Top 4 Weekend Picks! (2/28-3/2)

February 27, 2014 · Print This Article

1. Bare Bones at The Franklin

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Work by Chris Bradley, Sarah & Joseph Belknap, Max Henry Boudman, Veronica Bruce, Holly Cahill, C. C. Ann Chen, Laura Davis, Jovencio de la Paz, Alexandria Eregbu, Karolina Gnatowski, Jacob C. Hammes, Michelle Ann Harris, Cameron Harvey, Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford, Victoria Martinez, Bobbi Meier, Andrew Nordyke, Dan Paz and Michael Alan Kloss.

The Franklin is located at 3522 W. Franklin Blvd. Reception Saturday, 6-9pm.

2. TYPEFORCE 5 at Co-Prosperity Sphere

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Work by Ade Hogue, Alex Fuller, Andy Detskas, Anne Benjamin, Brad VEtter, Brian Pelsoh, Brian Steckel, Chris Fritton, Craig Malmrose, Dan Elliott, Derek Crowe, Drew Tyndell, Edwin Jager, Franklyn, Gautam Rao, Jack Muldowney, Jen Farrell, Jeremy DeBor, Jim Moran, Jinhwan Kim, John Pobojewski, Kim Knoll, Kyle Letendre, Lisa Beth Robinson, Magdelena Wistuba, Mary Bruno, Matt Wizinsky, Megan Deal, Megan Pryce, Mike McQuade, Richard Zeid, Rick Valicenti, Shawna X, Stephanie Carpenter, Timothy Alamillo, Todd King, Veronica Corzo-Duchardt, Whit Nelson and William Boor.

Co-Prosperity Sphere is located at 3219 S. Morgan St. Reception Friday, 6:30-11pm.

3. Objects at Roman Susan

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Work by Mia Capodilupo, Tulika Ladsariya, Matt Martin, Marissa Neuman, Kasia Ozga, Katherine Perryman, Daniel Schmid and Ruby Thorkelson.

Roman Susan is located at 1224 W. Loyola Ave. Reception Saturday, 7-10pm.

4. Shock of the Gently Used at Firecat Projects

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Work by Dru Hardy, Mary Lou Novak and Kristina Smith.

Firecat Projects is located at 2124 N. Damen Ave. Reception Friday, 7-10pm.




Proximity 11: Coming to you this weekend

October 17, 2013 · Print This Article

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http://proximitymagazine.com/

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LET’S DRINK, LET’S EAT, LET’S PLAY
A Proximity Art, Food and Radical Hospitality Mini Fest
October 18-20, 2013
@ Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S Morgan Street, Chicago, IL

We are hosting three special events to celebrate the release of the
Food and Art Issue of Proximity. Our three course event takes place at
the Co-Prosperity Sphere which is being turned into a series of
installations and environments each day.

Join us for the potluck edition of Proximity Magazine, wherein we
investigate the intersections of art, food, politics and socially
engaged practices. In this issue we followed our noses and inhaled the
simmering pot of radical hospitality as a strategy for making art. Our
investigation into how the boundaries of art and food have been
blurred, smoothed out and ingested is revealed through the practices
of many local artists, activists and chefs. Our menu offers a survey
of projects that are presented as profiles and discussions about the
role of food in our lives. A veritable feast was found within
Chicago’s art ecology, now lets sit down and eat.

LETS’ DRINK
Friday, October 18, 2013, 8-11pm
Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219-21 S Morgan St, Chicago, IL

Admission: $10
Come to our magazine release party and get a hot-off-the-press copy of
Proximity, meet some of the featured artists in the magazine and enjoy
some bread, and alchemical craft beer creations of your own choosing.

Features installations by PREP,Edra Soto,  Hardcore Craft Beer
presents Alechemy, Bread & Beer and the return of the Hornswagglers!

Complementary beverages by Stone Brewing Company. Other beverages
provided by Founder’s Brewing Company & special guest brewers. The
Hornswagglers bar will be coming out of retirement for the evening
serving their signature cocktails.

LETS EAT
Saturday, October 19, 2013, 7-10pm
Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219-21 S Morgan St, Chicago, IL

Admission: $45 by RSVP Only ( Limited Seating)
Join us at our pop up eatery in the Co-Prosperity Sphere for a special
Prix fixe dinner with Chef Chris Reed from The Rice Table.

When the Dutch expanded their empire to Indonesia, they were enchanted
by the native cuisine it discovered. Excited by this new world of
creative cooking, their appetites increased, and so to the number of
dishes at the elaborate table. Thus began the birth of the Rijsttafel,
which highlights the various delicacies. The Rijsttafel was brought to
The Netherlands, and now this fascinating  culinary event in all it’s
glory, can be enjoyed by you — right here in Chicago.

The Rijsttafel consists of a treasure trove of Old World delicacies,
brought to life and executed to perfection. For this special occasion
we have compiled a 12 dish dinner comprised of classical offerings
from the West Java province of Indonesia. This evening is a ticketed
event at $45.00 a seat and includes 2 complimentary drinks provided by
Maria’s Community Bar, additional drinks

RSVP and purchase tickets here: http://proximity-ricetable.eventbrite.com/

Photography  by Ben Syverson
Beverages curated by Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar
Audio selections from: Dj Joe Bryl

Presented by The Rice Table & Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar

LET’S PLAY
Sunday October 20, 10:30am – 2pm
Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219-21 S Morgan St, Chicago, IL

Admission: (Suggested admission $10 per family)

Our LET’S PLAY program is for kids and adults.

At this family-savvy happening, you will find the Kite Collective’s
Shadow Forest installation, make visual poetry windchimes with the
Kite Collective to take home, boogie to the beats of a Future Hits
electric set, cross paths with SHoP’s portatable Froebelian learning
center, learn more about Be the Change Charter School and play with
Cultural ReProducers. Eric May, a featured artist from Proximity’s new
issue, will be serving his signature E-Dogz to attendees. This event
is part of Co-Prosperity Sphere’s “Urban Operating System.”

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Top 4 Weekend Picks! (8/30-8/31)

August 29, 2013 · Print This Article

1. Self-Mythology at Roman Susan

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Work by Vincent Troia.

Roman Susan is located at 1224 W. Loyola Ave. Reception Saturday, 7-10pm.

2. Boulevard Dreamers at The Franklin

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Work by Lise Baggesen and Kirsten Leenaars.

The Franklin is located at 3522 W. Franklin Blvd. Reception Saturday, 6-10pm.

3. #404 Not Found at Co-Prosperity Sphere

Patrick Lichty

Work by Channel TWo (CH2), Jeff Kolar, Jon Satrom, Rob Ray, Patrick Lichty, Sarah Weis, Christopher Smith, Jake Myers, Amelia Winger-Bearskin, and Emilie Gervais.

Co-Prosperity Sphere is located at 3219 S. Morgan St. Reception Friday, 6-10pm.

4. Your Future Family at The Peanut Gallery

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Work by Danielle Chenette.

The Peanut Gallery is located at 1000 N. California Ave. Reception Friday, 6-9pm.




Making Yourself at Home – Laura Shaeffer

June 20, 2013 · Print This Article

Over the past ten plus years, Laura Shaeffer has been the entrepreneur and custodian behind a number of projects housed within a handful of unconventional— and often under utilized— spaces on the Southside of Chicago, including Home Gallery, The Op Shop and Southside Hub of Production (SHoP). Her approach is a combination of activism and common sense; community building and home-making. She honors domestic spaces as sites of radical, informal pedagogy, and this manifests itself in an important through line that runs across her projects; they act as platforms for kids to express their creativity and imagination, and indulge their curiosity. Alongside immersing them in art and cultural production, an important byproduct of this is kids’ engagement with other kids, families, neighbors and neighborhoods.

By remaining open, nurturing organic expansion and leveraging intuition, Shaeffer stewards growth rather then shoehorning artists into rigid themes or mapping them onto discrete timelines. She recounts the combination of circumstance and serendipity that led to the recent closing of SHoP and subsequent re-opening of Home Gallery for us, and outlines her influences, collaborators and thoughts on sustainability and longevity below.

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When John Preus, Mike Phillips, founder of South Side Projection, and I first started thinking about SHoP as a community cultural hub, we talked a lot about a need we all saw for a more un-programmed life, where idle time can be productive and where relationships have time and space to develop, between people, artists and generations. I love the idea of stewarding growth, looking after, caring for and managing an exhibit as a way of curating through encouraging artists to be more present and participate in the exhibit after the opening in ways that could make their work more accessible to others and in return inspire further thought and exploration on what it means to be an artist in our current culture, especially a more publicly or socially engaged artist. I tend to work intuitively and gravitate toward others who do as well. Working on shows with John and Alberto Aguilar was incredibly inspiring, they are both extremely challenging and creative thinkers. I found that a very good sense of humor and irony is most important in this kind of work and we were able to make each other laugh at the most crucial times.

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One common interest John and I shared with others who helped found this project, as parents and artists, was to create spaces for exhibitions, learning and socializing where children and older folks alike would come and be in an environment that was heterogeneous and allowed for spontaneous interactions. We talked a lot about the Piazza, the Town Square, the Adventure Playground movement, public places where everyone gathered, young and old to have a drink, converse, play freely, or make things… and to linger into the evenings. We also wanted a cultural space where we could bring our kids and they’d have their own environment in which to create together so we set up what we called the Autonomous Making Space (silly name we know) for them to explore their own ideas, and make up their own activities, structures, and games. SHoP drew much of its inspiration from the Junk/Adventure Playground movement begun in the 30′s in Europe by C. Th. Sørensen, a Danish landscape architect. These playgrounds become centers, accessible to the entire community, a place to gather and play freely and to develop intellectually, physically, and emotionally. Like the Adventure Playground, we wanted our Hub space to encourage children and adults to interact with and learn from each other. Ultimately, we wanted to create a space for people to feel ownership and take responsibility for the space itself because it exists as a result of their own efforts and brings the larger community together.

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In terms of spaces that have provided a source of inspiration, there are so many. Several are in Finland; Hirvitalo, a Contemporary Art Center, founded in 2006 as a cultural space in Pispala, Finland, a deeply kindred spirit; Pixelache, a transdisciplinary platform for experimental art, design, research and activism co-created by artist Andrew Paterson whom I had the good fortune to meet in 2007 at the Pedagogical Factory by Jim Duignan, founder of Stockyard Institute, who is a very significant inspiration for SHoP. Places like Experimental Station, Co-Prosperity Sphere, Mess Hall, Comfort Station and North Branch have provided guidance and inspiration as well. There are too many individual artists, projects and people to mention, who have been collaborators and co-producers over the years. Collaborations like Material Exchange, Kultivator and WochenKlausur have also been very influential.

After the Fenn house was supposedly sold (it is now back on the market!), we were charged with the daunting task of reducing the accumulated contents of a 16 room mansion to fill a 20 foot sea container, to be driven away and parked on the Resource Center’s land (thanks to the generous help and support of both Ken Dunn and Ken Schug and some wonderful volunteers). We had all grieved the loss of that beautiful space before we moved, but the lightness of being I personally experienced shortly thereafter made it clear that it is not the space itself, but the people who make the space meaningful through their care, their energy and their creativity. That location, while at once magical and wonderful, and which provided so much space for learning for us all, was also much more demanding than any Op Shop or Home Gallery exhibit and we really needed time to reflect, regroup and re-organize ourselves if we were to become a sustainable center for the community.

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I suppose the decision to open up Home Gallery again was a combination of circumstance and intention. We invited some of the artists that played a large role in SHoP as well a few new ones to our private home to intervene with our “private lives” in ways that would alter or disrupt our routines and as well, help us ease the transition back home and frankly, tend to the spaces that had been neglected while running a 16 room grass roots community arts center for almost 2 years. Our tiny home became the focus for the continuation of concepts and ideas we had been working with on a larger scale at Fenn House, allowing us to explore the more domestic and private side of these ideas.

The question of how we will continue to nurture and grow our projects outside of the traditional constraints of traditional organizational structures and frameworks is a very good one. We are discussing and further questioning this all the time. What might we gain by adopting a more organized structure and what might we stand to lose? As an art project, The Op Shop had a sense of freedom and extreme fluidity, SHoP for the 15 months of it’s existence at Fenn continued to enjoy that fluid, flexible and organic quality… but how long can that be sustained? Eventually a project has to grapple with these questions, I admire projects like Mess Hall who knew from the get go that they would not opt to become a non -profit and had a very clear vision for their mission in this sense. I feel we are still questioning the whole issue of becoming a non-profit and what that implies and how it impacts the project itself. In some ways we will not know before hand but one suspects that there might be a loss of this sense of intuitive process, fluid practice and to be honest, we may get away with much less. On the other hand, money is an issue and funding is needed if we are to continue in any long term way. I am and we are obviously conflicted about this issue!

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Maybe artists and others who are attracted to unconventional spaces to view and think about art, like the mansion, the small townhome, the porch, the back yard gallery, the storefront, the park, and various unexpected public spaces, are more likely to want to examine their role in social change, themes of modern urban life in spaces that are themselves a challenge. There are artists who have certainly been repelled. I like the story of one artist who had proposed a project for an exhibit at SHoP, was invited to participate, and showed up on a typical day for us, where kids were hammering pieces of wood together on the front steps, students were running a yard sale in the front yard, some seniors were playing bridge inside, the house was buzzing with activity preparing for the installation of the next show. I saw a looming figure outside the house and then I saw him disappear, I asked a friend if they knew why this artist left the scene without coming in to meet us (I knew him from his resume and photos) She said that he ‘didn’t want to show his work in a house run by unprofessional hippies.’ This artist never responded to us again. I could see his point, but I love general (orchestrated) chaos, so I guess that’s my fate.

As told to Thea Liberty Nichols via email, June 2013.

All images courtesy of Home Gallery and SHoP.




Top 5 Weekend Picks! (4/19-4/21)

April 18, 2013 · Print This Article

1. Black Emporium at The Octagon Gallery
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Work by Jesse Avina and Michael Garcia.

The Octagon Gallery is located at 120 N. Green St. Unit 3B. Reception Friday, 7-10pm.

2. Alumni on 5: Teaching Artists at Columbia College Chicago Library
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Work by Matt Austin, Dan Bradica, Kate Bowen, Jessica Egan, Kristina Gosh, and Sooz Main, curated by Chelsea Middendorf and Jessica Rodrigue.

Columbia College Chicago Library is located at 624 S. Michigan Ave. 5th Fl. Reception Friday, 5-7pm.

3. BACK MATTER at Co-Prosperity Sphere

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Work by Lise Haller Baggesen, Joshua Demaree, Darja Filippova, Danny Floyd, Chris Fotopulos, Sarah Hamilton, Peter Kusek, Ruslana Lichtzier, Elcin Marasli, Anthony D. Stepter, Devdutt Trivedi, and Michelle Weidman.

Co-Prosperity Sphere is located at 3219 S. Morgan St. Reception Friday, 6-10pm.

4. The Wishing Pelt at Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery
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Work by Sean Fader.

Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery is located at 1136 N Milwaukee Ave. Reception Saturday, 8-11:55pm.

5. Better Left Unsaid at Peanut Gallery

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Work by Nina Palomba.

Peanut Gallery is located at 1000 N. California Ave. Reception Sunday, 5-9pm.