Tony Fitzpatrick Takes Woodpecker And Cardinal Murals To Glen Ellyn
A pair of eight-by-ten-foot murals by Tony Fitzpatrick arrive in downtown Glen Ellyn on September 8. The murals depict birds native to the area: a woodpecker and a cardinal. Composed of acrylic paint on aluminum board, the collaged background features imagery distinctive to pop culture influences in Fitzpatrick’s work. Fitzpatrick was assisted by his studio partner and protégé, Danny Torres, and Sam DeCarlo who, like Fitzpatrick, is a former College of DuPage student. “I was honored to have the opportunity to create this work for Glen Ellyn,” Fitzpatrick says in a release. “It’s one of my core beliefs that art is best made via cultural and community efforts and this project is a perfect opportunity to show that in action.” The Fitzpatrick murals are part of the DuPage public art project proposed by Diana Martinez, director of the McAninch Arts Center, and approved by the College’s Board of Trustees in October 2020 to initiate public art events and art installations. “Tony’s works are a perfect first project to launch this public art initiative as he grew up in DuPage County and has many connections to COD,” Cleve Carney Museum of Art director and curator Justin Witte says. “He was also close friends with the founding donor of the Cleve Carney Museum of Art, Cleve Carney. The timing of this installation is ideal as it serves as a precursor to his upcoming exhibition at the Cleve Carney Museum of Art opening October 16.”
Kavi Gupta Representing Esmaa Mohamoud
Kavi Gupta has announced representation of African-Canadian artist Esmaa Mohamoud. Grounded in what the artist describes as “the monolithic versus the multitude,” Mohamoud’s work examines the gap between contemporary culture’s oversimplification and diminishment of Black people, compared to the complexity, richness, and diversity of their experiences. Mohamoud’s critically acclaimed solo exhibition “Esmaa Mohamoud: To Play in the Face of Certain Defeat” is touring the national galleries of Canada through 2023. The work looks specifically at how the Black body navigates within the vernacular of athleticism. In her newest body of work, Mohamoud extends her interest in the monolithic versus the multiplicity by examining everyday aspects of Black life, such as financial literacy, Black beauty, and the surveillance of Black bodies. “In certain contexts, my body becomes a visual signifier of some kind of threat,” she says. in a release. More here.
RUSCHMAN Opens RUSCHWOMAN
RUSCHMAN is opening a second gallery, situated in the Little Village neighborhood. The newly renovated RUSCHWOMAN will serve as a satellite project space for the main gallery in Irving Park. RUSCHWOMAN will be inaugurated with the group exhibition “Speculative Magenta Hauntology,” which opens Sunday, September 19. More here.
Jackson Park’s Wooded Island, Across The Way From Obama Presidential Center Construction, Now Gated, Locked At Dusk
Ald. Leslie Hairston tells Block Club Chicago that plans to limit after-hours access to Jackson Park’s Wooded Island have been talked about for years, but officials gave the public one day’s notice about gates being erected at the park. Why now? “Open, blatant sexual acts; damage to the Wooded Island — people have stolen the koi fish out of the pond,’ Hairston said. “They’ve damaged the stage area, the performance area. There’s been graffiti.” Reports Maxwell Evans, “The gates arrive one week after construction began on the Obama Presidential Center just across the park’s West Lagoon from Wooded Island. Officials denied any link between the gates and the center’s arrival. ‘This is definitely not related to the Obama Center construction,’ Hairston said. ‘These requests have been ongoing even before Obama got in office.'”
Nineteenth-Century Wicker Park Mansion Sells For Nearly $5 Million
The Trib catches up with the sale of a “five-bedroom, nineteenth-century mansion in Wicker Park” that sold on April 30 for $4.8 million in an off-market transaction.”The sale is a record for the Wicker Park neighborhood, where the previous high-water mark for a single-family home was a 22,000-square-foot former orphanage that sold in 2014 for $3.1 million… Nearby Bucktown’s record price is the 2015 sale of a newly built, five-bedroom contemporary-style mansion for $4.819 million.The buyer of the 8,200-square-foot Wicker Park mansion, an opaque land trust, [hired] Woodhouse Tinucci Architects and is proposing a major overhaul of the entire property that would include installing an underground pool on the property with a glass roof… The red brick imitation castle is a neighborhood landmark. Built between 1878 and 1891, the Second Empire-style mansion sits on an unusually large, quarter-acre corner lot on North Hoyne and has a domed turreted top and a multicolored porch.”
How “The Warehouse Archipelago” Fails To Replace Manufacturing Jobs
In the first installment of an extensive investigative series at the Chicago Reporter, John Lippert and Stephen Franklin dissect “The Warehouse Archipelago.” “People like to talk about warehousing as a replacement for manufacturing,” says Beth Gutelius, a researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “But it’s not a production function like a factory; it’s a circulation function. It doesn’t create goods, it moves them. The profit margins in warehousing as a circulation activity are very tight, so employers look for ways to cut costs, and labor cost is often the first place they look… Without power, like the unions that were built in manufacturing, frontline workers are forced to absorb this pressure on profit margins by accepting lower wages and worse working conditions.”
Woodlawn Affordable Apartment Complex Could Slow Gentrification Near Obama Presidential Center
“A project that would bring more than forty affordable apartments to a vacant lot one block away from the Cottage Grove Green Line station has gained the support of a key city panel,” reports Block Club Chicago. “The five-story Park Station development on 63rd Street in Woodlawn passed the Plan Commission… Plans call for a five-story building with fifty-six apartments, forty-one of which are affordable; two “live-work” units with retail and residential aspects; and three retail spaces. The $30.8 million project is led by developers DL3 Realty and Michaels Development… Park Station is the first project subject to the requirements of the Woodlawn Affordable Housing Ordinance, passed last fall after years of community organizing to keep existing residents in the neighborhood.”
IIT’s Fourth Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize Process In Motion
The Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) College of Architecture will award the fourth Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP) in 2022. The prize’s global network of more than 140 anonymous expert nominators will submit projects for consideration in September. Works of architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism and infrastructure realized between January 2018 and June 2021 are eligible. From its home in IIT’s renowned College of Architecture, MCHAP grants two awards during each two-year cycle: the Americas Prize, given to the single built work that best represents architectural excellence, and the Prize for Emerging Practice, which recognizes a work by a firm in its first ten years of operation. More here.
DINING & DRINKING
A Look Back With Rainbo Club’s Veteran Bartender Ken Ellis
Punch profiles career bartender (and quilt artist) Ken Ellis and his thirty-five years behind the taps at the Rainbo Club. “Back when we first opened, it was kind of dangerous at the time. It was guaranteed that there was going to be a car broken into at some point in the night. The gangbangers were heavy back in the day, but they got priced out of the neighborhood. The bros have chased out the gangbangers. I miss the gangbangers. If I see one more backwards baseball cap… Unless you’re Johnny Bench or some catcher in the major leagues, turn that cap around,” Ellis says. “We still get a lot of art students and artsy musicians. They don’t have no money. We’ve never been here to make a fortune.”
City Files Suit Against DoorDash, Grubhub For Alleged Dishonest Dealing
Eater Chicago headlines the matter thusly: “Chicago Sues Grubhub and DoorDash for Allegedly Scamming Basically Everyone: Restaurants, Drivers, and Customers.” “These are the first lawsuits of their kind of America,” Eater reports. “Other municipalities have sued the companies, honing in on a single issue. For example, Massachusetts’ attorney general sued Grubhub in July, accusing it of violating a fee cap. Chicago’s lawsuit is the first to combine a variety of issues in one filing; city officials say one lawsuit is more efficient.” The city alleges “that DoorDash and Grubhub’s misconduct has been ongoing for years and continues to this day. Specifically, both DoorDash and Grubhub: Advertise order and delivery services from unaffiliated restaurants without their consent, leaving restaurants to repair reputational damage and resolve consumer complaints caused by Defendants; Lure consumers into a bait-and-switch with deceptively small delivery fees upfront, only to charge misleading fees at the end of the transaction. This increases the total cost of delivery by as much as six times the amount initially advertised; Hide that menu prices on their platforms are often significantly higher than the prices available if ordering directly from the restaurant.” Here’s an Eater report from May 2020 when regulation was first broached. A press release with the consumer protection charges is here.
Is Fifty Years Enough Of Chez Panisse? Asks L. A. Times
Berkeley’s Chez Panisse restaurant, founded by Alice Waters, hit the half-century mark over the weekend; the influential on farmers markets, restaurateurs, cookbook makers and chefs across America, including Chicago’s Paul Kahan, is well noted. Los Angeles Times restaurant critic Bill Addison asks if time should be up: “Waters mothered the farm-to-table movement. She remains a spiritual guide of Slow Food USA… But with longevity and importance come clichés and rebuke. Plenty of us who care about food can no longer utter the phrase ‘farm-to-table’ without rolling our eyes. Waters and Chez Panisse have weathered persistent accusations of culinary elitism, of stifling the Bay Area’s dining evolution with an overbearing dogma, of a precious and stilted adherence to a reductive simplicity that David Chang once famously waved away as ‘figs on a plate.’ … Is the greatest legacy of Chez Panisse on the page rather than on the plate? The blurred lines of homey cooking, community symbiosis and professional skill that the restaurant embodies come into clearest focus in cookbooks. Chez Panisse may live on most usefully and poignantly in the words of the chefs who’ve graduated from its kitchens.”
Comparing Reaction To City’s Speeding-Ticket Cameras, Trib Editorial Board Vs. Steve Albini
At Streetsblog, John Greenfield compares the Tribune’s take on the city’s lowering the settings on speeding cameras to an earlier one by recording engineer Steve Albini. “The paper cites the high number of citations issued to speeders in the wake of the threshold change–322,447 tickets in the first two months—as evidence the new policy is flawed. ‘If the cameras are snagging that many otherwise upstanding Illinois citizens… something is out of whack.’ That statement implies that speeding 6-9 mph over Chicago’s 30mph speed limit isn’t really problematic, and drivers don’t deserve to get penalized for it.” Albini was twice ticketed by cams in April for driving 6 and 9mph over the speed limit on North Western Avenue. Albini said he’d like to see measures taken to make the fines less regressive for lower-income residents. But for folks like himself for whom a $35 penalty is not a major hardship, ‘It seems like a nicely implemented, mild reminder to keep speed under control in those areas,’ he told the Tribune’s Tracy Swartz. ‘I don’t fault anybody but me for driving too fast.'”
Ye, Verily: Soldier Field Show Deemed “Bonkers”
“Kanye West, sometime pride of Chicago, frequent albatross of American culture, son of the late Donda West (chair of the English department at Chicago State University), is our new Warhol, only restless, minus Warhol’s affectlessness, but with all the genius, ridiculousness, flatulence, ambition and daring that implies,” writes Christopher Borrelli for the Tribune. “So, naturally, ‘The Donda Experience’… is also a kind of performance. Yeezus, it’s a performance.” At the 50-yard line, “Kanye had his South Shore childhood home rebuilt. Not a facade of the South Shore house. The whole damn thing. Then it was fixed with a large neon cross and placed on a hill surrounded by dozens of candles. Apparently, some people go to a therapist and some people reconstruct their childhood homes inside of an NFL stadium… The music he plays is challenging and interesting but after a while, it’s hard to pay attention to what I’m hearing, and just before it’s all over, in case I didn’t grasp Kanye’s frame of mind, he sets himself on fire. I mean, that’s an experience, right?” Selena Fragassi at the Sun-Times: “Once Kanye and his entourage did emerge—at 10:49pm— it was a nonstop affair that began with a montage of black-and-white video featuring Donda West, her name repeated in monotone, and then quickly devolving into a chaotic mock crime scene that was hard to turn away from over the next 90 minutes. Kanye, disguised most of the night in a full face mask as his arms gyrated to the beats… looked like a villain lording over Gotham… He and his cronies—[a] distasteful and controversial crew that included Marilyn Manson and DaBaby—were surrounded as a cavalry of dancers dressed in SWAT gear and a lineup of trucks worthy of a monster rally, continuously circling the perimeter of the house… Whether it was Kanye’s embedded commentary on cancel culture or perhaps just his own version of shock rock, clearly it all worked, as those guest appearances will likely make more headlines than the music. So did the incendiary final five minutes… when Kanye wrapped up the affair by being set on fire (safely) before recreating his nuptials with Kardashian herself strutting down the field in a wedding dress to the evening’s final song, ‘No Child Left Behind.'”
Michael “Mick Rain” Ruane, Drummer For Chicago Power Pop Pezband, Killed By COVID
“Mike Ruane was the big man playing the big drum set for Pezband, one of a wave of effervescent power pop groups also including Cheap Trick, Material Issue and Shoes to emerge from the Chicago area in the 1970s and 1980s,” writes Maureen O’Donnell at the Sun-Times. Mr. Ruane, known by the nickname Mick Rain [who was 68], died August 14 at Tampa General Hospital of complications from COVID-19, according to his daughter Nicoletta Montaner. “His family took out a death notice in the Tampa Bay Times saying his death was ‘courtesy of the U.S. and Florida state governments’ homicidal pandemic policy.’ “He had been vaccinated for the coronavirus while undergoing treatment for multiple myeloma, a blood cancer. He responded well to his oncology regimen and ‘his bloodwork was spectacular’… But then Mr. Ruane — who moved to Tampa after the band broke up in the early 1980s — fell ill. ‘If there was proper policy, he would not have gotten sick,’ Montaner said. ‘It’s Florida. Nobody’s masking. The ICUs are full. This was not a necessary death… There could [have been] another Pezband reunion at FitzGerald’s, just like there was every few years.’” More from O’Donnell here.
Hubbard Street Announces “Re/Charge,” Its Forty-Fourth Season
“Re/Charge” is the theme of the Chicago leading dance company’s return to live performance. From their site: “With our long-awaited return to live dance, we will RECONNECT you with the bold contemporary dance you love; REVIVE some Hubbard Street favorites; REINFORCE our commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion throughout the Hubbard Street organization; and REIMAGINE what it means for the arts to be accessible to all, by dancing with schools and communities across Chicago and offering $15 tickets for every performance.” More on its eclectic programming here.
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