Wednesday, April 29, 2009

First 100 Days

The marking of Barack Obama's First 100 days is a good segue into an upcoming exhibit, The Night Hope Won, opening May 8th. A fellow Chicago photographer, Doug McGoldrick, put out a call for images that were taken at Grant Park election night. I was there, and of course, had my camera with me. So I responded, sent him some of the work and am included in the exhibit along with Suzette Bross, Patty Carroll, Peter Barreras, Jennifer Greenburg, Jason Lazarus, Jay Wolke,Roark Johnson, Jeremy Lawson, Chester Costello, Richard Lesh, David Wittig, Ricky Havlik, Nancy Beale, Stephen Vallera, and Julia Clark. The first showing will be in Cleveland, Missisippi. I have hopes that the work will be exhibited at a venue closer to Chicago too.

Doug has published the book on Blurb and created a blog on the exhibit.
I still marvel that our country has such an amazing person at the helm!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Trouble the Water ~ A MUST SEE

" of the best American documentaries in recent memory." -- Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

Just watched Trouble the Water on HBO and was blown away by its immediacy and honesty. It is by far the best film I have seen on Katrina. I couldn't help but wonder how things would have turned out differently with Barack Obama in office.
My heart aches for all the unnecessary suffering that was caused by indifference in the Bush Oval office.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Tragedy of it All ~ Chicago Tribune lays off more staff

Including Alan could that be?
What little reporting they did on the visual arts was covered by Alan Artner for I don't know how many years.
Incredible loss for our city.

Here is the more complete list from Michael Miner of the Reader...I am shocked, angry and saddened. My heart aches for these staff and for our great city.

Mary L. Dedinsky, Web Editor, Metro
Russell Working, General Assignment Reporter/Writer, Oak Brook Bureau
Susan Diesenhouse, Real Estate Feature Writer
Josephine Napolitano, General Assignment Reporter/Writer, Tinley Park Bureau.
Eric Benderoff, Technology Reporter, Financial News
David Trotman-Wilkins, Staff Photographer
Candice Cusic, Staff Photographer
John Smierciak, Staff Photographer
Charles Cherney, Staff Photographer
William Grady, Deputy Bureau Chief, Schaumburg Bureau
Beth Botts, Garden Writer, House & Homes
Robert K. Elder, Reporter, Live
Lou Carlozo, Reporter, Smart
Brenda Butler, Assistant Editor, Chicago Tribune Magazine
Lilah Lohr, Assistant Books Editor
Jessica Reaves, Reporter, Chicago Tribune Magazine
Tom Hundley, Reporter, Chicago Tribune Magazine
Susan Kuczka, General Assignment Reporter/Writer, Vernon Hills Bureau
Storer Rowley, National Editor
James P. Miller, Corporate Strategy and Manufacturing Reporter, Financial News
Carolyn Starks, General Assignment Reporter/Writer, Crystal Lake Bureau
Melissa Isaacson, Specialist Reporter, Sports
Alan Artner, Art Critic, A&E
Bob Sakamoto, High School Sports Reporter
Suzanne Cosgrove, Assistant Editor, House & Homes
Elaine Matsushita, Editor, House & Homes
John Mullin, Reporter, Sports
Terry Bannon, Illinois Basketball/Football Reporter, Sports
Joshua Boak, Business Reporter
Patrick Reardon, Reporter, Live!


Geoff Black, Photo Editor, Features
Bradley Piper, Senior Producer, Editorial Multimedia
Kristin Morris, Assistant Design Editor, Sports
Thomas Carkeek, Associate Subject Editor, Sports
Bonnie Trafelet, Staff Photographer
Timothy J. Horneman, Assistant Subject Editor, Metro
Bob Vanderberg, Assistant High School Sports Editor
Ed Cavanaugh, Assistant Copy Editor, Sports
Richard Rothschild, Assistant Copy Editor, Sports
Keith Swinden, Picture Editor, Sports
Robert Ohap, Assistant Subject Editor, News Editing
Dimitry Tetin, Assistant Subject Editor, Presentation
Marty Fischer, Assistant Subject Editor, Metro Copy Desk
Lucy Hoy, Assistant Subject Editor, Metro Copy Desk
Min Pak, Imaging Technician
Thomas Van Dyke, Staff Photographer
William L. Avorio, Multi-Media Imaging Technician


DeVona Alleyne, Newsdesk

Monday, April 20, 2009

Earth Day and the Pacific Garbage Patch

I have blogged before about Chris Jordan. I first became familiar with his work at the Houston Center for Photography where we were in a group exhibition about Katrina. Chris was a lawyer and decided to turn his efforts to changing the world thru art. His work is very, very compelling.

Gyre, is an 8′ x 11′ triptych based on the famous Japanese painting, “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” by Hokusai. Instead of paint, the colors are composed of 2.4 million pieces of plastic - the estimated number of pounds of plastic that enter the world’s ocean’s every hour! Gyre is named after the Pacific Gyre, a thousand miles wide ocean current which turns clockwise like a giant slow-motion whirlpool and concentrates tons of the world’s trash.

All of the plastic in the image was collected from the Pacific Ocean. The following images are zoomed in to give perspective.

Jordan states on his website, "So my hope is that these photographs can serve as portals to a kind of cultural self-inquiry. It may not be the most comfortable terrain, but I have heard it said that in risking self-awareness, at least we know that we are awake. "

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Chicago Cultural Center Openings this Friday ~ Dave Jordano, Eleanor Spiess -Ferris and Jed Fielding

Interesting openings on Friday night (April 17th) on the first floor of the Chicago Cultural Center.

Dave Jordano is having a book signing for his work on Articles of Faith. I blogged about his work earlier and heard him speak last week. Would love to visit some of the churches in his photographs.

Entrance ~ Dave Jordano

Eleanor Spiess Ferris's opening is in the next gallery, Sorrows of Swans. Her paintings are fantastic, dreamy and surreal. Would love to more fully inhabit her world as the magical qualities in her work are so appealing. I first got to know Eleanor at the Evanston Art Center where I took several of her drawing/painting classes. She is a great person and a wonderful teacher. I would whole heartedly recommend taking a class of hers if you ever have the opportunity. Even better yet, buy a painting!

And the third opening just steps away is Jed Fielding's portraits of blind people from Mexico City. The work is haunting and disturbing. I think he is having a book signing too.

Look at Me ~ Jed Fielding

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tomorrow Opening at DePaul University Art Museum

Albert Chong
Cousin Shirley, 1986
Chromogenic color print

A very interesting show is opening tomorrow night (Thursday) at the DePaul University Art Museum, Double Exposure:African Americans Before and Behind the Camera. The exhibit "presents historic early photographs side by side with photo-based works by contemporary African American artists. While early photographers pushed the boundaries of the medium to represent a Black world of hope and dignity, contemporary artists celebrate and extend that legacy, engaging in a dialogue about the nature of memory and photographic representation in relation to personal history." Deborah Willis, professor and chair at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, will be giving a lecture tomorrow, Thursday, April 16th at 4pm with an opening reception to follow. Guaranteed to be a worthwhile visit.

Monday, April 13, 2009

On Brian Ulrich

Long overdue.
Brian Ulrich's work has been consistently recognized. His name keeps resurfacing for well deserved awards including the most recent 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship in photography.

© Chicago, Il 2003 Brian Ulrich

Look Familiar?

© Chicago, Il 2003 Brian Ulrich

"In 2001 in response to a national call for citizens to bolster the American economy through shopping, Ulrich began a project to document consumer culture. This project, Copia, is a series of large scale photographs of shoppers, retail spaces, and displays of goods. Initially focused on big-box retail establishments and shoppers, the series expanded to include thrift stores, back rooms of retail businesses, art fairs and most recently empty retail stores and dead malls." from wikipedia

Chicago Place Mall 2009 © Ulrich

There are certainly an abundance of empty store fronts to photograph now. I feel like his work is incredibly timely, well seen and shows history in the making. Thank you Brian!

Value City 2008 © Ulrich

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Good Friday in Chicago

If you are looking on how to celebrate Good Friday and you live in Chicago, head over to Pilsen for a re-enactment of Jesus as the Way of the Cross. It is very dramatic as thousand of the faithful take part in the annual Good Friday Procession. I started photographing it 12 years ago. I am happy to say I have given up trying to capture it on film and just enjoy being part of the crowd.

It usually begins at 9am in front of the church at 18th and Halsted. There is a service in a neighborhood church after the procession. Following that it is always a treat to stop at a local eatery for a hot cup of champurrado, a delicious drink of masa, milk, water, mexican chocolate and piloncillo.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

On Tightrope Walking and Balance ~ Janine Antoni

What I love most about this video is Janine Antoni's take on being in and out of balance.
"... After about a week I started to feel like I'm now getting my balance. I started to notice that it wasn't that I was getting more balance but that I was getting more comfortable with being out of balance...."

Sunday, April 05, 2009

In Treatment ~ Second season tonight on HBO

Couch No.3

I love this TV series...not just because I happen to be in the field but also because it is so well done. If you ever wondered what it was like to be in therapy, this gives you a pretty good insight. The acting is fab and the stories are very compelling. There was a nice article in the New York Times this morning on the series. Also, you can get the first 3 months of HBO for free! Worth signing up!

Talking No. 3

I had a really good time, a year ago, doing an installation for The Artist Project in which I recreated my office and lined the walls with photographs from this series.

It was the second time in my photographic career in which I melded my social work and photography professions. What I have gleaned from this experience is that as an artist, the subject matter chosen that is often most compelling is that in which the artist has an intimate knowledge of, or is very passionate about. Come to think of it, why would one spend time on subject matter that you were luke warm about!

Friday, April 03, 2009

International Photobooth Convention in Chicago

Thats right. What fun to think about all those pictures we took in the photo booth! Went to a screening of Masculin, feminin (Godard, 1966) last night at the Block Gallery at Northwestern University and they announced the 2009 International Photobooth Convention that is taking place this weekend in Chicago in Logan Square at Center Portion Artist Project Space. If that doesn't sound like fun, I don't know what does. If you happen to get there, and I don't, please report back!

There are also many more openings in Chicago tonight. Check out The Art Letter.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

on Chicago, the Olympics and Flying

There has been much in the news these days about the politicians of Chicago trying to woo the Olympic committee to choose the city as the location for the summer Olympics of 2016. I happened to be in the city early one morning and saw a glimpse of this image under the Michigan Avenue Chicago bridge.

It looked like a bird in flight to me. Totally understandable as I was on my first day on the job as a volunteer for the Chicago Bird Collision Monitor program. Every spring and fall migratory birds pass thru Chicago. They can fly from as far away as South America and back, only to slam into mirrored office buildings in the city. I wonder why I, and so many people do this work. (Thank you, Ingrid, for telling me about this program). All I can say for sure is that I am fascinated by, and feel an affinity to, things that fly...birds, dragonflies, butterflies....

I am happy to report that on Tuesday morning there was not a single bird to rescue.