2023 Nohl Fellowship Winners Named
Five artists have won Southeastern Wisconsin’s prestigious prize for individual artists, the Mary L. Nohl Fellowship, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The Nohl Fund gives unrestricted funds to two established artists of $35,000 each and three emerging artists of $15,000 each “to create new work or complete work in progress. Each artist also receives a $5,000 professional development and production budget. There were 157 applicants. Established artists: interdisciplinary artist Mikal Floyd-Pruitt and artist, curator and educator Janelle VanderKelen. Emerging artists: sculptor Siara Berry; interdisciplinary artist Fatima Laster; artist, writer and educator Alayna N. Pernell.
Second Presbyterian Church Mural Restored
The “Tree of Life” mural, painted by Frederick Clay Bartlett in 1903 at the landmark Second Presbyterian Church (1936 South Michigan), has been restored, reports the Sun-Times. “The church sports seven large Tiffany stained-glass windows and the forty-by-thirty-foot… mural high above the altar… After more than a hundred years, the vibrancy of the windows and the mural were hidden by dirt, leading supporters of the church to embark on a campaign to restore the artistic treasures to their original glory.”
Construction Near Completion On Wrigley Gambling Venue
The last bits are being installed at 1012 West Addison, a three-story betting parlor being added to Wrigley Field, reports YIMBY Chicago. The Chicago Cubs and Marquee Development are adding the space to the stadium. “The five major sports stadiums in the city have now facilitated their own betting operations.”
Retail Space For Rent In Louis Sullivan’s Last Work
A Lincoln Square retail space with “a spectacularly florid facade” that was the last work of Chicago architect Louis Sullivan is for rent “after sitting on the market unsold for more than two years,” reports Dennis Rodkin at Crain’s. “The Krause Music Store building at 4611 North Lincoln is a 1922 structure by architect William Pesto, who tapped Sullivan to create a façade in his signature style.”
Surveying The Chicago Demolitions Of 2022
“Chicago continues to destroy its rich architectural history and well-built environment for soulless new development. Or in the case of areas like Lincoln Park replace multi-unit structures with side yards,” writes Rachel Freundt at the Chicagoland Architecture blog. “It’s all so infuriating. And the suburbs aren’t much better, tearing down what is sometimes one of only a handful of architecturally significant buildings in town.” The post of major damage and erasure “doesn’t include every single demolition, only the structures I personally captured with my camera (or phone) over the past year.”
Could The Urban Parking Lot Be Scrapped?
“California and many local governments are scrapping requirements that once made cars the center of the urban landscape,” reports WIRED (via the Guardian). “They are gray, rectangular and if you lumped their population of up to two billion together they would cover roughly the same area as Connecticut, about 5,500 square miles. Car parking spaces have a monotonous ubiquity in U.S. life, but a growing band of cities and states are now refusing to force more upon people, arguing they harm communities and inflame the climate crisis.”
The North Branch Boom
“The stretch along the North Branch of the Chicago River is the city’s next corridor for growth,” reports David Roeder at the Sun-Times. “Chicago’s next batch of high-rises will be north and northwest of downtown. Starting from West Town and running through Goose Island toward west Lincoln Park, the city’s growth will radiate along the North Branch… expanding what we think of as ‘downtown’ toward Wicker Park and Bucktown. It will happen because private investors have ordained it with the help of city policymakers. The biggest example is Lincoln Yards, developer Sterling Bay’s decades-long plan to spend possibly $6 billion converting fifty-three acres of old industrial property into a live-work megalopolis.”
Take A Virtual Tour Of The Facilities Of The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District
While in-person tours are still on hold, The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Of Greater Chicago, which treats wastewater and manages stormwater for the region, is offering a free virtual tour, Wednesday, January 11, as well as a pre-recorded, hourlong version here. “Travel back in time to early Chicago to see how we reversed the Chicago River and developed wastewater treatment technology. Go behind the scenes and under water to see how we transform water; descend 300 feet into the deep tunnel system, and watch our electrofishing crew at work sampling fish on the Chicago River.” Zoom registration required here.
Little Village Discount Mall Vendors Left In Dark
“Mere weeks before their lease is set to expire, a group of vendors from the Little Village Discount Mall and supporters called on the mall’s owner to not kick them out and for the city to intervene,” reports the Sun-Times. “We don’t have the famous brands of Michigan Avenue, but we still draw tourists from all over, from Florida to New York,” Kocoy Malagón, who runs a dress shop at the mall, told the paper. “The hundred or so vendors have been pushing for the mall’s owner, John Novak, to disclose his plans for the mall and for him to include them in any changes coming after the lease expires at the end of January.”
DINING & DRINKING
Grafton Pub Will Reopen As Part Of Old Town School Of Folk Music, But With New Name
“One of Lincoln Square’s most beloved bars could be revived this year as a restaurant with a performance space and rooftop terrace,” owned by the nonprofit Old Town School of Folk Music, reports Block Club. “The nonprofit school aims to continue the Grafton’s [twenty-year] legacy as a hangout and performance space for its students and teachers.”
Nobody’s Darling Looks To Expand
“Nobody’s Darling, a lively and diverse Andersonville LGBTQ bar and 2022 James Beard Award finalist, may embark on an expansion that would nearly double its capacity if officials approve the project,” reports Eater Chicago.
Adorn Bar & Restaurant Adds Executive Chef Richie Farina
Adorn Bar & Restaurant, the “New American” restaurant located within the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, has added Richie Farina as executive chef. “Chef Richie Farina’s remarkable Chicago culinary career and comprehensive knowledge make him an ideal leader of Adorn,” general manager Stephen Wancha says in a release. “Richie’s extraordinary finesse, imagination and dedication set the tone for the next iteration of dining experiences for our local and international guests.” Farina’s menu will include a tasting menu and will be introduced this spring, with a preview during the week of Valentine’s Day. Chef Farina was most recently the opening sous chef at two-Michelin-starred Ever, and previously served as lead line cook at Monteverde and executive chef at one-Michelin-starred Moto. More on Adorn here.
Shuttered Back of the Yards Coffeehouse To Open In Pilsen
Back of the Yards Coffeehouse on 47th, co-owned by Jesse Iñiguez and Mayra Hernandez since 2017, closed their doors at the end of December, reports Block Club, but have begun construction on a new space in the neighborhood as part of the United Yards development, “on the first floor of the old Goldblatt’s building” on South Marshfield. “Iñiguez also plans to open a coffeehouse in Pilsen’s Mural Park development near 19th and Peoria, and is eyeing a Downtown location.”
Nigerian Bakery In Bucktown
“Joba Foods & Bakery, a bakery that specializes in Agege bread (a soft, sweet Nigerian bread), pastries, and cookies, launched in mid-December on Western next door to poultry specialist the Art of Chicken,” reports Eater Chicago.
Chicken Finger Chain Opening Loop Flagship
Louisiana-based chicken-finger chain Raising Cane’s will open a 5,000-square-foot flagship restaurant Tuesday morning inside the historic Montgomery Building along North Michigan near Madison, reports NBC 5, offering a clear view of “The Bean,” and with décor reflecting elements of the building’s history.
FILM & TELEVISION
Actress-Screenwriter Dorothy Tristan Was Eighty-One
Posts filmmaker and educator John Hancock on Facebook: “Dorothy Tristan, actress, model, screenwriter, painter, mother, and my wonderful wife of forty-eight years slipped away in her sleep,” writes the La Porte, Indiana resident. “I was lucky. She was something,” Hancock writes. “The infamously harsh critic John Simon said of her in The New York Times, ‘Dorothy Tristan can make her face into a dozen different faces: beautiful, pain-riddled, childlike, wizened, otherworldly, furious, ethereal, earth-motherish—you name it—and even unnamable.’ … Sounds scary, but that was in her work. In life she was a gentle soul, and my sweet darling.” Tristan, a former Ford model, had roles in “Klute,” “Scarecrow,” “Down And Out In Beverly Hills,” “California Dreaming” and “The End Of The Road” and writing credits on “Weeds,” “A Piece Of Eden” and “The Looking Glass.”
AMC Shelves Completed Second Season Of “61st Street”
AMC criminal justice drama “61st Street,” filmed on the South Side and at Cinespace, completed production on a second season, which has now been put on the shelf, reports Variety. The decision was made “as part of cost-cutting measures announced by AMC in December 2022, in which the company stated it would take write-downs for up to $475 million. That figure included $400 million for ‘strategic programming assessments’ and $75 million for ‘organizational restructuring costs.’ … It was created by Peter Moffat and boasted Michael B. Jordan among its executive producers. Courtney B. Vance starred in and executive produced the series, with the cast also including Tosin Cole and Aunjanue Ellis.” Adds Deadline: “Executive producers confirm the series is looking for a new home. Seasons one and two were shot simultaneously but only its freshman season aired in its entirety last spring. It was ordered as a two-season pickup.”
“Chicago Fire” Criticized For “Baby Box” Episode
“On Wednesday’s episode of NBC’s ‘Chicago Fire,’ a storyline involving an infant safe surrender box sounded the alarm for both the Chicago Fire Department and an advocate for abandoned children, who called the plot ‘misleading,'”reports the Tribune. “Although Illinois has had a Safe Haven Law for newborns since 2001, it does not have a baby box system like other states such as Indiana. Illinois requires that babies who are surrendered are handed over to a person.”
Alamo Drafthouse Teases Wrigley Outpost Construction Pics
Nothing about an opening date (or premium ticket and fancy concession prices), but Alamo Drafthouse has posted a tweet picturing the red backend of what could well be a red 1961 Ferrari convertible crashed through a wall of forest-pattern wallpaper, posted along with lyrics from Yello’s “Oh Yeah.” Bueller? Bueller?
Journalist-Columnist Lewis Zelig Koch Was Eighty-Seven
“Lewis Z. Koch was a versatile journalist and writer who at one juncture in a varied career wrote columns to help parents and families during times of changing mores,” reports the Trib. The obit outlines another amazing-sounding, eclectic Chicago journalism career. “Lew was an immensely likable guy, who was smart, funny, a devil,” Seymour “Sy” Hersh, who worked with Koch at City News told the paper. “And he was a marvelous social critic.” “In 1968, Koch helped start the Chicago Journalism Review with a group of daily newspaper reporters who were dissatisfied with media coverage of the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The publication, which was notorious for pulling no punches in its examination of Chicago media, folded in 1975. ‘He was someone who despised authority and loved the underdog,’ said journalist and historian Rick Perlstein.”
Trib Beer Boffin Josh Noel Takes Leave
Journalist Josh Noel elaborates on his departure from the Tribune after seventeen years to work in communications for Molson Coors: “What a ride. I’m filled with gratitude, for colleagues past and present, editors and especially readers. Working for the newspaper I grew up reading, and telling the stories of one of the world’s great cities, has been a privilege… When I arrived, the Tribune was a place where a journalist could spend the rest of his or her career. It feels less like that now, and for me, it became untenable. I’ve been on a team negotiating a labor contract with Tribune Publishing for more than three years. We’re still negotiating, now with a hedge fund known for slashing and burning its newsrooms. That also came to feel untenable, and it was simply time to move on. Dozens upon dozens of phenomenally talented journalists continue to stick it out and do wonderful work, and I support them every step of the way. I’ve talked a lot on social media about the need for Tribune Publishing and its hedge fund overlords to invest in their people. By investing in their workers, they are investing in their product, which is investing in their readers… Tribune Publishing and Alden Global Capital: invest in your people! It is the only path forward… The thing I know and love and which fascinates me is obvious: beer. I wasn’t hellbent on working in beer, but it was certainly an attractive and logical option. And that’s what I’m going to do.”
A Final Spin For Dave’s Records
“Dave’s Records closed for good Sunday, December 18. I swung by on the Friday before to pick up a few records and chat with Crain, but I couldn’t make it out that last day,” write Leor Galil and Kathleen Hinkel at the Reader, with forty photos by Hinkel. She went to Dave’s “to capture the scene during its final hours. She emerged with a touching document of the loose community that coalesced around Dave’s Records, where all kinds of folks—young parents, local music legends, former Chicagoans visiting for the holidays—navigated the tight aisles in search of buried treasure. The store is gone, but we still have our records—and Hinkel’s record of its farewell.”
Third Coast International Audio Festival Adds To Team
Eddie Hustleby has joined the core team at Third Coast as their competition and community programs manager. Hustleby brings over three years of experience as a coordinator overseeing the IDA Documentary Awards and is interested in “using calls for entries as opportunities for field building, and is committed to making the audio industry more equitable and diverse” as well as “improving systems, and making programming more accessible to all.” More about Hustleby and Third Coast here.
Jeff Awards Names New Members
The Jeff Awards has named four new members to the all-volunteer organization to promote live theater, recognizing excellence and honoring theater artists. More than fifty Jeff members take in work at both Equity and Non-Equity theaters, and are joined by Brittany Chhutani, Gennifer Jackson, Bryan Peters and Roger Pines. Jeff Awards members come from a range of backgrounds, the group writes, “that give them a unique perspective to evaluate theater and ensure the integrity of our annual awards. Members are working theater artists, many with academic and training backgrounds and significant professional experience, as well as those with a history of theater involvement or years of consistent theater attendance in Chicago.” More on membership here.
Could The Era Of The Artistic Director Be Ending?
More than a half-dozen Bay Area stage companies are taking the occasion of departures to rewrite their idea of the role of the artistic director, writes the San Francisco Chronicle. “I don’t see the urge or feel the urgency of people needing to be in those jobs,” Ralph Remington, director of cultural affairs at the San Francisco Arts Commission tells the paper. “In this phase of the pandemic, he suggested, the glamour of artistic leadership has dulled. Would-be applicants know they will face steep challenges on the job, with shifting health protocols and stubbornly low audience numbers. ‘I know for a fact that a lot of my colleagues are like, “Yeah, once upon a time I would have loved to have done that, but not now.”‘”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Joseph Kromelis, Chicago’s Walking Man, Will Rest At St. Boniface
“Joseph Kromelis, the well-known ‘Walking Man’ of downtown Chicago, will have his cremated remains interred in a Chicago cemetery in a private ceremony with family later this month,” reports the Sun-Times. Donations kept him from being part of “the county’s yearly mass burial for indigent and unidentified residents.” Said Mark Schmeltzer, director of communication at Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, “Kromelis is such an icon of Chicago… Keeping him in Chicago, even in death, is a good thing.”
Oakton College Takes New Name
Oakton Community College officially becomes Oakton College on January 17, reports the Daily Herald. “Along with the name change, the college will unveil a new visual identity, including a modernization of the college’s iconic leaf logo and new college seal… A combination of institutional and societal factors, including the launch of a new strategic plan, created an ideal opportunity for Oakton to reintroduce itself to the communities it serves.”
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