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32C: The Power of Art

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32C: The Power of Art

Romolo Roberti - Wrigley Building

Each Week Chicago Public Radio’s Matt Cunningham highlights three cultural happenings. So pull up a chair or SOFA for this week’s Three to See.

Sculptural Objects and Functional Art or SOFA opened last night out here at Navy Pier. Among the glass and ceramics and High-end furniture is an exhibition exploring a more serious issue: the conflict in the Middle East.
135 Israeli and Palestinian Artists have created works meant to give the viewer a deeper understanding of both Jews and Arabs.

Sculptors, painters, photographers and poets use large ceramic plates as their canvas. Their theme: reconciliation and hope for peace.
The Parents Circle coordinated the exhibition. That’s an organization dedicated to promoting reconciliation, dialogue and mutual understanding. Ali Abu Awwad is a member of the organization.

AWWAD: Its about the conflict. Its about hope. Its about blood. Its about killing. You can see everything in this exhibit. And because of this, I think this exhibit is the situation itself. But in another way, in a human way.

The exhibition Offering Reconciliation continues through Sunday at SOFA, Sculptural Objects and Functional Art here on Navy Pier.

And now from artists addressing one complex issue to another.

Music: Mineral Rites Hot

This composition Mineral Rites is just one work you can hear at Millennium Park over the next two weekends. Sound composer Max Eastley went to the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen. There he captured the sounds of the Arctic. Blustering winds, splintering ice caps, and boats groaning off in the distance. The work, Arctic is part of the Cape Farewell Project.

That collaboration brings together scientists, educators and artists to promote awareness of global climate change.

This presentation is sponsored by the Chicago Humanities Festival. An accompanying video is showing at the Pritzker Pavillion. You can also see it in the warmth of the Chicago Cultural Center.

The installation runs this weekend and next from 9am to 10pm. There’s also a live performance by the composer next Saturday evening at Millennium Park.

All you sound artists in town for the Third Coast International Audio Festival should go check it out. And speaking of art inspired by Natural disasters, Hurricane Katrina unveiled our third stop on this week’s Three To See.

The storm blew the roof off a warehouse in the small Mississippi town of Gautier. Inside, were 250 forgotten paintings by former Chicagoan Romolo Roberti. Romolo’s early works captured Chicago and the Midwest in impressionistic pastels. His later paintings showed the influence of the modernist movement and portray Chicago’s Century of Progress. Ken Probst brought the paintings to Chicago.

PROBST: They’re very representational. About what life was like at that time, in that era. And I think that is one of the things we find a lot of joy in that he captures what was going on at that time, at that moment.

The exhibition Romolo Roberti: An American Original is on display at the Robert Henry Adams Fine Art Gallery in Chicago’s River North Neighborhood through January of next year. The Middle East, Global Warming and Hurricane Katrina are three unexpected inspirations: three ways to address pain through art.

For Three to See, I’m Matt Cunningham, Chicago Public Radio.

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