Art Collector And Intuit Co-Founder Susann Craig Was 84
Chicago art collector Susann Craig championed outsider artists and co-founded Chicago’s Intuit Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, reports the Tribune. “‘Susann was attracted to compulsively made items like intuitive art, but also handmade signs, art cars and fantastical outdoor environments,’ said architect Jeanne Gang, a longtime friend who designed Craig’s Logan Square loft. ‘She liked the adventure of discovering interesting things, and the people who made them. It was her childlike fascination that made it so fun to work with her.'”
Banksy Show Finds A Site
More than eighty pieces by Banksy have found an exhibition space in Chicago after two postponements and site relocations. “‘The Art of Banksy,’ the largest touring exhibition of authentic Banksy artworks in the world, announced the Chicago exhibition will be held on the fourth floor of 360 North State, a 45,000-square-foot space.” The public opening is Saturday, August 14. More here.
Gallery Aesthete Luxury Fashion Closing
Stephen Naparstek, the owner of Gallery Aesthete, announces his store’s closing and a final sale at the Wicker Park establishment. Writes Naparstek, “It has been a privilege and pleasure serving the intersecting communities of fashion, art, design, and music for the better part of the last two decades. To have had the opportunity to work with some of the world’s most talented creatives is something I will always cherish… In 2011 I began to develop a retail concept space focused on showcasing fashion designers that represented the pinnacle of men’s avant-garde fashion, alongside art, object, and music that represented a similar ethos. From that vision, Gallery Aesthete was born. Now, ten years and two locations later, my personal passions have shifted from sharing the creations of others to developing my own body of work. In order to wholly focus on my craft, I have decided to step away from Gallery Aesthete, and will be closing our doors permanently.”
Christopher Columbus Situation Unresolved
“One year ago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered the Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park torn down in the dark of night,” reports Gregory Pratt at the Tribune. “Lightfoot justified the extraordinary move as a temporary safety precaution aimed at preventing more clashes between Chicago police and protesters. The mayor then followed her decision to remove the statue and two others depicting Columbus by creating a review process for controversial city monuments that she said would be part of ‘a racial healing and historical reckoning project.’ But a year later, the city’s monuments commission has not yet issued its final report and recommendations… A spokesman for the mayor’s office released a statement noting the review is continuing this summer, with neighborhood programs planned, but did not specify when the report and recommendations would be finalized. ‘The City’s efforts throughout this process have not been about a single statue or mural, but about creating a formal process that will reflect our values and elevate our rich history and diversity.'”
DINING & DRINKING
Kumiko has been operating with a pickup window on and off since March 2020, but in August, reports Eater Chicago, Kumiko will allow customers inside for the first time in seventeen months. “There will be changes to its food menu of small bites, or ‘little luxuries.’ August 6 is reopening day for Kumiko and reservations are online. Kikko, Kumiko’s basement dining room, will remain closed.”
Tamale Guy Hits Twenty Bars On His First Night Back
Claudio Velez made 1,500 tamales on his first day operating out of the Lone Wolf kitchen, reports Eater Chicago, and then returned to his bar circuit, hitting twenty locations. That night “felt like the old days for him as a Chicago nightlife legend who fed hungry bar customers at taverns without food service. On opening night, he mingled with customers, took selfies, and cracked smiles with bartenders who haven’t seen him since before the pandemic. Velez hopes this new partnership with Lone Wolf will work out better for him compared to his Ukrainian Village restaurant.”
That Wicker Park Olympics Pop-Up Isn’t Worried About The Law
Writes Eater Chicago: “Pop culture pop-up bars have found enormous success in Chicago, but unauthorized use of intellectual property has previously lead to cease-and-desist letters and stars publicly distancing themselves from unofficial events. Fatpour owner Erik Baylis of Big Onion Hospitality (Hopsmith) isn’t concerned about a lawsuit at this point, according to a rep who points to a Denver bar that in 2018 also held an extensive Olympics-themed pop-up. The Olympics are also known to fiercely defend its intellectual properties.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Remembering Edgebrook Filmmaker Jeff Marpé
“Known for his dry sense of humor and willingness to help neighbors and friends, Chicago filmmaker and producer Jeff Marpé was all about bettering his community,” reports Block Club Chicago. “The longtime Edgebrook resident and local film icon died unexpectedly July 14 at his home from heart disease, said Rose Marpé, his ex-wife. Marpé was in his sixties. His family declined to make his age public because ‘he wouldn’t want people to know…’ Neighbors on the Far Northwest Side and the film community were shocked by Marpé’s sudden death, and he will be greatly missed,’ Rose Marpé said.”
WGN-TV Pictures Joe Swanberg’s VHS Emporium
WGN shines light on Analog Video at Borelli’s on Lawrence in Lincoln Square: “The concept is simple, after 8pm on the weekend you can grab a pizza and a beer, meander to the back room of Borelli’s and step back in time when the VHS was king. Right there in its full neon glory, you’ll see the ‘video’ sign illuminated, like a lighthouse guiding boats back to shore.” Swanberg tells WGN, “I started with my own personal collection, so it’s obviously coming from my very own deep connection to the video store. I worked at Hollywood Video in Naperville in high school, I have a ten-year old and five-year-old that [had] never been [to] a video store prior to this one.”
New York Times Drops In On Kanye Listening Party
“Premiering his new album, ‘Donda,’ in front of a packed crowd at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium here on Thursday night, the rapper, who has become known as much for his failed presidential run and his pending divorce as his music, chose not to say a single thing,” reports Jewel Wicker for the New York Times. “Fans were given few details… before the event, and the excessively loud speakers at the stadium made it hard to decipher lyrics or other key details. What was clear from the public listening session, which also streamed live via Apple Music, was that the album continued to explore themes of religion both sonically and lyrically, and featured a bevy of guest artists, including a new collaboration with Jay-Z.” The first track played “featured West repeatedly chanting ‘We gonna be OK’ over an organ as the crowd illuminated the stadium with cellphone lights. Even on the more boastful songs… there were still heavy nods to his Christian faith. One hook from the album featured the lyrics ‘I know God breathed on this,’ as well as the cheeky lyric ‘God the father like Maury.'”
American Masters Documentary On Buddy Guy Debuts Tuesday Night
“Buddy Guy: The Blues Chase The Blues Away” will be on Channel 11 on Tuesday night as part of the thirty-fifth season of American Masters, marking Buddy Guy’s eighty-fifth birthday on July 30. “This new documentary features intimate, original interviews with Guy and archival and never-before-seen performances, including footage of the blues legend on stage with the likes of President Obama and The Rolling Stones. Interweaving archival interviews with Muddy Waters, Lightnin’ Hopkins and Willie Dixon with original interviews with musicians Guy influenced, including John Mayer, Carlos Santana, Gary Clark, Jr. and Kingfish, [tracing his] rich career and lasting impact as one of the final surviving connections to an historic era in the country’s musical evolution.” Streaming options are here.
Chicagoan’s Black-Owned Music Marketing Platform Raises $4 Million For Music App
“Morgan Park High School alumnus and app co-founder Rotimi Omosheyin says Music Breakr creates ‘magical moments’ for would-be creatives,” reports Evan F. Moore at the Sun-Times. “A Black-owned music marketing platform — co-founded in part by two Chicago natives — aims to create a lane for independent artists. Music Breakr, an app bridging the gap between DJs and creatives who aim to have their music heard, continues to foster collaborations with about 50,000 creators across 133 countries.”
Royal George Theatre Building Reaps $7.1 Million
Longtime apartment developer Draper & Kramer is paying $7.1 million for the Lincoln Park property, across Halsted from Steppenwolf, where the Royal George Theatre was located for years, reports Crain’s. The site’s fate is likely apartments.
Deeply Rooted Dance Theater Named Part Of INFLUENCERS Cohort
The International Association of Blacks in Dance has announced the INFLUENCERS Cohort for the 2021 COHI | MOVE program. Five companies will each receive a total of $150,000 over the next three years: Collage Dance Collective, Memphis; Emerge 125, New York; KanKouran West African Dance Company, Washington; StepAfrika!, Washington; and Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, Chicago. The organizations were selected based on commitment to collaborative participation and engagement with IABD, NFF, program consultants, and cohort companies; the depth of community relationships; demand for locally based programming greater than the organization’s ability to provide; engagement and demonstrated support of local artists and the local arts community; and demonstrated loss for the community if this organization no longer existed.
2nd Story Starts Twenty-Third Season
One of Chicago’s longest-running storytelling collectives, 2nd Story, has announced the first half of their twenty-third season of programming. The 2021-2022 season will feature nearly thirty world premiere stories and storyteller debuts, as well as twenty most-loved stories from the 2nd Story archive. “This season will explore what it means to reset, rebuild, and reclaim, especially following a tumultuous year,” 2nd Story says in a release. Launching the season is ‘Off the Map’ on August 28, featuring stories that reveal how to navigate a world that is no longer familiar. All 2nd Story performances are via Zoom. Tickets are pay-what-you-can and are available beginning August 1 here.
ARTS & CULTURE
Times Expands On The Passing Of Chicago-Born Circus Performer Alice Clark Brown
Neil Genzlinger at the New York Times writes a captivating survey of the life of Alice Clark Brown, taken to be the first Black showgirl in one of the Ringling Brothers’ two touring companies, who died June 6 in Oak Park. Brown describes one of her performances: “The number was called ‘The Cakewalk Jamboree,’ and the elephants would come galloping out,” she said in an oral history of the circus, “Then they would stand on their hind legs, so you were on the elephants, and you were way up high.” “And then the elephants would pivot earthward into a headstand, the rider rocketing forward with her animal. In other circuses, a rider might grab the harness to maintain balance, but not in the Ringling arena. Photographs from the time show Ms. Brown triumphantly astride her headstanding elephant, arms raised high, her elaborate headdress perfectly in place. ‘I had to learn how to let centrifugal force work with that so that I could stay on and never hold on, never never… It looks like I’m defying gravity.”
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