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stephanie_small1Stephanie S. Green, NBC Chicago Street Team

 

 

 

It was only because of the invitation from my best friend who was visiting from out-of-town that I went to Road to Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement 1956-1968 at the Field Museum.  It just kinda seemed old hat – I’ve studied civil rights and didn’t think I had anything to gain from the exhibit, so it wasn’t really on my radar.  But, as I viewed the exhibit and rounded the corner from the first wall, I found myself frozen in place and time, and in tears.

The Road to Freedom is the largest exhibit of civil rights photos and memorabilia that has been assembled in twenty years.  As soon as I entered the space, I was struck by the solemn and reverent air, an ambiance created by low lights, deep blue paint, the continual looping narrative of a video tape about the civil rights area and, of course, the photographs. The solemnity was so profound that people spoke in hushed tones and there was the occasional “shhhhhhhhh” directed toward children.

Alone . . .

Alone . . .

While the civil rights era is not a new subject for me,  nor for most of us, the images were compelling.  I was struck by the youth of the people photographed, unknowns as well as Jesse Jackson, Julian Bond, John Lewis and, of course, Dr. King.  But, my breakdown occurred when I reached the photos of the desegregation of Little Rock Central High. Young Elizabeth Eckford did not get the message that the date for the African American students to start school had been pushed back by one day. So, this fifteen-year-old girl arrived alone and was the target of unimaginable venom. Even as I look at the picture today, I get chills as I think of the strength it must have taken for her to keep moving.

The exhibit gave a clear sense of the commitment people had to this movement that lasted not days, weeks or months, but years. Years to attain basic civil rights. Years.  Commitment.  Personal danger.

As I moved further through the exhibit, I was captivated by photos of people on the sidelines. African-Americans cheering on the protesters – both Black and White.  Whites glaring as protesters passed in front of their homes.

I remember after Roots aired, a popular Black male comedian joked with great braggadocio about what he would have done to massa if he were Kunta Kinte.  The Road to Freedom made me wonder: what would I have done if I were alive then? Would I have been on the front line or would I have been on the sidelines cheering the protestors on or would I have been too scared to participate in any way whatsoever.  I then asked myself – is what I’m doing now reflective of what I would have done then? What about you? Are you a participant or a spectator? Are you committed to a cause? Passionate about it?

I urge you to visit the Road to Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement 1956-1968, and take your children or a child in your life and ponder these questions.  It is a powerful reminder of changes that can be made with sacrifice and commitment.  The exhibit ends on September 7th.

Stephanie!
Looking for more To-Do?  Visit www.so-LAZE.com!

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Eric Smith, NBC Chicago Street Team

On location at the Millennium Hotel, Thursday August 6.

So what brings you to the Windy City?
What brings me to the city is that I’m promoting my new album called “Imperial Blaze”…comes out August 18th.

I see you’ve sold over 10 millions records. Let’s talk about that journey and how you got started from there to Imperial Blaze.

In Stores August 18th.

In Stores August 18th.

For sure…my career started with me just lovin’ music. A friend of mine got into music at the end of high school and it came to pass that I got introduced to studios and people started to like the voice and like the flow. Like the first thing was being on a big stage in Jamaica called “Sting” back in 1998, it featured people like Busta Rhymes from the hip hop world. After that I was able to do a song with DMX who was one of the biggest artists in Jamaica at that time. Then there was a song called “Here Comes The Boom” from the movie “Belly” that Hype Williams produced and what not. And then the song “Deport Dem” really got big in New York City and got a lot of play.

And then about a year after that in 2001 my second album was coming out “Dutty Rock” was comin’ out. The song called “Gimme the Light” got a very big spread. Since I’ve had a couple of songs rank as high as #1 on the Billboard Charts such as “Get Busy”, “Temperature”, a song featuring myself and Beyonce which is a song called “Baby Boy”. A song with Keyshia Cole went to #3 on the BillBoard charts, a song called “Like Glue” went to #7…”I’m still in Love” featuring Sasha went to number 12. So we have a lot of repertoire coming up to this day, man. And those are all different steps, help me to pave the way to be sittin’ here in front of you, ya know what I mean…tellin’ my story of what’s up next in Imperial Blaze.

Now I got started producing festivals with Super Cat. The first time I heard you I was like, “That’s Super Cat!” And they were like…no, no that’s Sean Paul.
The Superdor, Superdor he’s still the Super. Cause you know, he’s my pops in the business! He helped pave the way…I got to give respect to him.

Let’s talk about “So Fine” which is the rockin’ new single out now. Talk about that single and when you know a song is hot and going to blow up.

Well I mean…I try and put feeling into my songs, to my artwork. Feeling is what artwork is about…I think it is about that feeling deep down in your and soul channeling it and bringing it to the rest of world. In “So Fine”, I loved the melody, I loved the chords that was being played in the riddim, so it just took off from there… it’s a club banger cause da riddim is so hot.

So you got any upcoming shows in Chicago?
I’m gonna be here tonight and tomorrow night, so I’m probably just going to go into to clubs and sing and DJ a couple verses, couple line to let people know what’s up. However you can stay in touch with me on allseanpaul.com. It got blogs about reggae and dancehall. It’s got what I been doing lately on it, shows. It’s got a tour schedule dat should be printed up, probably by November this year. People can order my album out August 18th or pre-order it to. Also, like every now and then there’s competitions that run on the site. Like I had an “Ultimate Fan” competition running for about 3 to 4 weeks now, which just ended like this week. So I designed two chains…white gold and diamonds then I gave it to two of my favorite fans who won. Things like that gone happening every now and then on the site.

And one last thing…Sean Paul is it Henriques…? You have a Latin back ground…?
So I got a lot of different blood in me from Black, Portuguese, White from England and Chinese. My father’s family has Portuguese and Black blood. My Chinese and England bloodline comes from my mother’s family.

Well you know, me and my peeps are considering putting together another festival “Metropolatino” and you know we are interested in having you headline to get that moving.

For sure I got that blood there so let’s do it…you can’t keep me out!

Download the audio to hear the entire the Sean Paul “Imperial Blaze” interview!

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stephanie_small1Stephanie S. Green, NBC Chicago Street Team

Father’s Day is right around the corner and this year, try something different with the father figure in your life.  How about getting him to try something old, something new, something borrowed or something blue?
 
Something Old:   Real Men Cook” is a time-honored Chicago Father’s Day tradition, and this year, it’s more impressive than ever!  On Sunday, June 21, Real Men Cook moves to an expansive (and technologically and architecturally impressive) venue – Kennedy King College.  The Washburne Culinary Institute provides fantastic cooking facilities and there are ample grounds to allow fathers, foodies and more to spread out at this indoor/outdoor To-Do.  You’ll be amazed by the wonderful variety of food, prepared with love, that you’ll be able to savor!
 
Health and Wellness is an important component at Real Men Cook and at events leading up to the main event.  On Saturday, you can join Real Men Cook’s Father’s Day Wellness Weekend Walk & Health Experience and start your morning off right at the beautiful 63rd Street Beach!
 
Just the Two of Us - Al Hawkins

Just the Two of Us - Al Hawkins

Something New:   How about an new exhibit at one of many art galleries on the South Side?  Yes – many!  On Thursday, June 18, check out eta’s opening reception for “Through My Eyes,” an art exhibition by Al Hawkins, before taking in the play Pill Hill, opening this week at eta.  Or, at Gallery Guichard, both the novice and experienced collector would enjoy the Collector’s Champagne Preview.   On Friday, June 19, the Bronzeville Art District Third Friday Trolley Tour resumes just in time for this Father Day weekend.  Hop on board and enjoy the ride as you meander through opening receptions at FaiE African Art, Gallery Guichard and South Side Community Art Center. 

Something Borrowed:  Pappa’s gonna be livin’ on borrowed time if he doesn’t take care of himself!  So, on Saturday, June 20, get him (or yourself!) on over to the the Thapelo Institute’s Health & Fitness Experience for African and African American Men.  With a variety of programs offered during a seven hour period – learning opportunities are abundant!  The Thapelo Institute is a taking a holistic approach to dealing with the health issues of African and African-American men.  Free testing for a variety of common issues will be available, and you’ll also find workshops that address body, mind and spirit.  And – it’s Free!
 
Something Blu(e):  So, its Thursday evening, you’ve spent a couple of hours at the Collector’s Champagne Preview, you’ve enjoyed some wine and hors d’ouevres and now you want a little more.  Well, plan ahead and make reservations for dinner at Blu 47 and enjoy a one-set performance by Yaw at Illuminata – A Father’s Day Celebration. If you’ve been to the Events by Eve Summer Breeze Jazz Concert Series, you know that you can expect a mature set of predominately African-Americans, who dress appropriately without being told!  Come in your favorite jeans or come in some sparkles and feel completely comfortable either way!  If that’s not enough blue for you, douse yourself in cool, blue vibe and and energetic sounds at the Close Up 2 Indoor Smooth Jazz Festival.  From Thursday, June 18 through Saturday, June 20, enjoy live entertainment by Detour JazFunk, Corey Wilkes, Marqueal Jordan Project – and more.

Still want a little more To-Do?  Visit www.so-LAZE.com for tons of options!

 
Happy Father’s Day!
Stephanie!

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rebecca_1Rebecca Taras, NBC Chicago Street Team

 

Arturo Gomez and Megan Klehr (Photo by Tyler Curtis)

Arturo Gomez and Megan Klehr (Photo by Tyler Curtis)

It’s not every day that you run into billionaire Kenneth Griffin (#97 on Forbes 2008 list of the 400 richest Americans) but he was one of  many donors, art enthusiasts and collectors who attended the sold out Young Modern event last Friday. More than 1,200 guests attended the late night celebration which was part of the Art Institute of Chicago’s two-week festivities surrounding the opening of the new Modern Wing.

Mother and son duo Margo and Jason Pritzker co-chaired the event which included much more than gallery hopping and cocktail sipping.  Those appreciating the art of fashion enjoyed a show featuring local designers Marisa Swystun and Michelle Barone. Music was also a large component and included celebrity DJ’s Tommie Sunshine, Dark Wave Disco and DJ LoPro, with additional performances by Deep Blue Fields, Goran Ivanovic Group, Kalyan Pathak and Jazz Mata. Performance art by Industry of the Ordinary, and Igor Josifov took place in various galleries in the Modern Wing. Famed music and video director Vincent Haycock of Debonair Social Club transformed a portion of the space into a club-like atmosphere complete with multiple bars, lounge furniture and yes – servers holding out pizza boxes offering up slices of sustenance.

Nate Berkus and Friends (Photo by Tyler Curtis)

Nate Berkus and Friends (Photo by Tyler Curtis)

The event in itself was a work of art and could not have been executed without some of the city’s young executives, artists, entrepreneurs and nightlife impresarios. The Art Institute assembled a host committee which included Toni Canada, Glenn Eden, Claudia Gassel, Roxy Goebel, Arturo Gomez, Ted Haffner, PJ Huizenga, Brook Jay, James Kao, Sam Peter, Eric Sheinkop, Marisa Swystun, Stephen Tourell, Patrick Wood and Alex Zamiar. Sponsors of the event included Deloitte LLP, NAVTEQ, FIJI Water, PricewaterhouseCoopers, POM Wonderful and Grey Goose.

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JenChicago, NBC5 Street Team

I’m always looking for cool, new, fun things to do… It’s kind of my shtick. So when I heard that on the first Friday of every month, the MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) hosts a happy hour party, featuring a hip local artist, I knew I had to peep the scene. And I am so glad I did! I had some great chats, ate some killer brownies and even made a Valentine card for my love… Chicago.

Curtis Mann, is the artist of the month and I just loved that guy. What a cool and interesting dude! He started out as an engineer of some kind (not a details girl) and now… he’s an artist. You gotta hear about how he creates his art (hint: Clorox bleach) and THEN you gotta go check it out for yourself!

MCA has their happy hour First Friday every month, and one of the things I really like about the party, is that it gives people a chance to meet a TON of new people (I mean a TON) and have something “real” to talk about. Art is a beautiful thing. And it works magic on the brain. Kinda puts you in the mood to love… and maybe not always romantic love… but love, just the same.

For more artistic videos, check out JenChicago.com!
Find me on Facebook! (Search: JenChicago)

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Janelle Rominski, NBC Chicago Street Team

Kat Von D, the star tattoo artist featured on TLC’s Miami Ink and now LA Ink was in town at the Schaumburg Borders bookstore last night. She is on tour promoting her latest creation – her book, High Voltage Tattoo. Hannah from LA Ink was there as well.

katvondAs a big fan of art, tattoos and rock music, I knew had to stop by Kat’s book signing.

High Voltage Tattoo takes you though a journey of Kat’s life and love for tattooing and rock ‘n roll.

Kat is currently dating Nikki Sixx, the guitarist of Motley Crue, who wrote the foreword in the book.

The book is filled with stunning visual design and tons of pictures followed by descriptive wording. My favorite part of the book is her very own ‘Tattoo Directory’ which explains the reasoning behind each of her tattoos. Kat has a tattoo inside her lip that says “Truth” which is a reminder to her to keep her words honest.

High Voltage Tattoo is also the name of Kat Von D’s tattoo shop that is seen on LA Ink. The book features a plethora of photos of Kat’s work. She has tattooed many well-known people including Lady GaGa, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Nikki Sixx, etc.

The book is available at Borders bookstores and online.  You may browse a few pages of the book and buy it here.  It retails for $29.95.


Want more Rominski reads? Read more right HERE!

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JenChicago, NBC5 Street Team

Music, Art, Food and Drinks!
Friday, February 6. 6-10pm. $7-$15.

Looking for something artsy and happy-hourish all on the same night? The MCA hosts First Fridays monthly and features an up-and-coming Chicago artist. Tickets include free Wolfgang Puck appetizers, live music from local DJs, the world’s only iMac G5 digital dating bar, creation stations and a cash bar. Get cultured and have a great time kicking off the weekend! Order your tickets online for a discount. Guests must be 21 or older to enter.

Though the cash bar closes at 9:30, the party keeps going as you and all of your new artsy friends head out to the MCA’s after-parties at a Chicago hotspot. The museum is a great place to meet new and old friends alike. Being surrounded by art, food, music and drinks can only help conversations and ensure that everyone has a great time! Buy your tickets in advance to get VIP admission.

We’ll be shooting a video of MCA’s First Friday, so be sure to drop in, say “hi” and check out some art!

Museum of Contemporary Arts
220 East Chicago Avenue
Magnificent Mile
312.397.4010

Keep up with JenChicago events and videos on Facebook!

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Fayth a.k.a. Relaxocat, NBC5 Street Team

Somewhere around 500 B.C. the ancient artisans of Athens created vases and other vessels known as  Red-figure pottery.  These pieces of fine pottery and the method used to create them are considered by art historians as some of the most important examples of early art based on both technique and figure depiction.   Here in Chicago 2008, the work of Nicholas Freeman (a rather modern man) presents us with the visual qualities of this technique, but with updated representations and symbolism.

peacockvase72

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…using Greek mythology as the base of western storytelling, the paintings use the moral root of particular myths and draw parallels between them and contemporary social and political practices.  The work calls attention to the perpetuation of symbolist imagery and societal behavior throughout the history of western thought. – Nicholas Freeman

vases72

Photo courtesy of Karen Hoyt

These works are simply beautiful and bear a resemblance to pieces that one might find in a museum’s collection of ancient Greek art.  They have the appeal of finding treasure from an archeological expedition – fragile, meaningful, and mysterious.  If you have an appreciation for fine art and the delicate techniques used to create symbolic imagery and fine pottery, visit the Finch Gallery for the opening receptions on Friday and Saturday of this elaborate collection of vases.  Nicholas will be there to better explain the techniques used and the images he chose.  The process is really quite elaborate and definitely worth learning about, not to mention the work itself being truly amazing.  And if you’re in the neighborhood at the Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival, you have no excuse not to come because the gallery is right around the corner!

  • Opening receptions for the work of Nicholas Freeman
  • Friday and Saturday, November 21-22 from 7-10 p.m.
  • The Finch Gallery – 2747 W. Armitage

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SOFA Relaxation!

Amanda Hunt, NBC5 Street Team

On Thursday, November 6th, I, together with fellow Street Teamer Shlomi Rabi, had the pleasure of being among the first to preview the unique treasures at SOFA Chicago, 2008 at Navy Pier. The party drew some of Chicago’s most creative and influential minds, who came to see some of the most innovative work right now done anywhere in Chicago in three-dimensional arts. Just think of it as reason number 1,239,449 to love Chicago.

Check out the video below to get a glimpse of the SOFA Chicago experience.

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Fayth a.k.a. Relaxocat, NBC5 Street Team

Direct from Belgium and just in time for SOFA, Dupe Design showcase their modern, sculptural lighting for the first time in the U.S., hosted by gallery owner Jim Licka at the opening of the Volcan Gallery tomorrow night.

Dupe in Belgium

Dupe in Belgium

Crafted of blown, fused glass and metal, these stunning designs are fresh, fanciful, and definitely eye-catching, providing bright or subtle lighting that creates a warm, welcoming environment.  The collection includes innovative, organic forms in varied styles that suspend high like chandeliers or go from ceiling to floor at 8 feet in length.  In fact, the piece that I like the best nearly hits the floor.

Dupe Design (short for the name of the family of designers, the Duportails) have been creating specialized sculptural lighting since 1996 with their work primarily available to European interior design firms and installed for use in commercial settings such as restaurants, clubs, corporations, and galleries.  The arrival of Dupe to the U.S. is exciting because these pieces can now be acquired here for your home or your business at reasonable prices for one-of-kind, custom made functional art.  Design consultant and member of the Duportail family, Kevin Delandtsheer just arrived this week and will be on hand to answer your questions and explain how these intricate pieces are designed, crafted, and installed.
volcan-gallery-opening1The timing is perfect for those of you who will be attending the SOFA show (see Shlomi’s post here) because the gallery opening is Saturday night after SOFA closes for the day.  You’ll also be treated to artwork by emerging artist Emily Appenzeller who created the artwork for the gallery’s opening shown at left, and live music from local bands, including Jim Licka himself playing the unusual instrument known as the mellotron.

Saturday, November 8th at 7 p.m.
Volcan Gallery – 1917 W. Irving Park Rd.

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Laura Lodewyck, NBC5 Street Team

Shed your saintly skin and indulge in some decadence as you celebrate A Night of 7 Deadly Sins this Saturday at 10:00 pm.

 For one night, the fabulous John Fluevog shoe store (1539 N. Milwaukee) will be transformed into Dante’s Inferno, with 7 stations of sin. Everyone is encouraged to come dressed as their “favorite sin”.  In addition to a surprise guest DJ, highlights of the night will include a lusty 7-Minutes in Heaven Auction, featuring local actress/hottie Nilsa Reyna, as well as performances by Johnny Rivers & The Ripettes Burlesque Review. Prizes will be awarded for the winners of the costume (pride?) and pizza eating (gluttony?) contests.

The first 100 reservations receive a gift certificate to AKIRA, so email dramaqueen_2281@hotmail.com

  ASAP! Dress in costume for a discounted ticket rate of $20, or come-as-you-are with a $30 ticket that includes decadent food, sinful beverages, contests, auctions, and plenty of entertainment. Visit the event website at going.com/7deadlysins.
All proceeds will benefit Chicago Fusion Theatre as they celebrate the closing night of their production of bobrauschenbergamerica, which has been hailed by critics as “…satisfyingly bizarre and frenetically entertaining… a ninety-minute whirlwind of love, loss, sex and art…” The cast of the show will make an appearance, and the evening also includes a local artists’ silent auction featuring interpretations of the late Robert Rauschenberg’s work.

If you’ve got any suggestions for weird and wonderful events that you shouldn’t miss this weekend, write me at llodewyck@nudehippo.com. Be sure to type “Lodewyck” into the Search bar in the upper right hand corner to see my previous blogs, and to watch my segments with Nude Hippo.

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Fayth aka Relaxocat, NBC5 Street Team

Last week, I happened to meet Nicholas Freeman, Executive Director of the Finch Gallery. The conversation didn’t begin with talk of art or his gallery, but rather friends, L.A., and some clubs. Later, it came up that his gallery has an opening this week. What came of that chat was my introduction to the photographer, Karen Hoyt, and now I’m pleased to introduce her to you.

Some cultures believe that a photograph captures one’s “spirit”, thus some believers do not allow photos to be taken of them. Others believe that the best photographers have the ability to capture a subject’s spirit in a meaningful, insightful way. It is the photographer’s eye and sensitivity that best captures those images. Karen Hoyt definitely possesses the qualities of both vision and sensitivity and you can see that in the images she produces. On Sept. 19-20 the Finch Gallery will be hosting opening receptions for “Presidents of the United States”, a photographic exhibit of Karen Hoyt’s photographic work.

This body of work has been captured on film, not digitally, which is quickly becoming a lost art. The portraits are photographed candidly in the city, depicting urban African Americans in urban life. Also, Karen’s show is accompanied by a catalogue//book of the same title, and co-authored with John Gossage, a renowned photographer known for his books and photographs on urban environments.

Karen Hoyt’s work will be on display from Sept. 19th to October 25th, with opening receptions this Friday and Saturday from 6-11 p.m. Join me there on Friday, or see the work at your own leisure, but definitely see it.

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Fayth aka Relaxocat, NBC5 Street Team

Candelabras bring to the imagination a vision of Beethoven playing the Moonlight Sonata on a grand piano with a candelabra on top, or a roam through a big castle with a candelabra’s flickering candles lighting the way.  Maybe I’ve watched too many movies?  Candelabras provide the warm light of many flames burning together, enhancing a mood or environment.  I say all that, but I don’t yet have one, though that may change soon.

This Friday the work of artist, Joseph Ivacic, will go on display at Haus in Andersonville.  Joseph’s chosen medium is glass and this particular display entitled, “Things Left Behind”, presents us with beautiful glass candelabras.  His candelabras are intricate yet simple, delicate yet substantial. They evoke a feeling of the Renaissance period though they are modern in a way that can enhance any room.  I might need to have one and you might too!

As a conceptual artist, my work reflects my interest in nature, current events, relationships and the human condition.

Haus specializes in the integration of art and design for the home by providing handmade, unique, and limited production furntiure and home accessories.

Each piece we select reflects the sensibilities of modern design and the timelessness of traditional craft.

There will be an opening reception with refreshments on Friday, September 19th from 7-10 p.m. and the work will remain at Haus throughout September and Octoer.

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Fayth aka Relaxocat, NBC5 Street Team

Maybe you’ve seen it in passing, near your office, or in your neighborhood? It’s a huge red ball and it is also artist, Kurt Pershcke’s, Big Red Ball Project moving around this month throughout Chicago. If you haven’t seen this moving art project yet, there’s still time and a number of locations to have a look and even a nudge.

The Red Ball is exactly that, but it stands 15 feet high, has a weight of 250 pounds, and is constructed of inflated vinyl. Not your average red ball.  It has been moved around within a number of cities in a number of countries, and in September it has been making guest appearances at locations around this city.  Among some of the previous locations are Millennium Park, the Spertus Institute, and the Grant Park underpass.  The next stop is Union Station at Jackson on Sept. 17th with other locations until the end of the month.  My friend and I (thanks for the photo, Paula!) visited the Red Ball at LaSalle and Wacker, but unfortunately I couldn’t nudge it since it was wedged up against the top of the bridge.

It’s interesting to see the Red Ball, not only for the ball itself, but the people looking at it from the street, in cars, going by on boats, on bikes, etc.  If you stop and watch, you’ll see all sorts of facial expressions and remarks in passing.  It makes for fun people watching and interactive art.  I happened to overhear someone who thought it was a Target ad.  It is not, but Target and the Dept. of Cultural Affairs sponsored the project in Chicago which provided funding for the associated costs of having a moving art installation.  But the Red Ball has had quite a lot of traveling experience before Target’s involvement.  A nice touch to the project is a clever little “flip book” that you might be able to pick up from one of the project’s team members.  Local actor, host of Improv Match Game, and Red Ball Team member, Rich Prouty, gave me mine and hung-out for a photo!

For a schedule of Red Ball locations and more information, visit Red Ball Project: Chicago

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Laura Lodewyck, NBC5 Street Team

Ok, Shameless self-promotion time! This weekend, Chicago Fusion Theatre presents bobrauschenbergamerica, a fitting tribute to the profoundly influential visual artist Robert “Bob” Rauschenberg, who passed away this May. Written by Charles Mee (Big Love), the production is presented as a wild collage of characters and stories: where a life-size martini meets chicken jokes; a tongue-in-cheek performance art piece mixes opera and underwear; and the action could be interrupted at any time by either an assassination or a line dance. As Rauschenberg once famously quipped, “If it wasn’t a surprise at first, by the time I got through with it, it was.”

Directed by Court Theatre Artistic Associate Jack Tamburri, Chicago Fusion Theatre’s production is inspired by Rauschenberg’s vibrant aesthetic and boundless generosity. Much like Rauschenberg’s famous “combines”, which incorporated everything from paint and photographs to busted tires and taxidermied animals, this play mixes the mundane and the sublime in a daring exploration of the American experience. It is a love letter to audiences, artists, and America.

Come see ME! in this weird, wild show through September 28 (Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm, and Sundays at 7:00 pm). Call the Gorilla Tango Theatre Box Office at 773-598-4549, or visit Gorilla Tango online at www.gorillatango.com.

Type “Lodewyck” into the Search bar to check out my past blogs and pieces with Nude Hippo. Email me at llodewyck@nudehippo.com.

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Natalia Avilez, NBC5 Street Team

What more could you want out of life? I probably could mention a couple of other things. For $15, admission included ($10 for advance tickets), The Museum of Contemporary Art is offering you the chance to celebrate the First Friday of the month.

If you are looking for a night out where you can experience culture, conversation, and drinks, not to mention free Wolfgang puck appetizers, come out to the MCA. You will also have the opportunity to preview an up-and-coming Chicago artist in the museum’s latest UBS 12 x 12: New Artists/New Work exhibition, listen to live music, or just enjoy happy hour till 10:00 p.m. The MCA is located at 220 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the cash bar stays open till 9:30 p.m.

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Glenn Murray, NBC5 Street Team

Innovative artist Rashawn Taylor’s first introduction into abstract impressions was the 3rd grade.  He couldn’t draw, so his teacher taught him how to mix colors with crayons.  He soon became a master of abstract art.  By the time Rashawn reached High School, people in the professional area began to take notice of him.  He received the coveted “Chicago Tribune Achievement Award” and went on to become one of the prestigious inductees to the Chicago Tribune’s “Hire the Future” program.

He does with digital what some people do with paint.  Digital art colors are the hardest colors to work with because they can become muddy.  However, Rashawn has devised a way to use multiple colors to make his art pop and with its high resolution, give his art the ultimate vibrancy.  According to Rashawn, “Art should be living and breathing, if you can focus on that one red dot you can branch out from there; the possibilities are endless.

View more www.kreationsart.com/Rashawn%20Taylor.htm

See Rashawn Taylor’s work live at the Authors and Artists Kickoff Reception Friday Sept 19th at the Ven Sherrod Image Gallery 1908 S. Halsted

 For more Information on the exhibition:

http://artreception.eventbrite.com

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 After a decade of being a must have item in your home or office, Lora Fosberg has put together a one of a kind collection.                                                

“The End of the Beginning” is a work of art… literally!  This is not your normal novel of romance, scandals and mysteries although with a vivid imagination anything is possible.

                                                               Lora Fosberg

Dressed in all black, surrounded by fans and friends on dramatic black leather booths with spotlights directly on the anticipated 9X12 masterpiece, this was no doubt Fosberg’s beginning to a night of memories.  Before the interview I took an opportunity to glance the pages as if I was strolling a galleria and each page turned, art became more alive.  It has solace, laughter and sensuality which are all characters of her bubbly personality.


Then log onto www.lorafosberg.com to see this eco-friendly collection.  Also, a quick shout to “SPYBAR” for holding the book-signing.  Classy, Sophisticated and Elite! Great spot for mingling, after work drinks, private parties or to be around A Lister’s in Chicago!

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Fayth aka Relaxocat, NBC5 Street Team

I don’t really care for the color pink and I’m not mushy.  On the other hand, I love interactive art installations and unique things that make you say, “Wow, that was really cool and now I’m all happy!”  So with no further adieu, let me introduce you to “Pink: A (Love) Courier Service”.

Love on the line...

Love on the line...

In July I found out about some great people that come from Austin, Texas.  One of them is the Street Team’s new blogger, Desiree.  The other people are artists, poets, and performers that comprise “Pink: A (Love) Courier Service”.  What is it?  Don’t  think about cheesy flowers or cards, neither of which can convey your message.  “Pink” is the most unique interactive art (and cycling) project to arrive in Chicago in some time.  And time is limited because Pink is only around until August 15th.  You absolutely must go because it’ll brighten your day and the day of someone you “Pink”.  It’s a courier service delivering your love notes in a bottle.  This is not a business so really they do this out of love for their project.  They don’t define love for you; no cliche’ cards, no “hearts and flowers” or things that will taint your experience.  The experience is one that is not only fun, it is strangely simple and it’s almost confusing (except for typing on a manual typewriter, which was actually cool).  Who needs email and text messages for love notes anyway?

Click here to see a slideshow of the Pink experience.  A couple of my friends “pinked” people and one of them loved it so much she became a volunteer courier, code name “Cicada”.  Show up at the “Love Factory”, housed in Wicker Park.  A white room with pink accents and furniture, but NOT girlie or overdone.  It’s bright, simple, and inviting.  You are gleefully greeted – “Welcome to Pink! Are you familiar with our service?”,  follow the pink dotted line, then take time to decide what to type – yes, that’s “type” as in typewriters, not computer keyboards – onto your pink piece of paper.  If you need help or guidance, ring the bell on the desk and they’ll help you out, point you toward books of poetry for inspiration or maybe tell you something funny to make you relax.  They seem to know that the simplicity is disorienting for some.  Once you’re done, make your donation in the jar on the table (this is a non-profit project so don’t be a cheapskate because someone is after all delivering your love), and send your note down the line – don’t forget to shout, “Love on the line!!” – everyone else will too, so do it because it’s exhilarating.  Sometime thereafter your message is bottled and delivered by a pink clad volunteer bicycle courier to anyone you want to send some love to within the city limits.  Pick up some “Pink” gear – big bottles of massage oil look appealing especially if you consider how happy your love note recipient is going to be.  If you’re a guy and think that this is a “chick” thing, you’re wrong.  I hung out there for nearly an hour and only saw guys sending notes.

“Pink” is the project of Jaclyn Pryor aka Heffi McHefferson who began “Pink” back in Austin where 2,007 people sent notes.  The project then rode off to Portland, becoming “Pink On Tour”, landing here on July 26th.  Don’t walk in there like I did and say, “I’m looking for Jaclyn.” because everyone who volunteers there goes by a code name, hence everyone in the room will say, “There’s no Jaclyn here!”.  I thought, “Ok,  I’m Relaxocat!”.  Remember, though this is a service, it’s also performance art.  I was relieved to hear from Heffi that she wasn’t a fan of the color pink either. She told me she chose it for many reasons, but the project had her “reprogram” how she felt about it.  She was right, the project changed my vibe about the color too.  Are you wondering how it’s art?  You have to interact with the project to understand, but in simpler terms you can also elect to allow your note to be printed in an upcoming book that they will soon have published.  Heffi, Nancy, Prince Pony or anyone in the factory will chat you up if you want to find out more.

  • What: Pink: A (Love) Courier
  • Where: 2215 W. North Ave. (click here for a map)
  • When: Until August 15th – Wed-Sun, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Cost: Free, but please donate to support the project
  • More info: Pink and Pink In Chicago

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Shlomi Rabi, NBC5 Street Team

While the country is concerned with the war in Iraquistan, the economic regression, the President’s lifting of the ban on offshore grilling, and Miss USA‘s impressively consistent record of flashing her samosa, people are losing sight of the truly important issue facing us this summer: How to make me happy. While I know that it may seem like I have it all–from mink lashes to pearly white dentures–I am just human too, and like most humans I am craving the most basic and natural thing, the one thing that people of all ages (especially 28-35), sizes (especially S-M), genders (especially Male), and body types (especially Athletic-Lean) crave and want and desire: to spend more time with me.

So in an effort to treat myself to a wonderful evening with myself, I decided to take myself out to one place that I knew would make me happy: a mirror store. But it was closed. So off I went to the next best thing: The Art Institute’s Evening Associates shingding-dong at the John Hancock Tower. It was a fantastic opportunity to see what the best of Chicago’s galleries (especially those located outside of River North and even Pilsen) have to offer for this summer: The Post-War works on paper and sculpture at Valerie Carberry, the latest round of Alex Katz at Richard Gray, and the Modern and Contemporary pieces at KN Gallery. While all galleries were united by the one thing that would have made them that much better: paintings of me, the exhibits were thoroughly enjoyable. Following the reception, the fiesta moved to the Signature Room, where a delicious (if carb-laden) gourmet hors-d’oeuvres buffet awaited attendees. Alongside the silent auction of couture dresses and designer handbags, I got to enjoy the variety of non-me’s all around me, and, of course–the fireworks. The best part of the night? When the windows’s tinted surfaces turned reflective and showed me the one thing that I know can always make me happy: me.

For more me, me, me, be sure to go HERE and read all about my musings about how difficult it is to be me. Don’t feel bad for me, though, the effort is totally worth it.

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Shreyas Shah, NBC5 Street Team

If you love the fusion of art and music, then I hope you can make it down to The Victor Hotel this Friday for Project Art 2.0.

The night will feature live painting performances by a talented selection of Chicago’s up-and-coming visual artists, Peabe, Revise, CMW, Blutt, and Joey Potts. Guests will witness cutting-edge art created in real-time before their eyes while enjoying energetic DJ sets by selectors Spre and Rahaan and an open gallery of art throughout the venue.

Following the success of the Project Art series launch party at Avenue M (attended by Alicia Keys, Patrick Dempsey and luminaries from Chicago’s art community), Project Art has quickly become an established gathering hub for artists, cultural enthusiasts, and music lovers of all backgrounds to unify and interact with one another.

Join us as we celebrate the launch of PLS’s magazines “Art & Photo” issue while shining a spotlight on a new generation of young emerging visual artists.

Friday, June 13th, 2008
9PM-2AM
@
Victor Hotel
311 N. Sangamon
Chicago , IL

RSVP for FREE B4 10:00
discounted after

Night Powered by:
Hennessy & Mark Nicholas Clothing

Live Paintings by:
Peabe, Revise CMW, Blutt, Joey Potts

Hip-hop, soul, funk soundtrack by:
DJ Spre & Rahaan

RSVP at: http://rsvp.goodforparty.com

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Chasity Chaos, NBC5 Street Team Video

So, I arrived to Looptopia an hour and a half ago, right on time to be greeted by a downpour of rain (just my luck). I sought refuge in the entrance of a department store on State St. with numerous other patrons who were eager to see what the festivities have to offer.

After the hurricane cleared up (okay, I’m a bit dramatic), I was able to jump back on the street and begin to explore. As I looked up, I was taken aback by what I saw. There was a woman dressed in all white, standing on a stage around four feet tall. She had chopsticks in her hand and appeared to be finely executing Tai Chi. To her left was a huge bowl of gummy bears, that she seemed to be defending like they were her children. She sporadically picked up a gummy bear with her chopsticks, inspected it and carefully placed it back in the bowl and continued to dance around the bowl and protect her precious cargo.

As I continued along my journey, I encountered another man, on a similar stage also dressed in white who was playing the guitar for an assortment of stuffed monkeys and similar toys. Without forming an opinion on either of the installations I just saw, I carried on until my attention was diverted from my journey again.

I stopped when I saw a woman – also in white and on a stage – in a beautiful dress holding flowers, who was… completely covered in plastic. Weird, right?

At the time (and even now as I write this blog), I had no idea what any of this meant or the purpose of any of these displays of art. I don’t know what they were trying to communicate or what any of it meant. I don’t know why that lady was ever so diligently protecting her gummy bears or why that man was playing for his teddy bears, but for some strange reason… I liked it! I once heard Yoko Ono say, art is everything and can be anything. Now I totally understand what she means.

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Laura Lodewyck, NBC5 Street Team

Does anyone know what those white-robed people on the white-draped platforms along State street are doing?  I can’t figure out what the name of this performance art exhibit is, but I’d love to know.

One guy played guitar lovingly to a pile of chattering wind up toys and a box of candy Dots. Another woman in judo gear stared threateningly at a giant bowl of gummy bears. Someone else played the accordian as a human-sized replica of a child watched. My favorite, though, was the woman wrapped in plastic (“Well, that’s just not safe!!”, exclaimed my husband.) As we watched, Plastic Bag Woman slowly crumpled to a seat and stared a bag full of toy babies. I. don’t. get it. That’s ok, though, ’cause it was pretty fascinating. 

My question is: how long can she keep this up? If I come back in the middle of night, would she still be staring at those plastic babies, or would she be hanging out eating a sandwich?? Only one way to find out…I’ll let you know what else I find. Looptopia’s just begun!

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