All posts tagged: Hyde Park

The Art of Styling: A Peek into Gilda’s

Between the hum of Anita Baker and the rustle of clothes hangers and metal is the personality of Gilda Norris. It’s snowing as I walk across the street from my apartment to Gilda’s shop on 55th street in Hyde Park. It’s a garden floor space—take a few steps down and you’re in a sea of clothing. It’s small and intimate, making it hard to not brush past fabrics, sequins, and buttons. In the summer months you can count on spotting Gilda standing on the steps of her shop. Leaning against her railing, she always looks effortlessly cool. Her stance itself is an advertisement to pop into the shop. But today we are on the other side of the beaches and drips of sweat of summer. We are shuddered indoors and grasping for any hint of Vitamin D. I quickly hustle inside of Gilda’s, a solace from the wetness of Chicago, the cocoon of clothing creating a sense of comfort and nostalgia.  This interview has been edited for length and clarity.  Gilda Norris: I was born and …

Faces of Hyde Park with Brian Carroll

I must have stumbled upon Brian’s work when I first moved to Chicago — roughly five years ago — where I found my home in Hyde Park. It’s been years and I’m still here, still walking down 55th, taking a left, passing The Cove and finding a sunny spot at Promontory Point. After five years I have come to know familiar faces, people who I’ve never spoken to but I’ve seen every morning. When I stopped into Open Produce, the local grocery store, this summer, a regular customer stopped me and said, “I didn’t see you at the lake this morning. I brought Bridget, but we must have missed you.” Bridget, his dog, is always swimming over to me during my morning dips. We usually talk for a few moments when I exit the water, but it’s nothing monumental. But there he is, every morning, and there I am, too, like clockwork waiting to see each other on our morning swim. Since following him on social media years ago, I’ll scroll through my feed and I’ll stop, and smile, as …

Kranky Celebrates 25 Years of Ambient Music in a Chapel

I was three years old when Kranky, the ambient music label, was founded in Chicago. In my late teens and early twenties, Kranky was vital to my auditory taste. The label, primarily focusing on ambient, electronic, or psychedelic music, introduced me to Deerhunter, Stars of Lid, Justin Walter, and The Dead Texan. My youth was spent through a spiral of gazing up towards my ceiling, or driving down dark North Carolina roads while listening to Labradford’s album, Prazision. So it’s only natural that Kranky would celebrate their 25th Anniversary at the Rockefeller Chapel in Hyde Park with a line up that brings you closer to god, or stillness, or clarity, or whatever brings you solace in a stained-glass building on wooden benches. Ambient Church is a nomadic event that traveled to Los Angeles, Portland, Chicago and New York, with various different performers in each location. In Chicago, we were welcomed by Matt Jencik, Justin Walter, Pan•American, and Steve Hauschildt. It’s a 25 minute walk from my apartment to the Rockefeller Chapel, a hub for me …

Reflections on Pictures from an Exposition at the Newberry Library

Even 125 years later, we can’t stop thinking about the World’s Columbian Exposition, an extravaganza so large and dense that we continue to unpack its flaws and glorify its vastness. In 1893, Chicago introduced the world to collections of dancers, photographs, paintings, magazines, and yes, even a map made entirely of pickles. The fair influenced how we view and how we curate exhibitions today. It was a spectacle and its history is a labyrinth of stories and mystery, and even a bit of horror. The Newberry Library is looking at the visual aspects of the fair—exhibiting an extensive collection of ephemera and art—in Pictures From the Exposition: Visualizing the 1893 World’s Fair. The exhibition displays the way artwork influenced people from afar to visit Chicago, as well as those who were living the experience, and how these images served as a means of advertising as well as fine art. What’s always been so undeniably interesting to me as a Hyde Parker, living on the edges of where the famous fair was once held, is how …

Review: “Resilient Images” at the Hyde Park Art Center

Resilient Images confronts the viewer before one even walks through the gallery’s door. Look up slightly, and you will see Justine Pluvinage’s video installation Amazons facing out onto Cornell Avenue from the inside of the building, with its multiple panels of female subjects taking an epic, slow-motion stroll through both greenery and crumbling industrial architecture. If you’re walking with your head down through the bitter temperatures of a typical Chicago winter, you’re likely to miss this introduction entirely. For the artists, though, this might simply be indicative of the sort of resilience they are gesturing towards in their work. This exhibition is the result of a year-long artistic exchange between Hyde Park Art Center and the Centre Regionale de la Photographie Nord—Pas-de-Calais, featuring the artists Justine Pluvinage and David Schalliol. Both artists generated a site-specific work out of their respective residencies without further collaboration or dialogue with the other participant — Pluvinage travelled from France to Chicago to shoot her film, while Schalliol’s work was made in Hauts-de-France. Yet the pieces shown in Resilient Images …

Creation and Co-Existence: Artist Talk of Lindsay Obermeyer

The following was taken from the artist talk of Chicago artist Lindsay Obermeyer at the opening reception of Creation and Co-Existence: The Respectful Interdependence of All That Is at the Mary-Frances and Bill Veeck Gallery at the Catholic Theological Union.  Along with the work of Lindsay Obermeyer, the work of master textile artist Akemi Nakano Cohn is on view at the Catholic Theological Union through September 14, 2011. “It’s really an honor to be back here. Akemi and I first met, I don’t know if you remember, at the Textile Arts Center which used to exist on the north side of the city over on Diversey between Sheffield and Halsted. I’ve seen her work and tracked her work for years and have never had the pleasure and honor of showing with her. So, this is particularly wonderful. But, also added meaning to that for me is the fact that the last time I exhibited here was when I came to install the show three days before my mom passed away. And the work that is actually …

Hyde Park Public Art (5 of 5)

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 for centuries: adding something new to an older structure. Take the Basilica of St. Peter as an example. Begun by Michelangelo in the Renaissance, it was expanded and tweaked by other great architects as styles changed over time.  Recently, I have to admit I fell into the binary thinking that Gude has described. When reading the text next to The Spirit of Hyde Park mural at 57th Street and Lake Park Boulevard, I became confused.  “Restored and reinterpreted by CPAG,” it read. What did reinterpreted mean in the context of public art? Weren’t murals simply painted over or touched up over time? Taking in the wall, a mix of styles was evident. Bold, abstract patterns mingled with realistic depictions of students and protestors …

Hyde Park Public Art (2 of 5)

“Where are you coming from?” “Where are you going?” In 1991, Olivia Gude, an avid muralist, stood outside the 56th Street Metra station with a tape recorder asking these questions to people who passed by. As one might think, she came up with a wide variety of answers. “I’m coming from the comfortable middle class and I want to head to the upper class.” “I’m coming from Earth and going to heaven.” “I don’t know where I’m going. I’m lost.” With the responses, she created an oral history-based mural filled with other such quotations and wintry portraits of bundled up Chicagoans. She did so in partnership with the Chicago Public Art Group, with which she has now been working for twenty-five years. Gude recognized that art was “far from being this preserve that was separate from life, [but] intrinsically part of all of these issues about culture, about human possibility, about justice.” Her 56th street mural focuses on the former; namely, the culture of a neighborhood. Reading the quotations of the mural, I was fascinated …

Dream Big: Joyce Owens at the Catholic Theological Union

Like most artists, Joyce Owens is a master at juggling many things.  Her most recent exhibition, “Dream Big” at the Catholic Theological Union proves that.  Although the exhibition shows mostly her masks, you also get a glimpse into her canvas and collage work.  The common thread throughout is imagery that asks the viewer to consider a more complex understanding of race using the cultural and symbolic implications of the mask as it applies to African Americans.  During the January 12th opening of the exhibition, curator Janice Pozzi-Johnson spoke about why she chose to exhibit this work at the CTU and Owens gives some insight into her thoughts on work and life as an artist.  The following is an excerpt from their talk. Janis Pozzi-Johnson: As you know, this exhibition is titled Dream Big.  And I think Joyce personifies dreaming big.  It just seems that Joyce is everywhere, [her] work is everywhere.  And [she] is always always making art, always showing art and always supporting other artists.  Joyce is also a curator at Chicago State University, …

Hyde Park Public Art (1 of 5)

In the earlier decades of the twentieth century, Lorado Taft may have been Chicago’s most famous artist. His was a name I’d never heard before, but after a little research I realized I’d seen his sculptures all over town. I first saw his “Fountain of The Great Lakes” outside the Art Institute in high school and discovered his two Graceland Cemetery sculptures, one a crusader and another titled “Eternal Silence”, back in October. Beyond that, Taft’s pieces can be found in places like the University of Illinois (his alma mater), over in Oregon, Illinois, and at Union Station in Washington DC. Taft also contributed to the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893 by creating plaster sculptures along the Midway Plaisance between Washington Park and Jackson Park. Taft began work on “Fountain of Time” in 1908 after being inspired by a couplet by Austin Dobsen: Time goes, you say? Ah no, alas, time stays. We go. He considered the sculpture something of a magnum opus and it took him and his team of sculptors 14 years to complete. …

Site-Access Symposium with Jillian Soto

The thought of the city as studio can be a very exciting thing. It means no public (and in some cases even private) space is safe when the minds of artists are finding new ways to use it for their own creative practices. Some of the work created during Chicago Artists Month tested new grounds, revisited old grounds and pushed the limits of the type of public art practice that Chicago is accustomed to. As thrilling and provocative as that can be, there is also another side to that and it deals with these public spaces, the needs and wants of the community, and the promotion of understanding and comfort in these creative spaces. Just because the work is in the public doesn’t necessarily mean it is easily accessed by the people who know some of these re-appropriated spaces a regular presence in their everyday lives. How can you tell the difference of when art enhances the community it is planted within, or when it acts as a tool of alienation or insensitivity?  For Art …

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.

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 …