We’ve received a few very interesting announcements and solicitations over the past few days, so we’re passing them along, in no particular order, in the hopes that one or more will be of interest to you. Read on:

1. Union League Civic and Arts Foundation Visual Arts Competition

Currently seeking submissions. The competition is open to artists, 30 and younger, who are currently enrolled in school in the Chicago metropolitan area. Click the link below for guidelines for the Visual Arts competition.


This competition is a great opportunity for young artists to get their work noticed and to make connections with people in the art world. Past judges have included curators from the MCA, the Art Institute, etc. Angel Otero was a Visual Arts competition winner in 2007-2008. For more information, contact Susan Carlson at SPCarlson@gmail.com, or Gina Demke at civicandarts@ulcc.org.

2. Upcoming Slot for ThreeWalls TinkerTank Residency

Because of scheduling complications related to the recent renovations at ThreeWalls there is currently a 9 week window in the tinkertank residency program between March 1st and April 30th that they would like to fill. Residence could take place during any portion of those weeks. Program fees are $150/week. From the website:

“The tinkertank self-directed residency offers creative thinkers and producers a supportive environment in the heart of Chicago’s West Loop gallery district. threewalls encourages applications from artists working in all disciplines, scholars researching projects in all fields, and other creative researchers working on projects that would benefit from 3-5 weeks of focused time in Chicago connecting to its rich history and lively community.”

3. Tour of Convenent Sanctuary

We received this one from artist and writer Bert Stabler, who emailed Duncan about a very interesting project/proposal he’s getting involved with. Stabler writes,

“I started attending a Presbyterian church in Wicker Park, Covenant Presbyterian Church, in August 2008 (if you check out right here, that’s okay…. still with me?). The head pastor, Aaron Baker, approached Dayton Castleman, a fabulous local artist who attends Covenant, and myself about starting an art program, with the support of the church. For my part, I want to direct the resources, connections, and interests of the church into projects that resonate with things both many churchgoers and many Chicago artists do outside of doctrinal differences– like create and extend communities through projects, ideas, objects, food, etc.

In the interest of starting a conversation about that, and gauging interest among potential artist participants, Dayton will be leading an informal, informative, and intuitive tour of the Covenant sanctuary next Thursday, January 21st, at 8:00 pm. We would hopefully sit around (or possibly go across Damen to Danny’s) afterward to discuss some ideas of what we should pitch to the church. There is absolutely no conceptual limitation on the projects– they don’t need to happen on the church premises, they don’t need to touch on religious (or irreligious) themes, it doesn’t need to be restricted to artists from Chicago, it’s a modest but open-ended proposal right now.

One idea I’m currently thinking about is a tribute and retrospective to Flo McGarrell, an amazing artist with Chicago connections who was doing fantastic work in Haiti and died in the recent disastrous earthquake. Our church has a long-standing relationship with that nation and might be interested in learning from Flo’s work– and artists could also see some of what Covenant does in Haiti.

It’s not necessarily an event that calls for a teeming throng, but if you think you might want to come, and maybe even invite others, do send me an RSVP, s’il-vous-plait, Questions and comments welcome.”

Bert can be reached at bertstabler@ameritech.net.

4. SpiderBug Call for Submissions: “Exothermia & Shadow Play”

This one’s from Erik Brown:
“I once tried to give up lighting fireworks. I even made an “ode to fireworks”. I caved in one fourth of July and lit as many fireworks that were in arm’s reach. I have used them in some tailored pinatas, with caution. I love watching fireworks dearly and the next SpiderBug Film Screening is inspired by this admiration.

SpiderBug is pleased to announce a call for short films that focus on fire, light, fireworks, and/or shadows and darkness. For this screening, we are also interested in artists creating film/video pieces that can be viewed in an off beat manner; i.e. a video shown inside of a sculpture you create, a video projected in a small pool of water, etc. The additional video/film pieces will be included alongside the “Exothremia and Shadow Play” screening.

The screening date is late March/ early April- Location TBD

Deadline: Friday, March 12th

BTW –check out these cool animations by PES!

Links to the pinatas being planted with fireworks:

Submission guidelines:
Short films and videos under 10 min.
DVD, Mini-DV tape, downloadable files or VHS
Please include filmmaker’s bio and a short synopsis of the film,
& SASE if you’d like your work returned

Please mail to:
Catie Olson
c/o SpiderBug
2332 W. Augusta, #3F
Chicago, IL 60622

Questions or Answers?
shoot an e-mail to catieo@sbcglobal.net

Claudine Isé

Claudine Isé has worked in the field of contemporary art as a writer and curator for the past decade, and currently serves as the Editor of the Art21 Blog. Claudine regularly writes for Artforum.com and Chicago magazine, and has also worked as an art critic for the Los Angeles Times. Before moving to Chicago in 2008, she worked at the Wexner Center in Columbus, OH as associate curator of exhibitions, and at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles as assistant curator of contemporary art, where she curated a number of Hammer Projects. She has Ph.D. in Film, Literature and Culture from the University of Southern California.