Wilmette Gets Drive-In Gallery Show
“Still Holds Up” will open in Wilmette in October for a special one-month tour. The exhibition builds upon Chicago’s history of apartment art shows and artist-run spaces and brings the concept to a garage on the North Shore. “This format allows for the community to view the art from their car, which is a socially-distant and safe way to view the new pieces,” the gallery relays. “This exhibit is the work of four University of Chicago MFA graduates, who are reuniting in conversation about space, surface, and objecthood. As they unite after ten years of working on other projects, their new work reflects on questions inspired by art displayed in a garage.” The artists are Maymay Jumsai, Paul Gerard Somers, Anthony Adcock and Stacee Kalmanovsky. “Still Holds Up” runs October 8–November 5 from 1–7pm at 1015 Forest Avenue, Wilmette.
McCormick Gallery Opens Exhibition Of New Work By Pooja Pittie
McCormick Gallery opens its second show of work by Pooja Pittie. “This is our second solo exhibition with Pooja, who has been hard at work all summer preparing her new body of work. We are super-excited to present nine paintings along with some new mixed media works on paper.” During the pandemic, “Pooja began making small, intimate works on paper in a mixed media approach that included embroidery, watercolor, colored pencil and other methods. We will be showing a grouping of these.” Opens Thursday, September 16, 5–7pm and continues through November 6. More here.
BMO Harris Adds To Wave Of Bank Branch Terminations
Condé Nast Traveler Identifies Chicago Edifice Complex
“Chicago’s Thoughtful New Spaces Make the City Worth Revisiting,” eh? At CN Traveler, Andrew Sessa works through a fervent mulch of clichés on his way to getting testimony that Chicago continues to spiff up. “It might be called the Windy City, but Chicago never blows its own horn. And yet America’s third-largest metropolis has plenty to brag about, from its cultural legacy and historic architecture to its influential food scene (whether you’re talking about the Obamas’ date-night fave Spiaggia [sic] or Polish-sausage subs the length of your arm). As Chicago enters its next chapter, its strength, beauty, and get-her-done attitude are more evident than ever. Throughout the city center, a clutch of sophisticated hotels is welcoming back travelers, while top chefs are rolling out restaurants that showcase globally minded but neighborhood-driven fine dining. Of course, if it’s a beer and a burger you’re after, you’re in luck there too, thanks to a slew of craft-beer bars elevating a beloved local classic. But it isn’t just hot openings that make the Paris of the Prairie so exciting right now—it’s also the spirit of community. You’ll see it in the latest edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, opening in September, which tasked star designers from around the world with permanently reimagining abandoned public spaces. Construction is also set to begin on the nineteen-acre Obama Presidential Center, with a museum, a branch of the public library, and gardens.”
DINING & DRINKING
Fooditor Doesn’t Mind Tiki Drinks, But Hold That Attitude
The Fooditor surveys the Eater Chicago takeout on tiki drinks, for those who may “feel inclined to whomp on tiki bars for existing… look, I know some of the kids really enjoy painting themselves as holier than thou on subjects like this, but is anyone not bored with this kind of woke pecksniffery… Maybe it’ll get Eater the clicks, but I for one am in the sixteenth minute of the fifteenth minutes of regarding everything as cultural appropriation. Maybe I just want a fruity drink with an umbrella, and don’t plan on oppressing anybody in the process. I mean, I could try to make an argument that Lost Lake’s new ‘tropical’ theme, which takes in the slaveholding Caribbean, is actually more racist than tiki, which comes out of America liberating the South Pacific from imperialist Japan, but I really find it impossible to want to accept the premises of all this stuff, even for the purposes of hoisting it with its own petard.”
Proposed Plasticware Crackdown Diluted
“Restaurants would almost always be banned from sending customers home with unsolicited plasticware, napkins or condiment packets under an ordinance set to be considered by aldermen on Monday,” reports Block Club Chicago. “But supporters of a more sweeping plastics crackdown say the ordinance does not go far enough… The measure bans restaurants from giving out ‘single-use foodware’ with takeout orders unless ‘upon request from the customer.’ The ban does not apply to ‘self-service stations,’ where customers can grab their own napkins or condiments… The legislation carves out multiple exceptions to the rule, including for hot beverage sleeves and ‘prepackaged’ plasticware attached by a manufacturer. It would not apply to drive-thrus, Chicago’s airports or ‘any charitable food dispensing establishment.'”
Brewery Dragged Into Ald. Gardiner Controversy
“Chicago beer maker Lake Effect Brewing—and its long-awaited Jefferson Park brewery and taproom—have joined a large and diverse cast of local characters caught up in revelations about Ald. Jim Gardiner,” reports Eater Chicago. “Text messages sent in June 2019 between Gardiner and an unnamed aide indicate that staff performed a background check on Lake Effect owner Clint Bautz, according to watchdog blog the People’s Fabric. At the time, Bautz and local developer Ambrosia Homes were several years into an effort to buy a historic firehouse from the city… Gardiner sent a letter ‘in full support of the project by Ambrosia Homes’… but former staffers reportedly say that the alderman tried to persuade the developer to ditch Lake Effect and find a new tenant. In September, when an aide texted Gardiner about a reference Bautz had made in a project meeting to Lake Effect’s firehouse venture, the alderman tried to strike a tough-guy pose. ‘That little f—er best be careful,’ the alderman texted.”
Seasonal Mexican Dish Chiles En Nogada Is Here
Brenda Storch samples chiles en nogada. “Meaning ‘chiles in walnut sauce,’ the plate symbolizes the convergence of religions and traditions that occurred five centuries ago… The recipe for chiles en nogada calls for ingredients, flavors, textures, and cooking techniques from across the world. Ground meat (typically beef and pork) is mixed with dried fruits and nuts and swaddled in a mildly spicy poblano pepper. The dish is finished with a light walnut sauce, then sprinkled with pomegranate seeds, and often garnished with parsley. The choice of a poblano pepper… as the plate’s centerpiece seems like a deliberate act of poetry… Dressed in the Mexican flag’s green, white, and red, chiles en nogada appeals to sight, smell, taste, touch, and identity. Part Spanish and part indigenous, the plate is an allegory of the complexity of the Mexican people. Its emblematic colors and the myths woven around its birth have made chiles en nogada an icon of patriotic pride.”
Seminary Co-op Is Book Post’s Fall Bookseller Partner
Book Post has a multi-part look at their fall bookseller partnership with Seminary Co-op and 57th Street Books. “At its most elevated,” Seminary Co-op director Jeff Deutsch’s “defense of the ‘cultural good’ of bookselling becomes a defense of a whole constellation of goods threatened by the accelerating monetization of our moment. That a university-town bookstore loses money selling scholarly books (which are themselves subsidized) seems of a piece with museums and opera houses threatened with closure even as they take in large government subsidies and lean on tax incentives for philanthropy and yet price admission where it is inaccessible to all but a few and offer entry-level salaries acceptable only to people who don’t have to work; with higher education unaffordable to most yet frequently delivered by underpaid people with no job security or benefits; with public broadcasting airing ads for the Walton Family Foundation and Kaspersky Lab and Goldman Sachs; with the collection and reliable distribution of important public information becoming an untenable occupation…. We’re seeing pretty clearly how things go when we have no way to value things without a visible surface for a price tag. We are relying on volunteers and people working above-and-beyond to sustain our culture. Creating a harbor for reflection and the transmission of ideas… is the explicit purpose of the Seminary Co-op bookstore-as-nonprofit.” Part one is here.
Logan Center Bluesfest Sounds Off In October
The third Logan Center Bluesfest has announced its roster of intimate Blues concerts, conversations and special events in which select programming is offered in person, while all programming is livestreamed for free to audiences around the world. Evening headliner concert programming, which follows the thread of Blues music from its earliest expressions to its most contemporary, includes Daughters and Sons of the Blues: Shemekia Copeland & Ronnie Baker Brooks, with special guests Lurrie Bell & Steve Bell, and Demetria Taylor, Friday, October 15; I Been Studdin’ Ya!: Bobby Rush with Jontavious Willis opening, Saturday, October 16; and avery r. young’s “a strange bitter” with Melody Angel opening, Sunday, October 17. Tickets for these limited audience, in-person concerts are priced at $10 for adults, $5 for 18 and younger. All other in-person programs, and the festival livestream–including the headliner concerts–are free, with advance reservation required. Bluesfest will be held at the Logan Center for the Arts, 915 East 60th, across the weekend of October 15-17. Go here for concert ticket purchases and to register for free programming.
Orion Ensemble Adds Shows, Venues For November
The Orion Ensemble, with guest violist Stephen Boe, continues its twenty-ninth season with performances featuring works by Beethoven, Hindemith, Price and Schubert at three venues: New England Congregational Church in Aurora (November 7, followed by a wine and cheese benefit); PianoForte Studios in Chicago (November 10); and a new venue, Lake Street Church in Evanston (November 14). The Chicago and Evanston performances will be available via livestream. Details here.
Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater Returns To Auditorium Theatre
Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater returns to the Auditorium Theatre to celebrate the finale performance of its forty-fifth anniversary “Zafiro Flamenco (Sapphire Flamenco): New Era, New Works, New Legacies” season. This will be the first presented performance since the theater closed in March of 2020, and opens the Auditorium season. It is also the first program in the Auditorium’s “Made in Chicago” Dance Series. “Over seventeen months ago, we presented our last live performance on our historic stage,” says Auditorium Theatre CEO Rich Regan in a release. “We are excited to open our doors once again with the celebrated Chicago dance company Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater. We invite all of Chicago to this grand reopening as we continue our 131-year journey as one of the city’s premier cultural institutions.” Irma Suarez Ruiz, Ensemble Español artistic director: “We’re proud to open the Auditorium Theatre after its long closure. For forty-five years the company has been creating dance and performing in this great city. A concert is an ideal way to celebrate this achievement.” The show is Saturday, October 16 at 7:30pm. Tickets here.
First Floor Theater Slates Season
First Floor Theater has announced its ninth season of live productions, featuring one world premiere and one Chicago premiere, along with a second round of The Blueprint Commission, its new play development initiative. “We’re thrilled to welcome back audiences with some of the most electrifying, audacious and unabashedly queer work in Chicago,” artistic director Hutch Pimentel says in a release. “We spent our time away from the theater reassessing our priorities and values and we’re proud to reintroduce a more equitable, more vibrant First Floor Theater.” Details here.
Deeply Rooted Dance Theater Returns To Auditorium
Deeply Rooted Dance Theater returns to the Auditorium Theatre with “Roots & Wings.” Celebrating its twenty-fifth season, the evening is the finale performance of the company’s anniversary season and the second performance in the Auditorium’s “Made in Chicago” dance series. “We are happy that a company as renowned and talented as Deeply Rooted Dance Theater is the second performance of the Auditorium’s reopening this October,” Auditorium Theatre CEO Rich Regan says in a release. Saturday, October 23, 7:30pm. Tickets here.
ARTS & CULTURE
Animal Encounters Return To Shedd
Shedd Aquarium is returning some of its chances for visitors to connect with their aquatic animals. “Participants will have a unique opportunity to come face-to-face with penguins, beluga whales, or sharks during these animal encounters,” the Shedd announces in a release. The availabilities include the Beluga Encounter, Shark Feeding Tour and the Penguin Encounter. Prices and tickets here.
Chicago Native, Retired NASA Astronaut Joan Higginbotham, Headlines Adler Planetarium Celestial Ball
Adler Planetarium holds its biggest fundraising event of the year on Saturday, September 18. “Over the course of the last year, the Adler set out to create digital spaces where everyone on the planet could feel connected—to us, to each other, to the sky, and to the farthest reaches of our collective imagination,” the planetarium says in a release. “By creating innovative experiences and accessible opportunities, the Adler Planetarium’s impact now reaches further than ever. Our virtual ‘Celestial Ball: Adler Anywhere’ will celebrate that transformation. The highlight will be an exclusive conversation between Adler Teen Program participant, Claudia Jimenez, and Chicago native and retired NASA astronaut Joan Higginbotham. Higginbotham flew on STS-116, Space Shuttle Discovery. She is the third of only three African American women to go to space. From Whitney M. Young Magnet High School to the International Space Station, she reflects on the pivotal role STEM played in her historic journey and stellar career.” September 16, 6pm on the Adler’s YouTube channel. The virtual Celestial Ball is free with a suggested donation of $50, or an amount of your choosing. Register for access here.
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