Month: May 2011

What’s Your Art?: Hyde Park Art Center, Fire Arts Center, & Little Black Pearl

Sixty Inches from Center is collaborating with WBEZ as part of their Off Air Series to showcase unique art centers within Chicago. Join us on Saturday, June 4th from 1-5 pm at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 East Washington Street, for “What’s Your Art”. Throughout the afternoon, visitors will have an opportunity to interact with representatives from Chicago Art Department, Chicago Photography Center, Chicago Urban Art Society, Fire Arts Center, Hyde Park Art Center, Lillstreet Art Center, Little Black Pearl, Rumble Arts Center, South Side Community Art Center, and Spudnik Press Cooperative. Each Center will demonstrate the creative activities that enrich their community. “What’s Your Art” is free to the public and is an opportunity for Chicago residents to experience art as a part of daily life. Visit each Center’s Collective Project page to find out more about classes and events that will be held in the months before the “What’s Your Art” event. Between now and June 4th visit any of the ten Art Centers and pick up a “What’s Your Art?” validation card, …

The Chicago Street Art Show: Artists Goons & Don’t Fret

During the week of installation for The Chicago Street Art Show at The Chicago Urban Art Society I had the opportunity to speak with several participating artists including Don’t Fret and Goons. The closing reception for the show will take place this Friday, June 3rd.  If you are unable to make it to the reception, keep posted for future coverage including a video reflection consisting of interviews and footage from the show. Additionally featured this week is an interview with Joseph J. Depre, curator of The Chicago Street Art Show. Chicago Street Artist: Don’t Fret Nicolette Caldwell: What is your history with street art? Don’t Fret: I’ve been making art for as long as I can remember. I first got involved with graffiti in seventh grade. All the kids in my seventh grade class chose tag names from South Park characters and I was Pip. NC: That is really clever. So it started from when you were younger? DF: Yeah, I grew up in the city and I remember graffiti from a very young age. …

The Chicago Street Art Show: Interview with curator Joseph J. Depre

During the week of installation for The Chicago Street Art Show at The Chicago Urban Art Society I had the opportunity to speak with several participating artists including curator Joseph J. Depre. Joseph and I discussed the nature, relevance and timeliness of the show and his involvement with the street art community. The closing reception for the show will take place this Friday, June 3rd. If you are unable to make it to the reception, keep posted for future coverage including a video reflection consisting of interviews and footage from the show. Additionally featured this week is an interview with Chicago street artist Don’t Fret and Goons who are also participating in The Chicago Street Art Show. Nicolette Caldwell: What was the initial inspiration for you to do this show? When did you start thinking about it and decide to start planning it? Joseph J. Depre: The show itself probably came around late last summer. I have been doing a lot of traveling; to Berlin, New York, Barcelona, Sao Paolo and L.A. They have some …

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 other? Or are they only responsible for the manifestation of their own ideas, whether they speak to a greater social context or a more individual one? Could it be a combination of several of these things? Whether it is intentional or not, we often impose a series of expectations on artists and the art that we see and how it should function in the world. We then make decisions on whether or not the work lives up to those expectations. Taking this into consideration I decided to ask several artists to share their thoughts on what expectations they have set for themselves by …

Jettison Quarterly Revisions Art and Culture

Jettison Quarterly is an online publication that features art and culture in Chicago. Like Sixty, Jettison documents and features interesting stories that are not always covered by other more ‘mainstream’ publications. In addition to that, Jettison bring to the table full-length features—because it is okay to actually spend time reading about Chicago’s rich cultural scene and not just soaking up small tidbits. We’ve been following Jettison since its inception and finally had the opportunity to put them under their own disco ball; they always display one at most of their events. PR Assistant, Meredith Weber, and Co-Founder, Emanuel Aguilar, both took a moment to talk about the publication. Nicolette Caldwell: How long have you been a part of Jettison and what is your role? Meredith Weber: I have been the PR Assistant since Fall 2010. We joke at Jettison that I want to be referred to as the FACE, but I do take promotion of Jettison very seriously. I believe whole-heartedly in the project and people behind it. Emanuel Aguilar: I was one of the …

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 …

On Public Art: Oliver Hild of Maxwell Colette Gallery

Chicago has an abundant history of prolific graffiti writers and street artists. Outside of their own trusted community, many of these artists do not get the chance to speak about their experiences and their love for what they do. This series focuses on giving the microphone back to the artists who create public art in Chicago and those that foster it. Through these interviews our hope is to not only archive the efforts of these artists, but also to achieve a better understanding of the art itself—including why it’s important for graffiti art and street art to continue and receive more support. Oliver Hild of Maxwell Colette Gallery is undeniably making waves in the street art community. A collector of art since his twenty-something heyday, Hild was ahead of the game as a collector of (tongue in cheek) … “urban art.” And rightfully so, because unlike other collectors who just recently jumped on the street art bandwagon looking to make a quick fortune, Hild has a deep-rooted relationship, knowledge and sincere passion for it. In …

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. 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, worked with bright colors, and in her better-known pieces, her figures were bound, gagged or blindfolded by their hair.  Ramberg also had a series of works inspired by quilting, which she exhibited with Rebecca Shore in the early 90s.  Her file mostly consists of show postcards/reviews and obituaries.  Ramberg died of Pick’s Disease in December 1995,  and her file includes several obituaries and announcements for memorials around the city.   One memorial announcement was from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) where she headed the painting and drawing department and another from the Renaissance Society, which frequently exhibited her work.  Besides the postcards and rembrances, there was very little information …