Sculpture Milwaukee Curator Named
Sculpture Milwaukee announced John Riepenhoff as curator for the 2023 exhibition, which will open this summer and be on view through October 2024. Now in its seventh year, Sculpture Milwaukee is an annual outdoor exhibition of public sculpture in downtown Milwaukee. John Riepenhoff is an artist, curator and gallerist who lives and works in Milwaukee. “I’m thrilled to join the succession of artist-curators at Sculpture Milwaukee,” Riepenhoff said in a release. “After watching the organization innovate exhibition-making and engage the local and international scenes over the past six years, I am honored to help continue to grow its legacy with a new cohort of contemporary artists and community.” A complete list of artists and artworks from Sculpture Milwaukee’s 2023 exhibition will be released in spring 2023. More here.
Mary Nohl House Seeks Salvation
The Mary Nohl House in Fox Point, Wisconsin is endangered. “As one of the few intact art environments created single-handedly by a woman, Mary Nohl’s lakefront home has played a rich and distinctive part in the culture and heritage of the Village of Fox Point, Wisconsin, since the mid-1960s,” the John Michael Kohler Arts Center relays. “When Nohl died in 2001, she bequeathed her home and art collection to Kohler Foundation, Inc., which later transferred ownership to Creation and Preservation Partners, Inc., an affiliate of JMKAC. Long involved in the preservation and study of artist-built environments, JMKAC has undertaken substantial restoration and conservation efforts to stabilize and maintain the property in its unique location. It has invested more than $3.6 million in restoring the home and grounds since 2012. JMKAC is currently asking the Village of Fox Point to consider the creation of a cultural overlay district for the Nohl property, which will create a pathway to host opportunities for local community members, educators, and artists to have access to the property; support the production of work that deepens the legacy, understanding and value of this important piece of community history; and allow for the development of a committed and sustainable long-term financial support plan to preserve the artwork and property into the future.” More here, including a link for a Tuesday night, January 31 village public hearing via Zoom.
Wisconsin’s ArtsLink Closing
ArtsLink in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, is ending a run that began in 2013 “after months of soul-searching among its leadership. Our assets will be transferred to the Greater Sauk County Community Foundation to be held in trust for the benefit of Ruminant and Harvest Park, and a newly formed Friends of Ruminant group will help steward the funds… We’ve initiated dozens of additional programs, projects, classes and community collaborations. We’ve fostered connections between local and regional people that helped their creative ideas flourish. We’ve fought to get [creative people] at tables where important decisions are made, and we’ve raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to support the arts in our community.” More here.
Computer Rendering Shows Chicago’s Never-Built Mile-High Frank Lloyd Wright “Illinois” Building
A Spanish architect uses modeling software to show how Frank Lloyd Wright’s many unbuilt projects, like a mile-high tower in Chicago, might have looked, reports Artnet. David Romero collaborated with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation on the project; the renderings “include the Gordon Strong Automobile Objective, a planetarium proposed in 1925, as well as the National Life Insurance building, the floating cabins of Summer Colony on Lake Tahoe, and his most famous unrealized structure, a mile-high skyscraper in Chicago known as the Illinois… ‘I have always been in love with Wright’s architecture, and I thought it would be useful, from an academic point of view, to recreate those buildings that have been demolished or never built.'”
Vandal Tosses Rocks At Sullivan’s Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral, Smashing Windows
Smashed windows came last week after Holy Trinity in 2021 completed “an extensive exterior renovation of the historic property,” reports Block Club Chicago. “Much of the broken stained glass, which is original to the building… The church will work with its restoration company to repair the windows.”
Price On Chicago’s “Most Luxurious” Mansion Drops $15 Million To $30 Million
“A massive mansion in Lincoln Park often regarded as the most luxurious home on the Chicago real estate market is once again up for sale, now just over $15 million cheaper than it was when previously listed,” reports NBC 5. “The six-bedroom, eleven-bathroom, 25,000-square-foot custom mansion sits on more than eight city lots at 1932 North Burling Street, not far from the intersection of West Armitage and North Halsted. The sprawling home features a formal dining room, game room, media room, study, library and 5,000-bottle wine cellar, alongside seven fireplaces, a vaunted cathedral ceiling and a sauna.”
Details On Old Town’s David Adjaye-Designed Development
“A multibuilding development along three of Chicago’s wealthiest neighborhoods, designed by globetrotting architect David Adjaye, is expected to come into clearer view next week when the developer meets with neighbors,” reports Ryan Ori at CoStar News. The plan is expected “to include at least one residential high-rise, a common type of property in the area. Parcels that could be redeveloped include gas stations alongside the nondenominational church and a parking lot across the street. The project also is expected to include a redevelopment of the former Treasure Island grocery store space on Wells Street. The plan includes buying land and air rights from the Moody Bible Institute.”
DINING & DRINKING
Roundhouse Replaces Rocking Horse In Logan Square
“Roundhouse, a new sports bar that pairs game day viewing with eclectic culinary mashups like Italian-beef fried rice and cheeseburger egg rolls is open in the former home of twelve-year-old neighborhood fixture Rocking Horse at 2535 North Milwaukee in Logan Square,” reports Eater Chicago. The ownership group, which “shares investors with Uproar in Old Town (including Dante Deiana of Barstool Sports fame), sees potential in giving the area a rare sports-focused spot.”
“Is Tipping Getting Out Of Control?”
That’s how the Sun-Times headlines an Associated Press dispatch filled with random anecdotes and statistics about customers who don’t want to tip: “Some fed-up consumers are posting rants on social media complaining about tip requests at drive-thrus, while others say they’re tired of being asked to leave a gratuity for a muffin or a simple cup of coffee at their neighborhood bakery.” A key voice is a Murray State University professor: “People do not like unsolicited advice,” says the marketing professor… who studies tipping. “They don’t like to be asked for things, especially at the wrong time.”
American Wine And “The Old People Problem”
“The state of the American wine industry is grim, according to a closely watched report that annually analyzes its trajectory. Winemakers and advertisers are missing out on younger consumers, the report says, by failing to produce wines that fit their budgets and neglecting to reach out to them with targeted marketing campaigns,” writes Eric Asimov at the New York Times. “What advertising there was,” said the author of the report, “was directed at older consumers, ‘selling white-linen hospitality and gracious living, with a nod to the lifestyles of the rich and famous in many cases… That message is at best wasted on a younger crowd… At worst, it’s turning them off.'”
Boka And Chef Daniel Rose Want Loud Brasserie
“A lot of different types of cooking can take place inside a French brasserie, and for chef Daniel Rose that was the best way to remain authentic to Chicago and to utilize the 200-plus seats at Le Select,” reports Eater Chicago.”Rose is fond of describing a brasserie’s mission as ‘serving the highest level of food and service to the most number of people.’ … The hustle and bustle of commerce emerged as a theme. Brasseries aren’t just about serving French food… Rose says. Iconic Gibsons Steakhouse is the American equivalent, serving chops to the masses on Gold Coast at a sometimes frenetic pace.”
Manatee County Teachers Close Class Libraries; Florida Teachers Liable To Felony Charges
“Some Manatee County teachers have covered their classroom libraries with construction paper or otherwise eliminated students’ access to make sure they comply with new Florida law requiring all library books to be approved by a certified media specialist,” reports the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. (A leading North Dakota Republican legislator advocates banning books that contain unspecified “gender identity” content from books allowed in public libraries.)
Chicago Suburbs Become “Battlefield For The First Amendment”
“The children’s books section at the Lincolnwood Public Library has become the most contentious space in the building,” reports the Sun-Times. “In the past year, some parents have wanted titles removed from the library, according to Josephine Tucci, the library’s director. Others come to library board meetings and suggest moving books out of sight of kids. ‘No matter which shelf—and we only have three shelves,’ Tucci said. ‘I’m short, and they come up basically to almost my shoulder. So there is nowhere to put these books in question… The First Amendment is a double-edged sword… And it’s being used as a sword right now. Instead of a right, it’s used almost as a weapon to silence other people. And that is very worrisome. Most people still think of libraries as a place with books, you can hang out, it’s quiet. That’s not what libraries are anymore. Now, they’re becoming a battlefield for the First Amendment.'”
Are Radio’s “Glory Days” Past?
“The death of iconic WXRT-FM disc jockey Lin Brehmer not only left a hole in Chicago’s once-mighty rock radio landscape, it’s a further reminder of the slow fade of the age when big personalities dominated radio and influenced the musical tastes of millions,” writes William Lee at the Tribune.
Martin Atkins And The Museum of Post Punk and Industrial Music
“Museum creator and curator Martin Atkins spent decades playing in bands like Public Image Ltd., Ministry, Killing Joke, Nine Inch Nails and the supergroup Pigface. The museum, which opened in 2021, pulls from Atkins’ personal collection of memorabilia, photos and other rarities,” reports World Cafe. “He says Chicago was the perfect place for a museum celebrating post punk and industrial music, thanks to its rich history, including being home to record labels like Wax Trax.”
Hubbard Street Appoints Aszure Barton Choreographer
“Canadian American choreographer Aszure Barton will be Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s next artist-in-residence. The appointment follows a long vacancy after resident choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo’s departure in 2018,” reports the Trib.
David Razowsky Talks Second City, Improv And A Book
Former Second City artistic director David Razowsky has published a book, “A Subversive’s Guide To Improvisation: Moving Beyond ‘Yes, And’,” and talks to the Reader. “I talk about how I reached a point at Second City where I didn’t want to deal with a rigid structure anymore. That allowed me to do whatever the fuck I need to do. I don’t do eight-week classes anymore. I feel like one of the problems is—what’s the word that everybody’s using nowadays? Pedagogy. My advice to improv teachers is to not worry about what you have to finish teaching and be with the students every step of the way. You’re modeling what kind of an improviser to be by modeling what kind of a teacher you are… There is no play that doesn’t have the word ‘no’ in it. And there is no play that doesn’t have a question in it! There is no play where they’re not talking about somebody who isn’t there! All of that. Why is it that improvisers aren’t fucking allowed to do that? Fuck off!”
Steppenwolf Presents World Premiere Adaptation Of “Chlorine Sky”
Steppenwolf Theatre Company is presenting the Steppenwolf for Young Adults world premiere adaptation of “Chlorine Sky” by Mahogany L. Browne, based on her book and directed by Ericka Ratcliff. This intimate coming-of-age story based on Browne’s popular young adult novel will play February 14–March 11 in Steppenwolf’s Downstairs Theater. Tickets, including discounted student matinees, are here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Democratic Convention Finalist Cities Are Atlanta, New York And Chicago
Atlanta, Chicago and New York are finalists to host the 2024 Democratic convention, reports the New York Times. “Union leaders across the country have begun weighing in—for Chicago or New York but against Atlanta. They maintain that it would be insulting to hold the Democratic convention in a state that is hostile to unions and in a city with very few unionized hotels.” Governor Pritzker “has noted that the city often hosts large-scale events, the state reflects the nation’s diversity—and that summertime in Chicago, along Lake Michigan, is ‘phenomenal,’ an implicit contrast with the heat and humidity in Atlanta, and the pungent summer smells of New York City. He also highlighted the city’s Midwestern location, in a critical battleground region, though Illinois itself is strongly Democratic.”
Funds Cancelling Illinois Medical Debt
“Tens of thousands of Americans are about to have their debt forgiven,” reports More Perfect Union. “Local governments across the country from Cook County, Illinois–which includes Chicago–to Toledo and New Orleans, are using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to cancel billions of dollars in medical debt through a partnership with the non-profit RIP Medical Debt.” The forgiveness plan draw from the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act, which “provided local governments with a one-time lump sum of money to spend on infrastructure, public services and economic relief programs during the pandemic. Canceling medical debt is just one of the ways cities and counties are using this money to improve the lives of residents. And since local governments can cancel a hundred dollars in debt with just one dollar, it is a great investment for local communities. ‘It’s a one-time investment that puts the recipients of the program in a better place,’ said Toni Preckwinkle, President of Cook County Board of Commissioners.”
Residents do not apply; the group works with partner hospitals “to identify residents who are earning less than 400% of the poverty line, or spending more than five percent of their income on medical debt. Once the debt is purchased and relieved, qualifying residents will receive a letter in the mail notifying them that their debt has been cleared.” More from the New York Times: “‘What we need in this country is universal health care, clearly,’ Preckwinkle said. ‘But we’re not there as a nation yet, and so those of us who are responsible for local units of government have to do everything we can to make health care available, accessible to people.'”
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