Changes Rock Chicago Art World
Big announcements were totally trending this past week. We’ve all heard about Colbert’s leaving his seat at Comedy Central for Letterman’s coattails and George Lucas’s ridiculous plans for a museum in Chicago. In a Tribune article, Lucas called Chicago his “second home,” and his second choice for a museum location. WTT? hopes that if Rahm saw the website for the first go-around in San Fransisco he might not be so enthused on the prospect. We’re stoked that Lucas has decided to open his purse in Chicago, but why not have him take a look at the freaking Cultural Plan, Emmanuel?!
Anyway, WTT? is all about what’s going on on the ground and it’s a big game of musical chairs over here. After approximately 13 years as a producer for WBEZ, Alison Cuddy shocked the twitterverse last week with the announcement that she will be leaving the radio station on the pier for the post of Programming Director of Chicago Humanities Festival. Artistic director, Matti Bunzl, called Cuddy a “game changer” for CHF in a statement released last Thursday.
Other Chicago area shakeups include the appointment of Allison Glenn, former Program Manager of the Arts Incubator at the University of Chicago, as the new director of Monique Meloche. The gallery released the announcement via Facebook last Wednesday to much fanfare and many likes.
Unless you just got back from a residency in Antarctica, you should already know former CAC director, Carolina Jayaram, is leaving the organization she brought back from the dead for the confusingly named United States Artists, a mega-fund for artist fellowships founded by the Big Four foundations (Ford, Rockefeller, Prudential and Rasmuson). What is news though, is that @USAforART is leaving Los Angeles for the new CEO’s chosen home of Chicago. Just when everyone seems to be moving towards the coasts, Chicago scores a big one against LA!
Local supporters of the organization were on hand for Jayaram’s announcement at the Cultural Center April 3rd, including USA Fellow David Hartt and Board Member, Jack Guthman. In her speech Jayaram gave a shout out to the women presidents who came before and lauded Chicago as the perfect place for USA to express it’s mission of elevating artists through generous annual fellowships. Jayaram also made some significant announcements regarding Chicago hiring and the parties that usually surround the USA award ceremony, hear it for yourself on the WTT? soundcloud.
One last thing: Did you hear Tony Fitzpatrick is leaving?! Talk amongst yourselves.
Reading is Fundamental
- The Real Portlandia Curious about how to get your art from the auction haus to your home in California tax free? The NYT offers this informational guide that will make your blood boil. Even the schmancy business collectors using the tax loophole think the code should be “tightened.” Oye vey.
- Feed the Selfie Feed. Do your-self a favor and zone out to the torrential downpour of #selfies created by artists Tyler Madsen, Erik Carter, & Jillian Mayer. Paging Alicia Eler.
- Oh no she didn’t! Did you catch this NYT Art Beat where William Grimes apparently called renowned poet Mary Ruefle a “local”!?! Too much! Check the correction at the bottom for the T. Not to mention that other Poetry organizations can’t hold a couplet to the O, Miami Poetry Festival. Scratch off cards?! Words cannot express how much we totally love the idea.
- Can you eat attention currency? Is that like bit coin or something? While art collectors are busy evading taxes, the “avant-garde” are apparently duking it out for “likes”. Think it’s asinine? I’ll let Brad Tromel explain in his essay posted on Josh Abelow’s art blog (art blog). Talk amongst yourselves.
- “Can I ask you a gossipy question?” Erik Wenzel is giving us all the gossip we could ever want but still leaves us wanting more in this vivid profile on the life and times of Rene Ricard. Wenzel recounts his meeting with the recently deceased and little known, but highly visible member of Warhol’s rat pack. Ricard dishes on The Radiant Child and why Julian Schnabel is a little bitch.
T around Town
I don’t know if it’s the weather or the addition of the Spring benefits and auctions but things have been really heating up around Chicago. Here are some of WTT?‘s top picks from the past two weeks.
Friday, April 4th, marked the introduction of the Drapes of Wrath, a new unisex jewelry line by Ashley Scott (aka Drapes). Scott’s Wrath debut followed the impressive look book for the collection, shot by Foto by Mateo and styled by Mister Wallace. It was just the spark we needed to set off the Spring.
The champaign filled affair took place in a east side loft that, like the line itself, was equal parts swanky and gritty. During the presentation Scott led members of her “Wrath Pack” (Mateo, Wallace, Impolite Society’s Elee Ecks, sound engineer Westly Parker and budding politician Derek Elliott Bagley) to a platform where she proceeded to “drape” them with her black fringed masterworks. The crowds eyes got progressively bigger as Scott plied her pack with distinctive square chains, ornate black fringe bolero tie/ brooches and what could only be described as the only hot boutineer we’ve ever laid eyes on. Big s/o and thank you to Drapes for inviting us to preview her lovely line and especially for rescuing my lost earing!
After the Drapes preview we had to sprint to Greg Ito and Jonah Susskind’s opening at the Hills Esthetic Center. Hailing from Northern California, the artists used their exhibition at The Hills as in experiment in working collaboratively. Something Other Than explores the potential of their collaboration and, with a huge stage-like platform in the middle, the art in the gallery itself. If this exhibition is any indication, they should definitely be working together more often. All the pink you could want and a curtain covered in pearls? Yes, please.
The Weatherman Report
Curious about the gay mafia? You probably should have been at the Tony Green opening last Saturday at Iceberg Projects in Rogers Park. Curated by John Neff and featuring a swath of great Chicago artists, did someone say queer mafia?
Now you only have to go all the way to Rogers Park instead of NY to see #WhiBi artists.
We could have stayed at Iceberg forever, but we had tickets to the Summer Forum Fundraiser at TUSK. At 9PM the bidding was just getting serious. We witnessed a few bidding wars over work by Paul Cowan, Andrew Holmquist, Joel Dean and Kate Ruggeri. Art was purchased, friendships were severed, all in the name of fun-raising and supporting so much more than a residency. Missed the auction? You can still donate to the kickstarter.
Sarah and Joseph Belknap brought their cosmic energy and their moon rocks to the lux downtown Arts Club last Monday, April 7th. The evening featured a conversation with the artists and plenty of wine and cheese to go around. We unfortunately missed the First Friday featuring more Belknap rocks, but we heard a rumor that the duo will be exhibiting at the MCA BMO Harris Bank space soon.
Their garden installation, Afterglow, will be on view at the Arts Club until May 20th.
Last up for the T around Town is the show 858, works from the collection of Richard Hull & Madeline Nusser which opened yesterday at ADDS DONNA. Hull & Nusser’s collection is a splendid sampling of Chicago artists and various other odds & ends, situating the collection squarely within the legacy of Imagist greats included in the collection, Roger Brown and Ray Yoshida. Nusser and Hull were on hand, providing precious context. What a way to end the weekend!
Header image features work in 858, The Collection of Richard Hull and Madeline Nusser on view at ADDS DONNA in Garfield Park until May 18th (the same day the Logan Square Farmers Market opens for the season!).