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Wear Your Geese with Confidence: An Interview with the Puterbaugh Sisters

Wear Your Geese with Confidence: An Interview with the Puterbaugh Sisters
In anticipation of their Art It Out show, I sat down and chatted with Danielle and Tiffany Puterbaugh, sisters whose brand of comedy is “experimental ridiculousness.” Before I hit “record,” we talked about how someone broke into their Humboldt Park apartment and stole their 11-year-old computer and their weed; how I heard about El Circo Cheapo Cabaret, where I first saw the duo perform as... 

The Artist’s Responsibility

The Artist's Responsibility
Let me ask you this: What is an artist’s responsibility? Should they take the ideas that shape contemporary society and translate them into a visual language? Are they the ones who bear the weight of our cultural legacy? Is their purpose to leave the world in a more beautiful state than it was in when they entered it? Are they meant to teach us about our world, about ourselves and about each... 

Images from “Reclaim Art” at the Bridgeport Art Center

Images from
Last Thursday, people gathered at the Bridgeport Art Center for an art auction benefiting Howard Brown Health Center, the Midwest’s largest LGBT healthcare organization. The show was hosted by the Artists of EastBank, an artist collective with the Bridgeport Art Center, who asked exhibiting artists to purchase items from the Brown Elephant and turn them into works of art.   If you’ve... 

Constructing a New Identity: A Look at Margaret Wharton’s ‘Constructions’

Constructing a New Identity: A Look at Margaret Wharton's 'Constructions'
The weather last Friday was—unsurprisingly—cold enough to make many Chicagoans wish they lived somewhere a little closer to the equator. But the inside of the Jean Albano Gallery was warmer and cheerier than ever, and dozens of Chicago residents flocked to the gallery to catch a glimpse of Margaret Wharton’s new show, Constructions.   One of Wharton's "Constructions." Photo... 

Hyde Park Public Art (5 of 5)

Hyde Park Public Art (5 of 5)
The Spirit of Hyde Park, 2010. Hyde Park, Chicago, IL. (Photo credit: Zachary Johnson) In a recent phone conversation, Olivia Gude of the Chicago Public Art Group (CPAG) expressed her opinion that when a site-specific piece of art needs repair, Americans take on an “either/or” mentality. The piece will either be restored or destroyed. In older areas of the world, a third alternative has been commonplace... 

Chicago Artists Archive, Part 4

Chicago Artists Archive, Part 4
For the final installment of my search through the Chicago Artists Archive, I went looking for some personal favorites: Christina Ramberg, Tony Fitzpatrick and Roger Brown. Selections from Ramberg's file I became a big fan of the late Christina Ramberg’s work last year while creating a body of work involving hair.  To me, her work is the dark side of the Chicago Imagist.  She rarely, if ever,... 

Suburban Rebels

Suburban Rebels
“Street art” and the more general term, “graffiti,” are both tools the common person can use to interact with the public. All it takes is a sticker or a scan of spray paint, and one can send a message out into the physical world. If you keep your eyes open in any urban center, it’s easy to find these guerilla forms of self-expression—but head into a smaller town and it becomes more of... 

Chicago Artist Archive, Part 3

Chicago Artist Archive, Part 3
While working on my last article about the artist group N.A.M.E., I couldn’t help wondering if there were files on other interesting groups in the Chicago area that were similar to N.A.M.E. I turned back to the Chicago Artists Archive blog and picked out a few groups at random: The No Jury Society, Chicago’s Women’s Club, Chicago Public Art Group, and the Independent Society of Artists. What... 

A Little Anarchy Never Hurt an Arts Education

A Little Anarchy Never Hurt an Arts Education
While perusing the pages of the Chicago Artists Resource on a lazy Sunday morning last week, I stumbled across a notice announcing a Teach 4 Amerika rally, to be held by the Bruce High Quality Foundation (BHQF). I had never heard of the rally or the organization before, and I wasn’t really sure why a man named Bruce High Quality would want to host a rally for American teachers (or the creative... 
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