Cindy Gatziolis 312.744.0573 firstname.lastname@example.org
Now in its 18th year, Chicago Artists Month (CAM), presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, serves to highlight the work of artists throughout Chicago. An artist is defined as someone who does something skillfully and creatively, and to that end, CAM is expanding its focus beyond the visual arts to multiple artistic disciplines including culinary, fashion, architecture, film, dance, DJ spinning, spoken word and even knitting. More than 200 events will take place throughout the month, listed at chicagoartistsmonth.org and in printed guides inserted in the September 19 issue of Newcity, to be available via all program partners.
New this year will be a series of focus weekends beginning September 27, which will spotlight artists in eight Chicago neighborhoods. Celebrating artists “In the Neighborhood,” events in each of CAM’s highlighted neighborhoods are curated by an arts insider.
The weekends, neighborhoods and curators are as follows:
Sept. 27-29 Edgewater/Uptown Tricia Van Eck, 6018North
Oct. 4-6 Portage Park Cyd Smillie, ArtsAlive 45
Oct. 11-13 South Shore Allyson Scrutchens, South Shore Chamber, Inc.
South Chicago Margarita Guerra
Oct. 18-20 Pilsen/Little Village Brenda Hernandez
Oct. 25-27 East Garfield Park Edra Soto, The Franklin
Chicago Artists Month officially opens with “EdgeUP,” an arts festival curated by Tricia Van Eck celebrating the Edgewater and Uptown neighborhoods as successful examples of “the melting pot” in which a diverse population lives and works together. The inaugural event, opening on Friday, September 27, 6-10 p.m., is The American Dream: The (W)holy Grail, a multimedia art exhibition housed in FLATtheatre, a former bank building at 1050 W. Wilson and featuring paintings, photographs and performances interpreting the American Dream. Participants include CAM featured artists Jason Reblando and Deborah Boardman.
The opening reception will feature “Dance with me…,” an interactive “silent dance party” by artist Meg Duguid, “Kuramoto Model,” a synchronized blinking LED bicycle gathering, “Dissecting Norton”, opera improvisations by Julie Millet and a food truck social. The exhibition and related events continue through October 31.
“EdgeUP” encompasses more than 30 activities over the weekend including artist Pate Conaway’s Knit-ins to construct One Long Scarf connecting Edgewater and Uptown. Knit-ins are scheduled 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, September 28 at various Chicago Park District field houses. The Edgewater Fall Art Fair will run Saturday and Sunday along Granville Avenue near the Red Line “L.”
Focus shifts to Portage Park beginning October 4 and throughout the weekend with Cubivino’s Portable News Stand & Urban Swamp Art Cart, which will be “open for business” from noon to 5 p.m. at 4018 N. Cicero. CAM featured artist Myra Kalaw of CUBIVINO creates a portable news stand/art cart outside the biggest newsmagazine store in Chicago, City News Stand & Cafe. Instead of newspapers, Cubivino will offer handmade items for sale such as paper wallets made from news clippings, and letter-pressed posters of newsworthy quotes. Urban Swamp Art Cart will provide live music and the artists will offer their own art prints for sale. Portage Park will also offer the opportunity to “Draw Like Degas” on Saturday, October 5 at PaSamba Dance Studio, home of featured artist Dennis Pasamba, 4020 N. Milwaukee Ave.
CAM heads south for the weekend of October 11-13 and in particular the neighborhoods of South Chicago and South Shore. Friday evening is South Chicago Fresh Off the Runway at 8816 S. Commercial, showing “urban haute couture” designs by CAM featured artist Derric Clemmons of Cocomocha Studios, while an exhibition opening at Studio 71, considered by many to be the nucleus of South Shore’s art community, will highlight work by CAM featured artist Benyamin Maccabee. Saturday’s events include docent-led tours of the popup art storefronts of the Distinctly South Shore Art Festival and Under the Bridge Studios, an exhibition including work by CAM featured artist Roman Villarreal followed by a concert.
One date not to be missed is Sunday, October 13 at the South Shore Cultural Center (71st and S. Shore), which begins with a Jazz Brunch at the Parrot Cage, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The afternoon will feature a reception for Boundless Shores, an exhibition of work by recognized and newly discovered artists from South Shore and South Chicago, as well as a Food Truck Social, artisan market and an afternoon of dance and music performances highlighting the Grammy-nominated band Sones de Mexico and the Drum Divas.
For the weekend of October 18-20, CAM highlights the Mexican and Mexican-American culture of Pilsen and Little Village, with a strong focus on young and emerging artists in a series of events curated by Brenda Hernandez. Life on Paper at Night Cap Café, located at 1738 W. 18th Street, is an exhibition by three artists under the age of 25. Fernando Caldera, Joseph Mora and Gilberto Sandoval call themselves three super-duper-ultra-mega emerging artists. Exhibition hours are 12-8 p.m.
Feminart, a Yollocalli youth-curated exhibit at Prosper Skate Shop, 2620 S. Central Park, features interactive and experimental work including that of CAM featured artist AUSTRA (Angela Austra). Opening hours are 1-5 p.m.
Saturday, October 19, offers a participatory experience created by artist Dolores Wilber. Pianists of all types are invited to sit down at one of the 147 pianos at Lucas Piano Service, 1500 S. Western, from 6-8 p.m. All are welcome to perform.
Finally, as Chicago Artists Month draws to a close, the weekend of October 25-27 focuses on East Garfield Park.
The Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave., will feature Wind Chime, an exhibition of wind chimes designed by East Garfield Park and west side artists, located in the outdoor gardens of the Conservatory. On Friday evening, October 25, 7-10 p.m., the exhibition opens with Chime In, an opening reception that includes spoken word, poet, sound and performance artists with West Side roots, including poet/singer Marvin Tate, spoken word artist Awthentik and David Houston, representing the Chicago West Community Music Center. Also as part of this evening, the Rebuild Foundation will present their story, led by 2007 CAM featured artist Theaster Gates. On Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., visitors to the Conservatory will have the opportunity to make their own wind instrument, using natural materials, plant stems and mirrors.
Concurrently, the East Garfield Park Art Walk will run from 12-6 p.m. over the weekend, opening the studios and galleries of over 50 artists throughout the neighborhood, including internationally known galleries like Devening Projects and Julius Cæsar. A free trolley will connect stops at the Albany Carroll Building, Center for Green Technology, Switching Station Artists Lofts, Garfield Park and others venues along the industrial corridor.
Throughout Chicago Artists Month, several artists are producing events in multiple neighborhoods. CAM featured artist Jake Myers and his team of more than 70 Chicago artists will premiere a new episode of their interactive science fiction exercise video “Celestial Bodies” every Sunday in a CAM Featured Neighborhood. Science, art and aerobics collide in each cosmic workout.
A playground swingset hooked up to pulleys and percussion instruments, Dave Ford’s people-powered “Swingset Drum Kit” will be featured at 6018North in Edgewater from September 28 through October 12, then at South Shore Cultural Center on October 13 and in East Garfield Park on October 28.
Chicago Artists Month’s grand finale will be on Thursday, October 31 at the Chicago Cultural Center, with a screening of the sixth and final episode of “Celestial Bodies” followed by a concert by CAM featured artist Kelan Phil Cohran and his ensemble. Cohran, an original member of Sun Ra’s Arkestra and co-founder of the AACM, will provide an inspiring cosmic conclusion to Chicago Artists Month with his signature instrumentation, astronomical slide show and black-lit dancers.
Chicago Artists Month is a non-juried program featuring more than 200 events throughout October including open house/open studio tours, neighborhood art walks, informal discussions, workshops and exhibitions, featuring Chicago-based artists and arts organizations. This annual, month-long celebration explores the impact of artists throughout Chicago’s neighborhoods by highlighting their work, their studios and a wide range of exhibitions, programs and events.
For more information about Chicago Artists Month, including a comprehensive calendar and event descriptions and images, visit chicagoartistsmonth.org or get the Chicago Artists Month official program guide in the September 19 issue of Newcity. Program guides will also be available for free at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.) and via participating organizations.
Chicago Artists Month is pleased to be part of the 6th Annual Illinois Arts & Humanities! (AH!) Month. The Illinois Arts Council Agency and the Illinois Humanities Council present the 6th annual Illinois Arts & Humanities! (AH!) Month. Part of National Arts and Humanities Month, AH! Month is a statewide celebration encouraging Illinoisans to participate in and share the value of arts and humanities activities in their lives and communities. More information about AH! Month, including the official state proclamation issued by Governor Pat Quinn and official statewide event calendar, is available at: www.arts.illinois.gov/ah-october and www.prairie.org/ah.
Chicago Artist Month is presented as part of an ongoing collaboration between the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and the Chicago Park District. In-kind support was received from Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises®, Inc. and Chicago Gallery News. Many thanks to our program partners: 6018North, Alderman Harry Osterman and the 48th Ward, Arts Alive 45, Cedar Street Companies, Claretian Associates, Inc., Garfield Park Conservatory, South Shore Chamber Inc., South Chicago Chamber of Commerce, and Uptown United.
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Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.