ARTnews Names Nation’s Top 200 Collectors
In a special issue of ARTnews, collectors get their due. Chicagoans Anita Blanchard and Martin Nesbitt are new additions to the list and were co-hosts of the issue’s launch party in New York City.
Hindman Doubles Estimate On Gertrude Abercrombie Collection With $2.8 Million
Laura and Gary Maurer’s collection of paintings by late Chicago Surrealist artist Gertrude Abercrombie realized more than $2.8 million at auction on Wednesday. Bidders packed Hindman “for the widest offering of Abercrombie paintings to ever come to market from the most distinguished collectors of this hometown heroine’s wit and talent,” Hindman relays. “It was pure magic to work with such a charmed collection and such charming collectors,” Zack Wirsum, Hindman director and senior specialist for post-War and contemporary art says. “Sharing Gertrude’s unique vision with so many new eyes is what auction dreams are made of.” More on Abercrombie and the sales here.
Milwaukee Art Museum Names Elizabeth Siegel Chief Curator
Elizabeth Siegel will be the Milwaukee Art Museum’s new chief curator in January, reports artdaily.com. “Siegel comes to the Museum after twenty-five years at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she is currently curator of photography and media… Siegel will leverage her extensive experience organizing exhibitions, conducting curatorial research, and stewarding acquisitions and collections to expand the institution’s reach and impact. She will lead the museum’s curatorial and collections departments, spearheading the museum’s exhibitions program and scholarly publications and overseeing acquisitions for the Museum’s permanent collection.”
Hyde Park Art Center Announces Eighty-Third Gala
Hyde Park Art Center will host its annual gala throughout its building on Friday, November 18, with a party that goes till midnight. The event will be packed with hands-on art activities, performances, open studios, art auctions and a DJ set, providing an interactive experience while benefitting the center’s programs supporting Chicago art and artists.“This year’s Gala celebrates Open Arts, the Art Center’s groundbreaking contribute-what-you-can model launched in 2021 that removes financial barriers to arts education for artists of all ages and stages,” Art Center director of development, Aaron Rodgers, says in a release. “We are also toasting Chicago art, artists, and the people who love them with an evening full of art experiences, personal connections, and fun. We are especially excited to bring back the vibrant afterparty. Support generated from Gala will make 2023 programming possible, including the major solo exhibition ‘Casas/Islas’ by Edra Soto and other initiatives.” Tickets run from $750-$40,000. More here.
Northwestern Allocates Nearly A Billion In Private Funds To Tear Down, Rebuild Ryan Stadium
“Northwestern plans to tear down Ryan Field and build a modern, smaller-capacity stadium on the site. The $800 million project would be privately funded and set up the venue to host concerts, among other non-football events,” reports Crain’s Chicago Business. Adds the Tribune, “Northwestern University released renderings of the proposed design for a new football stadium, a replacement for the ninety-seven-year-old Ryan Field. A $6.1 billion fundraising drive completed last year ensures developing the 35,000-seat stadium won’t require taxpayer financing, hurt the university’s research efforts or come at the expense of students, faculty and staff, according to school officials.”
Yorktown Center Demolishing Former Carson Pirie Scott
“The owner of the Yorktown Center shopping mall in Lombard plans to demolish the former Carson Pirie Scott store and replace it with multifamily housing and a park,” reports the Sun-Times. “Pacific Retail Capital Partners, owner of Yorktown since 2012, is investing in the project with Chicago-based Synergy Construction Group. Work is expected to start on a twelve-acre portion of the mall property next spring, pending approval by village officials.”
Fourteen-Million-Dollar Culinary Hub Building At Century-Old Englewood Firehouse
“Englewood Connect, a $14 million ‘eco-friendly’ food hub and year-round community ‘living room,’ will replace the vacant, ninety-three-year-old Engine Co. 84 firehouse at 6204 South Green,” reports Block Club. “The 9,000-square-foot development will serve as a business incubator and culinary center where neighbors, local businesses and entrepreneurs can operate and grow.”
Chicago Tool Library Holding Block Party To Help Relocation
With community support, the Chicago Tool Library opened in 2019; the community space is asking for help to relocate. Tessa Vierk, co-founder and executive director of the Chicago Tool Library, hopes to move to West Garfield Park in a space with nearly seven times more square footage. Since the library’s creation, more than 5,000 tools have been donated, making it necessary to expand. Vierk also wants to create space for events and have a site that is more accessible by transit. The Chicago Tool Library will host a block party this Saturday from 2pm-6pm at their current location, 1048 West 37th. More here.
Artists Reclaim Pilsen Park Along Chicago River
Pilsen residents are transforming a riverside strip of green space into “a true park rather than just an industrial zone,” reports the Tribune. “Canalport Riverwalk Park [is] a five-acre park tucked under a bridge over the South Branch of the river and surrounded by communities that have long fought for environmental justice.”
LaSalle Corridor’s Got A TIF To Tap
Chicago Cityscape offers a Twitter thread on money that the mayor might use in bringing housing to the LaSalle corridor: “You may have seen the news that the City of Chicago is interested in revitalizing the LaSalle Street corridor (south of Wacker) now that so many businesses have moved to newer office buildings. There’s a dormant TIF district there that still has $196 million in its account and Chicago’s planning department is willing to spend that on assisting developers in converting office buildings to new housing. The condition is that thirty-percent of the dwelling units are affordable and priority goes to projects in landmarked, historic and potentially historic buildings. As well as buildings that have high retail or office vacancy. There is a massive opportunity here… Many banks and law firms have moved from LaSalle Street to newer digs a few blocks away. And many of these older buildings have designs that make them relatively easy to convert to apartments.” The official call for proposals is here.
Chicago Expat Ken Griffin Finds Buyer For Thirty-Seventh Floor Of Waldorf Astoria
“Citadel founder Ken Griffin has a buyer for the entire thirty-seventh floor at the Waldorf Astoria, one of four Gold Coast condos he put on the market this summer after announcing his move to Florida,”reports Crain’s. The floor-through was listed for sale at $11.5 million in July.
Pilsen Effort To Shut Down City’s Last Large-Scale Scrap Metal Shredder
“With the 2020 closing of General Iron’s automobile-shredding site in Lincoln Park and City Hall’s subsequent denial of its bid to reopen at a new location on the Southeast Side, Sims Metal Management, 2500 South Paulina, is the only large-scale metal scrapper still operating in Chicago, shredding cars, large appliances and other items for reuse,” reports the Sun-Times. Eighty-one-year-old Mary Gonzalez is leading the effort to close the location.
Remembering Iconic Cicero DIY Punk Site Klas Restaurant
“After a century of history, fine steaks and community, the Klas Restaurant on Cermak was demolished,” reports Cicero Independiente. “With its ornate dining rooms, murals reminiscent of a bygone era and stained-glass windows, the iconic Moravian-style building lived many lives—including being the home to Cicero’s DIY punk rock scene. Though the physical space is gone, Klas’s near century-long presence in Cicero still serves as a reminder of the history and changes the town has undergone, and all the complexities that come with it.”
Humboldt Park Affordable Housing Project Set For $7 Million City Funding
“Developer Hispanic Housing Corp. is one step closer to building a nine-story, sixty-four-unit affordable housing project at California and Division,” reports Block Club Chicago.
DINING & DRINKING
Drinks Stalwart Scofflaw Mixes Up Menu
Chef Fred Chung, who worked at Kasama and Oriole, brings tastes of Korea and New Orleans to long-established cocktail favorite Scofflaw in Logan Square, reports Eater Chicago.
Tribune Looks At Its Barbecue Coverage Back To The 1850s
“Illinois Democrats weren’t strangers to the big barbecue game. On August 14, 1858, the party hosted a barbecue in Clinton with ‘2,000 to 3,000’ people,” writes Nick Kindelsperger. “Most of the barbecue was being eaten in other parts of Illinois. During this time, barbecue was rarely eaten at a restaurant. Instead, as Adrian Miller writes in his excellent book, ‘Black Smoke,’ political events at the time often attracted large crowds with the promise of barbecue. Cooks would dig long trenches, fill them with lit wood and set poles or sticks across for the meat to rest on. ‘The genius of the trench method was its complete scalability to cater to a crowd in ways that other cooking methods could not match… Want to feed hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people? Just dig a longer trench.'”
MCA Chicago Sets Peach’s x Marisol Brunch Collaboration
The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago has announced the Peach’s x Marisol Brunch Collaboration, hosted by Marisol, for the weekend of October 15. The event features the culinary talents of Chef Jason Hammel, consulting chef to Marisol, four-time nominee for the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Great Lakes, and owner of Lula Café and award-winning chef Cliff Rome, founder of Rome’s Joy Companies and owner of Peach’s Restaurant; and chef Diana Browder, executive chef for the MCA and Marisol. The two-day event “aims to celebrate the diversity in Chicago food culture while uplifting the culinary talents that make up the city’s food scene.” On Saturday, chefs Hammel and Rome will partake in a discussion moderated by MCA’s COO Gwendolyn Perry Davis, discussing the roles of cornerstone cultural organizations and how to contribute to their neighborhoods. “It’s inspiring to be collaborating and creating artistic dishes with chef Cliff Rome here at Marisol,” Hammel says in a release. “The MCA has always provided a stimulating environment for creative exploration and social commentary. Through celebrating food, we will be able to come together and underscore the importance of supporting community culture in every corner of Chicago.” “I’m excited to be participating with the MCA and Marisol to bolster solidarity in Chicago’s cultural sphere,” Rome says. “This is just one step forward in fostering talent and business ventures in one of America’s food capitals.” More here.
Epic Burger Fires Up Fall Fries
First opened in 2008, Epic Burger has just added new fries to the menu: Garlic Parmesan Fries, Epic Fries topped with garlic sauce and grated parmesan cheese, as well as Fully Loaded Fries, topped with smoked bacon, jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, grilled onions and Epic sauce. The fast casual chain has locations in River North, the South Loop, Skokie, Evanston and the Gold Coast. More here.
National Beer Wholesalers Sip Chicago
The nation’s leading advocate for America’s 3,000 independent beer distributors, National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA), will host its eighty-fifth Annual Convention and Product Showcase in Chicago, October 9–12. NBWA brings together independent beer distributors from across the country for industry updates, discussions about the challenges and opportunities facing beer distributors and networking events. The nearly sold-out product showcase will feature hundreds of exhibiting companies offering innovative products and services. Expected are over 120 exhibitors of breweries and vendors, nineteen education seminars and 1,800 attendees representing all fifty states. More here.
FILM & TELEVISION
SEC Sues Former MoviePass Executives For Alleged Fraud
“The U.S Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit against former executives of the controversial cinema subscription service MoviePass, alleging they made fraudulent statements about the business,” reports the Los Angeles Times. The SEC claims “that for more than two years, Theodore Farnsworth and former Netflix executive Mitchell Lowe, who were CEOs of Helios and Matheson Analytics and MoviePass… ‘intentionally and repeatedly’ disseminated materially false or misleading statements about the business.”
“The African Desperate” Opens At Siskel
SAIC grad Martine Syms’ debut feature, “The African Desperate,” follows her character, Palace Bryant on a very long day in 2017 that starts with her MFA graduation in upstate New York and ends at a Chicago Blue Line station. “Engagingly scathing” is the Film Center’s phrase. They ask Syms for significant memories from the 2007 graduate’s time in Chicago: “It’s hard to choose one. I had so many incredible moments in Chicago. My first night I went to a Tracy + The Plastics concert by myself. Ashland Mines (DJ Total Freedom) came up and introduced himself. I hung out with him all night, ended up meeting Wu Tsang, Math Bass, and many others. Another memory that sticks in my mind is systematically watching all of the Criterion Collection films with Meg Onli. She lived next door to me.” Her take on “independent” film: “I’ve always been inspired by autonomous culture. I think about independent film the same way I think about independent music. Which is to say it’s interdependent. I want creative and economic freedom for myself and the collective.” Opens Friday, September 30 at Siskel.
How Newsrooms Lost Their Homes
Lots of larger newspapers no longer have an office for reporters and editors, writes the Poynter Report. “A partial list: Miami Herald, New York Daily News, The Hartford Courant, The Morning Call in Allentown and the Capital Gazette in Annapolis. The Miami Herald is a McClatchy outlet, but the latter five are part of Tribune Publishing, acquired by Alden Global Capital for $631 million in a June 2021 auction. Disposing of real estate is a big part of the hedge fund’s cost-cutting playbook. Alden exerted financial pressure on Tribune for eighteen months before the sale. Most of the moves to abandon office space took place at the peak of the pandemic in 2020, when coming to work was considered a health hazard. With the rental expense off the books, return or relocation has gotten deferred indefinitely… The lack of a physical office is not an insurmountable barrier to getting a daily news report together. But editors and reporters will say something important goes missing when there is no face-to-face interaction. Plus, community members are cut off from the newsgathering workforce.”
Twenty-Second World Music Festival This Weekend
The World Music Festival Chicago kicks off this weekend for its twenty-second year, running September 30-October 9. The free, ten-day global celebration of music returns with thirty-four bands (including three DJs) representing twenty-two countries and spotlighting ten local music groups, all taking place across eleven venues, including Reggies, Chop Shop, Schubas, Humboldt Park Boat House and Navy Pier. The full lineup of events, detailing which global artists will be performing at each venue, is here.
Artemis Singers Chorus Samhain
Artemis Singers, Chicago’s lesbian feminist chorus, will present “Samhain—Encounters through the Veil.” “Artemis Singers invites our audience to join us in observation and contemplation, in harmony and hopefulness,” concert co-artistic director Eileen Lynx says in a release. “Samhain means ‘end of summer’ and time of preparing for the start of the Celtic pagan new year. Samhain is the point on the Wheel of the Year between fall equinox and winter solstice. Tradition tells us this is the time when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest” about the time of year when we reflect on those who have gone before and honor their legacy. Saturday, October 29 at Unitarian Church of Evanston. More here.
Jeff Awards Lifetime Achievement Award To Chuck Smith
The Joseph Jefferson Awards will honor director Chuck Smith at the organization’s fifty-fourth Anniversary Equity Awards on Monday, October 17 at Drury Lane Theatre. Smith is a Chicago native who has represented professional theater by directing and producing productions across the country for over half a century. A nationally recognized director and five-time Jeff Award nominee, Smith serves as resident director and member of the Board of Trustees of the Goodman Theatre. He is also a resident director at the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe in Sarasota, Florida and an associate member of MPAACT and The American Blues Theater in Chicago. More here.
Behind The Scenes With Gilman And Falls At The Goodman
“After twenty-five years of working together, Robert Falls and Rebecca Gilman have developed a shorthand style of communication that transcends the traditional director-playwright relationship,” writes Jill Grant at American Theatre. “And now they’re about to embark on their latest collaboration, just as Falls makes his exit as artistic director of Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, a post he’s held since 1986. ‘Rebecca is my real soulmate,’ said Falls. ‘We fight about things similarly, like how we both view the theater, how actors should tell stories and the subject matter.’ Fights aside, he said, ‘We respect each other, knowing we are working toward a common goal.'”
Twenty-Two Canadian Theater Companies Granted $15 Million For Production And Marketing
Would an earmarked grant like this help Midwestern theater companies? “The Slaight Family Foundation announced a donation of $15-million to twenty-two Canadian theatre companies… The money–gifted in sums from $125,000 to $1.5-million, to both big institutions and smaller independent theater, mostly based in Toronto, all but one in Ontario–is earmarked… over the next two years [for] theater production and marketing,” reports the Globe and Mail. Meanwhile, NPR’s Bob Mondello reports in a long survey that with the ongoing pandemic, American regional theaters must change: “Before 2020, those theaters were producing between 14,000 and 25,000 productions each year, attended annually by an average of more than thirty-five million people… That’s more than twice as many as attend pro football games… ‘We are not just props to be pushed on the stage every February,’ Chicago playwright Ike Holter told NPR member station WBEZ in June 2020, ‘we are the backbone of the theater.’ … Many in the theater world argue that [recent changes and innovations] should be just the start, that stages should also consider things like leaping into digital experimentation the way sports leapt into television; overhauling fundraising models developed in the 1960s; and reworking labor practices, fellowships, and internships that require artists to sacrifice for their art.”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Judge Signs Off On Illinois Google Class Action Suit
“Illinois residents who filed claims for a cut of Google’s $100 million class-action settlement over alleged violations of state privacy law could receive checks of about $154 each,” reports the Trib (via MSN). “The payout comes after Google settled a class-action lawsuit alleging its face grouping tool, which sorts faces on Google Photos by similarity, violated Illinois’ biometric privacy law. State law requires companies to obtain affirmative consent from users before collecting and saving their biometric information.”
Gallagher Way Will Extend Hinterland Into Wrigley
Gallagher Way has announced the return of Winterland, and for the first time since launching six years ago, part of the holiday experience will be inside Wrigley Field. The expanded programming will offer even more family-friendly activities, festive décor, interactive experiences and rides. Returning favorites include the Gallagher Ice Rink, now inside the ballpark, as well as Santa’s Workshop, the annual tree lighting ceremony, programming at Hotel Zachary and surrounding Gallagher Way restaurants, and the Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville. Families, visitors and neighbors can celebrate the holidays by taking part in the many seasonal programs and activities starting Friday, November 18 through Sunday, January 8, 2023. More here.
Amazon Raising Frontline Wages
“Amazon says it’s raising its average starting pay for frontline workers from $18 to $19 an hour,” reports Associated Press, “a boost that could help it attract more employees in a tight labor market as the holiday season approaches. Amazon said that beginning in October, warehouse and transportation workers would earn $16-$26 an hour, depending on their position and location… The minimum wage at the Seattle-based e-commerce company, which employed roughly 1.5 million frontline workers as of the end of June, will remain $15 an hour.”
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