Cezanne Show In Chicago Includes Still Life Owned By Gaugin
The Paul Cezanne retrospective, opening at the Art Institute (May 15-September 5) and then traveling to London, “will be the artist’s largest monographic exhibition since the 1990s,” reports the Art Newspaper. “The Chicago presentation of ‘Cezanne’ includes ninety oil paintings, forty watercolors and two sketchbooks… The curatorial team, led by Gloria Groom (Chicago) and Natalia Sidlina (Tate), is focusing on Cezanne’s finest works, to tell the story of the development of his art.” His “Still life with Fruit Dish” (1879-80) “was once owned by Paul Gauguin, who described it as ‘an exceptional pearl, the apple of my eye.'”
New York City Removes All Regulation Of Art Auction Houses
“The city won’t even require auction houses to be licensed, let alone disclose such things as whether they have financial interests in the items they’re auctioning. The change is part of a broader package passed by the City Council to help businesses recover post-pandemic,” reports the New York Times.
Michael Hoffman Work At Addington Gallery
“Michael Hoffman’s paintings are meditative studies done with rich colors and bold graphic compositions that often incorporate circles, grids and stripes,” the Addington Gallery relays in a release. “A common theme in his paintings is the tension between rigid linear form and the organic flow of nature: the symbiotic relationship between order and disorder. Inclusion of this universal symbology and other contrasting elements creates a delicate balance that brings forward the subtle texture of each work. Hoffman’s pieces are also about the act of painting itself. He explores the physical nature of the materials and pushes to use unique and original methods of applying them. By virtue of the tactile painting surfaces and linear handling, much of the artist’s process is revealed and can be traced chronologically, leaving an intriguing surface treatment that echoes of its own history.” Hoffman’s solo show opens Friday, May 6 and runs through June 30 with an opening reception 5pm-8pm, at 704 North Wells. More here.
Casino Proposed For Freedom Center
Mayor Lightfoot etches at least one legacy she will leave to the city of Chicago; an immense, $1.7 billion casino complex to be built atop what will have been the Chicago Tribune’s printing plant, also known as “Freedom Center.” On the mayoral Twitter account, Lightfoot posted, “It is with absolute pleasure to announce that I’ve selected Bally’s Chicago at Tribune Publishing Center” as the site of a Chicago mega-casino. “Bally’s Chicago will feature world-class amenities.” Block Club Chicago’s Kelly Bauer relays the mayor’s remarks from the Thursday morning press conference: “Bally’s has also been very receptive to city feedback. It’ll seamlessly blend into Chicago’s landscape.” Lightfoot says the proposal will be considered Monday: “We will bring this exciting proposal to City Council. A special committee was set up; aldermen will receive another detailed round of briefings before the hearing. The subject matter hearing is set for Monday.” Alderman Brendan Reilly: “We were also told the Council’s Special Casino Committee would hold more hearings, gather more testimony and ask more tough questions to determine what is in Chicago’s best interest. The process was flawed from Day One but now that process is being thrown out the window entirely.” Alderman Brian Hopkins: “I’m old enough to remember Tuesday, when the mayor said she hadn’t made a decision and wasn’t planning to announce anything today.”
Bauer reports that Lightfoot avers that “Officials shouldn’t make investments in a community without getting those residents’ feedback.” Says Lightfoot: “That’s exactly what we’ve done along this journey.” Bauer notes: “Again, residents groups have voiced strong opposition to the Bally’s in River West.” Development Commissioner Maurice Cox looks forward to “outward-facing amenities”; “It is a catalyst that serves as a focal point for this growing arts and culture and entertainment district… This will be a place where Chicagoans will come. They will meet the world; the world will meet Chicago. Chicagoans will come back again and again and again,” he says, “even if you aren’t a gambler.” Tweets Lightfoot: “A city casino signals to the world that Chicago’s economy is on a strong path to recovery. Our post-pandemic recovery is well underway.”
Fran Spielman at the Sun-Times: “Now that Bally’s has nailed down a labor agreement that includes a promise to pay its unionized workforce a living wage, Lightfoot is counting on organized labor to help her muscle the site through the council. Union leaders will undoubtedly attempt to portray any alderperson who dares to oppose Bally’s plan as anti-union and anti-jobs.”
Greg Hinz wrote at Crain’s in 2004 about then-Mayor Daley’s desire for large-scale Chicago gambling: “Daley is throwing the gaming dice again. Twelve years after abandoning plans to bring a land-based casino to Chicago, the mayor on Monday announced that he is asking the General Assembly to authorize a license for a city-owned, land-based casino… ‘The reality is we must find new sources of revenue for government,’ Mr. Daley told reporters during an afternoon press conference. ‘I understand this is a bold step, but in these uncertain times we need to be bold if we are going to move Chicago forward.’ Daley estimated ‘$600-$700 million in annual tax revenue for the state and $250-$300 million a year to local governments. The mayor would not say where the city-owned, privately operated casino should be located, beyond suggesting he is primarily looking downtown.”
“If Chicago history has shown us anything at all, it’s that when a city deal pitched as a good thing instead results in unanswered queries and general queasiness, it’s everyday Chicagoans who end up suckered,” writes the Sun-Times editorial board. “Bally’s has never built a casino from the ground up in a market as large as Chicago, which raises alarms… Most of the 14 casinos Bally’s owns nationwide were first established and operated by other entities, then later acquired by the gaming giant. Our concern is that the mayor — herself a newcomer to the big-city municipal casino game — may have selected an operator who is as green to the action as she is.” A tweet from the pseudonymous Chicago Bars account: “So… is this Chicago casino going to have a City residency requirement for employment?”
Medinah Temple Temporary Site Of Bally’s Casino
The Bally’s bid accepted by Mayor Lori Lightfoot “comes with a plan to open a temporary gambling site in the River North landmark, which would notch a big victory for the vacant building’s landlord,” reports Crain’s.
Boeing HQ To Vacate Chicago?
“Airplane manufacturer Boeing reportedly is moving its headquarters out of Chicago, 21 years after it landed here in what was hailed as a coup for the local economy,” writes David Roeder at the Sun-Times. Reports say that “Boeing plans to move its headquarters to Arlington, Virginia, close to the nation’s capital… The move would bring executives closer to federal regulators and to Pentagon officials, who are crucial to Boeing’s aviation and defense businesses.” The Washington Post: The move comes “as Boeing struggles to shrug off financial burdens from the 737 Max, the pandemic’s smothering effect on travel and the fallout from severing ties with Russia. The company reported a $1.2 billion loss in the first quarter.”
Cheryl Tricoci Of Tricoci Beauty Empire Was Seventy-Six
Cheryl Tricoci, who built a beauty empire with her husband Mario Tricoci, “was beautiful inside and out,” Beverly Lesmeister, a friend since childhood and senior guest relations manager for Mario Tricoci Salon & Spa tells Maureen O’Donnell at the Sun-Times. “Mrs. Tricoci encouraged her husband to expand and diversify the business. She recognized early on that spa services like facials, manicures and massages would become just as important to customers and salon owners as a haircut or blow dry.” She was also well-known in charitable circles.
DINING & DRINKING
The Loop’s Cherry Circle Room Reopens
“Executive chef Fred Noinaj, assisted by chef de cuisine Alisha Elenz, is trying to remake the entire experience [of dining at the Cherry Circle Room] into something a little bit lighter (and maybe a touch less formal),” reports Chicago magazine. “With assistance from Elenz (who was recently the chef at mfk), Noinaj is redesigning the menu to be more plant-focused. The giant dry-aged ribeye for two is still on the menu, but now there are dishes like an intensely savory combination of ramps, asparagus, pistachio pesto, and Benton’s ham, topped with grated pickled eggs. ‘It’s secretly a nod to Chicago old school dive bars, where there would just be pickled eggs hanging out,’ says Noinaj. ‘The topping is a surprise; it gives the dish a cheesy texture.'”
Afro Joe’s Coffee & Tea Moving To Beverly
Popular South Side coffee shop Afro Joe’s Coffee & Tea is set to reopen, reports Block Club Chicago. “Neighbors can soon order lavender lattes, cold brews, short rib grilled cheese and more at the shop’s new location, 1818 West 99th. The location was once home to City Grange, a garden center. ‘I grew up in the Beverly area, so it’s kind of like coming home,’ Kendall Griffin said. ‘It’s bittersweet because we’re leaving Auburn Gresham, but we’re excited about introducing a new community to Afro Joe’s.’ Despite two burglaries in August, the owners vowed to stay in Auburn Gresham and praised the community for their encouragement to keep their business going. But in March, the couple announced they’d have to relocate after their landlord declined to renew the coffee shop’s lease.”
Starbucks Wages Reportedly Discriminate Against Union Workers
“Howard Schultz steps up Starbucks’ already fierce anti-union efforts with a new twist: He announces that Starbucks will raise its wages, but not for unionized workers,” posts veteran labor reporter Steven Greenhouse. “This smells a lot like illegal discrimination against union members for having had the audacity to defy Howard and unionize. I predict the NLRB will move quickly to find this a nationwide violation of federal law & will order Starbucks to give unionized baristas the same wage increases.” More Perfect Union tweets about it with a screenshot of an alleged directive: “Starbucks execs are instructing managers to refuse to say ‘union’ or ‘workers united’ out loud when announcing orders. Customer often give their name as ‘union strong’ or ‘union YES’ to show solidarity.” Brian Murray, a member of the Buffalo SBWU Organizing Committee, posts a flyer from the corporation: “So Starbucks has gotten to the stage of union busting where they threaten to take away support for DACA or Dreamer recipients if they unionize. Absolutely disgusting along with the other illegal threats listed.” (The NLRB rules are here.)
Anita Hill At Humanities Fest On Believing Women
Anita Hill will discuss her book “Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence” on Saturday at UIC’s Dorin Forum as part of the Chicago Humanities Festival, presented along with the Seminary Co-op bookstores. “Believing” is “a combination of memoir, law, social analysis, and call to arms on one of the most important topics of our day.” Hill will be joined in conversation by journalist Laura S. Washington. (Timely topics may be in the air.) Tickets here.
Chicago Has Two Major Literary Festivals On The Books
“Chicago now has two large literary festivals,” reports Christopher Borrelli at the Trib. “The Printers Row Lit Fest shifted from spring to September, allowing the ambitious new American Writers Festival to unfold around the Chicago Cultural Center and the Writers Museum May 15… It offers four stages, with more than seventy writers—and for a first-time festival, an impressive, varied lineup. ‘We wanted writers in the broadest sense, and national in scope,’ said Carey Cranston, museum president. ‘We didn’t want this to be about just who happens to be on a book tour.’ The result is not just a taste of stellar contemporary fiction authors (Rebecca Makkai, Jocelyn Nicole Johnson), nonfiction authors (Imani Perry, David Blight), children’s book writers (Andrea Beaty, of Ada Twist renown), memoirists (Dawn Turner, Will Jawando) and poets (Joy Harjo), but also: conversations on Black writers and justice (previewing a new exhibition), late-night TV comedy writing, book censorship, science fiction, theater… ‘We’d like to be a regular (festival),’ Cranston said, ‘but let’s see if Chicago comes out.'”
Chicago’s Own Cameo Lays Off Quarter Of Staff
“The startup behind the video app that allows users to pay celebrities for short personalized greetings has laid off a significant chunk of its workforce,” reports Engadget, which includes “top executives like the CTO and CPO.” Cameo CEO Steven Galanis “reportedly told employees the company had hired too quickly and fallen short of revenue expectations. The startup has raised $165 million and was valued at $1 billion last spring.” TechCrunch reports on Galanis’ memo and “unicorn” status: “To support both fan and talent demand during the pandemic lockdowns, Cameo’s headcount exploded from just over 100 to nearly 400. We hired a lot of people quickly, and market conditions have rapidly changed since then. Accordingly, we have right-sized the business to best reflect the new realities.” The layoffs “come a little over a year after the company, which has backing from Google Ventures, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Kleiner Perkins, landed unicorn status.”
Mason Bates’ “Philharmonia Fantastique” Gets First CSO Performances
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association has announced the CSO’s first performances of “Philharmonia Fantastique: The Making of the Orchestra,” written by Mason Bates, former CSO Mead Composer-in-Residence and composer of the Grammy Award-winning opera “The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs.” The new work, a CSO co-commission with five other U.S. orchestras, represents a collaboration between Bates and multi-Oscar and BAFTA-winning sound designer Gary Rydstrom and Oscar-nominated Hollywood animator Jim Capobianco. The twenty-five-minute concerto for orchestra and animated film features the mercurial character “Sprite,” who explores the instrument families of the orchestra and interacts with the conductor and musicians, connecting stage and screen. “Philharmonia Fantastique: The Making of the Orchestra,” is part of School Concerts, May 12-13 at Symphony Center. Conductor Edwin Outwater leads these CSO concerts, which also include excerpts from Bates’ “Mothership” and music by Walker, Fung, Gounod and Dukas. Ticket information is here.
“A real estate firm bought the iO building in Lincoln Park last year,” reports Axios Chicago. “After recognizing its history, the firm committed to reopening the club under new management, which includes a mix of improv vets and newcomers.” A summer launch is planned. “We will continue to honor the tradition of long-form improvisation that iO is known for, but we hope to develop and bring in new and exciting shows to fill our space,” co-artistic director Katie Caussin tells the website.
Joffrey Closes Season With “Don Quixote”
After a February postponement, the Joffrey Ballet will present “Don Quixote” for the first time since its world premiere in 2011. Choreographed by Yuri Possokhov and set to the canonical score by Ludwig Minkus, “Don Quixote” “features a family-friendly, universally beloved story of adventure, romance and the power of belief.” “Don Quixote” closes the curtain on the Joffrey inaugural season at the historic Lyric Opera House in ten performances only, June 2–12. More information and tickets here.
Deeply Rooted Dance Theater Returns
Deeply Rooted Dance Theater returns this month for two performances by its professional company and a student showcase for its Dance Education programs. As one of eight companies that are part of the Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project, Deeply Rooted will participate in CBDLP’s spring concert “ALCHEMY: The Science and Magic of Black Dance in Chicago.” Deeply Rooted performs “Surrender,” choreographed by Deeply Rooted co-founder and creative director Kevin Iega Jeff, which celebrates the trinity of spirit, mind and body, set to music by Terence Trent D’Arby and Hans Zimmer. (Saturday, May 21, 7pm, at the Logan Center for the Arts, tickets here.) Deeply Rooted presents a culminating showcase on May 27-28 for participants in the spring session of its Dance Education programs, including students in the Youth Ensemble, Emerging Artists Ensemble, and the Mature H.O.T. Women program for women ages 25 and older. (Friday, May 27, 7pm; Saturday, May 28, 3pm and 7pm at Ballet Chicago, 17 North State, 19th floor, Chicago. Tickets are $15 general admission, available at deeplyrooteddancetheater.org/performances/danceeducation-showcase.)
ARTS & CULTURE
A rally for abortion rights is set for Saturday in the Loop, reports Block Club Chicago: “Attendees will call for safe, legal abortion access to be protected. Hundreds of people have said they plan to attend.” Federal Plaza is the site; details here.
Multiple information surveillance companies are tracking those who seek healthcare: “It’s an open question how abortion travel could be restricted, given porousness of state borders, but Missouri provided a hint when its health director testified that he’d compiled a spreadsheet of Planned Parenthood patients’ last menstrual periods,” reports New York’s Intelligencer.
“Most period tracker apps share your data with third parties. That means your cycle, the symptoms you recorded, all of it. In a post-Roe world, this can be used as evidence against you and/or people who assist in getting you an abortion. Delete the apps,” posts journalist Meg Conley, linking to a 2021 New York Times article describing how such data is harvested and sold. The Electronic Freedom Foundation offers privacy and digital security tips for those who facilitate abortion access.
Amazon is offering a $4,000 allowance for travel for abortions, but not for all of its workers, reports VICE: “The company’s new $4,000 travel benefit for abortion excludes its 115,000 delivery drivers and Medicaid recipients.” The workers “who make the same day and next day deliveries Amazon is famous for, are contractors and not directly employed by Amazon, meaning they’re not eligible for the company’s abortion-related travel cost reimbursement. It also leaves out Amazon’s 2.9 million gig workers who work on the Amazon Flex app, and thousands of Amazon warehouse employees who work under 20 hours a week, on a so-called ‘flex schedule,’ or receive Medicaid as their health insurance.”
Reports The 74 Million: “Should the Supreme Court strike down Roe v. Wade, twenty-six states are set to ban abortion… Exactly half [of those states] have no mandate that schools teach sex education… and only four of the twenty-six require curricula to cover the topic of contraception. Twenty-three allow districts to skip over consent entirely.”
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