Cleve Carney Museum Sets Soto Solo
A solo exhibition of works by multidisciplinary artist Edra Soto, “The Myth of Closure | El Mito del Cierre,” opens soon at the Cleve Carney Museum of Art. Soto “has transformed her practice to honor the loss of what once was, while seeking a path of acceptance for the transition of her aging mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s,” writes the Museum.. “She channels her struggle to reconcile this new reality through deconstruction, collage and familiar themes in her art practice.” Elements include “using textural elements, colors, and designs that pay homage to the façades of homes in the neighborhood where her mother is being cared for and now lives—a neighborhood that is past its prime and largely forgotten. Encased within the architectural structures that Soto has built are large heart-shaped openings symbolizing the care with which one frames a memory or a person’s likeness.” The show opens December 10 and will be on view through March 5, 2023. More here.
Graham Foundation Fellowship To Katherine Simóne Reynolds
Katherine Simóne Reynolds has been named a Graham Foundation Fellow. Combining the Foundation’s grantmaking and exhibition programs, the program acknowledges the investment and resources required to produce an exhibition and invites an artist to create new work that explores ideas about architecture and its role in the arts, culture and society. Providing resources for the production of new work, the Fellowship enables the Fellow to experiment with production techniques and, often, to create work at a new scale. The Fellowship culminates with an exhibition at the Foundation’s Madlener House galleries in Chicago. As a Graham Foundation Fellow, Reynolds is working in residence at the Madlener House, and will make a new body of work for the exhibition “A different kind of tender and the practice of overhealing,” opening in spring 2023 at the Graham Foundation.
“Continuing her exploration of overhealing from trauma, Reynolds references the creation of a keloid, or hypertropic scar tissue, as an outward representation of healing—a site sensitive to recovery and repair in tandem. As a part of her Graham Fellowship, Reynolds looks at the Rust Belt as a kind of keloidal landscape—places in Illinois such as Cairo and Brooklyn, also known as Lovejoy, the first town incorporated by African Americans in the United States in 1873—to reflect on relationships between perceptions of abandonment and fertility, Black female imagination, and different manifestations of healing. Reynolds’ practice investigates emotional dialects and psychogeographies of Blackness, and the importance of ‘anti-excellence.’ Her work physicalizes emotions and experiences by constructing pieces that include portrait photography, video works, choreography, sculpture and installation. Utilizing Black embodiment and affect alongside her own personal narrative as a place of departure has made her question her own navigation of ownership, inclusion, and authenticity within a contemporary gaze. She draws inspiration from Black glamour and beauty while interrogating the notion of ‘authentic care.’ Her practice generally deals in Blackness from her own perspective, and she continuously searches for what it means to produce ‘Black Work.'” More on the foundation here.
Urban Planner Phil Enquist On A Better Future For The Damen Silos
“The Damen Silos site should be a park, a community asset, a job training center, an arts and cultural amenity, and part of a more forward-thinking South Branch vision for this century,” writes Philip Enquist at the newly architecturally savvy Sun-Times. “The Chicago River has… shifted from a primarily industrial and sewage infrastructure to a living, breathing, natural resource that is rich with biodiversity and serves as an important and beloved recreational amenity. This is especially important in communities that lack open space and have other environmental stressors and inequities… Someone tell me why the State of Illinois is taking a unique 23.4-acre South Branch site that is framed on three sides by the Chicago River and canal slips, and is also home to the dramatic architecture of grain silos, and selling it to MAT, an asphalt plant owner? … Pilsen is immediately to the north and McKinley Park to the south—two neighborhoods, rich in history that are working to improve their quality of life and access to the river. How does this decision fit with their community planning strategies?”
CTA Needs At Least 1,000 More Workers
“The CTA is working to recruit hundreds of employees and boost safety and cleanliness on buses and trains,” CTA president Dorval Carter told a city council committee, reports Block Club. “The agency is looking to hire as many as 700 bus drivers and 200 train operators… The hiring push comes as CTA is also looking to retain its employees, as the agency has also been hit by… workers quitting following the pandemic, he said. ‘We’re not recruiting as many employees as we need,’ Carter said. ‘The result is gaps in service and delays in service.'”
Two More Nods For Jeanne Gang
Architect Jeanne Gang, FAIA, founding principal and partner of Studio Gang, has received two awards for her work: The Urban Land Institute’s 2022 Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development, and The Wall Street Journal’s 2022 Architecture Innovator award, tallies the Construction Specifier. “One of the most prestigious and respected honors in the real estate, land use, and development community, ULI’s award recognizes an individual who has made distinguished contributions to community building globally, established visionary standards of excellence in the land use and development field, and whose commitment to creating the highest-quality built environment has led to the betterment of society. ‘Jeanne’s artistry and creativity have established her as one of the most influential architects of her generation,’ said Ed Walter, ULI’s global CEO. ‘From museums and skyscrapers to mixed-use developments and learning environments, Jeanne has produced buildings and places that push boundaries and reach new frontiers in sustainable reuse, ecological biodiversity and social equity.'” The Wall Street Journal writes that Gang has created “New York’s most exciting new building”: “WSJ’s 2022 Architecture Innovator, Jeanne Gang, whose firm has envisioned a striking addition for the American Museum of Natural History, aims to bring us closer to nature—and one another.”
Cleveland House From “Christmas Story” Listed As Sequel Streams
“Filled with ‘wall-to-wall anecdotes’ and ‘nostalgically upgraded with somewhat ancient appliances,’ the famed home located in Cleveland, Ohio, has hit the market,” reports Channel 5.
Humboldt Park WasteShed Must Move
Retail-based nonprofit The WasteShed, a reuse resource for sustainable art, crafts and teaching supplies, lost its lease at 2842 West Chicago in Humboldt Park. The WasteShed opened in 2014 at 914 North California, originally sharing a storefront space with The Read/Write Library (a non-profit which also lost their space earlier this year). The WasteShed has processed over 110 tons of donated materials and supplied educators with thousands of dollars of free materials since it began, totaling over $10,000 in 2022. Teachers from over 260 schools in the Chicagoland area rely on the store for materials, and in November 2021, the nonprofit expanded to a second location in Evanston to meet demand. The WasteShed has more than doubled their staff in the last two years. “Amid this increase in expenses, The WasteShed was served a loss of lease notice on August 31, given only sixty days to vacate. The WasteShed’s executive director negotiated an additional 60 days to properly plan their relocation.” More here.
DINING & DRINKING
A Hundred Years Of Jewel, But How Many More?
The Tribune looks back at the local brand that could be subsumed in the pending $24.6-billion merger between Albertsons and Kroger. “Dominick’s has been gone for nearly a decade, while Jewel and twenty-first–century rival Mariano’s face increased competition from major retailers such as Walmart, Costco and Amazon Fresh as well as specialty grocers, including Trader Joe’s and Amazon-owned Whole Foods.” Still, “Jewel is still the most-commonly cited grocery-shopping destination for Chicago-area families… but Aldi is nipping at its heels, having transformed itself from the stock-up store of the 1990s. Throw in a handful of online delivery startups that popped up during the pandemic and shoppers have more options than ever, squeezing Jewel from all sides.” (A historical timeline and photo gallery is here.)
TripSavvy Website Calls Dark Matter A Hall Of Fame Café
Three Midwestern coffee shops get Editors’ Choice nods for 2022 and one’s in Ukrainian Village: “A quintessential way to explore a new city, or a diverse neighborhood, is through its coffee scene. Enter: Dark Matter Coffee,” arrays TripSavvy. “Ethically sourced, with direct partnerships with farmers in El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia, and Mexico, this coffee company can trace travel from farm to cup. You can find Dark Matter Coffee at several places around Chicago, including its flagship location: The Mothership in Ukrainian Village.”
FILM & TELEVISION
The Power Of Music In John Hughes Movies
“Music was central throughout John Hughes’ films–usually the kind of British alternative rock that gave a hint of sophistication beyond the usual Hollywood fare,” writes the Guardian. “In 1986, five years after its initial release, the Psychedelic Furs’ ‘Pretty in Pink’ became a hit after soundtracking the film of the same name; Kate Bush wrote ‘This Woman’s Work’ specifically for ‘She’s Having a Baby’ (although she was only approached because This Mortal Coil said no).” Hughes “‘was very good at making moments with music, so that when you hear those songs you see those moments,’ says the musician and film-maker Elizabeth Sankey… ‘There were nostalgia films, where the music was set to the date,’ says Tarquin Gotch, Hughes’ music supervisor in the eighties… ‘Or there was commercial exploitation. John was looking for emotion. He wanted the music to tell the teenagers what they were feeling. And he got it right. He made the music pop and he made the scenes better.'”
Lost In Space In Movie Places
“Hollywood has framed getting back to theaters as a content problem. But what we need most is to rethink the design of movie theaters altogether,” writes Mark Wilson at Fast Company. “Theaters cannot survive by awaiting the next blockbuster alone… The 5,500 indoor movie theaters across the United States are 40,000-square foot buildings, situated in some of the most desirable retail real estate in our country. Yet these theaters operate at eighteen-to-twenty-percent of their capacity on average—a remarkable underutilization of space and creativity. Movie theaters are not just giant concrete boxes—a Petco with a projector— but powerful social contracts… Theaters balance the immersive spectacle of art and technology with the emotional network of a crowd. When we sit in a theater, the art is actually shaped by the location.” (More.)
The Fifty Most Banned Books In America
The most-banned books of 2021-22, a list counting down from data by PEN America, compiled by CBS News. Hint: lots of Young Adult material on the hit list.
CTA President Among The Impersonated After Musk Moves; Further Firings Endanger Twitter Site Stability
The CTA’s Twitter account reacted a few hours after fraudulent persona accounts appeared in the CTA president’s name: “Two new Twitter accounts launched recently purporting to be CTA President Carter. They are not. Any information issued by those accounts is not official CTA information. The only verified CTA account is @cta.” One such tweet, on Saturday morning from the quickly deactivated @DorvalRCarterJR account: “Chicago, you’ve voiced your concerns on ghost buses and trains. We hear you. We see you. We’re with you. That’s why I am happy to announce that CTA has partnered with the Archdiocese of Chicago to implement a Transit Exorcism Squad across our entire system starting early 2023.”
Platformer’s Casey Newton posted on Sunday: “Company sources tell me that… Twitter eliminated about 4,400 of its approximately 5,500 contract employees, with cuts expected to have significant impact to content moderation and the core infrastructure services that keep the site up and running. People inside are stunned.” Users are being advised to archive their Twitter history; here’s a list of steps.
Parade Leaves Town
Sunday saw the last issue of the print edition of eighty-one year-old newspaper supplement Parade. “The Arena Group, home to more than 240 brands, including Parade, Spry Living and Relish…is downsizing its print offerings. It has discontinued Spry and Relish completely as well as its print editions of Parade magazine. The company will continue to provide an electronic version of Parade magazine… ‘The ongoing evolution of both the media business and consumer behavior, along with macroeconomic factors contribute to this shift in strategy,’ said Ross Levinsohn, chairman and CEO of The Arena Group, about pulling back its print products. ‘We will continue to build on the iconic Parade brand to meet consumers how and where they engage with content.'”
Still No Broadway Rebound
On Broadway, “Amid the spate of new shows, producers are facing higher costs due to inflation and extra understudies, as well as the added stressors of unpredictable and changing audience behavior,” writes the Hollywood Reporter. “There’s optimism that the industry will move past this moment, if audiences return in greater numbers, but the timeline and the exact method for getting there isn’t yet clear. ‘If the productions are roughly fifteen percent to twenty percent down, and they’re costing ten percent more, you can see that we’re not out of this yet…’ said Sonia Friedman, a producer on many West End and Broadway productions, including ‘Funny Girl,’ [Tom Stoppard’s] ‘Leopoldstadt’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.'”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Two Chicago Students Chosen As Rhodes Scholars
“The 2023 scholarship class, including sixteen female and sixteen male recipients, is expected to begin studies at the University of Oxford in England in October,” reports the Sun-Times. “Among the scholars are two from the Chicago area: Irena Petryk of Morton Grove, who attends Northwestern; and Lauren Kim, from Chicago, a student at Harvard University.” More here.
The Future Of Money For Creators
“Artist-friendly platforms are the future of music,” writes critic and historian Ted Gioia at his Substack. “And other creative pursuits as well—my own platform, Substack, is also allowing creators to keep close to 90% of revenues. This has spurred a huge talent migration from old media, and not merely for writers—you can find almost every kind of creative professional on Substack, from cartoonists to photographers. For twenty-five long, hard years, creative professionals have been told that you must give things away for free on the Internet. But not anymore. Alternative economic models are not only emerging, but are propelling the fastest growing platforms in arts and entertainment,” Gioia writes. “This is not only shaking up highbrow and popular culture, but capturing the attention of the next generation of tech visionaries—which is why, in the last year or so, I’ve been constantly approached by startups asking me to evaluate their business plans. This is unprecedented,” he asserts. “It simply didn’t happen before the pandemic. But not only are these entrepreneurs trying to figure out what artists want, but they’re actually relying on creator wealth maximization as the focal point for their businesses.”
UIC United Faculty Strike Vote This Week
“After nearly seven months at the bargaining table, UIC United Faculty (UICUF), the union representing faculty at University of Illinois Chicago, will vote whether or not to authorize a strike if the bargaining committee determines it is necessary to reach a fair contract agreement. Faculty have been working without a contract since August,” the union relays. “Several issues remain on the table, including compensation and job security. Of particular interest are clear workload policies, an issue that hit a breaking point during the COVID lockdown. Some faculty saw course loads increase without additional pay and most reported they were expected to take on tasks beyond their usual workload—many say these increased workloads did not go away when teaching returned to in-person. ‘Like so many of my colleagues, I love UIC and I love working with students, but the increased workload of the past few years is taking a toll on everyone,’ said Jeff Gore, a senior lecturer in English and a member of the UIC bargaining committee. ‘The bar has been raised in terms of what we’re expected to do to “make it work,” and what it really takes is several more hours a week. There are only so many hours in a day.'”
Amazon To Lay Off Thousands; Bezos Says Will Give Away His Billions
Approximately 10,000 job cuts will start this week at Amazon, reports The New York Times, starting with the corporation’s devices organization, retail division and human resources, the largest in its history. (This announcement comes after founder Jeff Bezos suggested to CNN that he would give away the entirety of $100-billion-plus fortune at some point in his life, and also awarded philanthropist Dolly Parton $10 million to distribute to charities of her choice.) “That would represent roughly three percent of Amazon’s corporate employees and less than one percent of its global work force of more than 1.5 million, which is primarily composed of hourly workers. Amazon’s planned retrenchment during the critical holiday shopping season—when the company typically has valued stability—shows how quickly the souring global economy has put pressure on it to trim businesses that have been overstaffed or underdelivering for years.”
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