Art walk this way
Don't miss these Chicago Artists Month highlights.
Cynthia Quick would probably be thrilled by an April 2008 photo of Pamela Anderson reading Anne Elizabeth Moore’s Unmarketable. Moore (an anticorporate activist who’s the former publisher of Punk Planet) and 12 other Chicagoans are the “featured artists” for Chicago Artists Month (CAM). As the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs’ (DCA) director of program development, Quick is one of the coordinators of CAM 2008, which brings 220 art-related programs to 47 local neighborhoods throughout October. CAM will appeal to seasoned collectors and art-loving hipsters, but they aren’t its target audience: Quick says she’s determined to reach “those who may not frequent the gallery districts” and help them form “personal relationships with artists and art in this city.”
CAM’s theme this year, “Artists and Issues That Matter,” was chosen because the DCA and the CAM Advisory Committee “knew the election and politics would be on everyone’s mind,” Quick says. But CAM, which involves more than 3,000 artists in all, also engages issues such as the environment, gentrification and feminism. Take time out from writing your legislators to attend these recommended events:
Pecha Kucha October 13, 8–11pm. Martyrs’, 3855 N Lincoln Ave (773-404-9494). $10. CAM 2008’s 13 featured artists, who include both emerging talents and local stars such as Ellen Lanyon and Tony Tasset, present their work at this special edition of the lively slide show.
Artists at Work Forum: Making Art, Making Change October 16, 6–7:30pm. Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington St (312-744-6630). Salem Collo-Julin of Temporary Services and Mess Hall moderates a panel with activist artists Aay Preston-Myint, Laurie Jo Reynolds, Sarah Ross and Zena Sakowski.
Science in Art October 17, 6–8pm. Ellen and Melvin Gordon Center for Integrative Science, 929 E 57th St, third-floor atrium. CAM-featured artist Josh Kurutz, Ph.D., and other scientist-artists from the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratories and Fermilab lead a discussion and tour of their projects.
3rd Annual Little Village Arts Festival October 17–19, 1–5pm. Café Catedral, 2500 S Christiana Ave (773-542-9233). CAM featured artist Laura Vergara, Maria Gaspar (whose beautifully made feminist works we love) and other locals appear in this event organized by the new arts coalition VILLARTE. Little Village is one of six neighborhoods participating in CAM for the first time this year; others include South Chicago and East Garfield Park.
Chicago Printmakers Discuss: The Personal Art of Dissent October 18 at 1pm. Loyola University Museum of Art, 820 N Michigan Ave (312-915-7630). David Jones, Drew Luan Mattot, Jessica Wagner and Kurt Brian Webb (along with Moore) contributed to LUMA’s show “The Art of Democracy.”
Enablers and Platformists October 23, 6–9pm. ThreeWalls, 119 N Peoria St, suite 2D (312-432-3972). The potty-mouthed art podcasters of Bad at Sports moderate a discussion about creative practices that support “other artists, community development and political action.”
Hyde Park Mural Walk October 25, 11am–1pm. Start at 5600 S Lake Park Ave (312-427-2724). According to Quick, artist Theaster Gates and other members of the CAM Advisory Committee made expanding the number of South Side programs a priority this year. We’re particularly excited about the Chicago Public Art Group’s tour of new and restored Hyde Park murals.
Current Concerns: Contemporary Artists and Issues October 30, 5:30–6:30pm. Smart Museum of Art, 5550 S Greenwood Ave (773-702-0200). Curator Stephanie Smith asks artists Tasset, Geof Oppenheimer and Deb Sokolow how they address social and political topics.
In addition to these programs, CAM features more exhibitions, art walks and open studios than ever before. The number of open studios has actually doubled (to about 12) since 2007, says Quick, adding, “There should be something for every taste.”