Art Environment Makers Documented At Intuit
“Ted Degener: At Home with Artists,” the photographer’s first major exhibition, showcases portraits and videos of makers of art environments within and among their grand works of art. For more than five decades, Ted Degener has traveled across the United States in search of encounters with the makers of art environments—artists who transformed personal spaces like homes, gardens and studios into continually evolving, site-specific and life-encompassing works of art. His fascination with art environments started in 1970 when he learned about Simon Rodia’s Watts Towers in Los Angeles. Degener has photographed more than 400 artists in and with their work, in addition to roadside attractions, eccentric festivals and other American cultural activities.
His “photographs go beyond documentation of art environments, though some serve as remnants of sites long disassembled, to capture the artist inhabiting their work,” Intuit writes. “Degener’s portraits capture the maker’s dynamisms, their sense of joy and pride in sharing their creations with others.” Visitors can view Degener’s photographs in the museum’s front gallery as well as his “home videos” in the performance space, including seven short films of visits with artists Silvio Barile, Loy Bowlin, L.V. Hull, Leonard Knight and Dr. Charles Smith. Opens Thursday, January 19, with an evening reception. More here.
Brazilian Collector Sues Detroit Museum Over Van Gogh Painting
“A Brazilian collector filed suit yesterday against the Detroit Institute of Arts, claiming that a van Gogh painting that he had been trying to find for years is currently hanging in a blockbuster show devoted to the artist at the museum,” reports ARTnews.
R2 Plots Future For Board Of Trade Building
“Owners of the Chicago Board of Trade Building, 141 West Jackson, have surrendered its deed to their lender, New York investment firm Apollo Global Management,” reports David Roeder at the Sun-Times. “Apollo has hired a Chicago-based developer, R2, to plot next steps for the landmark building… R2 is involved in a range of projects, including… The Salt Shed… The move comes as the city, concerned about vacant space and the future of outmoded office buildings around La Salle Street, has rolled out an incentive program to help owners modernize.”
Walter Netsch Home In Old Town May Get Landmark For Interior
“An Old Town home designed by iconic architect Walter Netsch could soon get a rare interior landmarking status for its unconventional floor plan,” reports Block Club. A preliminary landmarking was given for “the home at 1700 North Hudson, [which] features multistory ceiling heights that create an illusion of it being larger and skylights designed to illuminate specific spaces at certain times of the day and year.”
“How One Man Is Redefining Midcentury Modern Architecture” With “Hood Century”
Cincinnati resident Jerald Cooper is using social media “to try to do something to preserve what he calls ‘hood century,’ a play on midcentury architecture and interior design, giving room for new ways to explore and examine the style,” reports the New York Times. Cooper “began with an Instagram page now called ‘@hoodmidcenturymodern’ and is planning a crowdsourcing map to catalog the history of modernism in Black culture to better understand it, and ultimately preserve it. He said many people do not know the history of their neighborhoods. ‘This lack of knowing is why we started this.'” (Newcity’s coverage from 2015 of this wave of architecturally significant midcentury work is here.)
Sankofa Wellness Village Wins $10 Million Chicago Prize
“A West Side campus that will bring critical resources back into a disinvested neighborhood has won the second $10 million Chicago Prize,” reports Block Club. “The Pritzker Traubert Foundation awarded the Sankofa Wellness Village the coveted prize… The Garfield Park Rite to Wellness Collaborative, which includes several West Side groups, is steering the development…The village will be a sprawling, $50 million campus that includes a wellness center with a credit union, an art center, business hub and pop-up markets bringing fresh food to West Siders.”
Harley-Davidson’s Milwaukee HQ Gets Parkside Kickstart
“Heatherwick Studio and Harley-Davidson have teamed up for a public park at the motorcycle maker’s Milwaukee headquarters,” reports the Architect’s Newspaper. “Taking cues from the curvature of bike turning radii, The Hub will be oriented around an almost 300-foot-wide sunken event space ringed by tiered seating, plants, and dozens of bays for the hogs. The event area sites directly across from the Harley-Davidson headquarters, while the other side of the park will be planed with 120 native plants, some of which are sacred to the area’s Forest County Potawatomi.”
DINING & DRINKING
Josephine’s Southern Cooking Cuts Back To Weekends
Josephine’s Southern Cooking, reports Block Club, is reducing hours to weekends only for its Chatham home of over thirty-five years while looking for a new location. Struggling for ten years and now facing a falloff in business from “the issues of 79th Street” are among the reasons the restaurant could relocate or close. “Violence and ‘the things that take place’ on 79th Street ‘from the Lake all the way down to Western,'” has negatively affected business, according to co-owner Victor Love.
Ann Arbor Bar’s Got “Geezer” Getdown
“The party’s official name is ‘Ann Arbor Happy Hour at Live,’ but many people call it ‘Geezer Happy Hour,’ ‘Geezer Dance Party’ or just ‘Geezers.’ It’s organized by Randy Tessier, a seventy-two-year-old University of Michigan lecturer and writing instructor who has played in rock and jazz bands since he moved to the city in 1972, back when it was a patchouli-scented center of American counterculture,” reports the New York Times. “‘I call us the silver tsunami,’ Mr. Tessier said. ‘There’s a lot of us and we still want to rock.'”
FILM & TELEVISION
Illinois Film Tax Credit Extended
From the Illinois Production Alliance: the Illinois Film Tax Credit has been extended. “During the 2022 spring session of the Illinois General Assembly, IPA partnered with business, industry and labor in support of legislation to modestly expand the Film Incentive program. The legislation was passed by both the House and Senate and was signed into law by Governor Pritzker… Experts predict this legislation will put Film in Illinois on the trajectory to become a billion-dollar business, creating opportunities for diverse good paying jobs. Our efforts over the past two years have elevated awareness and identified film production as an important and fast-growing sector of the state’s economy.” Their efforts have also “amplified the industry’s commitment to the development and training of an equitable and skilled workforce which provides access and opportunity to minority and underserved communities.” The nuts-and-bolts can be found here.
Sergio Mims Fund For Black Excellence In Filmmaking Established
“An independent group of friends and family have come together to announce the creation of the Sergio Mims Fund for Black Excellence in Filmmaking, a cash award to be given each year at the Black Harvest Film Festival. We have set a goal to raise $100,000 for the Fund,” the Siskel Film Center relays in a release. “We are reflecting on the impact of his work and friendship. His life and generosity touched so many. As co-founder and co-programmer, Sergio built the Black Harvest Film Festival into one of the longest-running Black film festivals in the country. He mentored two generations of filmmakers. When Sergio said, ‘Yeah, whatever you need,’ he meant it. He was there to read scripts, give notes, offer advice, and provide encouragement. We cannot replace our brother Sergio, but we can work together to continue his legacy and support the work that mattered so much to his life.” More here.
Chicago Filmmaking Community Loses Lorin Fulton
The passing of Lorin Fulton was noted over the weekend: “Heartbreak today as the Chicago film community has lost one of its greatest treasures,” cinematographer Chris Rejano posted, like many, many others, on Facebook. “Besides running some of my favorite sets with a firm and realistic grace you also nurtured and brought up a gang of assistant directors that prove to the industry that it doesn’t matter how they do it in L.A. Thank you for championing for me as I transitioned over to camera operator and then on to a D.P. on ‘Shameless.’ You always had my back. You always had everyone’s back. Rest easy now Lorin. We will miss you forever.” KL Kenzie: “I, along with many other film industry folks, will never again, have that first day of set feeling of finding out who the ADs are, and seeing your name on the call sheet. You loved your crews deeply and it showed. The world is a little sadder today, knowing that Lorin Fulton has left it.” Kwame Amoaku: “Rest in peace Lorin Fulton, thanks for the love that you gave to the world and all the yummy food you grew and brought to us. Love you, sis. Check the gate, that makes us done for picture.” Fulton’s Facebook page is here.
Revamped Harper Theater Reopening In Hyde Park
Hyde Park’s 107-year-old Harper Theater, a movie house since 1935, “is getting new owners and a revamp after the retirement of former proprietor Tony Fox. Emphasizing the theater’s ‘luxury’ renovations, new owners Main Street Theatres are shooting for an early spring opening,” reports South Side Weekly. The “iconic building was constructed in 1914, opening a year later as a 1,200-seat vaudeville house complete with a Kimball pipe organ.”
Park Ridge’s Pickwick In Holding Pattern
A theater operator has still not been announced for the Pickwick, posts Pioneer Press-Tribune reporter Caroline Kubzansky. “Many people worried for the building itself. The building will remain intact, not necessarily because it’s on the National Register of Historic Places but because it’s a Park Ridge local landmark.” The co-owners told her that they are “closing in on a new tenant for the theater. Their property manager said a banquet concept and live entertainment would likely be part of the new concept for the theater… movies will continue showing in the theater until April under general manager Kathryn Tobias.” Kubzansky writes at the Tribune that the owners are “still approaching the finish line with a tenant…. ‘You want to make sure to dot the i’s, you want to make sure the wording is correct,’ [a co-owner] said. ‘A few words can mean different things, so we’ve got to be very careful how stuff is worded.'”
Reeling 2023: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival Open For Submissions
Chicago Filmmakers has announced its open call for entries for Reeling 2023: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival, now in its forty-first edition. Reeling, an annual showcase of the best in LGBTQ+-produced film for over four decades, coincides with Chicago Filmmakers’ fiftieth anniversary. More here. Submission info here.
Last Call In Evanston’s Alley Of Books
Bookends & Beginnings is packing up shop in its legendary alley space, and on Wednesday, January 25 will host a “Last Call” party at the store. “We will have light refreshments and short remarks from public and private figures for whom our bookstore has been especially meaningful.” Saturday, January 28 will be the last day of business in the alley, with their move to new digs on January 29-30. “We are still hard at work in the new space and don’t yet have the new fixtures we ordered, [so] we will need at least a week to even start unpacking.” There are two sittings, and you must reserve here.
Columbus School Administrator Cuts Off Dr. Seuss
“The assistant director of communications for Olentangy Local School District abruptly stopped the reading of the Dr. Seuss book ‘The Sneetches’ to a third-grade classroom during an NPR podcast after students asked about race,” reports the Columbus Dispatch. “Shale Meadows Elementary School third grade teacher Mandy Robek was reading ‘The Sneetches’ to her class as part of NPR’s latest episode of ‘Planet Money’ about the economic lessons in children’s books. During the podcast, which aired Friday, Amanda Beeman, the assistant director of communications for the school district, stopped the reading part way through the book… As part of the district stipulations, politics were off limits. Six books were selected ahead of time by Beras and the district—including ‘The Sneetches.'”
“Gender Queer” Remains In Circulation At Riverside Library
Reports the Riverside-Brookfield Landmark: “Riverside Public Library trustees agreed unanimously at their meeting on January 10 that Library Director Janice Foley did not abuse her discretion or act capriciously last month when she declined, in consultation with a staff committee, a request from two residents to remove the book ‘Gender Queer’ by Maia Kobabe from circulation.”
Freedom Center’s Days Numbered
“The thirty-acre site on the bank of the North Branch is where Bally’s plans to build Chicago’s first casino complex. Bally’s bought the Freedom Center for $200 million in November. Occupancy hasn’t changed yet, and no date for move-outs has been announced—but casino plans entail eliminating the Freedom Center,” reports Dennis Rodkin at WBEZ. “The sale means another building tied to the city’s once-formidable newspaper industry will be gone.”
West Point School of Music Garners $75,000 Infusion Award From Lewis Prize
The Lewis Prize for Music, a philanthropic music arts organization, has named Chicago’s West Point School of Music a 2023 Infusion Awardee. West Point will receive $75,000 to further work with youth and their communities through music. Founded in 2018 by philanthropist Daniel R. Lewis, the annual Accelerator Awards are part of The Lewis Prize for Music’s $20 million commitment over five years for creative youth development organizations across the country creating positive change through youth music programs.” More here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Northwestern Grad Student Workers Vote To Unionize
“Following two days of casting ballots—and years of grassroots organizing—Northwestern University graduate students voted to unionize and will join the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America,” reports the Trib. “The bargaining unit includes research assistants, graduate assistants, teaching assistants and fellows.”
Ken Griffin Tells New York City To Shape Up; Sells Another Multimillion-Dollar Chicago Condo
“Citadel’s Ken Griffin told New York City Mayor Eric Adams and other business leaders that public safety is the top priority, and that the city can’t be attractive to companies if crime is an issue,” reports Bloomberg. “New York has the highest density of financial talent in the world, including more than 1,500 Citadel employees, but crime trumps everything.” Griffin “has wielded his vast fortune to influence local city leaders through a combination of massive real estate footprint and philanthropy. Last year he relocated the headquarters of [his Citadel companies] to Miami from Chicago, citing a rise in crime and employees’ brushes with danger as a primary motivation.” Meanwhile, the former Chicagoan sold his Park Tower condo for $11.2 million, “the second of four upper-end Chicago condos [he] has sold after putting them on the market shortly after announcing his move to Florida,” reports Crain’s.
Ricketts Family Action
Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen appointed Republican former Governor Pete Ricketts to the Senate. Ricketts will now have to stand in a special election to fill out Ben Sasse’s unfinished term in 2024, reports Politico. “Before appointing Ricketts, Pillen said he weighed the former governor’s ability to win statewide elections as well as his commitment to run for a full term, which would help develop seniority in the Senate.” More from Insider here: “Along with owning the Cubs, the Ricketts family has long been among the biggest funders of Republican campaigns.”
Ariel Investments Rebrands With “Active Patience”
“Ariel Investments is marking its fortieth anniversary with a rebranding campaign that attempts to give the tortoise that for decades has been the asset management firm’s mascot a bit more pep in its step,” writes Steve Daniels at Chicago Business. The anniversary “is marked with an enigmatic new tagline, ‘Active patience.’ But CEO John Rogers’ value-oriented investment approach isn’t changing.”
UIC Takes $500,000 Grant In Support Of Humanities-Based Critical Race Analysis
“The University of Illinois Chicago has received two grants totaling nearly $1.3 million from the Mellon Foundation in support of threatened humanities scholars from Latin America and a curricular and pedagogical program concerning humanities-based critical race and gender analysis,” the university relays in a release.
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