our Gang, Lost Generation, Magic Sam, Five Stairsteps, The Family, Shadows of Knight, The Buckinghams, John Klemmer, Bobby Rush, Little Milton, Junior Wells, Aesops Fables, Baby Huey and the Babysitters, Syl Johnson, and much much more will be on deck. Of course, all will be spun on vinyl. Jive on!

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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.


Matériel Magazine and Pr Launch Party in Bridgeport

mat_magazine_cover_lr_01

from the local folks who bring us the mags Lumpen and Proximity…….

Matériel Magazine and Pr Launch Party and fundraiser for Version Festival

Please come and help us raise funds to pay for Version>09 Immodest Proposals. We will be giving to everyone who attends a complementary copy of our new publishing projects, Matériel and the new Pr poster/newsletter.

We will be hosting an evening of performances and displaying pages from Matériel on the gallery walls. Musical performances by Casual Encounter , Caw! Caw! (not cawcaw) and a few secret super special guest stars.
Pr is Proximity’s in-between issues newsletter and art poster featuring articles interviews reviews a calendar and art work.

Matériel is an oversized broadside newsprint publication that’s a collection of the best/brightest designers/illustrators/photographers work we can find – creating a showcase for their submitted work.”

Friday, March 21, 2009, 8pm
Co-Prosperity Sphere
3219 S Morgan St

$10 Suggested Donation.

for more on Proximity, click here

for more on Version Fest, click here

v09poster


Exita el Exceso… an art exhibition in Bridgeport

evita-postcard-frontOpening Reception: Saturday, March 7 | 7pm-12am
2nd Friday Viewing: Friday, March 13 | 6pm-10pm

The Chicago Art Department is proud to present “Evita el Exceso”, new works by Tripa Co.

In the second coming of Tripa Colectivo, Mike Wilgus joins the experimental artist group in their continued exploration of culture and gender issues embedded in the mundane. This collective, co-founded by Jova Durán and Abraham Velázquez Tello in 2007, seeks to create support and representation for Latino and Chicago artists alike. Tripa’s mission has been greatly aided by the Chicago Art Department, for which Velázquez is now a resident artist.

“Evita el Exceso”warns of the dangers of obsessive consumption. Information and object overload is deforming personal identity and violating the space of interaction between human beings. Relationships are mediated by materialism rather than being born out of real connections. The public space is controlled by rhetoric not reality. We are the overload. We are what we consume. We are the excess. Beware.

Jova “el grafista” Durán (b. 1984, Chicago) engages in painting on everyday life surfaces, many of which are assembled from salvaged materials. His work manifests itself as a reaction to alienation from the creative act in a culture that outsources the majority of its material production.

Abraham Velázquez Tello (b. 1985, Mexico City) experiments with a variety of media that allows him to investigate gender issues within the Latino community. His curiosity for seldom explored places continues with a new series of photographs from Mexico City in which he documents a new interpretation of old ruins.

Mike Wilgus (b. 1984 St. Louis) uses media that ranges from more traditional watercolors to contemporary sharpies and spray paint. He creates work that revolves around his obsession with culture, religion, consumerism, and the intersection of these phenomena.

The Chicago Art Department
1837 South Halsted
Chicago, IL 60608
312-226-8601

evita-postcard-front


Bridgeport WPA: Alphabet Soup for Modern Times

version07Version Fest 09 (which will feature “An art parade, temporary housing structures, independent contemporary art space networking, one day only exhibition formats, video sweat lodges, an artist run art fair, a reincarnation of the depression era Public Works of Art Project, a social networked free public school, impressive musical performances, boring theoretical nonsense, the revamping of a local community center, mapping projects, a design agency for social movements, and korean polish bar-b-queing….”)  is the pride and joy of Bridgeport’s own Lumpen Magazine (an independent, locally-based, critical arts and culture publication, published six times a year).  One of the phenomena they will attempt this year is the Bridgeport WPA (FDR-style Alphabet Soup for modern times), and its Public Works of Art Project.

Below is an audio interview with Emily Clayton from Version Fest on how art can heal our wounded economy…and feed our soul (and the lasting legacy of the Works Progress Administration of the Great Depression). Originally on Vocalo.org (interview conducted by Steve Walsh and myself).

the I-only-have-a-minute-or-so, but-this-interests-me version

the this-is-a-near-and-dear-topic-I’ll-make-fifteen-minutes-of-time-for version

NOTE: I love the WPA.  The historical version built up our infrastructure and kept our painters, ethnographers, dancers,  sculptors, and writers (like Zora Neale Hurston [below]) working and on government salary.  Amazing.

zora-neale-hurston

To thumb through an online version of Lumpen, click

here or here

also, to hear a Slave Narrative (or first hand account of plantation days) recorded by John & Ruby T. Lomax as part of a WPA initiative during the Great Depression, click here.

if you are an artist, and/or would like to involve yourself with Version Fest ‘o9, click here.