WBEZ | Chicago artists http://www.wbez.org/tags/chicago-artists Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Long live the art fair http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-09/long-live-art-fair-108764 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/CAC_CodyHudson-print.jpg" style="height: 600px; width: 600px;" title="('Free Time'/Cody Hudson)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-31435762-564f-555d-5af9-a52f3a86bb6f">The woman from the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/chicagoartistscoalition" target="_blank">Chicago Artists Coalition</a> told me I could store my recently purchased <a href="http://struggleinc.com/" target="_blank">Cody Hudson</a> print in their space and pick it up later, away from the frenzy of the breakfast for the opening of the <a href="http://editionchicago.com/" target="_blank">EDITION Chicago</a> art fair. That probably would have been a better plan since I had to return to my office later that day.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-31435762-564f-555d-5af9-a52f3a86bb6f">But I am not rich. And when given the chance to purchase a print within my limited budget, I did not hesitate. I purchased #26 in the edition of 100, an early birthday present for myself and symbol of what art collecting means for many: a chance to grow into a practice that might not be your own.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-31435762-564f-555d-5af9-a52f3a86bb6f">And because it was mine then and now and (hopefully) forever, I wanted to hold it and make it true. It would only exist as a concept, an idea of my love of art, until it was mine.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-31435762-564f-555d-5af9-a52f3a86bb6f">&quot;No!&quot; I said. And after a long pause, I repeated myself. &quot;No! I&#39;ll hold it now.&quot;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-31435762-564f-555d-5af9-a52f3a86bb6f">I took it with me right then. Last Friday was seasonably chilly and as I missed bus after bus and train after train, I considered my decision.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-31435762-564f-555d-5af9-a52f3a86bb6f">What is the state of the Chicago art fair and the Chicago art community? I can only speak from an outsider&#39;s perspective.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-31435762-564f-555d-5af9-a52f3a86bb6f">Last weekend, Chicago welcomed the <a href="http://expochicago.com/" target="_blank">EXPO CHICAGO</a> art fair at Navy Pier and two satellite fairs, the above-mentioned EDITION and the <a href="http://www.fountainartfair.com/fountain-returns-to-chicago/" target="_blank">Fountain</a> art fair. For a city that once risked floundering under the departure of the local institution Art Chicago, last weekend showed no signs of worry.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-31435762-564f-555d-5af9-a52f3a86bb6f">I slowly fell into the art community during my senior year of college. It was a moment of learning and a moment of appreciation. While normally surrounded by writers and musicians, I found visual artists to be especially fascinating. This was a world I did not participate in.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-31435762-564f-555d-5af9-a52f3a86bb6f">I am not an artist. I am not a facilitator or coordinator or curator. I barely exist as an arts writer. Rather, I am a fan, someone who can appreciate aesthetics and grand ideas, who has an enthusiasm for what I see and what an artist wants to say. So I attend art festivals and fairs and museums and galleries to behold the things I can not produce, but that I still love. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-31435762-564f-555d-5af9-a52f3a86bb6f">Chicago will never be any other city. And perhaps that is a good thing. When it comes to the art community, what others lack, Chicago has in abundance. For one, I have always found it easy to understand it, to find singular visions and projects within it, to keep a part of it. We want you here, they might be saying. You just don&#39;t know it yet.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-31435762-564f-555d-5af9-a52f3a86bb6f">Chicago is a city of communities and neighborhoods, of cliques, and gangs. We find our own and we stick with them. If you can not find your community here, you are not looking hard enough. And the Chicago art community, for all of its challenges in a city as sprawling as ours, managed to create a moment that spoke to the strength of what is already here and the possibility of what can come.&nbsp;</span></p></div><p><em>Britt Julious is the co-host of&nbsp;<a href="https://soundcloud.com/wbezs-changing-channels" target="_blank">WBEZ&#39;s Changing Channels</a>, a podcast about the future of television. She also writes about race and culture in and outside of Chicago. Follow Britt&#39;s essays for&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">WBEZ&#39;s Tumblr</a>&nbsp;or on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/britticisms" target="_blank">@britticisms</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 25 Sep 2013 15:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-09/long-live-art-fair-108764 Chicago's 'Brave New Art World' is closer than you think http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-05/chicagos-brave-new-art-world-closer-you-think-106932 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/296972676_2f74caf943_z.jpg" style="height: 450px; width: 600px;" title="(Flickr/chicago boulevardier)" /></div><p>Stereotypes and stigma surrounding the art community are not entirely unfounded. Claire Molek, director of the relatively new River North space <a href="http://www.hauser-gallery.com/" target="_blank">Hauser Gallery</a> recounted her own experiences and education about the art world.</p><p dir="ltr">&quot;The more I learned about the art world, the more I got disheartened about what I had to do,&quot; she said.</p><p dir="ltr">Molek, formerly of Wicker Park&rsquo;s <a href="http://thisisnotthestudio.com" target="_blank">This is Not the Studio</a>, recounted the differences between that space and the larger art world.</p><p dir="ltr">&quot;That was all about community and hospitality and being able to contribute to an elevated contemporary discourse,&quot; Molek said. The space was a chance to create a structured platform for positive growth for community.</p><p dir="ltr">However, she noted that it was difficult to run a gallery while not selling art or 21 existing in a commercial space. The larger forces and &quot;rules&quot; within the art world left her disillusioned and she eventually left it for eight months. When she returned to the art world, her disillusionment turned into renewed reinvigoration. Molek wanted to &quot;de-sterilize the gallery experience [and] make sure there&rsquo;s a comfortable space to make people feel welcome.&quot;</p><p dir="ltr">This led to the creation of <strong><a href="http://bravenewartworld.com/" target="_blank">Brave New Art World</a></strong>, a new &quot;arts unification movement.&quot; <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/522730591102777/" target="_blank">Premiering Thursday</a>&nbsp;in the River North gallery district, the movement and event is a public forum. It will recur every first Thursday of the month from 5-8 p.m.</p><p dir="ltr">Featuring artist talks, performance art, and the open doors of such galleries as Catherine Edelman, Jean Albano, and Stephen Daiter, the event aims to provide a more inviting space for those inside and outside of the art community to come together.</p><p dir="ltr">People live and work in River North, but outside of the immediate vicinity of its popular clubs and restaurants, the neighborhood can feel isolating, abandoned and exclusive. When thinking about the market-driven art world in Chicago (as opposed to other art communities in the city), most reference the River North neighborhood. But the majority of artists living and working in Chicago do not live in the neighborhood.</p><p dir="ltr">Chicago as a decentralized &ndash; even segregated &ndash; environment impacts the cultural, racial, and social makeup of the city. This is felt in the beloved but underrated art community. For a variety of artists and audiences, River North &ndash; despite its centralization and density of gallery spaces &ndash; is a historically-significant, yet inaccessible hub.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/27990_579940455374101_1998958612_n.jpg" style="height: 142px; width: 600px;" title="(Courtesy of Brave New Art World)" /></div><p>Access is important not just for the general public, but for all participating tiers in the art world. River North, a neighborhood that can be accessed by multiple train and bus lines, is the perfect meeting point then for those in all &quot;sides&quot; of the city.</p><p dir="ltr">From a philosophical standpoint, Molek said that we are, &quot;hungrier for human interaction...We want to learn about what is around us and develop our conscious in a different way.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Within a few months in her new position as director of Hauser Gallery, Molek realized that the same core tenets built within her smaller gallery practice were needed in this new neighborhood.</p><p dir="ltr">&quot;I knew we would have to do something more than what we were doing to create a buyer base and breakdown the environment of pretension and elitism,&quot; she said. &quot;That&rsquo;s the environment the art world plays in. I realized I had to make my own politics and standards if I wanted to continue in this community.&quot;</p><p dir="ltr">Chicago has pushed out many incredible artists. People examine the city and wonder, &quot;What are you going to do next?&quot;</p><p dir="ltr">From a more localized standpoint, the event also aims to bring together the disparate art communities in the city. Brave New Art World is an attempt to address that question while staying true to the needs within the Chicago art community.</p><p dir="ltr">Molek believes that the young makers and administrators within the city should be looking at the galleries in River North as to how they became successful, while still bridging the gaps between perception and reality.</p><p dir="ltr">It is easy to buy into the idea of inaccessibility because it has existed for a long time. But in the end, these are often just &quot;antiquated stereotypes.&quot;</p><p dir="ltr">&quot;We think that these places are inaccessible, that these people aren&rsquo;t nice,&quot; Molek said. &quot;But the reality is that all of these galleries want to share.&quot;</p><p dir="ltr">Let Brave New Art World then be the first step in bringing together just one facet of this separate, yet culturally-united city.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Britt Julious blogs about culture in and outside of Chicago. Follow Britt&#39;s essays for&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.tumblr.com/">WBEZ&#39;s Tumblr</a>&nbsp;or on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/britticisms">@britticisms</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 01 May 2013 13:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-05/chicagos-brave-new-art-world-closer-you-think-106932 Election 2012: Where are the artists? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2012-10/election-2012-where-are-artists-103487 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F65515031&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/democracy%20burlesque_0.jpg" style="height: 299px; width: 400px; float: left; " title="Democracy Burlesque (WBEZ/Alison Cuddy)" />It&rsquo;s a rainy weekday night in Chicago and Democracy Burlesque is doing their regular political satire. The sketch comedy troupe started the show in 2006. Their blend of songs and skits skewers both sides of the political spectrum.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">This year they&rsquo;ve ramped up their schedule &ndash; they now perform weekly.&nbsp;Tonight though, the crowd is sparse. At first, artist director Erik Parsons chalked it up to the weather.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">But backstage, after the show, he said people just aren&rsquo;t as excited as they were in 2008. He thinks that election was different: &quot;I think our audience in particular felt they were voting <em>for </em>something, which was kind of new.&quot;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">That&rsquo;s been the general take on this year&rsquo;s election. Like the sophomore effort of a breakout band, 2012 just doesn&rsquo;t have the electricity and novelty of&nbsp; &#39;08.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Ray Noland, the artist known as CRO, certainly thinks so. Four years ago he got deep into politics.</div><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS6609_noland FINAL.jpg" style="height: 404px; width: 400px; float: right; " title="Ray Noland's iconic stencil of candidate Barack Obama" />His art started to pop up all over Chicago&#39;s buildings and sidewalks.</p><p>Maybe you saw one: a simple, black-and-white stencil of Obama, the candidate in silhouette, his sleeves rolled up, shaking hands with another man, whose head is a map of the United States.</p><p>Noland said, &quot;I wanted to talk about black identity and his being the first black president and how that was an issue, I think, for a lot of people.&quot;</p><p>Noland even took his art on the road, putting on shows across the country. His images became famous. But this year, he said he&rsquo;s just an observer.</p><p>&quot;The&nbsp;past four years for me, I mean, they haven&rsquo;t been that great. They&rsquo;ve actually been four really tough years, I would argue, almost tougher than the previous eight-year administration.&quot;</p><p>Noland&rsquo;s not the only artist who&rsquo;s lost his enthusiasm. This election hasn&rsquo;t galvanized the art world the same way. There haven&#39;t been iconic images that have gone viral, like&nbsp;Shepard Fairey&rsquo;s silkscreen&nbsp;<em>Hope.</em>&nbsp;No one&#39;s written a feel-good anthem like will.i.am&rsquo;s <em>Yes We Can.&nbsp;</em></p><p>Art critic James Yood said he&#39;s not surprised. He thinks 2008 was an anomaly. He hasn&#39;t seen anything like it since the &#39;60s, when visual artists like Andy Warhol got involved in campaigns.</p><p>But artists jumping on board campaigns is much rarer now.</p><p>&quot;That&rsquo;s much less of a common practice today,&quot; Yood said. &quot;Not in the sense of fear or cowardice or anything like that. It&rsquo;s simply that the agenda has changed, and people look inward to understand their politics, not outward.&quot;</p><p>Yood isn&rsquo;t even sure how much influence artists have on elections, whether or not they get people out to vote. He added, &quot;And I&rsquo;m sure Obama does better having Bruce Springsteen appear than he would if Jasper Johns is going to make a poster in support of his candidacy.&quot;</p><p>If artists don&rsquo;t always play a role in elections, they themselves can be transformed by politics.&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS6618_FM%20Supreme-scr.jpg" style="height: 268px; width: 400px; float: left; " title="FM Supreme is rapping and registering voters for President Obama" />Chicagoan Jessica Disu is the hip hop artist&nbsp;FM Supreme.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;President Obama has a lot to do with me &hellip;. getting my life back on track,&quot; she said.</p><p>2008 was the first time she was old enough to participate in a presidential election. She voted for Barack Obama and gave him a couple of shout-outs on her mix tape.&nbsp;Now Disu&rsquo;s 24. She&rsquo;s still making beats about the president. But mainly she&rsquo;s doing politics, like registering young people to vote.</p><p>&quot;What I&rsquo;m doing is using my music, my influence and my hip hop to educate our youth, educate my peers, educate the elders,&quot; Disu said.</p><p>And though she&rsquo;s not entirely happy with her candidate, she&rsquo;s still on board this time around. &quot;At the root of it, I&rsquo;m not sure I believe in American politics, but I still believe in President Obama. I believe in a better America. And it&rsquo;s all about the people we put in place.&quot;</p><p>In an election year where the outcome of the race may come down to a small percentage of voters, that&rsquo;s likely sweet music to the president.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 30 Oct 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2012-10/election-2012-where-are-artists-103487 Chicago's Grammy nominees http://www.wbez.org/blog/jim-derogatis/chicagos-grammy-nominees <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/grammyschicago.png" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img width="265" height="198" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-December/2010-12-02/image003.png" alt="" title="" /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>As promised last night, here is the list of nominees from Chicago and the surrounding area, according to the Midwest office of the Recording Academy.</p><p>Aaron Sledge: Best Contemporary R&amp;B Gospel Album</p> <p>Buddy Guy: Best Contemporary Blues Album</p> <p>Chicago Symphony Chorus:&nbsp; Best Classical Album; Best Choral Performance</p> <p>Chicago Symphony Orchestra:&nbsp; Best Classical Album; Best Orchestral Performance; Best Choral Performance</p> <p>Common:&nbsp; Best Rap/Sung Collaboration</p> <p>Freddy Cole: Best Jazz Vocal Album</p> <p>Gretchen Wilson (Pocahontas, IL):&nbsp;Best Female Country Vocal Performance; Best Country Song</p> <p>Justin Roberts:&nbsp; Best Musical Album For Children</p> <p>Kanye West:&nbsp; Best Rap Solo Performance</p> <p>Ken Shipley (Numero Group):&nbsp; Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package</p> <p>Lalah Hathaway:&nbsp; Best Gospel Performance; Best Gospel Song</p> <p>Mavis Staples: Best Americana Album</p> <p>Pinetop Perkins: Best Traditional Blues Album</p> <p>Riccardo Muti: Best Classical Album; Best Choral Performance</p> <p>R. Kelly: Best Traditional R&amp;B Vocal Performance; Best Contemporary R&amp;B Album</p> <p>Rob Sevier: Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package</p> <p>Tom Lunt: Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package</p> <p>VaShawn Mitchell: Best Gospel Performance; Best Contemporary R&amp;B Gospel Album</p> <p>Willie &ldquo;Big Eyes&rdquo; Smith: Best Traditional Blues Album; Best Contemporary Blues Album</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 02 Dec 2010 22:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/jim-derogatis/chicagos-grammy-nominees