Friday, November 27, 2009

Opening Today

I was about to write Opening This Weekend" when I remembered, oh yeah, NOTHING is opening this weekend. There is barely anything opening today, alone. I guess I can see the point. Everyone (but me and all the people I was eating and drinking with last night) is out of town, maybe, right? Or everyone is still in a food coma (the more likely reason). Well, reguardless, there are three openings tonight, two on the south side, and one, basically, downtown. So if you're heading down, pop on in.

Bronzeville -
Gallery Guichard - 3521 S. King Drive. Black Friday Opening Reception. Reception 12pm-8pm.

Hyde Park -
The Opportunity Shop - 1613 E. 55th. Inaugural exhibition including the work of Anders Nilsen, Katrin Asbury, Rachel Tredon, and Albert Stabler, among others. 11/27-12/31. Reception 6-10.

Streeterville -
Museum of Contemporary Art - 220 East Chicago Ave. The one hundred and sixty-third floor: Liam Gillick Curates the Collection. 11/27-01/10.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Snack Time Report, Friday November 20th

by Jeriah Hildwine

Packer-Schopf was quite the scene last night. I'm not really up on local television personalities, Stephanie and I don't own a TV, not so much in that elitist hippie way ("Kill your TV, man") but more like we moved in together and didn't have roommates with a TV anymore, and never bothered to get one because who the hell has time to watch TV anyway? But apparently there's a fellow named Phil Ponce, who is apparently the host of something called "Chicago Tonight" on WTTW, which is apparently a network of some kind. (Okay, so I'm a little out of touch with some elements of popular culture, so sue me.)

So, this show at Packer-Schopf consists of artworks made by Phil Ponce's wife and daughter. No, no, relax, it's two separate women. Ann Ponce is a painter and her daughter Maria is a photographer. I met Ann in her studio on Wilson Ave. up in my neighborhood of Ravenswood, during Ravenswood Art Walk. I really appreciate traditional, realistic figure painting, and Ann does it well, so I was looking forward to this show especially from that perspective. But this isn't about art...this is about snacks!

I may not follow celebrities particularly closely, but I have learned one thing: where there are celebrities, there are snacks. And boy oh boy, were there snacks at Packer-Schopf for this opening! (Yes, there were.) Immediately inside the front door was a table displaying chocolates, from the Anna Shea company Like I occasionally have to point out, you can't buy a mention in the snack just have to give me snacks. So, thanks for the delicious chocolates, Anna Shea. I'm not 100% clear on which ones I had; looking through their catalog, I think the second one I had, which was my favorite, was the "Lia." I nibbled it and immediately thought it was so good I brought it to Stephanie to try it. She said it tasted like licorice, I think, but I didn't read it that way. The catalog describes its filling as "Earl Grey Tea Ganache: Floral dark chocolate ganache complimented with an Earl Grey tea infusion and orange blossom water." Man oh man, what a good chocolate. Seriously, I'm not even usually a giant fan of fancy chocolates (too many "mystery fruit" fillings that taste like the flavored local anesthetic they give you at the dentist's office) but this was epic. If you buy a love interest a box of these as a romantic advance and they aren't immediately smitten, you can safely write them off as a person with no taste whatsoever and move on with your life. I promise.

So that was greeting me at the front door. Then we looked at the paintings and photographs in the main gallery, at the rear of which was a table serving wine and popcorn. For the wine, Steph and I had brought our GSI Wine Glasses, which I had ordered from REI. No more drinking wine out of little plastic cups! These plastic wine glasses are "takedown" models, meaning the stem unscrews from the bowl and then the foot snaps onto the rim, with the stem inside, making for a very compact package. To protect them from scratches, we pack the two of them base-to-base inside an old (clean) sock. They worked great!

The popcorn was in these big metal drums; it probably said the brand on it but I wasn't taking notes. There were two, well sort of three flavors: you could get caramel, or cheese, or there was a third drum that had some of each in it. I opted for the mix. I thought it was delicious, Stephanie was put off by the mix. She's not too fond of the sweet-and-savory mix, generally, while I am. Regardless, they were available separately, for those who so prefer.

Downstairs, there was yet another snack table, and this one was the real hearty fare. In addition to a refill of wine, I had dolmas, falaffel, hummus, baba ghanouj, and pita. The falaffel was particularly good, which was surprising: falaffel served at events is usually a bit hard on the outside, probably because it hardens as it sits out for a while, but this stuff was really nicely textured, not too hard at all. Nicely done! An excellent spread such as this is precisely the kind of behavior on the part of galleries that I'm hoping to encourage with these snack reports. Thanks for the snacks, Aron. They were truly excellent.

We headed over to the 118-119 Peoria buildings; our first stop was Walsh. They were having some kind of 16th Anniversary celebration, so the place was all full of balloons and T-shirts. Unfortunately I didn't see any snacks, although I did see a couple of cups that might have once had wine in them, so maybe I missed something. Or maybe they'd drifted across the hall from Dubhe Carreño Gallery, which was serving red wine. We stuck with the gallery-provided plastic cups, since transferring the wine to our glasses might have proved awkward. Thanks for the wine, guys!

To wrap up the West Loop, we headed across the street to Western Exhibitions, which had the standard galvanized tub of Grolsch. Ah, good old Grolsch. The fliptops are great for if you finish looking at the work before you finish your beer, you can close it up for the trek to the next space. Thanks for the beer!

65 Grand, as usual, had a bucket of ice with cans of Old Style in it. An apartment gallery classic! Thanks for the beer, Bill!

Noble and Superior Projects
is a relatively new apartment gallery who made a good first impression on me last month with an excellent offering of snacks at the reception for their first show, haven't dropped the ball. Once again they offered a variety of cheese (I think it was pepper jack, mozzarella, and Swiss) and crackers (several types), cookies (several types), nuts (mixed), beer, and wine. I accepted my hosts' gracious offer of Trader Joe's canned lager, called Simpler Times. Last month I had the bottled Frugal Joe's Ordinary Beer, which I liked; Simpler Times was also good: a basic, unpretentious canned lager, a bit better than the usual. I liked it. Even though I was still kind of full from Packer, I had some cheese and crackers, too. Thanks for the beer and snacks, Erin and Patrick!

Abryant is a relatively new "gallery" that basically consists of owner and director Angela Bryant curating exhibitions in different spaces. The current show, "Technically, It's Art," is only her second project, but it was looking good. The setting was incredibly posh as well; every fixture was black, and the bathroom sink was this crazy apparatus with electronic temperature controls and weird colored lights in the water. It was intense. The whole apartment was over the top, or "off the chain" as I hear the kids say these days. Snacks consisted of cheese and crackers, and wine. There was beer in the fridge, too. I stuck to cheese, crackers, and a couple of glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon in my GSI wine glass. Thanks for the snacks and wine, Angela, and congrats on a great show!

This wraps up another snack report. Our mission, to encourage galleries, museums, and project spaces of all kinds to up the ante on the refreshments tables. Never another starving artist! And to encourage our readers to get out there and look at some art, because you should never have to pay for a drink on a Friday night.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Opening this weekend (11/20-11/22)

Hello ya'lls. Here is your weekly serving of tasty, tasty calendarness. I hope ya'll have bee enjoying this calendar, and I also hope ya'll have been enjoying Jeriah's "Snack Reports." My husband (Jeriah) is an awesome writer, if you don't mind me saying. And if you do ming, fuck off, go find your art calendar needs elsewhere. Reguardless. As soon as I get done with this, I'm heading down to UIC for the MFA open studios (see my previous garish post).

33 Collective - 1029 W. 35th. New Memes/Old Memes, work by Steve Sherrell. 11/20/09-12/12/09. Reception 7-10 pm

4Art - 1029 W. 35th Street #40. Artist in Action Series, work by Chantal Philipon-Cegede. 11/20/09-12/1/09. Reception 7-10 pm

Co-Prosperity Sphere - 3219 S. Morgan. Super Bad Ass Exhibition. 11/20/09 - 12/11/09. Reception 7PM - 10PM

Abryant Gallery - 1842 North Damen 4th fl. Technically, It's Art, work by Eric Ashcraft, Madeleine Bailey, Mark Beasley, Rebecca Berman, GROUP CABIN, Andy Cahill, Lauren Gregory, Maxon Higbee, Aaron Hoffman, Nadia Hotait, Mik Kastner, Lisa MAjer, Gary Pennock, Sarah Perez, Micah Schippa, Briana Schweizer, Alan Strathmann and Synica Whitney. Reception 6pm.

Crown Center Gallery - 1001 W Loyola, Suite 200. Sister Corita. Reception 6-8pm.

65Grand - 1378 W. Grand Ave. An Object in the Woods, work by Bob Jones. 11/20-12/18. Reception 7-10pm.

LivingRoom - 1530 W. Superior. Artist: Umemployed, work by Shawnee Barton. 11/20/09 - 01/09/09. Reception 5PM - 8PM

Noble & Superior Projects - 1418 W. Superior. Indivisible, work by T.W. Li and Whitney Faile. 11/20/09 - 12/09/09. Reception 6PM - 10PM

Evanston Art Center - 2603 Sheridan Road. Evanston Art Center's Winter Arts and Crafts Expo Preview Party. 11/21/09-12/22/09. Reception 6:00 PM

Center on Halsted - 3656 N. Halsted. Pate Conaway. 11/20/09 - 01/13/10. Reception 6:30PM - 9:30PM.

Chicago Art Source - 1871 N. Clybourn. Always Already, work by Stephen Bullock, Melissa Herringon, Eric Holubow, Jennifer J.L. Jones, Sara Mast, Barbara Moody, Michael Prokos, Laurie Rubin and Jennifer Talbot. 11/13/09-01/09/10. Reception 6-9 pm

Elephant Room - 704 S Wabash Ave. i am, work by Sam Kirk. 11/1/09-12/20/09. Reception 6:00 PM

Gallery 180 - 180 N. Wabash. Hidden Relics, work by Michael Jankowski. 11/16/09 - 01/15/10. Reception 5:30PM - 7:30PM

Gruen Galleries - 226 W. Superior. Homage to Cy Twombly, work by Victor Skrebneski and Gary Weidner. 11/20/09-01/01/10. Reception 5-8 pm

I Space - 230 W. Superior, 2nd fl. The Philosophe's Tango: Permanence and Flow, work by David Bushman & Architecture of Crisis, work by Rojer Hubeli and Julie Larsen 11/20/09 - 12/19/09. Reception 5PM - 7PM.

Palmer Gallery, The - 233 West Huron. Laura Davis, solo exhibitions. Reception 5:30-8:30pm.

Perimeter - 210 W. Superior. Joseph Piccillo. 11/20/09 - 12/31/09. Reception 5PM - 8PM

Zolla/Lieberman Gallery - 325 W Huron St. Rocio Rodriguez and Garrett Durant. Reception 5-8pm.

Dubhe Carreño - 118 N. Peoria 2nd fl. Coalescence, works by Pamela Murphy and Amanda Bray. 11/20/09 - 12/23/09. Reception 5PM - 8PM

Packer Schopf - 942 W. Lake. Chicago Monuments, work by Karen Perl & On TV/Off TV, work by Ann and Maria Ponce. 11/20/09-12/23/09. Reception 5-8 pm

Walsh Gallery - 118 N Peoria St. Art Stories: Impressions from 16 Years of Running a Gallery. Reception 5-8pm.

Western Exhibitions - 119 N Peoria St, Suite 2A. Nicholas Frank and Joe Hardesty. Reception 5-8pm.

Revolution Tattoo - 2221 N. Western. Love, Death, and Torture, work by Anne-Katrin Elliott. 11/21/09 - 01/10/10. Reception 8PM - 11PM.

Murphy Hill - 3333 W. Arthingon. Aorta Transformata, group show & Art Media and Unique Gifts, group show. 11/18/09-12/23/09. Reception 6PM - 10PM

Barbara & Barbara - 1021 N. Western. Self Portraits, group show. 11/21/09-01/18/10. Reception 7-10 pm.

Eel Space - 2846 W. North #1A. Make Believe in Yourself, work by Geoffrey Hamerlinck. 11/21/09 - 12/13/09. Reception 6PM - 9PM

Concertina - 2351 N. Milwaukee, 2nd fl. Party Crashers, group show. 11/21/09 - 12/13/09. Reception 7PM - 10PM

Hungry Man - 2135 N. Rockwell. Creator/Curator , group show. 11/21/09-1/27/09. Reception 6PM - 11PM

Donald Young Gallery - 224 S. Michigan, Ste. 266. Hapax Legomena, work by James Welling. 11/21/09-12/31/09. Reception 5-7 pm

Gallery 1028 - 1028 Hooker Street. Stuffing, a Prelude to the Holidays. 11/21/09. Reception 5 pm – midnight.

Richard Gray - 875 N. Michigan #2503. Old Me, Now, work by Jim Dine. 11/20/09-01/16/10. Reception 5PM - 7PM

Spoke - 119 N. Peoria, Unit 3D. A Sample of Making, work by Kristin Mariani Frieman. Closing reception 6-9pm.

InCUBATE - 2129 N Rockwell St. Sunday Soup. The final Sunday Soup, ya’ll better show up. $10. Soup 5PM - 7PM.

YEAH! UIC Open Studios!

That's right ya'll, UIC is having open MFA studios tonight. Now I know a great deal of my readership is from the 'Tute (SAIC), so I'm putting this up with a garish announcement thing to catch your damn attention. You may be saying to yourself "There are MFAs at UIC? Who knew?" Well,now you do. Get out of your bubble and go see what their people are doing. TONIGHT!!!

What: UIC MFA Open Studios
When: Tonight, 11/19/09 from 7-9:30
Where: UIC School of Art and Design, Art and Design Hall, 400 South Peoria Street
Why: Because it's good for you, DAMNIT!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Snack Time Report, Friday November 6th through Friday, November 13th

It's been a busy week (is there any other kind?), but a pretty good one for snacks! More than just the usual Friday night cheese and wine, the past eight or so days have provided me with a few unexpected morsels as well.

Friday, November 6th: Beverly Arts Competition at Beverly Arts Center

Last Friday there were quite a few things going on, including open studios at SAIC. Unfortunately, Steph and I had to skip all these, because we felt compelled to attend the opening of the Beverly Art Competition and Exhibition at the Beverly Arts Center, since we had work in the show. And I won a prize, which was awesome.

Normally one might think that there would be a sort of conflict of interest in reviewing a show in which I participated, but let me assure you, the Snack Report is serious business, and I'll tell it like it is. As it was, the snacks were good...but something was amiss. The snack table was well-provisioned with the usual, fruits and cheese, chips and salsa, pita and hummus, some brownie bits...I remember that they were pretty good, unfortunately I didn't take notes and the batteries in my camera died, so I can't be much more specific than that. Suffice it to say, though, that the snacks were good.

However, the event was hampered by one fatal flaw, this snack reporter's mortal enemy: the cash bar. WHATWHATWHAT? You heard me right, a cash bar. They were charging for beer, wine, and even water. (The drinking fountains were unobstructed, however.)

Now, I'm not one to criticize the fiscal policies of a non-profit organization, especially not one that just gave me an awesome cash prize. What do I know? If your 501C3 needs to charge for drinks to keep its head above water, okay, fine. Nor do I really know how the finances of having a cash bar at your event really work: is it a revenue source for the organization? Or does the catering company make their money on the booze and provide the snacks for free? Something in between? I'm imagining that if you went to a catering company, asking them to cater your event, they'd quote you two prices: one for what they charge you for running a cash bar, and another one for running an open bar, the latter possibly with sub-options like a charge per case opened, vs. a fixed amount and when they're out, they're out. I don't really know, I'm just guessing here.

So, to organizations out there considering these options, especially in these hard economic times, here's some free advice. Free advice. See how much nicer that is than advice you have to pay for? Even if it's not very good, eh? Wouldn't you rather have my half-baked opinion, free of charge, than paying some consultant to tell you what to think? Of course you would. I think you see where I'm going with this. Instead of running a cash bar, why not just swing by TJ's, pick up a case of Two Buck Chuck (I'm from California, where it really is still $2 a bottle), and set it out with a corkscrew and some Dixie Cups? It'll cost you about fifty bucks, tops, it's classy, and you don't have to pay some guy in an apron to open my beer. Everybody wins! Or, failing that, just do what the apartment galleries do, and leave out a cooler full of Old Style.

Anyway, Beverly, thanks so much for the snacks, they really were great, and of course thanks for the prize and for putting me and Steph in the show!

Saturday, November 7th: Sign of the Times at Monique Meloche

Monique Meloche has opened in her new location on Division with Sign of the Times, an exhibition of work centered around the current state of the economy. There were some good pieces in the show. No snacks, unfortunately, but there was a bottle of white wine and little plastic cups.

I've read, I can't recall where, but someone was advising gallery owners, or maybe it was for people hosting an event in general, that only white wine should be served, since it doesn't stain if you spill it on your fancy white linen suit or whatever. In practice, plenty of spaces serve red wine, and gallery-goers (even myself) seem able to navigate a cup of red around without getting it all over themselves. Well, okay, so accidents happen, but maybe that's the reason that dressing in all black is so is still fashionable, right? Not like I'm stopping, regardless. Anyone who was a teenager in the 1990s knows what I'm talking about; you hang out with the Goth kids for a few years, and you lose your ability to coordinate colors.

I wonder if that's why vampires wear all black, to hide the blood if they spill a little: the human neck is the original dribble glass.

Regardless, whether a practical necessity or not, serving white wine only functions as a signifier that one's space is catering to a clientele that wears white linen suits and, by extension, expensive evening gowns, furs, and possibly powdered wigs. Not that I saw any of those, but it did sort of feel like one might show up at any time.

Sunday, November 8th: Coffee receptions at Packer-Schopf and Dubhe Carreño

This weekend saw something new in the realm of art-funding snacking, at least new to me: the coffee reception. There were two of them; I got an email from Aron Packer informing me that both his space and Dubhe Carreño were hosting coffee receptions mid-day on Sunday: 11am to 2pm at Packer-Schopf, and 12pm to 4pm at Dubhe Carreño. Packer's had an artist's talk with Jerry Bleem. But this isn't about that. This is about SNACKS!

So, Steph and I were in the car on our way down to the West Loop, and I said, "I hope there's going to be bagels and cream cheese." And Steph said, "I don't think there's going to be bagels and cream cheese." So we stopped at Beans & Bagels on Montrose by Ravenswood and got lox bagels, which we call "fishbiscuits," after the fish-shaped bear treats that Sawyer and Kate got while they were trapped in the bear cages on Lost a few seasons ago. Lox bagels/fishbiscuits are awesome; I always pretend I'm either a bear or an eagle when I eat one.

Anyhow, we get down to Packer-Schopf and there were tons of snacks, INCLUDING BAGELS AND CREAM CHEESE! Plus berry cobbler, some really good grapes, coffee (Starbucks brand, made in a big percolator), orange juice, and probably a few other things. I made it a point to sample everything, and it was all damned good. Oh, except for the orange-colored cream cheese: I wasn't sure if it was berry or salmon, and I'm not a fan of salmon-flavored cream cheese, so I decided not to risk it.

A note on grapes: Packer picks a good grape. Concords, I think, but more importantly, they're SMALL. Big grapes are totally flavorless, like bubble wrap full of water. Small grapes taste way, way better. Doubt me? Visit a vineyard sometime, that makes high-end wine grapes, taste one, and tell me how big they were. Yeah. That's what I thought. Small grapes for the win!

Dubhe Carreño has a similar setup, slightly less lavish in the food department but I was pretty well stuffed by then anyway. They did have coffee and some snacks, I think it was bagels and fruit and cream cheese again, but honestly my memory of it is a little faint. I recall it fondly, though.

Guys, kudos to you both. Packer-Schopf and Dubhe Carreño are helping me to bring my dreams to life: I dream of a world where I don't need to buy food or booze at all. Instead, I just have to visit an art gallery every time I get hungry. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, three meals a day, plus maybe midnight snacks and late-night cocktails, all for no more than the courtesy of my attention, viewing some art! Wouldn't that be a nice world?

Indulge my fantasy if you will: Sunday morning, coffee and bagels with Aron Packer. Sunday night, dinner at Linda Warren, followed by her famous vodka punch. Monday morning, an early pancake breakfast at Ann Nathan. Round about noon, lunch at ThreeWalls. Dinner time, head on over to Monique Meloche. And Tuesday, start the day off right at Peter Miller, with sausage and eggs...and so on. Wouldn't that be great?

We may not be there yet, but with their great spreads of snacks, Packer-Schopf and Dubhe Carreño are helping to make this world a reality, one reception at a time. My hat is off to you both, and may many more follow in your footsteps!

Friday, November 13th: Second Fridays at Pilsen East "Chicago Art District"

CHA-cha-cha. CHA-cha-cha. It's Friday the 13th! This is Second Fridays, and there wasn't a whole lot else going on, so I decided to make the pilgrimage down to the Principality of Podmajersky.

We got there earlyish, around seven. We started off the night at the Chicago Arts District's 1915 S. Halsted Exhibition Space. This is a space which, if I understand things right, you can rent from Podmajersky directly, to put on an exhibition. So, it's sort of like a vanity gallery or pay-to-play space, except without all the bullshit and lies and pretending it's a real gallery. It's a good spot to rent for, for example, an organization or school that wants to put on an exhibition in a well-trafficked neighborhood.

This time around, it was some school putting up their students' photography. They even had a camera set up so you could take a photo of yourself, or the gallery, which was fun. The camera, like the photography in the show, was traditional, film based, non-digital. I took a photo of Steph and she took one of me. We're famous! Okay, but yeah, there were snacks.

No wine, which I tried not to get too grumpy about since it was a school show (although I didn't see any kids about...), but there was a basic though much-appreciated snack tray setup. There were soft drinks (Coke, Mountain Dew, Hawaiian Punch, and Ginger Ale), which I steered well away from (I needed all the room in my bladder for the wine I was sure I'd find later). There were also Oreo cookies topped with some kind of sweet spread...meringue? Gussied up Cool Whip? I wasn't sure, but it was tasty. I had a few. What's that almond stuff called? Marzipan? I don't think it was that, either.

So there were chips, and grapes (mid-sized, didn't try 'em), and nuts. I love nuts. Seriously. A pawful of nuts and I feel like some kind of tropical bird. Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, filberts...are those the same thing as hazel nuts? No, they're a subspecies of hazelnut. Thanks, Wikipedia! Cashews...even the lowly peanut is my friend.

Then they had a sort of deli tray thing with salami, Triscuits, and two types of cheese (cheddar and pepper jack). I made myself a couple of cracker sandwiches and chowed down. Maybe not the most high-class or pretentious of snacks, but man was I happy. Poor man's art gallery sandwiches, to fill the tummy against the barrage of wine it was about to endure. Speaking of which...

We journeyed on, in search of more art, and some wine! If Logsdon 1909 had any wine, it was tucked away somewhere I couldn't find it. There were snacks though: candy, nuts, and brownie bits. I'd had my fill of nuts at the previous space, so I abstained. But then, just as we were about to head out the door, I saw what I thought were lemon squares. I had one. Turns out they were cheesecake bits! I had another.

We still hadn't had any wine, so we moved on. Vespine is a pay-to-play space that I've never been able to figure out: the only barrier to showing there, from what I can discern, is forking over the cash to rent the space out...but then, why is the work there usually some of the best stuff in Pilsen? I don't get it. Also, they usually have really good snacks. And wine.

I say usually, because this time, not so much. Look at their website, you can rent either the front half or the back half, as either "basic" or "premium." "Premium" apparently includes wine and snacks, which are usually pretty good. I don't know that they're $150 good, though, so if it were me I'd probably go for "basic" and then take my Franklin-fifty to TJ's and load up on Two Buck Chuck, chips, and salsa. You can get a lot of Chuck and chips for $150. But I guess there's cups, too. Whatever.

Regardless, in this case it looks like the artists went for "basic" and then cut some corners with the snacks. Well, times are tough, I understand. You shell out your $450 for the front half or your $350 for the back half, and you don't have money left over to feed me and get me drunk. There were, to be fair, pretzel sticks, mints, and ginger snaps. I had a ginger snap just on principle. Oh, and I liked the work, too: mushrooms made out of apparently-handmade paper in the front gallery, and letterpress books of the three types of whales in Moby Dick (Folio Whales, Octavo Whales, and Duodecimo Whales). I guess you guys think making good art is more important that feeding me snacks...

Well, good art or no, I had grazing to do, so I moved on. The Chicago Art Department had wine (I chose red), plus cheese (Cheddar), crackers, and snack mix. I had a little bit of the snacks and enjoyed the wine while I looked at the work. The theme of the show was $200, which is what it costs per month to be a member of CAD, plus it was the price of each work in the show, plus each work was somehow about that. It was kind of interesting, and gave me something to look at while I finished my wine.

South Halsted gallery had box wine, but the setup was kind of off-putting; it looked like it hadn't been opened yet and some dude was standing back there. I probably should have just hit it up, since I remember talking to the gallery owner last time I was down there and he was really nice. So, I missed out on some (I think white) box wine, basically because I was shy. Oh well...

Some guy hollering on a street corner (okay, actually he politely addressed Steph and I individually, very nicely) told us about an apartment gallery he had work in, called Second Floor Gallery. We headed over there. Their "sign" consisted of a TV playing snow (oh there even snow anymore? So back before digital TV, when your TV wasn't getting a signal, it played this black-and-white static, and we called it "snow"), with the word "ART" over it in colored tape. It was pretty cool. Upstairs there were erotic photographs all over the walls (some of apparently gay men, others of apparently straight women), a DJ was playing, there were colored lights in the living room that made it nearly impossible to see the paintings in there, and there was punch! It reminded me of Linda Warren Gallery. The punch, I mean. I sat out on the back porch, talked to some girls from Indiana, and enjoyed my punch and a smoke.

Around the corner, on 18th street, we passed a place called "Anode," on our way to Rooms Productions. Anode had some cool paintings up, and a bottle of red wine on the counter! They had those big red party cups but I resisted the urge to top it off (which would have rudely killed the bottle). I spent some time looking at the work in there, but still had a good bit of wine in my cup as we braved the two blocks to the way, what's the deal with public drinking and art openings? Is there just an unspoken understanding that cops don't bust you on art opening nights for walking around with a cup of wine? Is some sort of profiling working to my advantage here (at someone else's disadvantage)? Are they being paid off? Whatever, it works for me. Just trying to understand the rules.

Okay, Rooms Productions. This is pretty much always the highlight of my evenings in Pilsen, both in terms of the work and in terms of snacks, and tonight was no exception. The show, Oracle 3, was awesome, I reviewed it.

But also, the snacks were classy: they had my good friend Charles Shaw there waiting for me, plus fruit, cheese, crackers, and nuts. The fruit consisted of pineapple, blackberries (which always remind me pleasantly of Northern California) and grapes which were unfortunately of the large and bland variety. The cheese was what really rocked, though. There was chevre, and brie, with freakin' honey under it! I swear, she had honey on the underside of the brie! That was awesome. I gorged myself on wine, nuts, and honeyed brie and crackers, and watched Oracle 3 for a while. Rooms, you kick ass. Seriously.

This is Jeriah, signing off. Good night, and remember: If you feed me, I will come.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Opening this weekend (11/13-11/15)

It's one of those days again. Friday the 13th, hmmm...I'm not one to be superstitious, and I've never actually had anything bad happen to me on the 13th, so lets just assume this is an auspicious sign. Oh, and I'd like to thank all of you that follow this blog, I enjoy doing it and I know people appreciate it. Appearently some people think that the process of following a blog is a complicated one, and think I've stopped doing the Gallery Crawl just because I don't send out emails anymore. I get asked all the time "Did you stop doing the Gallery Crawl?" It's rather frustrating. So, thank you for being tech-savvy, ya'll out there in TV land. This Friday I'm heading to Pilsen since I haven't been there in a while and I have to hit Rooms Gallery (it's on 18th, across from the gas station). See ya'll out there.

Friday –
Eastern Expansion - 244 W. 31st. S.S. Snack Attack, Stina Kaczmaryn and Rachel Hewitt. Reception 6pm.

Experimental Sound Studio – 5925 N. Ravenswood. Brett Ian Balogh: Chora. 11/13-12/13. Reception 6-9pm.

Hyde Park Art Center - 5020 S Cornell Ave . Cocktails & Clay. Reception 8pm-12am

Chicago Photography Center (CPC) - 3301 N Lincoln Ave. Means Without End: Artist Talk with Shannon Benine. Talk at 7pm.

Old Gold - 3102 W Palmer Blvd. Future Facing: Aline Cautis, Josh Mannis, Andy Roche. 11/13/09. Reception 7-10 pm

Fine Arts Building (FAB) Studios - 410 S. Michigan. Monthly Open Studios Night. 11/13/09. Reception 4:30-9:30 pm

Cornelia Arts Building - 1800 W. Cornelia. Weekend Open Studios: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday. Reception 6pm Fri.

Chicago Arts District - 1945 S. Halsted, Ste. 101. 2nd FRIDAYS Gallery Night. 11/13/09. Receptions 6-10 pm

Logsdon - 1909 S. Halsted. Mark Winter and Beth Borjarsky. 11/13/09-12/05/09. Reception 6-10 pm

ROOMS Gallery - 645 W 18th St. Todd & Marrakesh Frugia: ORACLE 3. Performance 8-10pm.

Studio 101 Gallery - 1932 S Halsted St, suite 101. Everything is Accessible, group show. Reception 6-10pm.

Vespine – 1907 S. Halsted. Respite, group show. 11/6-11/28. Reception 7-10pm.

Josef Glimer Gallery - 207 W. Superior St. Layers..., Mira Hermoni-Levine. 11/13/09-12/31/09. Reception 4-7 pm

Moka Gallery - 2112 W. Belmont Ave. Movement Equals Matter, Video Installation by Galina Shevchenko. 11/13/09-12/15/09. Reception 6-10 pm

Crazee Kandee - 119 S. Villa Ave. Villa Park. 2010 Featured Artists Preview, group show. 11/13-12/5.

Douglas Dawson Gallery - 400 N. Morgan. Photos for Rato Draftsang Monastery. 11/13/09-11/21/09 . Reception 5:30-7:30 pm

Kavi Gupta - 835 W Washington Blvd. Carola Ernst. Reception 6-9pm.

Mars Gallery - 1139 W. Fulton Market. Tipping Observation, New artwork by Syndy Ziegenfuss. 11/13/09-12/10/09. Reception 6-9 pm

David Leonardis Wicker Park - 1346 N. Paulina. The Postcard Diaries of Mark Mothersbaugh. 11/6-12/10. Reception 6-10pm

ThinkArt Salon - 1530 N. Paulina, suite F. War & Peace, Poetry reading: Emily Calvo & Stella Vinitchi Radulescu. 11/12/09-11/13/09. Reception 5-10 pm

Saturday –
Eel Space - 2846 W. North #1A. Geoffrey Hamerlinck. 11/14/09-12/06/09. Reception 5-8 pm

Garage Spaces - 1337 N Maplewood Ave. Den, curated by Mike Bancroft and Evan Plummer. 11/13-12/4. Reception 5-10pm.

Happy Collaborationist Exhibition Space - 1254 N. Noble. Scott Cowan and Paul Cowan. Reception 7-11pm.

Carlos & Dominguez Fine Arts - 1538 W. Cullerton. Pipelines and Borderlines Round 2. Closing Reception 6pm.

Art Dealers Association of Chicago - Starbucks at the corner of Chicago & Franklin. Saturday Gallery Tour: Roy Boyd Gallery, Carl Hammer Gallery, Perimeter Gallery and Habatat Galleries. Tour 11am-12:30pm.

Joel Oppenheimer - 410 N. Michigan. The New York Historical Society Edition of Audubon's Watercolors: The Complete Work. 11/14/09 – 1/2/10

Shane Campbell Gallery – 1421 W Chicago Ave. Alex Olson and Lisa Williamson. Reception 6-8pm.

Carrie Secrist Gallery - 835 W. Washington. Douglas C. Bloom and Liliana Porter. 11/14/09-01/09/10 Reception 4-7 pm

Spoke - 119 N Peoria St. GrayScales Workshop, two day workshop inspired by the work of Josef Albers and Kristin Mariani Frieman. $95. 1-5pm.

Western Exhibitions - 119 N Peoria St, Suite 2A. Artist Talk: Melissa Oresky. 11/14/2009. Reception 4-7 pm

Sunday –
Evanston Print & Paper Shop - 1125 Florence Ave. Artist Talk: Melissa Jay Craig. 11/15/2009. Reception 3-5 pm

Home Gallery - 1407 E. 54th Pl. Deedee Davis and Casey Roberts - Works and Collaborative Works. Closing Reception Brunch 12-3pm.

Burning Bush Gallery - 224 N. Main. Thanksgiving in America. Reception 1-3pm.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Opening this Weekend (11/6-11/8)


Friday (6th) –
Artists of East Bank Building - 1200 W 35th Street. Within the Body: An art opening and silent auction benefiting the Gender Just campaigns. 11/6/2009 Reception 6 pm

360SEE Gallery - 1924 N. Damen. Iron Pastoral: New mixed media paintings by Curtis Frillmann. 11/06/09-12/15/09 Reception 5-8 pm

Experimental Sound Studio - 5925 N. Ravenswood. "Reactor" and "Countdown": two sound installations by MW Burns. 11/9-12/9. Reception 6pm.

Elmhurst Artists Guild - 150 Cottage Hill, Elmhurst. The Big Communication Talk: Work by the artists of the Little City Center for the Arts. 10/24/09-12/03/09. Reception 7-9 pm.

International Museum of Surgical Science - 1524 N. Lake Shore Dr. Hidden Agenda: ARTiculating the Unspeakable, Installation by Carol Chase Bjerke & The Way of the Flesh "Appendage sculptures" by Masako Onodera made of materials including fiber, latex, and lacquered animal skin. 11/06/09-02/19/10. Reception 5-8 pm

College of Lake County, Wright Gallery - 19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake. CLC Art Faculty Exhibition: The College of Lake County's full-time and adjunct fine art faculty will present their works in this triennial exhibition. 11/06/09-12/13/09. Reception 7-9 pm

LAKEVIEW: Golden - 816 W. Newport #1. I Feel Better Already, or At Least I Think I Do: Paintings by Austin Eddy. 11/06/09-12/12/09. Reception 6-9 pm

Beverly Arts Center - 2417 W. 111th. Group Show: Work by finalists in the 33rd annual Beverly Art Competition and Exhibition. 11/06/09-12/28/09 Reception 7pm.

Roots & Culture - 1034 N. Milwaukee Ave. Ghosting: Works by Rob Doran and Ryan Fenchel. 11/06/09-12/06/09. Reception 6-9 pm

University of Illinois at Chicago African-American Cultural Center - Addams Hall, 830 S. Halsted #207. Integrity of the Human Spirit: Paintings and "abstract assemblages" by Patrica A. Stewart. 11/01/09-11/30/09. Reception 5-8 pm

Vespine Gallery - 1907 S Halsted St. Respite: Melissa Jay Craig. 11/06/09-11/28/09. Reception 5-8 pm

Fill in the Blank - 5038 N. Lincoln. Choose Your Own Adventure: Prints and paintings by Gretchen Huffman. 11/06/09-11/28/09. Reception 7-10 pm

Coalition - 2010 W. Pierce. Parallel Realities: work by Kathleen Letts, Lucy Mueller, and others. 11/06/09-11/28/09. Reception 5:30-8:30 pm

Addington - 704 N. Wells. Roadworthy: New paintings by Kevin Sonmor. 11/06/09-12/24/09. Reception 5-8 pm

Andrew Bae Gallery - 300 W Superior St. Conflict and Reaction: Photography by Gapchul Lee. 11/06/09-12/05/09 . Reception 5-8 pm

Byron Roche Gallery - 750 N. Franklin, Ste. 201. Group Show: Contemporary paintings with an emphasis on process and materials. 11/06/09-12/31/09. Reception 5-8 pm

Catherine Edelman - 300 W. Superior. Outside the Frame: Photographs and paintings by Gregory Scott. 11/06/09-01/02/10. Reception 5-7 pm

David Weinberg - 300 W. Superior #203. Infuse: Work by Eric Blum and Hunt Rettig. 11/06/09-01/02/10. Reception 5-8 pm.

Habatat - 222 W. Superior. Argento: Glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly.11/06/09-12/31/09. Reception 5-8 pm

Jean Albano Gallery - 215 W. Superior. Happy 80th Birthday JULES FEIFFER: Contemporary paintings, drawings, and constructions. 11/06/09-12/19/09. Reception 5:30-8:30 pm.

Judy Saslow - 300 W. Superior. Cephalic Symbols: A silent auction of human skulls sculpted by Mark Mlodoch and "enhanced" by more than 25 artists. 11/6/2009. Reception 5-8 pm

Ken Saunders Gallery - 230 W Superior St. Janisz Walentynowicz. Reception 6-8pm.

Marwen - 833 N. Orleans. Art Fair 09 Show & Fundraiser: Artwork by Marwen teaching artists, students, alumni & staff on display & for sale - including Marwen's 2009 Holiday Cards. 11/6/2009. Reception 6:30-10 pm

Melanee Cooper - 740 N. Franklin. Just Around the Block: Work by Julie Karabenick. 11/06/09-12/30/09. Reception 5-8 pm

Russell Bowman - 311 W. Superior #115. David Smith - Works on paper. 11/06/09-01/02/10. Reception 5:30-8 pm

Schneider Gallery - 230 W. Superior. Magic Realism: Jamie Baldridge and Sergio Fasola. 11/06/09-01/02/10. Reception 5-7:30 pm.

Vale Craft Gallery - 230 W. Superior. Jewelry Trunk Show: Michele A. Friedman. 11/05/09-11/08/09 . Reception 5-8 pm

Museum of Contemporary Art - 220 East Chicago Ave. First Fridays: "Reflection," Haptic and Lisa Slodki. 11/06/09-11/29/09. Reception 6-10 pm

Ukrainian National Museum - 2249 W. Superior. Pastels by Tatijana Jacenkiw. 11/06/09-11/29/09. Reception 7pm.

Spudnik Press - 1821 W. Hubbard, suite 308. Meat! Work by more than 20 artists exploring the theme "meat." 11/06/09-12/19/09. Reception 6-10 pm

Black Walnut - 220 N. Aberdeen. Pensive Voyage: Work by five abstract artists. 11/01/09-11/30/09 Reception 6-9 pm

G.R. N'Namdi - 110 N. Peoria. A Series of Delightful Misadventures: Paintings by Deborah Dancy. 11/06/09-12/18/09. Reception 6-9 pm

Galerie du Maroc - 344 N. Ogden Ave. Moroccan Roll: In the spirit of the Sister Cities program, enjoy an evening of appreciation of Moroccan Art, Music, Cuisine & Culture supporting aspiring Moroccan female small business owners. 11/6/2009. Reception 6:30-11:30 pm

Flatiron Arts Building - 1579 N Milwaukee Ave. Wicker Park/Bucktown First Friday: Over three dozen studios open to the public. Reception 6-10 pm.

Sapere Art - 1579 N. Milwaukee. Jon Neal Wallace: Paintings. 11/06/09-11/30/09. Reception 6-9 pm.

Saturday (7th) –
Monument 2 Gallery - 2007 N. Point. Deathparty: Inaugural art show with sculpture, drawings, video, photography, and installations by Zachary Dillon, Ryan Doherty, and others. 11/07/09-11/29/09. Reception 6-10 pm.

Evanston Art Center - 2603 Sheridan Rd. Informal Artist Demonstrations by Visual Artists from Beijing, China: A special delegation of Master Artists from China will demonstrate techniques such as ink washing, scroll painting, and paper folding. 11/7/2009. Reception 11 - 2 pm.

Golden Age - 1744 West 18th St. The Incredible Journey that is Consciousness: Alex Fuller & Gabe Usadel. Reception 7-11pm.

Art Dealers Association of Chicago - Meet inside the Starbucks at the corner of Chicago & Franklin. Saturday Gallery Tour: Judy A Saslow Gallery, Catherine Edelman Gallery, Melanee Cooper Gallery and Andrew Bae Gallery. 11am-12:30pm.

Nicole Gallery - 230 W Huron St. Routes to Roots - Members of Sapphire and Crystals speak about their group show. 10/17/09-12/5/09. Reception 2-4 pm

Museum of Contemporary Art - 220 E Chicago Ave. Coffee and Art: On Liam Gillick, Christine Atha speaks on Liam Gillick's work. 11/7/2009. Reception 10-11:30 am

Museum of Contemporary Art - 220 E Chicago Avenue. Anne Collod and Daria Martin in Conversation. 11/7/2009. Reception 2 pm

McCormick Gallery - 835 West Washington Blvd. USA: Works from the 1960s: Melville Price. 11/07/09-01/10/10. Reception 5-8 pm

Rowland Contemporary - 1118 West Fulton Market. Edra Soto. 11/07/09-11/30/09. Reception 6-8 pm.

Monique Meloche - 2154 W. Division. Sign of the Times: Photographs by Carrie Schneider. 11/07/09-01/09/10. Reception 4-7 pm.

Sunday (8th) –
Hyde Park Art Center - 5020 S Cornell Ave. Release party for "Artists Run Chicago" catalog. 11/8/2009. Reception 2-5 pm.

Smart Museum of Art - 5550 S. Greenwood Avenue. Smart Voices: Katherine Desjardins. Lecture at 2pm

Art on Armitage - 4125 W. Armitage. Cocoon: Work by Rose Camastro-Pritchett. 11/08/09-11/30/09. Reception 2-5 pm.

Suburban, The - 125 N. Harvey Avenue, Oak Park. DONELLE WOOLFORD: Performance and Exhibition. 11/8/09-1/17/10. Reception 2-4pm.

Old Town Art Center - 1763 N. North Park. Land and Sea: Watercolors and pastels by Maureen Carr, Reven Fellars, Cynthia John, Geri Kaye, and Nancy Pinzke. 11/07/09-12/03/09. Reception 2-5 pm

Bruce Thorn Studio - 4001 N Ravenswood Ave. Studio Exhibition: William Conger and Susan Michod. 11/8/2009. Reception 11-6 pm

Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art - 2320 W. Chicago. Andrij Kovalenko. 11/08/09-01/17/10. Reception 2-5 pm

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Snack Time Report: Friday, October 30, 2009

By the way, this week we're bats.

Steph and I went to the Chicago Photography Center to see the opening of our friend Shannon Benine's multi-media installation, "Means Without End." I was really impressed by the work; having heard about it for a while now as she was working on it, it was really great to see how it came together. Basically it's a big installation of tiled sheets of (analog, color) photo paper, which had been folded into paper Peace Cranes and then exposed to light, then unfolded. The result is that the paper remains black in much of its area but in some areas it's taken on a red or orange color. Individually they might look like kaleidoscope images or snowflakes or something; en masse they read as a sort of woven or tiled fabric. Their quantity represent the number of American servicemen killed in Afghanistan and Iraq since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom on March 19, 2003.

The prints formed a cave-like structure in the corner of the gallery, which viewers could enter. Inside was a directional speaker playing an audio track of, if I understand correctly, soldiers or Marines experiencing a mortar attack. Standing inside the structure, listening to that audio, and looking out through the translucent photograms was a powerful experience, a reminder that decisions about war are decisions about human lives.

Heavy stuff...but let's talk about snacks. This event was catered, and catered well. There was an open bar with a bartender serving wine and a selection of quality beer. I had a 312 to start with, and a bit later a Goose Island Harvest Ale. I was offered a glass but preferred the bottle (at a well-attended event, involving much shuffling about and bumping elbows, the bottle is less likely to spill). The bar also had nice dishes of mixed nuts.

There was also a large snack table which sort of wrapped around a convex corner of the gallery, which was a good choice since it prevented the crowd from obstructing the snacks. (A table in a concave corner can be rendered inaccessible by only a few snackers, or more often just people standing there oblivious of the fact that people might want snacks, but a pair of tables arranged like an L around a convex corner allows much greater access.)

There were mini pulled-pork sandwiches on dinner rolls; the meat was good and the sauce was sweet. There was a fondue pot full of hot cheese fondue, and a large tray of various items for dipping: bread, and cold cooked potatoes and vegetables. The bread was the easiest to dip, the bamboo skewers tended to fragment the potatoes. Fortunately there were tongs to retrieved the inevitable dropped fragments. This was only my second time having fondue, and it was fun and tasty.

Then there were some sort of quesadilla things, and salsa to put on them. These were probably my favorite item, I'm sure I ate quite a few. They were filled with a yellow cheese and some kind of meat (unless it was mushrooms?), and the tortillas had a pleasant soft-yet-crispy exterior. The salsa was a mild salsa fresca, which is how I like it.

Lasty, there were some odd cold skewers, which featured the unusual combination of peaches and sausage. I'm not a big fruit-and-meat-combo guy, but I gave 'em a fair day in court. The peaches had a taste that suggested they'd been soaked in something, but I couldn't figure out what; the sausage was good and unless I was hallucinating it had the anise seed flavor of good Italian sausage. Overall they were good but personally, I preferred the quesadillas.

The caterers were vigilant about keeping the table well-stocked, and were courteous and professional. They had a stack of business cards on the table so I picked one up; the company is AEL + Associates, INC, run by chef and president Andrew E. Lawrence. If you want to hire them, you can email him at They aren't paying me to plug them or anything but in the interest of full disclosure, they did give me two beers and some awesome snacks.

I usually like the keep the snack report pretty light, but writing this, I can't help but notice that there is something perversely decadent, sort of Roman Empire, about eating and drinking lavishly at the opening reception for a work of art memorializing our war dead. I don't want to script the take-away from this, but I noticed it and couldn't help but point it out. Make of it what you will. Regardless, get out there, see some art, get your drink on, and get yourself some snacks! Happy Halloween!