Pop Artist Claes Oldenburg Was Ninety-Three
“Taking ordinary objects like hamburgers and household items, Claes Oldenburg sculpted them in unfamiliar, often imposing dimensions—what he called his ‘Colossal Monuments,'” reports the New York Times. His Chicago sculptures include the 101-foot-tall “Batcolumn” on Madison in front of the Social Security Administration building. “His father, a diplomat, had postings in London, Berlin, Oslo and New York before being appointed in 1936 as the Swedish consul general in Chicago, where Claes grew up and attended the Latin School of Chicago.” After studying at Yale, “he returned to the Midwest to study at the Art Institute of Chicago in the early 1950s with the painter Paul Wieghardt, a student of Paul Klee’s… During his early years in art school, Mr. Oldenburg worked for the City News Bureau of Chicago, where one of his duties included drawing comic strips. He was the only major artist associated with Pop Art to have drawn comics professionally.”
Maryland Institute College Of Art Lays Off Workers After Unionization Efforts
“Citing a budget shortfall and lowered enrollment, the Maryland Institute College of Art announced broad staff layoffs just weeks after workers… voted to unionize and two days after the union petitioned management to refrain from making unilateral changes to their working conditions without engaging in bargaining,” reports Artforum. “The restructuring is expected to eliminate roughly ten-percent of the union’s bargaining unit ahead of initial contract negotiations.”
The City’s Giving Out Bikes
“The Chicago Department of Transportation has set an ambitious vision to make cycling a safe and affordable option for more Chicagoans. In addition to connecting bike networks and increasing the number of low stress and protected bike lane miles in the city, CDOT will facilitate more residents cycling through a bike distribution program,” CDOT announces on its website. “CDOT will distribute 5,000 bicycles, as well as safety and maintenance equipment, over the course of four years to age and income eligible residents. For the first year of the program, the bikes will be distributed to participants in 2022 CDOT mobility programming (Green Corps, Learn to Ride and Open Boulevard Events), and first-come first-serve for residents that qualify. Depending on demand, the City may implement a lottery for years two through four of the program for residents that qualify.” Through August 4, apply here.
Demolition Begins In River North For 741 North Wells
“Partial site clearing has begun for a twenty-one-story mixed-use tower at 741 North Wells in River North,” reports YIMBY Chicago. “Planned by Vista Property Group, the development will integrate with a historic three-story brick building at its northwest corner bordering the intersection of West Chicago and North Wells.”
Former Noble Square St. Boniface Church Nears Condo Conversion
“Construction on a long-delayed project to turn a historical Noble Square church into condos will begin as soon as the city grants a key permit,” reports Block Club Chicago. “St. Boniface Church, 1358 West Chestnut, was bought in 2016 by STAS Development President Michael Skoulsky, who pledged to convert the church and an empty lot next door into dozens of residential units… Fourteen out of eighteen condos in the church are under contract.”
Restored Long Grove Covered Bridge Struck Again
“The covered bridge in Long Grove again was struck by an oversized vehicle Saturday morning,” reports the Trib. “Officials say it’s the thirty-fifth such incident in the twenty-three months since the historic bridge was reconstructed, for an average of 1.5 crashes per month.”
DINING & DRINKING
Potbelly Gets Ten Million In PPP Loans Forgiven After All
“Taxpayers will cover Potbelly’s $10 million PPP loan,” reports Crain’s. “After warning the SBA might not forgive the 2020 loan, Potbelly disclosed that the agency approved the company’s application.”
Black-Owned Grocery Investor Gets $13.5 Million City Grant To Reopen Auburn Gresham Save-A-Lot
“A Save-A-Lot in Auburn Gresham that shuttered in 2020 may reopen by the end of the year. The city announced Monday it would award a $13.5 million grant to Yellow Banana, a grocery company owned by the Cleveland-based investment firm 127 Wall Holdings LLC, to reopen the store and make investments in other Save-A-Lot locations,” reports the Trib. “Yellow Banana plans to use the funds in combination with private money to reopen the Auburn Gresham store and acquire and renovate five other Save-A-Lots it operates on the city’s South and West sides.”
Praise And Change At Bronzeville Winery
“Bronzeville Winery just lost their opening chef, Whitney McMorris, who made an impressive debut after working at The Aviary among other notable restaurants in the city. Her breathtakingly beautiful dishes should remain until this fall, with some summer specials, according to Cecilia Cuff, co-owner with Eric Williams, who also owns The Silver Room,” writes Louisa Chu in a hosanna at the Trib. “Two years in the making, celebrating its grand opening April 20, it’s the culmination of one hundred years of community culture. It screams of and into the future.”
FILM & TELEVISION
“Nope” For Cinema Chatham Grand Opening
“Owners at Cinema Chatham, 210 West 87th, hope to get locals to the theater July 21 to catch director [Jordan] Peele’s newest film, ‘Nope,'” reports Block Club Chicago. “The grand opening celebration this month [after the earlier soft opening] will highlight the theater’s newest renovations and, [he hopes], bring people back to the movies, owner Jon Goldstein said.”
“Why Are There So Few Librarians At Chicago Public Schools?”
“The nation’s third-largest public school system with 290,000 students in 513 district-operated, non-charter schools, CPS is hovering around ninety schools with full-time librarians, staffing and budget records show. That leaves more than 400 without one—including about eighty-two percent of elementary schools,” writes Nader Issa at the Sun-Times. “There are librarians at only ten percent of schools where Black students are the largest percentage of the student body, compared with twenty-five percent of schools where white kids are, and twenty-one percent where Hispanic students are highest… The fall of school libraries over the past decade has been precipitous.”
China Equivalent Of Google Docs Censors Novels As They Are Written
“Imagine you are working on your novel on your home computer. It’s nearly finished; you have already written approximately one million words. All of a sudden, the online word processing software tells you that you can no longer open the draft because it contains illegal information. Within an instant, all your words are lost,” writes Zeyi Yang at MIT Technology Review. “This is what happened in June to a Chinese novelist writing under the alias Mitu. She had been working with WPS, a domestic version of cloud-based word processing software… Mitu accused WPS of ‘spying on and locking my draft,’ citing the presence of illegal content… A few prominent influencer accounts belatedly picked it up. It became the top trending topic on Weibo that day, with users questioning whether WPS is infringing on their privacy. Since then, The Economic Observer, a Chinese publication, has reported that several other online novelists have had their drafts locked for unclear reasons in the past.”
In These Times Journalist David Moberg Has Passed
Posts Rick Perlstein: “On behalf of my colleagues on the board of In These Times, I am sad to note the death of my friend David Moberg, whose radical journalism shined a bright light for over forty years. Honor him in the best way a writer can be honored, by reading him.” Writing by the senior editor, who was with In These Times since its 1976 founding, is here.
Lookingglass Theatre Company Marks Thirty-Fifth Season
Lookingglass Theatre Company begins its thirty-fifth season with “a transcendent summer sunset ritual that draws us together waterside” on July 27 at 7pm. “Through music, movement, and word, Lookingglass Theatre commemorates the start of the 1919 Chicago race riots, peacefully honoring the lives of Black people impacted by the deadly racial attacks that swept the nation that summer.” “Sunset 1919” is a free community event, open to the public. Featured artists include spoken word artist avery r. young, choreographer Cristal Sabbagh, musician-composer Edward Wilkerson Jr. and DJ Lady D. More here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
UChicago Booth School Of Business’ Mindworks Celebrates First Anniversary
The Center for Decision Research at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business is celebrating the first anniversary of Mindworks: The Science of Thinking, the world’s only interactive discovery center and lab dedicated to behavioral science. Mindworks will celebrate July 22-24 with a full weekend of activities, including free door prizes and raffles, pop-up exhibits, guided tours and live music at 224 South Michigan. During its first year, Mindworks welcomed more than 10,000 visitors from forty-one countries, six continents, and all fifty U.S. states to participate in research studies and learn how to apply behavioral science insights. “With free admission and a prominent location across from the Art Institute of Chicago, Mindworks is quickly becoming one of the city’s can’t-miss cultural destinations,” says the group in a release.
Fortieth Annual Graceland West Garden Walk Coming In August
Graceland West will present their fortieth annual self-guided Garden Walk on Sunday, August 7, 2-6pm, reports Uptown Update. More at the Graceland West website here.
Cryptocurrency: A Peril For The Black Community?
“Cryptocurrency is hot, especially for African Americans. I am still trying to figure it out,” writes Laura Washington at the Trib. “About forty-four-percent of the Americans who trade in cryptocurrency are people of color, according to a survey conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago. More than one-third of the participants in that June 2021 survey reported annual household incomes under $60,000… Crypto investing is a glittering ornament on what could be a rotting tree. The industry has been criticized for its lack of regulation, transparency and consumer protections. The digital system makes it highly vulnerable to fraud, and crypto scams are proliferating.”
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