WBEZ | School of the Art Institute of Chicago http://www.wbez.org/tags/school-art-institute-chicago Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en For one artist, 2,500 lbs. of rice is food for the soul http://www.wbez.org/content/one-artist-2500-lbs-rice-food-soul <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-25/rice still.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="338" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/31094205?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=b30000" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="601"></iframe></p><p>German sculptor Wolfgang Laib favors materials that are ephemeral and natural, like beeswax and pollen. Sometimes they are natural materials that are also foods, like rice and milk. &nbsp;His pieces are usually placed on the ground, giving them a humility, but also a monumentality. Previous works include his <em>milkstones</em>: slabs of while marble with a layer of poured milk hovering on the surface. Or his giant <em>pollen squares</em>, which sit dusted onto the floor, so bright and intensely golden-yellow that they hover, shimmer, and vibrate there, like a Rothko painting transposed back into its elemental pigments.</p><p>Laib describes the making of these works like a ritual. “People ask me if I meditate,” he told WBEZ in an interview last week. “I have to say, my work is my meditation.” His practice is quiet, explicitly spiritual, and invested with the kind of patience it takes to, say gather enough pollen by hand to create a 10x10 ft. square, or to build a series of nearly 24,000 tiny “rice mountains” with seven tiny mountains of pollen in the center.</p><p>The latter is a description of Laib’s new installation, <em>Unlimited Ocean</em>, which opens today at the Sullivan Galleries at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The piece was made with just over 2,500 lbs. of rice and the help of 13 assistants. Laib says the work is like a giant table set for humanity, but with food meant to feed our spiritual selves rather than our physical bodies.</p><p>Unfortunately, Laib’s show suffers from the space it’s in. Columns interrupt the visual span of the gallery (an expansive room in the old Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company Building) making it impossible to take in the whole piece at once. The room’s low lighting flattens the color of the rice against the slate-colored floor, and loud air ducts in the ceiling disrupt the kind of absolute quiet one wants when taking in a piece that was made as a meditation.</p><p>Still, 24,000 rice mountains is a sight to behold, especially from the vantage point of a small pathway, carved through the center and leading to the seven mountains of pollen. Go during the week, when it’s likely to be quietest, and check out the making of the show in the video above.</p><p><em>Wolfgang Laib’s installation </em>Unlimited Ocean <em>opens Tuesday and is on display at the Sullivan Galleries at 33 S. State Street through December 23. </em></p></p> Tue, 25 Oct 2011 17:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/one-artist-2500-lbs-rice-food-soul Artist Deb Sokolow makes conspiracy theories come alive in graphic style http://www.wbez.org/content/artist-deb-sokolow-makes-conspiracy-theories-come-alive-graphic-style <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-06/You Tell People excerpt_Deb Sokolow.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/30138198?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=b30000" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="601" frameborder="0" height="338"></iframe></p><p>At age 12, while eating lunch with her mother in a Washington, D.C. McDonalds, <a href="http://debsokolow.com/home.html">Deb Sokolow</a> watched a man enter the restaurant bathroom with a suitcase. Several minutes later she watched a different man leave the bathroom with the same suitcase.</p><p>“That,” she says, “Was a significant moment.”</p><p>Now a visual artist with an eye for hidden detail and an ear for conspiracy theories, Sokolow takes the comic book form – drawings and storytelling – and explodes it. She takes the form off the page and brings it onto the wall, creating huge narrative drawings that can fill an entire gallery, sometimes stretching up to 48 ft. long.</p><p>Her drawings are precise and even architectural. Her text is blocky and self-consciously hand-written. Her stories are wild and intricate.</p><p>The conspiracy theories she explores include both popular ones debated out in the world and those that she invents herself. To wit: A current piece explores the notion that the Denver International Airport is concealing an underground network of tunnels that may house the headquarters of the New World Order or a secret Congressional bunker; whereas in her 2005 piece <a href="http://debsokolow.com/section/30827_Someone_tell_Mayor_Daley_the_pirates_are.html"><em>Someone tell Mayor Daley the pirates are coming</em></a>, buccaneers plot to steal treasure the mayor has hidden beneath Meigs Field.&nbsp;</p><p>To some, the stories may sound laughable. In some moments they seem so farfetched and ridiculous they read like obvious works of fiction.</p><p>But at other moments, the work hits a nerve, and the&nbsp;way the story is executed makes you wonder&nbsp;whether your neighbor really could be a human butcher working for the Chicago Outfit.</p><p>As the saying goes, just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean the postal workers you see out your window aren’t smuggling drugs for a Mexican cartel.</p><p>Sokolow’s work is on display at the Betty Rymer Gallery at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago through October 15, as part of the group show <em>CartoonInk! Emerging Comics in Context</em>.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/content-categories/96594">Art/Work</a> features contemporary visual artists exhibiting in Chicago talking about the inspiration and perspiration behind their creative endeavors.</em></p></p> Thu, 06 Oct 2011 14:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/artist-deb-sokolow-makes-conspiracy-theories-come-alive-graphic-style Exploring gay art and artists at the Art Institute of Chicago http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-12/exploring-gay-art-and-artists-art-institute-chicago-91844 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-September/2011-09-12/rainyday.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Most people can identify whether or not a piece of art appeals to them--they know it when they see it. But what about the intent of the artist; their history and point of view? Some critics contend that certain artists lack exposure– particularly those who are gay. So, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> decided to tour the <a href="http://www.artic.edu/aic/">Art institute of Chicag</a>o with<a href="http://www.saic.edu/%7Edgetsy/"> David Getsy</a>, an art historian at the <a href="http://www.saic.edu/">School of the Art Institute of Chicago</a>, to take a look at some works by gay artists. The tour started at a very popular painting in the museum–-<a href="http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/artwork/20684?search_id=1" target="_blank"><em>Paris Street; Rainy Day</em></a>-–by impressionist Gustave Caillebotte.</p><p><em>Music Button: Baby Dee, "Cowboys with Cowboy Hat Hair," from the release Regifted Light (Drag City)</em><br> &nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 12 Sep 2011 13:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-12/exploring-gay-art-and-artists-art-institute-chicago-91844 In 'Curfew,' A Compelling Brain-Teaser Of A Novel http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-27/curfew-compelling-brain-teaser-novel-88434 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-28/curfew-cover_custom.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>William is an "epitaphorist," set with the task of assisting families to create the perfect life summation of their loved ones, to be carved into gravestones. Things get lost in the distillation process. A revolutionary can become the model husband if you cross out all of the bomb throwing. And 92-year-old Paul Sargent Monroe can have "died before his time," as his William-designed gravestone will eventually read. His widow wants his absence to be felt by everyone, and she worries that people passing in the cemetery will simply feel he lived as long as anyone deserves to. With a few simple extractions and careful word choices, a man who lived for nearly a century becomes a youthful spirit cruelly taken from us.</p><p>There's a lot of work for the epitaphorist in <em>The Curfew</em>'s version of reality — people are always dying or being taken from the ominous police state they have found themselves in. Like William, author Jesse Ball reveals the story mostly by omission. How this world came to be is left off the page. The reader simply knows it's a world of chaos and control. Order is instilled from above — there are curfews and undercover police officers, the banning of music and art, and citizens subjected to arrest or disappearance for simply having the wrong conversations. But in Ball's world, even the gatekeepers are unsafe. Those suspected of being secret police are shot at or thrown off of bridges. There are great hulking absences — a missing wife, a gravestone ordered for a son despite there being no body to bury, a girl whose hearing is missing. Even the book itself has a lot of white space, unsullied by text or image. You have to read Ball sideways, try to fill in some of the blanks by deduction, to figure out what he's going on about.</p><p><em>The Curfew </em>demands to be puzzled over. It's compelling and sly, and it says much with its silences. Ball plays with the idea of what would happen if certain things, like knowledge or music or people, were inexplicably removed, and how those who remained would compensate for those gaps. As an aside, a character muses, "There is a theory that the sun is made up of thousands of suns arranged in a war each against the others. It is a discredited theory, but it has never been disproven." Truth becomes flimsy when facts are being withheld, whether it's the truth about a person's life or basic science.</p><p>Ball, a Chicago-based assistant professor at the Art Institute of Chicago, is proving to be an enigmatic writer. He's intensely prolific — still in his 30s, he has upwards of 10 books of poetry and prose in print, and he has stated in interviews that he has a far greater number in drawers, awaiting publication — yet he uses silence expertly. He is an incredibly cerebral writer, but instead of reading like cold thought experiments, his books are warmly peopled and graceful. <em>The Curfew</em> may seem a little strange, but you can trust Ball not to lead you too far astray. The puzzle pieces fit together to reveal another world. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio.</p> Mon, 27 Jun 2011 09:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-27/curfew-compelling-brain-teaser-novel-88434 Dr. Walter Massey discusses what science education could learn from the arts http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-17/dr-walter-massey-discusses-what-science-education-could-learn-arts-86642 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-May/2011-05-17/Arts Science Chris Walters.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In many schools across the nation, there's little overlap between what's taught in science and art classrooms. But a conference in Chicago this week challenges the notion that those two disciplines should be kept separate. It also explores ways in which the arts could inform the teaching of science.<a href="http://www.saic.edu/about/mission/index.html#president" target="_blank"><br> <br> Dr. Walter Massey</a> delivered the keynote address for the <a href="http://www.artofsciencelearning.org/" target="_blank">Art of Science Learning Conference</a>. The conference's inter-disciplinary approach should be familiar to him. He was a prominent physicist before he took his current role as President of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> to talk about what science education could learn from the arts.</p><p><em>Music Button: MANDY vs. Booka Shade, "Body Language", from the CD Electrolush, (Om)</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 17 May 2011 13:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-17/dr-walter-massey-discusses-what-science-education-could-learn-arts-86642 Students flaunt their flair for fashion at annual show http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-06/students-flaunt-their-flair-fashion-annual-show-86153 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-May/2011-05-06/043.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>On Thursday, fashionistas of all stripes made their way to Millennium Park. They were there for <a href="http://www.saic.edu/degrees_resources/departments/fash/index.html#fash_show" target="_blank">The Walk</a>, the <a href="http://www.saic.edu/" target="_blank">School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s</a> annual fashion show. It was the largest show in The Walk’s 77-year history. Spectators saw designs from junior, sophomore and senior students in the school’s fashion program and got a glimpse of the latest in Chicago’s fashion aesthetic.</p><p>Host Alison Cuddy visited the show with WBEZ’s Natalie Moore and provided a review.</p><p><em>Adulture Music Button: Philly Cream, "Cowboys to Girls" (Adulture edit)</em></p></p> Fri, 06 May 2011 13:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-06/students-flaunt-their-flair-fashion-annual-show-86153