Chicago Artists Coalition Names HATCH Residents
HATCH, a juried program for emerging and mid-career Chicago visual artists and curators from Chicago, has named its 2022-2023 HATCH Residents. They will be given the opportunity to produce collaborative exhibitions as part of “an ecology of curatorial and artistic practice.” The curators are Sophie Buchmueller, Sofia Sanchez and Denny Mwaura. The artists are Armando Roman, Alex Kostiw, bARBER, Michelle Chun, Molly Blumberg, Nicole Leung, Ruby Que, Shonna Pryor, Sophia English, Sungho Bae, Vincent Phan, Youree Kim. Bios and more here.
“GRAY At 60” Runs Through March 11
“GRAY at 60,” the exhibition at the Chicago gallery (and other outposts), features works by sixty historical and living artists whose practices have been integral to the gallery’s vision, and runs through March 11 at one of the country’s longest-running institutions. (An accompanying book commemorates six decades since the gallery’s founding in 1963 by Richard Gray, 1928-2018.) “‘GRAY at 60’ pursues a single material—paper—across more than one hundred years of art history to survey the myriad ways in which artists use the medium as an index of touch and a surface for immediacy. The exhibition takes root in the gallery’s intertwined histories of presenting canonical artists alongside those reinventing the canon itself.” Says gallery principal Paul Gray, “From the beginning there was the eclectic mission of acquiring, exhibiting, and dealing in the masters of the century’s first half such as Matisse, Picasso, Léger, Giacometti and Gorky, combined with representing and exhibiting prominent mid-career artists of the time, Calder, de Kooning, Avery, and Morris Louis, as well as exhibitions for young and emerging artists.”
This history is reflected in the show, which gathers Modernist, Abstract Expressionist, Pop and Contemporary work. “These transhistorical readings posit a logic for the works of Agnes Martin and Barnett Newman to hang alongside a tar paper work by Theaster Gates; for the colorful forms of Joan Miró, Jackson Pollock, Grace Hartigan, and Helen Frankenthaler to enter into dialogue with McArthur Binion’s and Carrie Moyer’s; for Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse to converse with Alex Katz and David Hockney; and for Rashid Johnson’s figures to join those by Jean Dubuffet, Alberto Giacometti, and Philip Guston. In considering these conversions of art-making across time, ‘GRAY at 60’ finds the medium of paper a fitting ledger with which to trace the years past and those to come.”
Des Moines Art Center’s New Director From The Met
In the institution’s seventy-fifth anniversary year, the Des Moines Art Center Board of Trustees has named Dr. Kelly Baum as the museum’s next director. In this role, Dr. Baum will lead the Art Center in furthering its mission to provide opportunities for transformational art experiences through its collections, exhibitions and educational programming, the DMCA relays. Dr. Baum comes to Des Moines from The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where she has worked in multiple roles since 2015, most recently as the curator of contemporary art. More on DMAC here.
White Castle Will Help Move A Free Little Castle
A castle-shaped 1930s-era portable metal diner that years ago was home to a Wichita burger stand has been hidden on a rural property for decades, lists Cheap Old Houses. It’s available for free to a museum or group interested in acquiring, moving and restoring it. NBC 5 reports that White Castle “believes the home was modeled ‘directly after early White Castles that started the fast-food industry in 1921’… White Castle said it will invest in the relocation if the building becomes a museum or is obtained by a group ‘seeking to preserve this building. As the ones to start it all 102 years ago, our family business would like to do our part to preserve this history and source of good memories,’ Jamie Richardson, vice president at White Castle and fourth-generation family member, said in a statement.” Adds Cheap Old Houses, “The building was most likely either the former Little Palace Lunch No. 1… or the Continental Grill No. 2… This is the only definite Ablah Hotel Supply castle-shaped diner survivor and is in remarkable shape. It’s an important building both from an architectural and a roadside Americana standpoint. It’s steel framed with riveting and approximately twenty feet by twenty feet—the building was moved to the location using a crane; it would take some significant logistics and money to move off of the property.”
DINING & DRINKING
Samuel Ornelas of Pilsen’s El Trebol Was Eighty-Six
Samuel Ornelas, owner of Pilsen’s El Trebol Liquors and Bar on 18th, was eighty-six, reports Block Club. The family opened the bar in the 1960s. “‘Sammy had great respect and appreciation for the loyal patrons that visited the bar and those who continue to have a beer or two enjoying the traditional Mexican music that he loved,’ his family wrote on social media.”
Revamped O’Hare Terminal 5 Hoists Fresh Feedbags
A Chick-fil-A, Protein Bar & Kitchen and “Evolve by Hudson,” a newsstand-like option for sundries, will open in Terminal 5 this summer, reports NBC 5.
FILM & TELEVISION
Kartemquin Seeks Diverse Voices
Diverse Voices in Docs is a professional development and mentorship program for documentary filmmakers of color, organized by Kartemquin Films and the Community Film Workshop of Chicago. The eight-month program hones skills as filmmakers develop projects, sharing experiences within a small group and gaining expertise through workshops, programs and events. Coming up on Friday, February 17, a virtual information session on the DVID Fellowship – past DVID fellows will share their experiences through the program, followed by a brief Q&A. Register here. More info on submissions, which are being taken through March 12, is here.
John Malkovich On Working
The Talks asks John Malkovich about his pace of work. “I would actually say I sped up considerably, just last year I started a TV series, I rehearsed a play in Riga, Latvia, while I was doing that. Then I did two classical music tours, I acted in a film based on the Schubert song cycle, then I did another tour, now I am doing this tour, but now we are rehearsing a symphonic version of the Music Critic, and at the same time, I was working on the new project that I am doing. I have an awareness that it all could end tomorrow or this afternoon — God knows. I am sixty-eight years old. So I am not really afraid of losing steam: there are just things I want to do still and I am aware that my time is limited. I even could argue that I like work now more than I did when I was young! I couldn’t say it for certain, but generally I quite like working and all the challenges it presents and all of the experiences it gives us.”
Florida Library Book Censors Advance
“A Florida school district that covers forty-eight schools serving over 50,000 students released a fresh list of books to be banned from all school and classroom libraries,” reports the New Republic. “Some other titles are to be ‘quarantined’ away from libraries and media centers as well, until a final decision is made… Titles like Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ and Rupi Kaur’s ‘Milk and Honey’ are still subject to review… A recently passed Florida law… mandates that books in public schools be subject to review by a ‘specialist.’ The bans more broadly follow an ongoing slew of Florida politicians attacking educators’ and students’ liberties—an assault spearheaded by Florida governor and aspiring fascist Ron DeSantis.” The twenty-three freshly removed books include “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” George Matthew Johnson; “Call Me by Your Name,” Andre Aciman; “Forever,” Judy Blume; “Fun Home,” Alison Bechdel; “Handmaid’s Tale” (graphic novel), Margaret Atwood, adapted by Renee Nault; “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” Jesse Andrews; “PUSH,” Sapphire; “The Haters,” Jesse Andrews; “The Kite Runner,” Khaled Hosseini; and “Water for Elephants,” Sarah Gruen.
In the Miami Herald, Fabiola Santiago compares Florida Governor and presumptive presidential candidate DeSantis to Fidel Castro: “Not a week goes by without the unfurling of another outrageously repressive stunt by Gov. DeSantis and Florida’s Department of Education. And I can’t help but be transported by the chicanery to two of my many lives: childhood in Cuba and motherhood in Miami…Millions of kids in Cuba are, like I was, still forbidden access to certain kinds of books. Now Florida’s three million are, too. Let that sink in… DeSantis exerting political control on education and punishing anyone who disagrees with him, including mega-corporation Disney, ought to send shivers down the spine of any Miamian who has fled authoritarian regimes… Like DeSantis, Fidel Castro, too, claimed liberation was taking place.”
Inside The Crumbling Congress
“Closed for a decade, the Congress Theater is a shell of the gleaming movie palace and music venue it once was,” writes Mina Bloom at Block Club. “Water is seeping into the 1920s venue, badly damaging the original structure and its ornate details. The plaster walls are crumbling, and parts of the ceiling have collapsed, scattering debris. The theater’s worsening condition, combined with sky-high construction prices and other mounting costs, is complicating a local developer’s ambitious—and much-anticipated—plans to revive the Logan Square gem.” (Images here.)
When Steve Albini, The Wieners Circle And Jason Isbell Threaded Steely Dan
The thread had been going for a while when Jason Isbell posted, “My wife hates Steely Dan so much she’s starting a fan group called the Albini Babies.” The subject: hate and love and hate for Steely Dan. Music producer Steve Albini posited on Monday: “I will always be the kind of punk that shits on Steely Dan. Christ the amount of human effort wasted to sound like an SNL band warm up… Look at yourselves. Calling them ‘the Dan.’ Go trim your beard… There’s some video where they talk about every song on an album, and each one begins with the not-bald one saying, ‘this song is based on my deep love of the blues, just a very bluesy blues. Deep blues.’ Then lays his jazz dork hands on the fucking electric piano.” Responding to huzzahs and boos, Albini adds of the commentary, “Okay, my favorite ones are the Steely Dan is more punk than punk ones. Those are objectively the best ones. Just fresh powder pure.” From the gallery: “lmao i love it when steve albini gets spicy“; “Albini hot takes consistently reaffirm that he’s one of the most basic dudes ever.” Last word goes to Wieners: “Cmon Steve, they’re named after a dildo brand.”
New York Philharmonic Appoints Gustavo Dudamel Music Director Starting In 2026
“Gustavo Dudamel, a charismatic forty-two-year-old conductor, will take up the Philharmonic’s podium in 2026, in a major coup for the orchestra,” reports the New York Times. Previous occupants of that podium for the nation’s oldest orchestra: Mahler, Toscanini and Bernstein. “‘There are no limits, especially in an orchestra with such a history,’ he said. ‘I see an incredible infinite potential of building something unique for the world.'” Dudamel “faces the difficult task of attempting to raise the New York Philharmonic’s standing in American cultural life while helping it navigate a series of challenges, including dwindling ticket revenues, shifting audience behavior since the pandemic and persistent questions about the relevance of classical music and live performance today.”
TimeLine Premieres “The Lehman Trilogy”
TimeLine Theatre Company has announced that it will opens its 2023 season with the Chicago premiere of the internationally acclaimed and Tony Award-winning play “The Lehman Trilogy” by Stefano Massini, adapted by Ben Power. Details of three other productions for the season will be announced later. The run is September 19–October 29, 2023 at Broadway In Chicago’s Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
UIC Faculty Approve Contract
“The faculty at the University of Illinois Chicago has voted on and approved a new four-year contract with the university,” reports CBS 2. “The agreement comes after a four-day strike… Some 1,500 union members walked out after nine months of negotiations. They settled on $60,000 being the minimum salary [for] faculty. The contract is retroactive to August, and runs through 2026.”
Former McDonald’s Chairman And Bears Co-Owner Andrew McKenna Was Ninety-Three
“This afternoon we lost a friend of more than forty years to our family and the Bears,” Bears chairman George H. McCaskey said in a news release. “Few people have had a larger impact on our great city. Andy spent his life dedicated to institutions across sports, media, museums, academia, health care and more sharing his insights and leadership.” McKenna was on the Bears’ board of directors, and was chairman of McDonald’s 2004-2016. His directorships included the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the Big Shoulders Fund, the Ireland Economic Advisory Board, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry, Civic Committee and the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago. Adds the Tribune: “A well-respected businessman, he was active in civic and philanthropic efforts across the city for decades and had served as a trustee for the Museum of Science and Industry. He was also on the Tribune Company’s board of directors from 1982-2002.”
NASCAR Guesstimates Its Street Racing Will Speed $113 Million
“For us, being in Chicago is incredibly important,” NASCAR Chicago Street Race President Julie Giese told the Sun-Times editorial board. “NASCAR will begin setting up the race on June 29, constructing grandstands on Columbus Drive near the start and finish line… The twelve-turn, 2.2-mile course will keep drivers relatively slow, topping 100 mph in only a few places.” NASCAR’s study “expects tourists to book 24,000 hotel room nights in Chicago and generate $8.9 million in city, county and state tax revenue.” NASCAR says the first-ever street racing in Grant Park “could infuse $113 million into the local economy… The races on July 1 and 2 should also attract many people from out of town—sixty-five-percent of the expected 100,000 attendees—and finally lift the town from its pandemic slump, filling up downtown hotel rooms and broadcasting scenic parts of downtown across the world to millions.”
Next Pandemic Could Be Mink-Borne
“Bird flu is a mass killer, and mink farms are perfect for infection and transmission. They are a grave threat and must be banned,” advocates George Monbiot at the Guardian. “Mink readily harbour human and avian flu viruses. As predators, they can easily acquire avian flu from the meat they eat. The distribution of sialic acid receptors–a key determinant of infection–in their respiratory tracts is similar to that of humans. Human flu strains can pass between them through aerosol transmission. Mink also possess, to a remarkable degree, what scientists call ‘zoonotic potential’: in other words, they can be infected by, and infect, many different species. During the first phases of COVID-19, they proved to be highly effective intermediaries, partly because the virus seemingly evolves faster in mink than in humans. They appear to have generated at least two new variants that spread to humans [and] mink are the only known species that both received COVID-19 from humans and passed it back to them.”
Illinois To Study Discrimination In Pot Biz
“As the pot industry in Illinois [struggles] to meet diversity goals, a state oversight office is launching a study into whether discrimination exists in the growing business,” reports the Sun-Times. “The $2.5 million study, required by state law, will analyze applications for licenses to grow marijuana, as well as transport and dispense it. The study will look closely at the much-criticized social equity program, aimed at increasing diversity among license holders.”
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