Top 10 Weekend Picks! (9/4-9/6)

September 3, 2015 · Print This Article

The long hot summer is over. The season is beginning again. Thus, for this week and next, we shall feature a Top 10 Picks! Enjoy.

Friday 9/4/15 – 

Algorithm Gerbils at Fernwey


Work by Alexander Valentine.

Fernwey is located at 916 N. Damen Ave. Reception 7-10pm.

FROOTS at Galerie F


Work by Chris Uphues, Buried Diamond, and Killer Acid.

Galerie F is located at 2381 N. Milwaukee Ave. Reception 6-10pm.

Tertiary Dimensions at Sector 2337


Curated by Alexandria Eregbu with work by Aay Preston-Myint, Adam Liam Rose + Alex Zak, Amina Ross, Betsy Odom, Elijah Burgher, Gordon Hall, Katie Vota, Kiam Marcelo Junio, Margaret Bobo-Dancy, Matt Morris, Oli Rodriguez, and Rami George.

Sector 2337 is located at 2337 N. Milwaukee Ave. Reception 5-8pm.

Garcia, Rios + Romero at Trunk Show

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Work by Anthony Romero, Josh Rios and Eric J. Garcia.

Trunk Show is located at 1859 W. 19th St. Reception 6-8pm.

Saturday 9/5/15 – 

What Would Barbara Do? at Defibrillator Gallery

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Curated by Joseph Ravens, Oli Rodriguez and Frederic Moffet with work by Miao Jiaxin, Zachary Harvey, Caitlin Bacon, Whitney Johnston, Charles Lum, Barbara DeGenevieve, Amber Hawk Swanson, Kean O’Brien and Isaac Leung.

Defibrillator Gallery is located at 1463 W. Chicago Ave. Reception 7-10pm.

Cohen + Ruiz at Roots and Culture

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Work by Alex Bradley Cohen and Steve Ruiz.

Roots and Culture is located at 1034 N. Milwaukee Ave. Reception 6-9pm.

Their, Their at Slow Pony Project

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Work by Local Honey.

Slow Pony Project is located at 1745 W. 18th St. Reception 6-9pm.

Finocchio at The Franklin


Curated by Scott J Hunter with work by Daniel Baird, Jessica Caponigro, Alexandria Eregbu, Danny Giles, Sofia Moreno, Matt Morris, Amina Ross, Alfredo Salazar-Caro, Ivan Lozano and Dan Paz.

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

A short and pleasurable journey at Vertical Gallery

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Work by Collin van der Sluijs, Mike Perry, Cody Hudson, Daniel Frost, Hedof, Jordy van den Nieuwendijk, Amanda Marie, David Shillinglaw and more.

Vertical Gallery is located at 1016 N. Western Ave. Reception 6-10pm.

Sunday 9/6/15 – 

Warm Kitty, Soft Kitty at Hyde Park Art Center

Eliza Bennett - A Woman's Work Is Never Done - film still5

Work by D. Denenge Akpem, Eliza Bennett, Laci Coppins and Nakia Gordon, Alexandria Eregbu, Isaac Facio and Benedickt Diemer, Whitney Huber, Taylor Hokanson and Dieter Kirkwood, Cole Don Kelley, Barbara Layne, Hiro Murai for Flying Lotus, Tameka J. Norris, Betsy Odom, Scout Paré-Phillips, Jennifer Ray, Aileen Son and Fo Wilson.

Hyde Park Art Center is located at 5020 S. Cornell Ave. Reception 3-5pm.


Top 5 Weekend Picks! (11/21-11/23)

November 20, 2014 · Print This Article

1. FLATspace Presents at MANA Contemporary


Work by Nicholas Rigger and Steve Ruiz.

FLATspace is located at 2233 S. Throop St. 4th Fl. Reception Friday, 6-10pm.

2. Territories at Roots & Culture

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Work by Todd Mattei.

Roots & Culture is located at 1034 N. Milwaukee Ave. Reception Sunday, 6-9pm.

3. It’s New & Now at Outhouse Gallery

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Work by Matthew Hilvers and Lyndsey Marko.

Outhouse Gallery is located at 212 N. Sangamon St. Reception Saturday, 6-9pm.

4. My Brother, The Punk Singer LIVE! at South of the Tracks

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Work by Caitlin Ryan.

South of the Tracks is located at 319 N. Albany Ave. Reception Friday, 7:30-9:30pm.

5. Wanna B Sedated at Born Nude


Work by Nick Pannozzo.

Born Nude is located at 1711 S. Halsted St. #2. Reception Saturday, 6-9pm.

Top 5 Weekend Picks! (1/27-1/29)

January 27, 2012 · Print This Article

1. Society of the Spectacular at Co-prosperity Sphere

Work by Eric Fleischauer, Jesse McLean, Steve Ruiz, Doug Smithenry, Theo Darst, Todd Mattei, Morgan Sims, Aaron Orsini, and Adam Rux. Curated by Jake Myers & The Octagon Gallery.

Co-prosperity Sphere is located at 3221 S Morgan. Reception Friday, 7pm-12am.

2. Schematized at Firecat Projects

Work by Justin Amrhein.

Firecat Projects is located at 2124 N. Damen Ave. Reception Friday, 7-9pm.

3. Tetragrammatron Archive: The Robert Joseph Bell Institute for the Advancement of the Future at Thomas Robertello Gallery

Work by Jason Robert Bell.

Thomas Robertello Gallery is located at 27 N. Morgan St. Reception Friday, 6-8pm.

4. Morbid Curiosity at the Chicago Cultural Center

Works from The Richard Harris Collection.

Chicago Cultural Center is located at 78 E. Washington St. Reception Friday, 5:30-7:30pm.

5. Not Cool or Stoic at Slow

Work by Chuck Jones and ACRE resident Matthew Schlagbaum.

Slow is located at 2153 W 21st St. Reception Friday, 6-9pm.

Don’t Miss: Panel on Chicago Art Criticism TONIGHT.

November 22, 2011 · Print This Article

Ah yes, it’s that time again! Time for another panel discussion on art criticism in Chicago. Luckily for y’all, this one is filled with great folks who really know their stuff. AND: it’s been organized in celebration of The Essential New Art Examiner, a compendium edited by our friends Kathryn Born and Terri Griffith of the best writings from the venerable Chicago-based art journal. Born and Griffith will appear on tonight’s panel, along with BAS’ fabulous pal and dapper man-about-town Abraham Ritchie (Chicago editor of ArtSlant), Lori Waxman (Tribune), Jason Foumberg (New City), Steve Ruiz (The Visualist) and Ann Wiens, former New Art Examiner editor, all of whom represent different yet equally vibrant aspects of the Chicago critical scene. The whole shebang is moderated by critic and SAIC faculty member James Yood. So there you have it! Go go go! The panel takes place tonight, Tuesday, November 22nd at  6-8 pm in the Second Floor Ballroom of the MacLean Center (112 S. Michigan Avenue). The full, official-like press release info follows below.

The panel discussion “Art Criticism in Chicago: Past, Present, Future” will occur 6-8 pm on Tuesday, November 22 in the Second Floor Ballroom of the MacLean Center (112 S. Michigan Avenue). Organized in memory of distinguished art critics Kathryn Hixson and Polly Ullrich (both SAIC faculty and alumna), this wide-ranging investigation into the challenges and triumphs in art writing in Chicago also honors the recent publication of The Essential New Art Examiner, a compendium of essays originally printed in the most significant Chicago-based art publication of its era (1973-2002).  The panel will move forward from that to assess the current state of art criticism in Chicago, both print- and web-based, and analyze the rapidly changing milieu for arts conversation in Chicago.

The panelists are Kathryn Born and Terri Griffith, editors of the “The Essential New Art Examiner”, Jason Foumberg of Newcity, Abraham Ritchie from ArtSlant: Chicago, Steve Ruiz from visualist, Lori Waxman from the Chicago Tribune, Ann Wiens, former editor of the NAE, and James Yood, moderator of the panel and former editor of the NAE.  (Griffith, Waxman, and Yood are members of the SAIC faculty, and Foumberg, Griffith, Ritchie, Waxman and Wiens are SAIC graduates.) The event is free and open to the public, and is supported with the assistance of Lisa Wainwright, Dean of Faculty, Paul Coffey, SAIC Vice Provost, and Candida Alvarez, Dean of Graduate Studies.

Steve Ruiz

March 7, 2011 · Print This Article

Guest post by Thea Liberty Nichols

Email interview conducted with Steve Ruiz

Steve Ruiz is an artist and writer from Chicago. He is the Managing Editor of Chicago Art Review (.com) and has contributed to a number of publications including Jettison Quarterly, NewCity Magazine, and Proximity Magazine. Information on his artwork can be seen at

Steve Ruiz

TLN: Can you start by telling us a little bit about Chicago Art Review? I’m especially interested (as a former participant) in the audio component you have on there, which, as far as I’m aware, is unique to your site as a listings format.

SR: I started Chicago Art Review in April 2009, right around the time I was graduating from college. The blog started as a joke (I’d told my former professor, Geoffrey Todd Smith, that I would write a gonzo review of his show) but I quickly realized the project’s potential as a way of engaging with the Chicago art community, which I was pretty unfamiliar with after spending five years studying elsewhere. Chicago Art Review became a reason to get out to shows, meet artists, and know about their work. My idea was to learn in a public way and I think people appreciated the effort, especially as I didn’t really know anything or anyone and was writing from the hip on first impressions.

Stylistically, I’ve tried to be as professional as is fair to the artists I write about while reserving a lot of the freedom being an independent writer affords me; I can be entertaining, a little partisan, troll with decimal ratings, experiment with content, take two months off and still call myself a writer, put in thirty pictures with a review, edit posts six months later, etc. My studio background is in painting, so I tend to write more about painting and write about everything else as if it were painting. I have tried a lot of things with the site that didn’t work out, such as the Art Phone call-in press releases and a studio visit chain that dropped off after a while, but part of the fun of Chicago Art Review has been making a soft space to fail.
I think some of the best content has come from guests, especially Anthony Elms’ book reviews, Ryan Travis Christian’s Seven Artists of the Week (which I now organize with the help of guest editors), and the opportunities I’ve had for collaborations with others like Pedro Valez, Erik Wenzel, etc. I also depend a lot on the efforts of Karly Wildenhaus and Stephanie Burke for my event listings research. It would be a much less interesting website without these individuals and others.

Chicago Art Review


TLN: On that note, since several of the folks you just mentioned also have blogs or websites of their own, or contribute to other publications online or in print, can you tell us a little bit about how you expanded your network to include them? And do you feel like more an editor (vs. a writer) because of it?

SR: I My approach to involving other writers with Chicago Art Review is pretty casual. I don’t have any regular contributors, but I try to involve other people when I think they have an interest in writing something that I’d like to read but wouldn’t otherwise have a place to read it. The loose format on the site allows me to publish writing that wouldn’t fit elsewhere for whatever reason, and sometimes the appeal of “do whatever you want” is enough to get contributors on board. But no, I don’t think I work hard enough to feel like a Managing Editor.

TLN: It sounds like Chicago Art Review takes a very experimental approach to things and is happy to evolve by recognizing what works best for it– knowing what you know now, do you ever wish you could go back and take a different tact? Like do you feel the internet is written in stone or invisible ink? And where do you see Chicago Art Review going next– anything interesting in the hopper?

SR: No, I don’t think I’d change anything I’ve done, but I’d like to have done more of it. But its early, we’ve got time.

If anything, I’m happy to have established a sort of authoritative sounding brand based on formal experimentation and stubborn amateurism. Not to flatter the context here, but a lot of my ideas about art criticism were informed by seeing how the Bad at Sports podcast could deliver rich critical content in form based on the unlikely combination of a lack of claimed authority, persistant volunteerism, over-education, topical expertise, conversational tones, and alcohol. That relationship with criticism feels much more appropriate for this city’s community. I’m interested in finding a written form and style that reflects the culture here, and that serves our needs and demands for writing, which are very different than in other cities. Some things are valued less, some more, and I feel like that should be taken into consideration.

As for going forward, a few months ago I started – but do not claim any ownership of – a Facebook group called #chiart for art writers and artists to talk to each-other about art in Chicago. The name comes from a slightly problematic twitter hashtag I’d got going, but which was hard to use for bigger conversations. The Facebook group has worked much better, and I’ve been amazed at the quality of conversation there and at the ability for a certain number of engaged individuals to generate high-value critical dialog while essentially slacking off at work. Its easily my primary resource for almost all the tasks I’d previously have gone to didactic journalism for, making it harder to justify writing that kind of thing. I’m fascinated by the idea of body surfing legitimate critical discourse on crowds of distracted experts, and am looking for ways to turn that kind of conversation-based model into something that can produce discrete pieces of writing for us to print for binders and to cite on our CVs. Doesn’t that sound fun?

Thea Liberty Nichols is an arts administrator, independent curator and freelance writer. To listen to an excerpt from the “Form and Content of Writing” panel she moderated as part of Stockyard Institute‘s exhibition at DePaul University entitled Nomadic Studio, please click here. (Featuring commentary from Patrice Connolly, Claudine Ise, Abraham Ritchie and Bert Stabler)