Author Archive

Collaborate and Create: Jenny Lam’s Exquisite Corpse

Collaborate and Create: Jenny Lam's Exquisite Corpse
Most curators of contemporary art learn early in their careers that the general public cares a helluva lot less about the artwork they display than they do. But Jenny Lam is not like most curators, and Chicagoans flocked to the opening and closing receptions of her most recent show, Exquisite Corpse, like seagulls to a sandwich left unattended at the beach. A recent graduate of Columbia University—think... 

WI Rise Up: An Exhibition of Posters and Photographs from the 2011 Wisconsin Labor Movement

WI Rise Up: An Exhibition of Posters and Photographs from the 2011 Wisconsin Labor Movement
Chicago has long been considered a city built and maintained by working class men and women, and many people believe the labor movement in the United States truly began in Chicago. The headquarters of the International Workers of the World (IWW) are located in Chicago, as are branches of UniteHere! and Local One. On top of that, some of the most influential leaders of the labor movement lived and worked... 

Art on the Ave: A Recap of the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival

Art on the Ave: A Recap of the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival
Logan Square isn’t often associated with avant-garde art and lively outdoor festivals, but it certainly was last weekend, when hundreds of people came together to celebrate contemporary art at the annual Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival. The festival, which began on Friday at 4pm and ended on Sunday at 11pm, was a resounding success. The festival was co-presented by the non-profit organization... 

Art in the Unseen: A Look at Jennifer Cronin’s Career

Art in the Unseen: A Look at Jennifer Cronin's Career
According to the artist Jennifer Cronin, every great painting contains “something that cannot be seen.” An allusion to something below the surface of the canvas, perhaps, or something beyond the edge of the frame. Cronin believes that even the banality of everyday life ought to be interesting, and she has made a name for herself painting surreal self portraits that seem to evoke the... 

85 Architectural Tours in a Single Year

85 Architectural Tours in a Single Year
Jennifer Lucente is a busy woman. Her job as a new media manager for the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) is enviable, but demanding, and she logs long hours at the Foundation’s headquarters in downtown Chicago. On top of that, she maintains an eventful social calendar, and she can often be found at various art openings, industry events, and parties throughout the city. Jennifer is certainly... 

An Afternoon at this Year’s EDRA Conference

An Afternoon at this Year's EDRA Conference
Hundreds of urban innovators came together at the Palmer House Hilton earlier this month for Chicago’s annual Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) conference, and I counted myself lucky to be among them. Design professionals registering for the conference. Photo by Lindsey Anderson. The conference was already in full swing when I arrived Thursday afternoon. Dozens of architects and... 

Green Lantern Gallery: An Illuminating Interview with Caroline Picard

Green Lantern Gallery: An Illuminating Interview with Caroline Picard
Robert Smithson once wrote that “A work of art, when placed in a gallery, loses its charge and becomes a portable object, or surface, disengaged from the outside world.” Smithson’s controversial words fail to resonate with many art historians and gallery owners. But the artist may have been on to something when he noted that a work of art often “loses its charge” once... 

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... 

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... 

An Interview with ACRE Artist Claudia Berns

An Interview with ACRE Artist Claudia Berns
SIFC recently sat down with ACRE artist-in-residence Claudia Berns. Berns is currently preparing for a solo exhibition at the Plaines Project in Pilsen, and we were lucky enough to catch her—surrounded by an otherworldly assortment of wood and cloth—in the middle of installing her artwork. Immediately upon entering the Plaines Project exhibition space, we were greeted by a cascade of gauzy fabric... 
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