Friday, April 30, 2010

Chicago Art Parade

As part of this year's Version Fest, the 2nd annual Chicago Art Parade will step off beginning at 2pm this Saturday, May 1st in the West Loop.  More info is posted at their blog.

R.I.P. Garage Spaces

Humboldt Park's Mike Bancroft and Evan Plummer are holding a closing reception for "Retrospective",  a show displaying aspects of the three art shows they held at Garage Spaces in 2009.  I really enjoyed, "Stolen", a show where they transformed their space into a chop shop/pawn shop of sorts.

Retrospective at Garage Spaces
Friday, April 30, 2010
5pm to midnight
1337 N Maplewood Ave (in the rear)
Chicago, IL

March of the MFA's

Alan and Michael Fleming (MFAs 2010), Configurations, 2008, performance. Photo: Daniel Shea

The School of the Art Institute's Sullivan Galleries will be hosting their annual MFA art show.  There'll be work on display by over 120 graduating students.

MFA Graduate Student Art Exhibition
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Sullivan Galleries
33 S State St
7th Floor
Chicago, IL

Opening reception tonight, Friday, April 30, 2010
8 to 10 pm
The show will be up through May 21, 2010

Artropolis and NEXT

This weekend through May 3rd is the dates of the behemoth known as Artropolis.  Consisting of Art Chicago, NEXT (its more experimental and contemporary sister show), and the International Antiques Fair, Artropolis is well worth attending.  In past years I've seen a lot of great work like pieces by Deb Sokolow and Cody Hudson.  Or this model of a motel with video monitors in each room by Tracey Snelling...

One of my favorite parts of NEXT is the the Goffo section which is devoted to prints, zines, and other editioned artworks.  Cincinnati art publisher Iconoclast, will be there once again.  In past years they've offered things like these refillable markers by Phil Frost...
and this great Larceny photo zine by Twist and Amaze...

A new feature at this year's show will be Club Nutz, billed as "the world's smallest comedy club".  Run by Milwaukee artists Tyson and Scott Reeder, Club Nutz will be housed in a 10 by 10 foot area with a stage, disco ball, bar, dj booth, and its own bouncer.  They'll be programming films, comedy acts, and other events in their space for the duration of the fair.

The Merchandise Mart
7th Floor
Chicago, IL

Tickets are $20 per day but you can find free tickets here and there on Facebook (shhhh!)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Derek Erdman plays the hits

Derek Erdman will be spinning punk or love songs or songs about punks in love, or something like that at The Charleston tonight.  There's also going to be free paintings by Derek available.

Derek Erdman - "I Can't Stand Myself When You Touch Me"
Monday, April 24, 2010
10 pm
The Charleston
2076 N Hoyne
Chicago, IL

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Circuit Bending in DUMBO

Walking through Brooklyn's DUMBO neighborhood at midnight last night we spied a crazy light installation flashing in an empty storefront.  I stopped to take a picture through the window when I realized there was a performance going on in the back of the space.  We went in and found out that the Bent Festival was going on.  It's an annual event devoted to circuit bending, which is where you alter electronic toys or create devices to make new sounds and music.  We caught the last performance of the night...

... which was a collective called Alpha-Bit, they included someone playing a marimba type instrument, paired with 4 or 5 other people playing music and sounds on various electronic devices.  It went really well with the video projection behind them.  

They also had a lot of great merchandise for sale including CD's by Gannon, one of the performers last night... 

...,some DIY electronic sound altering and looping devices, and a really nice hand printed zine titled Nettle Soup from Spain giving you instructions on how to make your own devices.  You can view all the pages of it here.

Tonight's the last night of the 3-day festival.  There are workshops in the afternoon and more performances in the evening.  More info is available at their site,

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Red Book

Chris Uphues has a great series of hand drawn zines out titled Red Book.  Each copy is composed of drawings in his iconic style interacting with water stains on red paper.  I've always enjoyed seeing his artwork up in the street so it's nice being able to obtain it in portable form.  Available in Chicago at Quimby's Bookstore.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Version 10

It's time once again for the annual multidisciplinary art showcase known as Version Fest.  Being held in Bridgeport and other parts of Chicago, there's always something great to check out at one of their events. Info from their site...

April 22 to May 2, 2010
For eleven days and nights, we will explore the best practices and boldest failures in interventionist, participatory, collective social, political, and cultural practices. This year's theme is presented in order to bring together groups and individuals seeking additional methods for the practice of art, education and social activism well into the next decade. We want to use this opening during the current economic and political crisis to amplify our shared ideals, values and strategies.

Join us to amplify micro-movements and nowtopian ideas!

The festival will include: historical re-enactments, antiwar organizing, Version tv shows, an art parade, an artist-run art expo, a catalog of interventionist strategies, networking between independent groups and spaces, inflatable art, one-night exhibition formats, Do-It-Yourself and Do-It-Together projects, the Tech Noir Bar, a mobile silkscreen printing cart, artist granting projects, a national WPA-inspired public poster project, a free school, impressive musical performances, boring theoretical nonsense, mapping projects, pop-up galleries, Korean/Polish BBQ and more!

Full schedule and list of venues is posted at

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Heaven needs your help

Wicker Park's Heaven Gallery has had a long run of progressive and well curated art shows over the years.  They're holding an art auction tonight to raise funds.  There'll be work available by Adam Hoff, Stephen Eichhorn, Chris Bradley, and Tinsley Hammond.

"Switch" by Adam Hoff

"Black and White Fern" by Stephen Eichhorn
Hand cut vinyl, enamel
18” x 24”

"The Pink Ladies"
Oil on Canvas
Art Auction
Saturday, April 17, 2010
7 to 10 pm
Heaven Gallery
1550 N Milwaukee Ave, 2nd floor
Chicago, IL

Flock You

Tonight!  Info from Beer Run Gallery...

The Beer Run Gallery presents “Flock You”: A collective group show of bird themed art from Chicago-based artists. Honoring the return of our feathered friends and the season change, we invite you to join us for the opening reception.

Peter Kepha
Sofia Moreno
Joey Potts
Catalina Garcia
David Ali
Jon Mills
Ruben Aguirre Jr.
Ricardo Compean
Rich Marafioti
Jimmy V
Juan Compean
Jova Durán

Installation by: Peter Kepha

Music by: DJ REVEL

Flock You
Opening reception: April 17, 2010
 7pm - midnight
The Beer Run Gallery
1104 W. 18th Street
Chicago, IL 60608

The show will be up through May 1, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


This Friday is the opening reception for the massive Printervention show.  Featuring work by many local and national artists.  Info from their site...
We have asked artists from around the country to create works that raise awareness of social and political issues of our day. Printervention underscores the necessity for the support of artists and the idea of civic responsibility to the greater society. In addition to an exhibition of over 70 posters and prints, Printervention will feature a mobile silk screen cart for distributing work in parks and on the street, a window display at The Whistler in Logan Square, as well as workshops and demonstrations at the Chicago Tourism Center Gallery.
Opening reception Friday, April 16, 2010
5 to 7 pm
Chicago Tourism Center Gallery
72 E Randolph St (between Michigan Ave and Wabash)
Chicago, IL

The Last Unicorn

An art show based on Peter S. Beagle's novel and film, "The Last Unicorn".  Info from their site...

The Tattoo Factory Gallery, along with Pabst Blue Ribbon, proudly present "THE LAST UNICORN ART SHOW".  A group art show celebrating the stunning, inspiring and legendary movie THE LAST UNICORN with very special guest Peter S. Beagle.
Peter S. Beagle's THE LAST UNICORN is a timeless fantasy story full of adventure and surprise, set within a poetic and humorous world of legend. The novel has been a cult classic since it was first published in 1968, selling over 6 million copies around the world in more than 20 languages. In 1982 the story was adapted by Peter S. Beagle and Rankin-Bass into an animated film.

To coincide with the gallery show, there will be screening of THE LAST UNICORN on Saturday, April 17th. at Gorilla Tango. A Q&A with Peter S. Beagle will be conducted after the movie.

The Last Unicorn Art Show
with special guest Peter S. Beagle
Friday April 16, 2010
7 to 11pm
The Tattoo Factory Gallery
4443 N Broadway
Chicago, IL

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Following of One Thing After Another

Chicago's The Post Family unveils another interesting show this Friday evening.  This time featuring work by German artist Ina Weise.  Info from The Post Family...

All the way from Dresden, Germany, Ina Weise came to Chicago eager to become what became the first intern at the design collaborative The Post Family. This opportunity rapidly evolved into a self-initiated artist residency. Over the past year Ina has created a large portfolio including screenprinted and letterpressed works, small scale sculptural objects, and artist books. THE FOLLOWING OF ONE THING AFTER ANOTHER is a multiplatform site-specific installation inspired by her time spent in Chicago.

In true Post Family form, Ina collaborates with Linsey Burritt of INDO. Riffing on the idea of a dodecahedron symbolizing the 5th element or the universe, they transform the formal gallery space into a mystical world of form, textures, and light (or lack thereof), using mostly salvaged and discarded materials from the studio and around the city. Ina will also be displaying other collaborative pieces like large scale letterpress prints executed with Letterform and a projected video installation created by Gus Gavino which utilizes some of Weise's early screenprint studies.

The Following of One Thing After Another
Opening reception, Friday April 16, 2010
7 pm to midnight
Family Room Gallery at The Post Family
1821 W Hubbard (2nd floor)
Chicago, IL

Even Odds

A graffiti art show featuring work by Rome, Flash, Chumbly, Statik, Teel, Uneek, KLTA, and Loveone.

Even Odds
Friday, April 16, 2010
Opening reception 6:00pm - 10:00pm
1040 W Huron.
Chicago, IL

Byte This

Eric Nakamura, the publisher and one of the founders of Giant Robot magazine, will speak in Chicago Tuesday along with filmmaker Tadashi Nakamura, and S.F. area musician Goh Nakamura.  They'll be on a panel discussion titled, Byte This:  Surviving the Digital Age, talking about the "changing landscape of media arts in the digital age".  Sponsored by FAAIM, the Foundation for Asian American Independent Media and Columbia College Chicago.

Free admission.

Byte This: Surviving the Digital Age
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Film Row Cinema of Columbia College Chicago
8th Floor
1104 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago IL

Thursday, April 08, 2010

The Light Years

Chicago musician and painter Justus Roe has a show of new paintings opening tomorrow Friday at Andersonville's In Fine Spirits.

Justus Roe:  The Light Years
Opening Friday, April 9, 2010
7 to 11 pm
In Fine Spirits
5418 N Clark St
Chicago, IL

Casey McGonagle at HungryMan

Logan Square's HungryMan Gallery has a photography show opening Saturday by Casey McGonagle.

Casey McGonagle:  Halfsleep
Opening Saturday, April 10, 2010
6 to 11 pm
HungryMan Gallery
2135 N Rockwell
Chicago, IL

The show runs through April 24, 2010.

Thirty Days NY

Absolut Vodka is sponsoring a month long art space/pop up gallery in NYC begining tonight.  Featuring a great roster of artists, musicians, and film makers from around the country, like Gary Panter, Ben Jones of Paper Rad, Art Spiegelman, Fred Armisen, and Andrew Jeffrey Wright.

Gary Panter
Ben Jones

The full schedule is posted below and there's more info at the Thirty Days NY site.

Thirty Days NY
70 Franklin St
Between Church and Broadway
New York City, NY

Friday, April 02, 2010

Twin Formation

Noble & Superior Projects has a show opening tonight.  This is an apartment gallery in West Town that has a great exhibition program.  It should be good.

Info from their site...
Eric Veit's installation COMMUNAL LIVING features new digital paintings, abstract sculpture and light installation combined to investigate the complexity of human relationships, specifically his interest in the "poetic beauty" of conjoined twins. Veit explores concepts outside of the restrictions of media specificity in order to create complex and wide ranging installations that transform the gallery into a sublime territory.

Jon Satrom's TRENDS is a collection of images generated from inquiries using the data platform Google Trends. These often humorous and seemingly innocuous queries reveal more about the environment of ubiquitous databases than one might initially infer. Satrom's work consistently illustrates the innumerable possibilities and faults of digital media, positioning both user and viewer to be enveloped by the infinite body of knowledge found in contemporary information systems.

Eric Veit and Jon Satrom
Opening reception, Friday April 2, 2010
6 to 10 pm
Noble & Superior Projects
1418 W Superior (2R - In the rear coachhouse)
Chicago, IL

On view through May 4, 2010

Casual Object Garden and Other Material Matters

Carson Fisk-Vittori and Michael Hunter have a show opening tonight at Roots & Culture.

Carson Fisk-Vittori and Michael Hunter: Casual Object Garden and Other Material Matters
Opening reception, Friday, April 2, 2010
6 to 9 pm
Roots & Culture
1034 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL

On view through April 30, 2010

Ted Halkin at Corbett vs Dempsey

Wicker Park Gallery Corbett vs Dempsey has a show opening tonight by Ted Halkin.  Info from their site...

For his second solo exhibition at Corbett vs. Dempsey, Ted Halkin returns to a feature of his early work: relief.

In his signal works of the 1950s and early 1960s, when he first emerged as one of the most important artists in Chicago, Halkin created fantastic figurative scenes painted atop topographic surfaces made of modeling paste and papier-mache, facial features and body parts poking out from the canvases in a vivid 3-D tableaux. In his most recent body of paintings, he extends the abstract elements of recent years, exploring a bright, rich, hard-hitting palette, sometimes tempered with greys and greens, featuring his virtuoso handling of multi-layered totemic and hieroglyphic forms. In many of the paintings made over the last two years, Halkin introduces papier-mache and carefully placed cotton twine as both dimensionality and image, creating yet another layer and heightening the funky energy of these brilliant new works.

Ted Halkin: Relief
Opening reception Friday, April 2, 2010
5 to 9 pm
On display April 2 - May 8, 2010
Corbett vs. Dempsey
1120 N Ashland Ave (3rd floor)
Chicago, IL

SARO rocks

New Work by Saro!, originally uploaded by Mirian Vz.

Prolific Chicago street artist SARO, has a show of new work up now at Kitchen Sink in Edgewater. He'll have photographs on display, as well as some of his intricate stencils.

On view throughout the month of April, 2010
Kitchen Sink Cafe
1107 W. Berwyn Ave
Chicago, IL

Cafe Hours:
Monday-Friday 6:30 AM-8:30 PM,
Saturday-Sunday 7:30 AM-8:30 PM

Thursday, April 01, 2010

50 Aldermen/50 Artists Closing Party

This Friday, April 2nd is the closing party for the 50 Aldermen/50 Artists exhibition.  Curated by Lauri Apple and Jeremy Scheuch, this show has a great mix of art styles representing every aldermen in the city of Chicago.  Over 800 people and 17 aldermen attended the opening a few weeks ago at Johalla Projects.  I talked to some of the artists who participated and were disappointed that the alderman they chose to depict would not return their calls or e-mails.  Other artworks in the show were obviously done in collaboration with the person portrayed.  I thought these two situtations helped diversify the resulting images.  There was a range of moods and styles displayed ranging from humorous to hideous to honorific.

4th Ward, Toni Preckwinkle by Christa Lohman

6th Ward, Freddrenna Lyle by Timothy Pigott

10th Ward, John Pope by Derek Erdman

27th Ward, Walter Burnett by Lucas Blair Simpson

35th Ward, Rey Colon by Craighton Berman

36th Ward, John Rice by Eric Lebofsky

The Chicago Reader has posted images of all 50 artworks here.

Info from the exhibition site...
The Chicago Aldermen Project is having a closing party for the 50 Aldermen/50 Artists group portrait show THIS FRIDAY, April 2, from 7-11 PM at Johalla Projects, 1561 N. Milwaukee. This will be the last time you can see the exhibit at Johalla — before it moves (more on that coming soon). Come to the party to win prizes!!

PRIZES??? Yes: The Chicago Reader has published a pop quiz, and attempting it will make you eligible for a drawing to win a Four Star commuter bike by KHS Bicycles from Roscoe Village Bikes. (We have some other prizes as well.) Turn in your answers at the closing party (or mail them to Alderquiz, c/o Chicago Reader, 11 E. Illinois, 60611, or take the quiz online at to become eligible for the drawing. Answers must be received by the end of Tue 4/6.

50 Alderman/50 Artists Closing Party
Friday, April 2, 2010
7 to 11 pm
Johalla Projects
1561 N Milwaukee Ave (2nd floor above Earwax)
Chicago, IL

Getting ready for Version 10

This month marks the 10th edition of Version, the annual multimedia arts festival put on by the good folks behind Select Fest and Lumpen and Proximity magazines.  Their annual fundraiser is always a good place to pick up some great art.  Info from the Co-Prosperity Sphere site...

Saturday April 3, 2010
7pm to 1am
Co-Prosperity Sphere
3219 S Morgan St
Chicago, IL

$10 admission (you get two raffle tickets)

Please join us at our only fundraiser for the year which helps fund the projects, publications and exhibitions that are part of our annual arts convergence, Version Festival. There will be extraordinary work on display generously donated by friends of the festival.
Art works and services will be offered for silent auction and can also be won via raffle.
Many of the works may be purchased at “Buy it Now” prices!

Raffle tickets are one for $5 and three for $10

Winners will be announced at 11am. You can wait for the results or be text messaged that night.

Lora Fosberg
Anna Shteynshleyger
Tom Torluemke
Tyson Reeder
Cody Hudson
Aron Gent
Stephen Eichhorn
Juan Chavez
Mathew Hoffman
Dayton Castleman
Jeff Zimmerman
Jordan Martins
Peter Skvara
Le Dernier Cri
Chris Roberson
Emily Clayton
Rod Hunting
Chad Kouri
Se Young
Nathan Baker
Scott Cowan
Caitlin Arnold
Ian Whitmore
Scott Fortino
Nick Wylie
Tom Burtonwood
Nate Lee
Zachary Abubeker
Aaron Delehanty
James Jankowiak
Erik Debat
+ others

A Pocket Guide to Hell Tour by Paul Durica
A Chicago Pedway Tour by Hui-Min Tsen
NFO XPO Booth for Version
Reuben Kincaid Project Window Installation for one month
Advertisement in Lumpen
Advertisement in Proximity
A Set of Bridgeport WPA posters

Performances by: MR 666 and Deep Earth.
The Hornswagglers will be slinging their specialty drinks.