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Hyde Park Art Center Presents Edra Soto’s Largest Solo Exhibition
Hyde Park Art Center will present “Destination/El Destino: a decade of GRAFT,” the largest solo exhibition to date of Puerto Rican artist, educator and community organizer Edra Soto. The exhibition offers a survey of the artist’s “GRAFT” series that began in 2013, and premieres a new, large-scale commission created in part during the artist’s 2022 yearlong residency at the Art Center. Examining the experience of living in diaspora, the interactive exhibition encompassing large sculptures, documentary photographs and games, will occupy the Art Center’s main gallery that doubles as an indoor and outdoor space. Comprising over a dozen sculptures and a large-scale immersive sculpture occupying the entire 2,400-square-foot gallery, the exhibition celebrates a decade-long exploration of Soto’s widely-exhibited multimedia sculpture series addressing the influence of Afro-diasporic cultures on Puerto Rico’s decorative architecture.
The exhibition’s title work, the new commission “Destination/El Destino,” pays homage to the artist’s physical and creative journey in building her signature style of geometrically patterned work, while recognizing a conclusive point of reflection on the series’ accomplishments to date. The newest sculpture highlights the pattern of a four-point star inspired by Adinkra symbology originating from the Akan culture of Ghana. Over 500 hand-tooled tin stars rendered by the artist are strung together to make the facade of this sculpture. During the creation of this piece, Soto invited community members into her studio at the Art Center to play Dominoes and have informal conversations that shaped the concept of this work. April 22-August 6. More here.
Florentine Museum That Houses The David Invites Ousted Principal As Guest
“The Florence museum housing Michelangelo’s Renaissance masterpiece invited parents and students from a Florida charter school to visit after complaints about a lesson featuring the statue forced the principal to resign,” reports AP. The Florence mayor “also tweeted an invitation for the principal to visit so he can personally honor her. Confusing art with pornography was ‘ridiculous,'” he said. “The board of the Tallahassee Classical School pressured Principal Hope Carrasquilla to resign last week after an image of the David was shown to a sixth-grade art class. The school has a policy requiring parents to be notified in advance about ‘controversial’ topics being taught.”
Among World’s Hundred Most Popular Art Museums, Art Institute Recovering Well
For 2022, Art Institute admissions were up twenty-percent (for a total of 1,037,158 visitors), reports the Art Newspaper. The publication’s “Visitor Figures 2022 survey shows that numbers in Paris and Seoul were almost back to normal last year, while other major centres such as London struggled to hit pre-pandemic levels.” In the Midwest, the Walker in Minneapolis also shows improvement over pandemic figures.
Mayor Signs Off On LaSalle Street Residential Conversion Plans
“The proposals deemed eligible for city subsidies together call for more than 1,000 housing units, a third of them affordable, and more than $550 million in investment to address downtown vacancies,” reports the Sun-Times. “Leaving her mark on a downtown redevelopment effort in the final weeks of her administration, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is naming three plans for mixed-income housing as eligible for city subsidies.” The selected plans include conversions for the Field Building (135 S. LaSalle), the Continental and Commercial National Bank (208 S. LaSalle) and the Harris Bank East Building (111 W. Monroe).
New “Redefine The Drive” Renderings Released
“New renderings have been released of the potential future condition of the northern lakefront as part of the Redefine the Drive efforts currently underway. Led by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), the study of North Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive encompasses the area between Grand Avenue and Hollywood Avenue along the corridor,” reports Urbanize Chicago. “With extensive community engagement and design development underway, the team has released the new renders to help answer some of the questions from the public and better illustrate the potential user experience along the north Lakefront. These views incorporate input from the Summer 2022 Access and Experience at the Lakefront Survey, along with the Public Life Study.”
When Marina City’s Antennas Made It The City’s Tallest Edifice
For five years, the highest point in Chicago was the pair of antennas atop the West Tower of Marina City, broadcasting WBKB-TV. YIMBY Chicago looks back, with cool pics. The building was the “tallest structure in the city from 1964 to 1969 before the John Hancock Center was completed…In 1962, Chicago’s first commercial television station, WBKB (now WLS-TV), announced plans to erect two radio antennas, the tallest of the pair adding up to 426 feet in height. With a 285-foot mast supporting a 140-foot-six-inch antenna, the top of the west antenna reached 969 feet above ground, making it the highest point in Chicago.”
Little Village Vendors Get Six More Weeks As City Works On Vacated Former CVS
“The city is fixing up a former CVS on Pulaski Road to help about forty vendors relocate after officials worked out a last-minute extension to keep them at the mall another six weeks,” reports Block Club.
DINING & DRINKING
Half Acre Hosts Strong Beer Time
Half Acre is hosting “Strong Beer Time,” a celebration of strong lagers and outdoor drinking, this Saturday in Ravenswood. The event will feature grilled brats, music, games and plenty of strong lagers. “Grab your friends for a Hammerschlagen competition (a game where participants compete to drive nails into a wooden beam). Teams of four are welcome to compete for prizes!” The event features Half Acre’s Spring Bock and Doppelbock lagers as well as lagers from guest breweries including Elsewhere’s Dark Czech Lager and Doppelbock (Atlanta); Art History’s Weizendoppelbock and Helles Lager (Geneva); Goldfinger’s Zlotonator and Black Lager (Downers Grove) and Dovetail’s Rauchdoppelbock (Chicago). The free event is at Half Acre Beer, 2050 West Balmoral, Saturday, April 1, 1-7pm. More here.
North Lawndale Pay-What-You-Can Bookstore Returns
“The Pay What You Want Bookstore is setting up shop in North Lawndale to give residents a chance to buy books at any price, even for free, for a third year,” reports Block Club. “The bookstore will be open 2-6pm Wednesday-Friday and 10am-1pm Saturdays April 1-15, as well as 4-6pm, April 21 and 28 in a converted shipping container… The store is part of a partnership between Open Books’ North Lawndale Reads initiative and the Lawndale Pop-up Spot, a museum inside the shipping container.”
List Of Twitter’s Thirty-Five VIP Posters Leaked
The diminution of the microblogging platform by its owner continues apace, reports Platformer, with a roster of thirty-five posters (and shitposters) whose work is blessed with the best algorithm, including Elon Musk, rightwing Daily Wire entrepreneur Ben Shapiro, LeBron James, Joe Biden, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, comic oddball dril and mysterious man-about-internet, the pseudonymous CatTurd2. Platformer’s request for comment was met with the Twitter press office’s customary reply: a single poop emoji.
Theaster Gates’ Rebuild Foundation Opening Miyagi Records
Rebuild Foundation—the platform for art, cultural development, and neighborhood transformation founded by Theaster Gates—will open Miyagi Records in April, a new artistic amenity to the Arts Block in Washington Park. Miyagi Records is the latest enterprise to participate in Rebuild Foundation’s entrepreneurship residency program–a program designed to support Black and brown small-business owners on the South Side. Beginning April 14, Miyagi Records will co-host music programming, in-store performances and community listening activities across spaces in the Arts Block. Created by Nigel Ridgeway and Marco Jacobo, Miyagi Records is inspired by the hyper-curated, hidden-away vinyl shops of Tokyo. The space will showcase the vibrant musical legacy of Chicago with vinyl from a wide range of genres, including blues, soul, house, jazz and hip-hop. Miyagi Records is the latest artistic enterprise in Rebuild’s creative entrepreneurship residency which has incubated emerging hospitality businesses such as Monday Coffee Company, Pour Souls Chicago, Dozzy’s Grill, Ctrl Z Coffee and the culinary practices of chef Jazer Syed and chef Ariya Taylor.
As the Foundation continues construction on the forthcoming 40,000-square-foot incubator for artists and creative entrepreneurs at the site of the shuttered St. Laurence Elementary School, Miyagi joins a host of rising Black and brown small-business owners that are participating in Rebuild’s initiative supporting artist-led businesses on the South Side with financial support, space, education, and mentorship. This partnership with Miyagi Records continues Gates’ own artistic investments in preserving and amplifying culture through Black objects, archives, and collections, evident in Rebuild Foundation’s stewardship and digitization of Frankie Knuckles’ personal vinyl collection. Miyagi Records will open on April 14 at 5pm with drinks and fare prepared by Rebuild’s culinary artists-in-residence and musical accompaniment offered across Miyagi Records and Retreat at Currency Exchange Café. (Miyagi also buys vinyl collections.) More, including opening hours, here.
Lolla Announces Lineup By Day
Lollapalooza has announced its lineup by day, with all ticket packages going on sale today at noon. The event runs August 3-6 and features over 170 bands, nine stages and four days of music and programming in Grant Park. Billie Eilish and Karol G will kick off the weekend on Thursday along with sets by Noah Kahan, Carly Rae Jepsen, Diplo and NewJeans. Friday brings sets from Kendrick Lamar, The 1975, Fred again.., Thirty Seconds to Mars with ODESZA, Tomorrow X Together, Maggie Rogers, J.I.D., and Pusha T on Saturday. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lana Del Rey, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, Louis the Child and Rina Sawayama will close Sunday. The complete lineup by day is here. Tickets here.
Smashing Pumpkins Announce The World Is A Vampire Tour; Chicago’s Not On It
The Smashing Pumpkins announced their twenty-six-date North American “The World Is A Vampire” tour, produced by Live Nation, opening July 28 at The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. The tour will feature Interpol, Stone Temple Pilots and Rival Sons as well as performers from the National Wrestling Alliance. General on-sale starts Friday, March 31 at 10am. Dates, which include Noblesville, Indiana, but not the Chicago area, are here.
Neil Young May Not Tour Again; Says Ticketmaster Rips Off Fans
“It’s over. The old days are gone. I get letters blaming me for $3,000 tickets for a benefit I am doing,” Neil Young writes on his website. “That money does not go to me or the benefit. Artists have to worry about ripped off fans blaming them for Ticketmaster add-ons and scalpers. CONCERT TOURS are no longer fun. CONCERT TOURS not what they were.” Young also posts his admiration for how Robert Smith and The Cure shamed Ticketmaster into returning some of the charges it had affixed to tickets for that band’s upcoming tour. In a November New Yorker profile, the seventy-seven-year-old Young said of the possibility of future touring: “I’ve been working on it with a couple of my friends for about seven or eight months. We’re trying to figure out how to do a self-sustaining, renewable tour. Everything that moves our vehicles around, the stage, the lights, the sound, everything that powers it is clean. Nothing dirty with us. We set it up; we do this everywhere we go. This is something that’s very important to me, if I’m ever going to go out again… and I’m not sure I want to, I’m still feeling that out… You get to a point in life where things are happening everywhere around you, and your friends are going away and not coming back. Things change.”
Jeff Awards For Non-Equity Theater Named
In its forty-ninth anniversary event recognizing Non-Equity theater, the Jeff Awards named thirty-five award recipients selected from among 167 theater artist nominees across twenty-eight artistic and technical categories. Awards were presented at Park West in the first in-person Non-Equity awards since 2019. Kokandy Productions received the most awards, with six for its production of “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” including honors for Production–Musical or Revue, Music Direction, both Principal Performer–Musical or Revue awards and Supporting Performer–Musical or Revue. Invictus Theatre Company took five awards for two productions, including “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” which received Production-Play, Director, Supporting Performer and Scenic Design awards; as well as Principal Performer-Play honors for “Ruined.”
Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, with four total awards, captured the Ensemble award for both a play and a musical or revue with its productions of “Refuge” and “8-Track: The Sounds of the ‘70s.” “Refuge” also received honors for Original Music in a Play and Artistic Specialization-Puppet Design. Two theaters tied with three awards, garnered in the new Short Run Productions category that recognizes companies that produce shorter runs (defined by nine-to-seventeen performances). The Story Theatre’s production of “Marie Antoinette and the Magical Negroes” received awards for Ensemble-Short Run and New Work–Short Run and Director–Short Run. Chicago Latino Theater Alliance, in partnership with the National Museum of Mexican Art, was honored for “Tebas Land,” including the awards for Production–Short Run, Performer in a Principal Role–Short Run, and Artistic Specialization–Short Run-Lighting Design. More information and winners here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
NASCAR Adds Blue Cross & Blue Shield Of Illinois To “Founding Partners”
“In the face of criticism, NASCAR continued efforts to cement its upcoming Chicago street race as a bona fide city event as it announced Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Illinois as its second founding partner. Paired with McDonald’s, which was announced as a founding partner last week, NASCAR now has two of the biggest, highest-profile Chicago-based companies on board,” reports Crain’s.
Illinois Now Averages Fifty-Four Tornadoes A Year
“Although the role of climate change in tornadoes is not fully understood, researchers say locations are shifting, the season is lengthening and the number of tornadoes in a single event is increasing,” reports the Trib. “In Illinois, two recent tornadoes in February, one in Naperville and another in Champaign County, took residents by surprise. These events don’t typically happen in February, though… tornadoes have the potential to form anytime. Illinois has averaged fifty-four tornadoes a year based on data collected from 1991 through 2020, according to the Illinois state climatologist.”
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