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A Mile of Murals

A Mile of Murals
Ride your bike down Hubbard Street in West Town and once you pass Milwaukee your peripheral vision fills with a riot of colorful images: A luchador, a howling wolf, African masks, Moammar Gadaffi, squids, butterflies, the Chicago Water Tower. Like most people, I usually zip on through, glancing briefly at the near mile of images along the railroad embankment while on my way home. Hubbard street, however,... 

The Young Historians: Marcy Thomas

The Young Historians: Marcy Thomas
The Young Historians is a series exploring the lives of recent art history graduates with ties to the Chicago area. In this fourth installment, I spoke with Marcy Thomas, who was one of the earliest graduates to receive a degree from North Central College in art history, a major established in 2010. She is currently preparing to enter Northern Illinois University’s MFA program, focusing in fibers. ZJ:... 

Photography at the Margins

Photography at the Margins
With documentary photography, the artist becomes our extended set of eyes, capturing images we would not normally be able to see. He or she can take members from the edge of society and place them in the center of our vision. It is these qualities that are the power behind Golden States of Grace: Prayers of the Disinherited, an exhibition of fifty-two photographs by Rick Nehmias currently on display... 

The T-shirt Show

The T-shirt Show
22 is a new art space on Cermak Road in Berwyn, IL. Jessica Calek and Dan Streeting, two graduates of Cranbrook Academy of Art, opened shop in December and are now in the middle of their fourth show, simply titled The T-shirt Show. The exhibition is comprised of thirty-two t-shirts by nearly twenty artists who have all transformed everyday apparel through foil printing, woodblock printing, spray painting,... 

Sixty on Sixty: Ray Figlewski

Sixty on Sixty: Ray Figlewski
Ray Figlewski is one of the two editors at The Chicago Arts Archive. This week I sat down with him as part of  Sixty on Sixty, a series in which SIFCers interview one another, to learn more about what brought him to SIFC and what his life is like outside of editing. ZJ: What kind of writing do you do outside of editing for SIFC? RF: A bit of poetry, short fiction, and screen plays. I’ve been... 

Spoke Exit Interview: Part II

Spoke Exit Interview: Part II
Kristin Mariani. A Sample of Making, 2009. Spoke, Chicago, IL. (Photo courtesy of Spoke) Spoke, a mixed project and studio space in the West Loop closed its doors in August after hosting over forty artist projects, events, experiments, and residencies in its nearly three years of programming. What always struck me about Spoke was how public its programming was. Once while wandering around their building... 

Water Street Studios Second Anniversary

Water Street Studios Second Anniversary
A few weeks ago I attended the opening of Water Street Studios’ Second Year Anniversary Show in Batavia, IL. Like each of the previous shows at Water Street, the work was numerous, diverse, and stunning. The two-dimensional pieces displayed a wide range of media, from carbon print photography to encaustic and resin. Meanwhile, the three-dimensional works, which generally make up more than half... 

Street Art Approval

Street Art Approval
Mental 312. Polish Village, Chicago, IL. (Photo credit: Mujju Ullah) Last week, while exploring Chicago’s Polish Village, I interrupted my friend mid-sentence as a familiar sight came into view. “Another one!” I exclaimed. Quickly, we crossed Milwaukee and headed towards a wall featuring the street art of Mental 312. Mental’s thick, blue lines were similar to his other pieces: bold and expansive,... 

Caution: Wet Paint

Caution: Wet Paint
Psychologists coined the term “perceptual vigilance” to describe the way that one starts seeing something everywhere after they first take notice of it. Well, it seems that this phenomenon has taken hold of the members of Sixty Inches From Center. Over the past month, many of us couldn’t help but notice Mental 312’s street art all over Chicago. Exiting the highway, cruising by on a CTA bus,... 

Transformers: Nick Cave at the 2010 CAA Conference

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... 
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