Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The show goes on post-festival at I Am Logan Square!

It's hard to believe the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival has come and gone so quickly. It was indeed a pleasure for us at I Am Logan Square to work with such a talented team of curators, artists, performers, musicians and volunteers. Not to mention the support of our generous sponsors and contributors. We could not have done it without all of you and we want to thank you!

Oscar Martinez, photo © Brooke Herbert
Please join us in celebrating the success of the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival (MAAF) on Wednesday, August 31st at I Am Logan Square's gallery, located at 2648 N. Milwaukee. Our "MAAF Thank You" event will mark the closing of Symbols, Myths and Metaphors, an exhibition of works by outstanding Chicago-based Latin American artists who address meaning, symbols, beauty and spirituality through the diversity of their visual language.  We invite you to view paintings by Martin Soto, Eladio Gonzalez, Paul Sierra, Marcos Raya, Sergio Gomez, Zulian Martinez and Oscar Martinez (the exhibition's curator) during the closing reception. While feasting your eyes on the masterful works, mingle with community members and visitors from around the city and enjoy refreshing craft brews by MAAF's co-presenting sponsor Revolution Brewing as well as wine by Telegraph, and tasty bites by Cafe con Leche/D'Noche and Paper Moon Pastry.

"Reframing Ruin" MAAF exhibition in I Am Logan Square's
new gallery & office space
photo © Ryan Singer
But, that's not all. Now that MAAF's over, I Am Logan Square is still hard at work bringing you quality arts programming and sharing what's developing in the Logan Square art world. Next up we'll be moving our gallery and offices to our new permanent space just a few doors down to 2644 N. Milwaukee Avenue. Our inaugural exhibition presented in partnership with local nonprofit organization, Transit Residency, will explore Transit's love of travel and showcase the print works of Celene Aubry (Moongirl Productions), Dan Grzeca, Cj Hungerman, Kathleen Judge (Judgeworks), Matthew Messmer, Rebecca Ann Rakstad (Rar Rar Press), Jen Thomas (Veronica Press), Sarah F. Vogel (Slow Industries), the Hamilton Museum of Wood Type and Printing’s director Jim Moran and more. The opening reception will be held during Chicago Artists Month on Friday, October 7th.

Also in the works at I Am Logan Square is a series of arts-focused networking and career development workshops. We'll be presenting our first in collaboration with John Marshall Law School's Business Transactions Externship Program tentatively scheduled for October 13th. The workshop will  provide free legal advice for arts professionals running or establishing their own businesses. Space will be limited, so please RSVP in advance if you are interested in attending.

In addition we will continue to host exhibitions throughout the year. Stay tuned for upcoming show announcements and reception details. As always we accept exhibition proposals for I Am Logan Square's gallery from curators and artists with ties to the community. For consideration email us at Preference will be given to group shows.

Given our grand plans and baby non-profit budget, we have plenty of opportunities for passionate and enthusiastic individuals to volunteer with us in various capacities. We're continuously looking for writers, photographers, video editors, graphic designers, and even individuals with a little time and energy to hang up posters or help us get our space ready for shows and events. If you are interested in getting involved, write to us and join our team!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Thank you for another great year at the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival!

Mayor Emanuel enjoys music at the fest
with Cara Dehnert Huffman
photo © Madison Moss
Well, we have had about a week to decompress from the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival and yet we are still glowing from the wonderful time that we shared with so many people from around the city in our great Logan Square Neighborhood. We want to thank each and every one of you who came out to the festival last weekend and supported over 250 artists, over 40 bands, and numerous local vendors and eateries. It was truly spectacular to see such a large crowd for the whole weekend and even our new Mayor, Rahm Emanuel came out for a visit!  Mayor Emanuel was also impressed with the caliber of music, art and food at the festival and may have even had a taco or two from Wagyu Wagon!  It is great to have support from our new mayor as our neighborhood is quickly becoming one the most diverse areas in Chicago for arts and culture. And I Am Logan Square's executive director, Cara Dehnert Huffman said that the festival was truly "the best so far and we hope to continue growing and responding the neighborhood's suggestions for next year's fest".

The fest attracted a lot of attention from the press, too!  Time Out Chicago gave us a great write-up, and posted several great photos from the fest. And Chicago Magazine enjoyed an evening out at the fest, heard some tunes from The Eternals and headed to Cole's for a drink. Check out their photos here!

JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound, photo © Brooke Herbert
So, the music was definitely a hit, from JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound headlining on Friday to a huge crowd dancing to Papo Santiago, Beaba Do Samba and The Hood Internet at Sunday's closing.  Cole's stage was also home to some incredible musicians throughout the weekend--folks hopped on the trolley or strolled down to hear acts such as Rabble Rabble and The Eternals. 

Papo Santiago, photo © Brooke Herbert

As far as other highlights--the galleries lining Milwaukee were packed with a huge variety of art, from installations for Satellite to the stellar Polish artist exhibit, Unzipped II, there was something for everyone. A special thanks to our art committee headed by Anysquared projects for the vast amount of pop-up galleries and exhibitions throughout the festival! Did you get a chance to see each gallery?? If not, don't fret because our incredible team of photography volunteers photographed each and every exhibit, band and performance!  And the performances were spectacular--many of which were held at the newly opened Logan Square Arts Center.

And speaking of volunteers, we cannot begin to thank each of the over 50 volunteers who contributed their time and talents to helping put on the festival. We are awed by the motivation and community spirit displayed by our wonderful volunteers!

So overall, we are very pleased and overwhelmed with the support and success of the 2011 Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival. The talent in this city and neighborhood impresses us more each day and without the support of you, the fest wouldn't be possible! And remember to keep up to date with the arts in Logan Square by checking out our website's event calendar.

For more photos from the 2011 Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival, check out MAAF's facebook page.
Artist Malgorzata Czerniejewski
poses with her work at "Unzipped"
photo © Brooke Herbert

Sunday night's crowd, photo © Brooke Herbert

Dance Attack at Logan Square Arts Center
photo © Ryan Singer

--Brooke Herbert