Year: 2010

An Artist's Wonderland: The Dorchester Project

The Dorchester Project, a highly anticipated multi-use space in Chicago, is the workings of internationally celebrated artist Theaster Gates. The space, which has a tentative completion date of 2012, is a wonderland for the artist, designer, architect, music lover and scholar with the entire former art history slide collection from University of Chicago, the remaining records that were left in the final hours of Hyde Park’s Dr. Wax and thousands of books waiting to be re-read and referenced. Gates’ right-hand woman, Dara Epison, was kind enough to take me on an intimate tour of the space, where we stayed for hours. The Dorchester Project from Tempestt Hazel on Vimeo.

Just Scratching the Surface: Lisa Goesling

Lisa Goesling, another artist in the Chicago Artist Coalition residency program, has managed to literally create new meaning pertaining to how art fits into her life and career. Her seemingly microscopic scratchboards illustrate a variety of flowers and plant life that contrast equally the negative and positive black and white space. She illustrates such fragile and delicate images with such an abrasive technique. We had a short conversation and Lisa mentioned to me how the residency opportunity has given her the opportunity to really explore her artistic talent in a new direction. After listening to what Lisa had to say I now realize that it truly is amazing how art affects individuals differently. “I am an artist here and I am one of the lucky people to get to walk up to the Merchandise Mart every day and walk to the art space and be able to create. I feel unbelievably grateful to have this opportunity it came on the heals of my having cancer. That is how I started with the medium I use, …

SPEAK! Project: Sean Starowitz

Sean Starowitz wants to put Chicagoans on a soapbox.  His custom-built soapbox.  In August of 2010 as part of the Hey! We’re All Beginners Here exhibition at Roots & Culture, Starowitz walked the streets of Noble Square and asked passers by, friends and curator Mike Wolf to get on his soapbox and SPEAK! I took a moment and walked the streets with him, asked him a little about the project and even got up on the soapbox myself.  The annual air show was going on, so please excuse the jet you hear in the middle of the interview! SPEAK! Project with Sean Starowitz from Tempestt Hazel on Vimeo.

Basement Show by Parking Space

In their own words: “Parking Space is a collaborative curatorial project initiated by artists Andrew J. Greene, EJ Hill and Matthew Schaffer that seeks to create a broader discourse and exchange of ideas within the Chicago arts community. We attempt to engage with the several disparate artistic communities within Chicago while also considering how we can more broadly interact with communities outside of Chicago (cities, national or international) in the hope of creating a platform that provides inter-connectivity and an exchange of ideas within these communities. The name Parking Space refers to the transitory nature of our curatorial practice, and as we inhabit a new space with each show our curatorial aims shift dramatically. Parking Space is unapologetically idealistic.” –taken from Parking Space Chicago on Facebook. On September 24, 2010 Parking Space presented the work of Brandon Warren Alvendia, Caroline Polachek, Daniel Sullivan, Eleni Ann Kelaidis, Justin Thomas Schaefer, Marion Ramos, Michael Thibault, Scott Reeder and Tyson Reeder in Basement Show. As one of the shortest people in the room, it was one occasion where …

It’s all about YOU: You Media at Harold Washington Library

Anyone walking by the Harold Washington Library is usually captivated by its size and spectacular design.  After passing this monumental building in downtown Chicago hundreds of times, you begin to notice other things–such as the teenagers who have sprinkled the sidewalks and have made themselves a home at the You Media center inside the library. This place serves as a digital and social playground for Chicago teens to engage seven days a week–equip with MacBooks with the latest applications, music sound mixers, flatscreen TVs with the latest video games, Rock Band instruments, the latest teen novels and much more. After taking a step inside and inquiring about the space, I quickly learned about “Pop Up Saturdays”, which are tours of downtown Chicago pop-up spaces and museums that the teens are taken on, which are led and were started by You Media mentors. To learn more I sat down with Jennifer and Nick, who when they’re not spending time working on their own poetry and theater projects,  work closely with the teens and kick started the …

Stretching the limits of Vision & Sound: Elastic Arts Foundation

Elastic Arts Foundation has made a home in various parts of Chicago.  Their latest location in Logan Square has served as a venue for every genre of music imaginable–whether its the music they make or welcoming in other musicians.  Their current space has also allowed the founders of Elastic, Samuel Lewis and Paul Giallorenzo, to open their doors to displaying the work of local and national visual artists.  The following is a selection from the interview Sixty had with Paul and Sam. Elastic Arts Foundation from Tempestt Hazel on Vimeo. Music by Tall Black Guy Productions.

Art On Track Kick Off Event at Flat Iron Arts Building

On August 6, 2010 Art On Track had a kick off event at the Flat Iron Arts Building.  Many of the artists that would be installing work the next morning were there to meet and mingle with fellow artists, art enthusiasts, press and the art in the open studios of the Flat Iron Building.  The following are images from that event. Art On Track Kick Off from Tempestt Hazel on Vimeo. Music by Tall Black Guy Productions

The Elephant Room, Inc.

The Elephant Room, Inc. is a gallery in the South Loop that exhibits work by some of the most cutting-edge artists in the city.  The following shows the most recent exhibitions “Forget about the Future” featuring the work of Cydney Lewis and “Common Ground” featuring the work of Hebru Brantley, Sam Kirk and Hugo Style.  I also sat down with gallery owner Kimberly Atwood to hear more about the artists and where the gallery got its name. Elephant Room, Inc. from Tempestt Hazel on Vimeo. Music by Tall Black Guy Productions.

Angelbert Metoyer at G.R. N’Namdi Gallery

G.R. N’Namdi Gallery is known for displaying works by most of the master artists of the African Diaspora that you should hear about in your art history classes. Regulars on their walls and in their inventory include Ed Clark, Norman Lewis, Robert Colescott, Richard Mayhew, Charles White, and Chicago’s own McArthur Binion–to name a few. Their most recent exhibition of works by Angelbert Metoyer is a perfect example of how this West Loop gallery places the top contemporary masters into context with the legacies left by their foundation artists. G.R. N’Namdi Gallery from Tempestt Hazel on Vimeo.

Hair Politics: A Studio Visit with Rhonda Gray

Hair and all that it signifies has appeared in the work of artists in many different ways. One of my favorite cases involves David Hammons who for pieces such as Esquire (Or John Henry) (1990) went to New York barber shops to collect the cut hair he would later use in his sculptures and other installations. For women, hair has always been a tricky subject. As I sat down with artist Rhonda Gray in her studio this summer, she explained just how this topic has informed her latest body of work. In the studio with Rhonda Gray from Tempestt Hazel on Vimeo.

Duncan Mackenzie at the 2010 CAA Conference

Duncan Mackenzie, wears many hats. Along with being a professor of fine art at Columbia College Chicago, he is a practicing artist and also collaborates on a weekly podcast and blog called Bad At Sports (how great is that title for an art blog/podcast?!). This collaborative project offers informative, revealing and incredibly entertaining reviews and interviews with everyone in the arts–from curators to individual artists to art publishers to arts advocates, and everyone in between. Once I discovered this blog, it quickly become a regular on my iPod. In addition to this, somwhere between all these things, Mackenzie works on various other collaborative projects. This brief interview gives you a snapshot of his world which includes national developing projects and words of wisdom, with a touch of that Duncan Mackenzie humor. Take five minutes for these ten questions–you’ll be happy you did! 1. Briefly tell me about yourself. What is your current role in the arts and how did you get there? Artist, Journalist, Educator, “Conversation-ist,” and person of questionable virtue and foolish commitment. 2. Is …

Art History in Motion: Dr. Amy Mooney

As promised, the art nerd in me comes out at different levels when discussing different topics. Amy Mooney, a professor at Columbia College Chicago, touches the heart of the art nerd in me with her research in the field of visual culture, art education and positive social contributions through art. Along with another thread in the Columbia College Chicago fabric, Joan Giroux, Amy Mooney will be serving as the chair of the panel “Artist Citizen: Catalysts, Collectives, and Utopias” on February 13th. Are you curious about why Prof. Mooney makes the art lover in me burst into song? The following questions I posed to her will bring you clarity… Briefly tell me about yourself. What is your current role in the arts and how did you get there? Currently, I am an associatiate professor of art history, theory, and visual culture at Columbia College. I am on sabbatical for 2009-2010 and have a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Portrait Gallery where I am researching my second book, Portraits of Noteworthy Character. Going way back, I …

10 Minutes with Sabina Ott

It turns out that the Democrats and Republicans weren’t the only ones stepping up to the podiums to broadcast the ways in which they would like to push us forward. In the winter of 2010, the College Arts Association called on its members to vote for the next board members to serve on their Board of Directors. Although she has spent a large part of her life on the east and west coasts, we in Chicago claim candidate, and winner, Sabina Ott as one of our own. What kind of New York turned California turned Windy City perspective will she bring to the CAA? Let’s ask her! What has been your relationship with the College Arts Association? Why should students in the arts know about the CAA? As the premier organization serving artists, art historians, and arts educators across the country,CAA has been invaluable to my practice as an artist, through grant and exhibition calls, job opportunities, and especially Art Journal and The Art Bulletin. I always recommend membership—I first joined in 1995—to my students as a …

10 Minutes with Patricia Stewart

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your artwork. I earned a fine arts degree from Southern Illinois University and a master’s degree from Chicago State University. I also studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the International School of Art and Design in Miami, Florida, and the Savanna College of Art and Design in Savanna, Georgia. I retired from a successful art teaching career, Art Curriculum Developer/Coordinator, Lead Teacher, Standards Based Curriculum Coach, and graphic artist for the Chicago Public Schools. I exhibit collections of paintings and abstract assemblages which employing both vibrant and muted colors often infused with metallic accents. The sculptural nature of leather initiates large bas-relief assemblages. Found objects integrated into the pieces transform traditional uses. Leather’s ability to be mutilated and colored lends itself purposefully to sculpting. The use of exciting colors, overlapping construction, and original shapes, combine past cultures with contemporary forms. I received numerous awards for my work from various institutions. My paintings, sculptures, and jewelry have been exhibited at the Neleh Art Gallery, …

Transformers: Nick Cave at the 2010 CAA Conference

Ever since I first saw one of Nick Cave‘s Soundsuits, I’ve been fascinated with them. Then I got the opportunity to see one in person at the Rubell Family Collection Museum in Miami this past summer. So, imagine my excitement to discover that he would be presenting his work during the Transformers panel with Sabrina Raaf and Jason Salavon. Cave later went on to elaborate on his video installations and one of his latest projects, “Bunny Boy”. Bunny Boy is a pink, yellow or blue bunny who is “out and about, moving through the city and hitchhiking.” His intention for Bunny Boy is to have him in different places around the city. The piece happens once the interaction with the person picking him up begins. Would you pick up Bunny Boy? I entered the session as Cave was describing his “Tondos“, which are large, circular, 6 to 18 feet in diameter pieces. He described them as constellations, sequined and beaded works. They are the “world in which the Soundsuits exist.” Lately, he has spent his time doing performance labs …

Joyce Owens

In February of 2010 the College Art Association held the 98th Annual CAA Conference in Chicago, Illinois.  Before the conference, panelist Joyce Owens took a moment to answer a few questions about the future of her art practice, the Women’s Caucus for Art panel she will be serving on, which asks “Are women only institutions and spaces still necessary?”. 1. Briefly tell me about yourself. What is your current role in the arts and how did you get there? I am a visual artist, a professor and curator for my university (Chicago State University). Huge question; the answers start from childhood. I made art from childhood. Lucky for me, people thought I had “talent” even then and I was not discouraged from pursuing art. I studied art at Yale University (MFA) and Howard University (BFA) and have always taught in schools, city programs and camps. I decided to start curating shows for Sapphire and Crystals when I was the artist who identified the venues, except one time. I had ideas I wanted to implement. It’s …

Challenging the Icon: Riley Henderson

When I first encountered the work of Riley Henderson he had one foot out the door of the BFA Photography program at Columbia College Chicago.  After investigating the contents of his thesis portfolio I was immediately drawn to the scenes he created and the themes he explored through a playful, yet serious, lens.  His work asks the viewer to think about their own relationship to things found at the roots of American culture, but does so by first drawing them in with the use of familiar, seemingly satirical, cues.  To learn more about his background and his work, we asked him a few questions. Tempestt Hazel:  Tell us a little about your self and your artwork. Riley Henderson: Trained primarily in the photographic arts, I utilize many different mediums as a means to question issues of identity in an American context. TH: How does living/working or being from Chicago influence your creative practice? RH: Chicago’s such a diverse city, and yet it’s one of the most segregated cities in the country. This exposure and living …

Step Inside: Beer Run Gallery NOW as in TONIGHT!!!

Tonight the Beer Run Gallery is having one last hoorah and selling an entire gallery of art work before it closes forever. Miami might be calling artist Jova el Graffista but you have an opportunity to keep a part of him here existentially in Chicago all for an affordable price. Jova el Grafista did a site-specific installation at a show I co-curated, so I definitely have a place reserved in my home to be reminded everyday of why I do the things I do and why I love art as much as I do. “Step Inside” ***Art Exhibit Art Sale*** 7p – 12a The Beer Run Gallery 1104 W. 18th Street Chicago, IL 60608 You can buy similar work by Jova el Grafista (like the examples below) at the Beer Run Gallery TONIGHT!!!

In Chicago, Art Advocacy Grows

Why leave vacant public retail space empty – then no one can enjoy it. Instead, why not put these spaces to better use reflecting something other than a corporate commercial agenda? We art advocates are aware of the artistic vibrancy in Chicago. The Chicago Loop Alliance is too, which is why they started the Pop-Up Art Loop initiative. Pop-Up Art Loop takes over empty store fronts all over the downtown Chicago area. For the past year they have filled a number of spaces with strong art exhibits showcasing Chicago-based artists like Christophe Roberts and Ed Paschke. Want to know what happens when Damien Hirst meets Shepard Fairey? Better check out the next Pop-Up Art Loop space this Thursday, October 7th. Innovative art spaces taking over Chicago is not a trend. Alternative art spaces have existed for many decades. This must be a sign of the times because art communities, organizational initiatives and alternative programming are growing almost innumerably in the most depressing financial situation that the city of Chicago has faced in a long time. Speaking of ‘time’, the Merchandise Mart  and all its …

Art Here Art Now

The great thing about attending events with professional  photographer friends is that they steal your camera and start snapping great pictures.  Jabari Zuberi, an artist who has a solo show at UIC in December, acted as my personal photographer for the evening.  Last night for the Kick-off of Chicago Artists Month, Jabari and I met in Hyde Park for Art Here Art Now, a show coordinated by the wonderful Dara Epison in association with the University of Chicago.  The show featured an open-storefront studio where artists Cydney Lewis, Michelle Weber, and Marty Burns will be working alongside installations by Andre Callot, Danielle Paz and Peter Zeigler.  The studio artists were working each Saturday in October, with doors open for the public to come and take a peek into the creative process.  I spoke with Cydney for a brief moment about working in a public studio such as this one, and she spoke briefly about how different it will be to work in such an open space when people can come in to have a conversation and ask …

A Night With The Renaissance Society

On September 11, I put on my dress shoes, slacks, black dress shirt, and purple tie and took the orange line down to Bridgeport. There I joined other young volunteers, mostly UChicago and SAIC students, for Of The Moment, the Renaissance Society’s annual gala. The location of the event was East Bank Storage, a large, old warehouse that now contains artists’ studios. For the gala, the top floor had been converted into a lavish gallery, auction, and dining space. As the main fundraiser for “The Ren”, tickets to the event ran $350. Needless to say, the guests arrived in their best attire. Outside of working opening nights of NEXT, the affluent, upper class side of the art world is one I rarely see and often forget about. Monitoring auction bids and taking coats at Of The Moment, however, I got a chance to take in the unfamiliar crowd. Gallerists, art collectors, and at least one Sotheby’s employee were all in attendance at the event. I’d heard the Chicago art world was quite close knit, and …

Unleash the lease. Torluemke and Soto

Joshua Ginsberg owner and founder of Chicago Art Leasing LLC discussed with me why he thinks leasing art is a great way to support artists aside from selling artwork outright, “it takes the hassle out of the art buying process because the 300+ artists on our roster gives an eclectic mix of art that you won’t always find in most commercial galleries and we offer a varied price range depending on the clients needs ,” says Ginsberg. Artwork by Josh Garrett, Shane Swank, Beatriz Ledezma, and Jori Foreman are only four examples of the 300+ artists on Chicago Art Leasing’s roster. Read the entire interview transcribed when the SIFC Archive launches on October 30th, 2010. Tom Torluemke brings a whole new meaning to “Exhibition”, really. Check out the amazingly prolific showcase of Torluemke’s work entitled, “The Exhibitionist” at the Co-Prosperity Sphere. Stay tuned for the audio excerpt of our discussion when we fully launch in October. The opening of Homily at the ebersmoore space not only features solo work by Edra Soto but you will also find work by Carmen …

Et Cetera: Soundsuits, The Dorchester Project, SSCAC, Intuit, and KJ Marshall Speaks Truth…again.

This past weekend there were intimate places in the city where amazing art conversations were being had–all of which you will see in more detail when the Sixty Inches From Center: Chicago Arts Archive and Collective Project is launched in October.  The first of those places was at the Hyde Park Art Center Open Crit with Kerry James Marshall and Dawoud Bey.  Now, much of what KJM said were things that fester in the back of my mind regularly, but how clearly and effectively he articulated the function of art made these ideas come crashing to the forefront of my thoughts.  Here are some of my favorite quotes from the Open Crit on Friday, Sept. 10. “The truth is the artwork that matters to me, and that matters to the Hyde Park Art Center, is work that’s in conversation with other artwork.  With other painters.  With the history of painting. That’s what really matters.  If its just to satisfy you, if it satisfies your friends, the people in your family, then by all means keep …

The Kids Might Stand A Chance…

On Friday I made my way out to KVG Gallery, a spot run by the magnificent Anna Kunz who will be going off to New York very soon for a year-long residency.  The exhibition, titled Indestructible Youth, was co-curated by brilliant artist and painter, and now curator, Erol Scott Harris II.  The essay that went with the exhibition was written by writer, art historian and educator Debra Riley Parr and offered me a moment in the middle of the opening activity to reflect on my own relationship with the concept of indestructible youth.  After quoting lyrics from Neil Young, Parr states: “Forever young is not attractive.  Everyone needs to pack up and leave Sugar Mountain sooner or later.  And yet, the yearning to live in that space lingers.  Indeed, the appeal of youth and youth cultures holds strong in a young culture like that of the US where being young is cool, powerful, sexy and dangerous.  The Italian Futurists of the early 20th century thought similarly about the attractions of being young, and they clearly …

Hyde Park Op Shop 3: Where PBR meets S.Pellegrino…

If you know EJ Hill then you’ve probably gotten food for your mind, body and intellectual soul from him.  You’ve probably entered a very inviting environment.  You are probably an amateur artist without even knowing it–just by being who you are and doing what you do, and participating when invited. For “Us”, the closing event for Op Shop, EJ invited the public to participate in a potluck in Hyde Park.  While I’ve been to the Op Shop on the corner of Lake Park and 53rd at an abandoned, former Hollywood Video, this particular Op Shop brought up old memories of good music and my days as a High Fidelity-esque record store snob.  See, this particular location was once Dr. Wax–the place that people in-the-know went to purchase tickets to the best shows and get the scoop on new music from the guru of all that’s good, Duane Powell.  It was Dr. Wax that introduced me to Jaspects, Bilal Salaam and 4Hero.  It was where I bought my Foreign Exchange tickets.  (Insert Deep Sigh Here). I …

Hey, We Are All Beginners Here!

Roots and Culture hosted a new exhibition about oral, performative, written and visual communication entitled, Hey, We Are All Beginners Here! Line, Color, Form, Nutrients, and Affection, presented by StopGoStop also known as The Network of Crowded Art. We Are All Beginners Here! is described by StopGoStop as, “… a multi-headed hydra, a trans-temporal, trans-spatial, trans-disciplinary exhibition (a big show!) of mutating, mutable work by a cast of talented marginal characters.” As I walked around and took photographs of the show I came across an illustration and read this quote from it, “Actually, everybody’s a dragon, but current conditions discourage and disallow us to express those sinuous traits.” It really resonated with me and I happen to come to find some truth in this statement. I often evaluate the worth and weight of my degree. After spending a moment thinking about the mortgage I took on for a degree in Art History I realize I am not alone in the pursuit of a meaningful and valid career in the arts. It is funny, free knowledge is available at our fingertips if we choose …

Not your average art studio

I’ll Cut You – but not really though. This is the name of a hair salon I stumbled into while wandering around the Flat Iron studios. I was already overwhelmed with all the studios I visited from First Fridays and the Art on Track opening reception so trying to figure out what I wanted to mention in the SIFC blog didn’t come easy. Thankfully, this studio just kept on picking at my brain all week. Originally, I was just going to post a few photographs but I just could not resist. Yes, I know this is not your typical topic to highlight on an art blog but trust me this one is exceptional and October is over a month away. Everyone needs to know about I’ll Cut You because people need their hair cut and art needs to be sold. A little about Vladmir,  he is a hair stylist who has worked in the field for about twenty years and truly gives a mean cut. All hair products are made exclusively by Vladmir except for his …