Tony Fitzpatrick Makes Massive Mural For Steppenwolf Theatre
Twelve-feet-high and seventy-six-feet long, Tony Fitzpatrick’s mural “Night and Day in the Garden of All Other Ecstasies,” his largest work to date and his first outdoor mural, will grace the exterior of Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s Arts and Education Center on Halsted Street in Lincoln Park. The work pays tribute to the leadership of former artistic director Martha Lavey, highlighting the evolution of the company over its four decades as well as its future. “I think of the long and luminous history of Steppenwolf like a garden,” Fitzpatrick says in a release. “Every year more color, more thorns, more blooming wonder and more and more seeds planted. The beauty of a garden is the promise it contains—that next year it will be even more unexpectedly luminous and full of wonder and truth. This mural is meant to honor Martha Lavey, who was one of my mentors. This company was her garden, and she was the gardener. Spirits like Martha come along maybe once every couple of generations. She was entirely and only like herself, much like this great company.” Of the mural, Fitzpatrick says, “This is my final public artwork for the City of Chicago; I wanted to leave something lasting, life-affirming and positive.” [Click image to enlarge.]
“I think it’s time for guys who look like me to get out of the way. My show coming up in October at the [College of DuPage] will be my last museum show,” Fitzpatrick tells the Sun-Times’ Bob Chiarito. “This will be my final public artwork for the city of Chicago. I’m still going to do gallery shows all over the world, I just feel like… when you get to the top of the hill, you pull the next person up. I think there needs to be more room for artists of color, for LGBTQ artists and for female artists.”
After Nearly Fifty Years, Rogers Park Pastel Candyland House For Sale
“To neighbors and passersby, the brightly colored Pratt Boulevard home is known as the Candyland House, the Barbie House or the Rainbow Cone Home. But to friends and family, the house… is the longtime home of artists Jackie Seiden and the late Don Seiden,” Block Club Chicago reports, with eye-popping pictures. “The prolific artists turned the century-old home into their own personal canvas, creating one of the most unique homes in Rogers Park.” Forty-seven years after buying the place, the family has listed it for $600,000. “The whole house is pastel-colored and glitter from head to toe,” Kathy Schrage, a real estate agent who is listing the home told Block Club. “It’s like a Barbie’s dream home. It’s the most eclectic house I’ve seen in 20 years as a realtor.”
Drawing Attention To Overlooked Landmarks In Chicago’s Black Neighborhoods
“Chicago’s landmarks commission has broadened its mandate in recent years by designating structures of historical as well as architectural importance,” opines the Sun-Times editorial board. “That has helped draw attention to overlooked sites within the city’s Black neighborhoods.” The board reflects on the designation for the Muddy Waters edifice: “The home was already protected from demolition, at least in theory, because it sits in the existing North Kenwood Chicago landmark district. But singling out the building for an individual designation undoubtedly adds a level of protection — the vacant and somewhat rundown home still wound up on the city’s demolition list years ago — while bringing attention to its important cultural history. City landmarks officials now will work out a permanent designation for the home, to be presented before the City Council later this year.”
DINING & DRINKING
Beercade Owner Battles To Build Pilsen Restaurant
Among the obstacles facing Chireal Jordan in his proposal to open a bar in Pilsen: Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez who said, “This is all about the quality of life and the family-oriented atmosphere we want to keep here.” David Roeder reports on the indefatigable Chireal Jordan’s battle with the liquor commission and other players to open a restaurant on 18th Street. Jordan said “opposition from residents was ginned up by people peddling falsehoods about the type of establishment he planned. Jordan also said opponents were taking out on him the problems associated with two bars in the vicinity, and his own history showed that he’d be responsible… [R]esidents who fought his plan never were told he planned a restaurant with a chef-curated menu. The License Appeal Commission picked up on that, too, and gave weight to the testimony of a current and retired police commander who backed his application. ‘I have a great reputation in this business going back 20 years,’ Jordan said. But he also wondered if there was something else behind the attacks, perhaps an objection to a Black entrepreneur investing in a Hispanic neighborhood.”
Farmers Markets Reopen; Trib Maps Fifty-Two
Naperville Farmers Market director Annamarie Bensfield tells the Trib, “We just really would love people to come out and start the process of healing, of everything getting back to normal and enjoying some really healthy and organically grown products.” The Tribune’s Hannah Herrera Greenspan talks to a chatty bunch of optimistic folk and details what’s expected for the season, post-opening of the state. The Trib map is here.
Replay Lincoln Park Looks To Nickelodeon
Replay on North Sheffield offers their latest pop-up, Nick Arcade on Friday, June 11, to coincide with the City of Chicago’s mandated reopening. All 9,000 square feet including outdoor patio will be converted into tributes to “Rugrats,” “Hey Arnold!”, “Are You Afraid of the Dark?”, “CatDog,” “Doug” and “Rocko’s Modern Life.” The pop-up will feature Nickelodeon-inspired cocktails and slime shots, as well as a themed food menu. Tickets are available through July 11, $20 per person with a $20 beverage credit, and ninety-minute reservations are encouraged.
A Survey of Celebrities Plugged Into Chicago “Ghost Kitchens”
George Lopez Tacos? HotBox by Wiz Khalifa? Mario’s Tortas Lopez? Trejo’s Tacos? Guy Fieri’s Flavortown Kitchen? Time Out notes pickup-and-delivery-only “ghost kitchens” and lists celeb offerings.
FILM & TELEVISION
“Paper Girls” in The South Suburbs
Amazon Studios is shooting a new series outside of Chicago, Bill Jones reports at the Daily Southtown. “Amazon and Legendary Entertainment have been filming the first season of ‘Paper Girls’ in the Chicago area, with recent shoots in Thornton, Homewood and Cook County’s Pulaski Woods Forest Preserve near Willow Springs. Filming is expected to start in Glenwood later this month… Doug Beckman, Thornton’s village administrator, said the production was scouting locations in the south suburbs and found a place they liked in Thornton… Beckman said the production is covering the costs associated with filming in the village.” The production “rented the park for the days their tent was there, which we’ll invoice them for when the filming is done. Most of the compensation went directly to residents and business owners that are being inconvenienced by the filming or those that they are renting space from to park their trucks and vehicles. That was the primary goal: to bring money to those people, not necessarily the village itself.”
Chicago’s Darklight Studios Partners With Nordlyset Agency
Darklight Studios has announced a partnership with Nordlyset Agency, which will represent publication, television, film, and other rights for the studio’s books and book series. Darklight is an independent multimedia studio developing projects with writers and artists who tell BIPOC stories “of a different kind.” “The brainchild of writer Isaac Perry and publishing veteran Joy Triche, the studio produces original stories with strong, authentic characters, and bold points of view. By rejecting the negative connotation of dark, the studio is able to celebrate the brightness that is inherent in BIPOC cultures, and focus on characters whose color is their light,” Darklight says in a release. “We fell fast and hard for the rich, dynamic, and adventure-filled storytelling evident in each Darklight Studios creation,” says Jennifer Thompson of Nordlyset. “In partnering with Joy Triche and Isaac Perry, we are honored and excited to use our publishing reach and expertise to help create the largest platform possible to spread Darklight’s brilliance far and wide.” “We are thrilled to be working with Nordlyset Agency,” says Joy Triche, co-founder of Darklight. “They understand our vision, and they’re perfectly positioned to help us share these unique characters and stories with the world in every medium, including print, film and television.”
Remembering Chuy Negrete
Folklorist-folksinger Chuy Negrete, as described in Maureen O’Donnell’s obituary in the Sun-Times: “Jesus ‘Chuy’ Negrete composed hundreds of corridos — Mexican folk ballads. ‘Some people used to say he was the Mexican Bob Dylan,’ said U.S. Rep. Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia… for whom he once wrote a corrido urging people to vote for him for mayor of Chicago. Others ‘called him the Chicano Woody Guthrie,’ said actor Edward James Olmos, a friend who said Mr. Negrete ‘was like a brother’ to him. ‘His ability to make you laugh and make you cry was superb,’ Olmos said. ‘He told our stories.’ Negrete, who was 72, died of congestive heart failure on May 27. “He would write his ballads for any occasion. He composed one in 1983 for the funeral of slain Chicago activist Rudy Lozano,” writes O’Donnell. “Your death has not been in vain. The ideas you left are in my hands… Your people continue with you.”
Wicker Park’s Flat Iron Reopens As Music Venue The Point
New owner Jun Lin “hired a local artist to paint the faces of Nina Simone, Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Coltrane and J Dilla on the walls. He’s already booked Chicago bands to play and will welcome his first touring band” in June, Block Club Chicago’s Hannah Alani reports. “Lin bought The Flat Iron by taking out a second mortgage on his home. One silver lining of the gentrification of Wicker Park was his home was worth much more last year than it was when he bought it in the early 2000s, Lin said. Every penny leveraged from his home has gone into building The Point… from Latvian-imported beer taps to a silver highball draft machine to state-of-the-art lights. ‘This location did not go to a corporation. This went to a family in the neighborhood. It would have sat empty for years. Then one day someone would have sold $400 coolers in here… I think this place is gonna be around for a long time.’”
Cast Announced For Pre-Broadway “Paradise Square”
Tony Award-nominated Joaquina Kalukango will lead the cast of “Paradise Square,” which will have a five-week pre-Broadway engagement (November 2-December 5) at the James M. Nederlander Theatre on West Randolph, and will open on Broadway on Sunday, March 20, 2022 at the Barrymore Theatre. “Paradise Square” also features Chilina Kennedy, John Dossett, Sidney DuPont, A.J. Shively, Nathaniel Stampley, Gabrielle McClinton, Jacob Fishel and Kevin Dennis. The creative team features direction by Moisés Kaufman, choreography by Bill T. Jones and book by Christina Anderson, Marcus Gardley, Craig Lucas and Larry Kirwan.
Margi Cole and The Dance COLEctive Relocate To Birmingham
“After more than 25 years in Chicago as an artistic director, choreographer, dancer and educator, Margi Cole and her company, The Dance COLEctive, are relocating to Birmingham, Alabama,” the group says in a release. “Cole will be an instructor of Modern and Contemporary Dance at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, a seventh to-twelfth-grade public magnet school. Cole, an ASFA alumna, will instruct, choreograph, counsel and evaluate students in ASFA’s Dance Department. She will teach modern dance technique and theory, stage and choreograph original works for AFSA performances and lecture demonstrations, and mentor and advise dance majors and non-majors, among other responsibilities.” “I am ready to share my love of ASFA and my passion for empowering young artists,” Cole shared. “I can’t wait to fully immerse myself in the creative culture of the department, the school and the Alabama arts community. What a unique opportunity to return to my ‘roots’ and help cultivate future artists and community leaders in the place that opened the door to the artist I am today.”
ARTS & CULTURE
Listen in On Arts77 Chicago Recovery Plan Today
Arts77: Chicago’s Arts Recovery Plan is the topic of discussion at 3pm Tuesday (today).”Arts 77” is a citywide arts recovery and reopening plan for all of Chicago’s seventy-seven community areas, representing an initial investment of over $60 million from the Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events (DCASE), the Chicago Parks District, city agencies and private funding to go toward funding local artists and organizations. Today’s discussion is led by Chief Marketing Officer Jamey Lundblad of DCASE and Alison Cuddy, artistic director of the Chicago Humanities Festival. Sign up here.
In Thirteen Years, Parking Meter Private Investors Recoup Entire $1.16 Billion; It’s All Gravy From Now On, Even During Pandemics
Every cultural attraction, every shopping street, every neighborhood is affected by the former mayor Richard M. Daley’s end-of-reign 2008 parking meter deal. Chicago parking meter investors raked in $13 million in profit despite the pandemic, reports Fran Spielman at the Sun-Times. The profit came out of $91.6 million in meter revenue in 2020, down 33% from the year before, a new audit shows. With sixty-two years to go on a seventy-five-year lease, Chicago Parking Meters LLC has recouped its entire $1.16 billion investment and $500 million on top of that. “Not a penny of those revenues went to ease the burden on taxpayers…That’s because [the] assets were unloaded by former Mayor Richard M. Daley, who used the money to avoid raising property taxes while city employee pension funds sunk deeper in the hole,” writes Spielman. “The latest financial report by KPMG provides even more proof of how great the deal was for the private investors who hail from as far away as Abu Dhabi.”