Friday, March 30, 2012

"Print Me A Square" Opening at IALS!

Get ready for I Am Logan Square’s second printmaking show of the year, featuring gig posters and fine art by Logan Square’s very own! Print Me A Square, a showcase of Chicago printmakers, will open on Thursday, April 5th from 6 to 8:30 pm, at the I Am Logan Square Gallery, located at 2644 N. Milwaukee Avenue. During the opening reception, KIND Healthy Snacks will be providing delicious fruit & nut bar and cheese pairings to compliment IALS’s official gallery sponsors, Revolution Brewing and Paper Moon Pastry’s offerings.

Print Me A Square will showcase concert posters and fine art prints by FugScreens Studios, Justin Santora, Steve Walters, Ryan Duggan, Billy Craven, Kill Hatsumomo and Anna Mort.  All of the artists are part of Chicago Printer’s Guild and have strong ties to the Logan Square community.

"I put this show together because I believe it is increasingly important to make visible the culture of screenprinting in contemporary art. Gig posters and fine art prints are of a limited edition, signed and numbered by the artist rendering them collectable, but are still affordable and a successful means to keep art available to the public," explains exhibition curator, Zissou Tasseff-Elenkoff.

Tasseff-Elenkoff is the founder of FugScreens Studios, a fully equipped, high quality silkscreen studio in Wicker Park, dedicated to making screen printing obtainable to public. Zissou graduated from the School of the Art Institute with a B.F.A. in Printmaking.

Print Me A Square will be on display through the end of April. The gallery will be open to the public Tuesday to Thursday, from noon to 6 pm, Friday to Saturday, from noon to 4pm and by appointment. The gallery is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Come on out!

IALS hosts monthly gallery exhibitions of works by local artists and accepts exhibition proposals on a rolling basis. Participating artists and/or curators must either live or work in Logan Square to exhibit their work and priority will be given to group or collaborative shows.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Artist as Landlord

If you have ever wondered if you could afford to purchase a small building for your art studio, your home, or maybe even rent a couple of units to others, I Am Logan Square is here to help you find out!  Coming up at IALS is a new workshop on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 from 5-7PM.

Real Estate Agent, Melissa Stanley, of Niche Realty and ArtHouse Chicago will be presenting with Senior Loan Officer, Marla Barch, of Prospect Mortgage at the I Am Logan Square gallery, 2644 N. Milwaukee on March 28th from 5-7.

Please join us for networking at 5:00 with light refreshments followed by the presentation at 5:30. This will be a chance to learn about different loan programs available for purchasing multi-unit properties in Chicago. The discussion will include information about live/work options and new live/work zoning in Logan Square and the rest of the city.

Seating is limited. Though the event is free, you must RSVP to Melissa Stanley at to reserve your spot!

Please continue reading for a contribution from Melissa to get an introduction to what the workshop will discuss even further:

Melissa Stanley of ArtHouse Chicago has worked in real estate for over 10 years.  In 2010 she decided to start a division of her company, Niche Realty, that works solely on live/work space and ArtHouse Chicago was born.  In addition to helping artists and entrepreneurs find live/work space, Ms. Stanley has worked with local Aldermen, activists, and city departments to improve and create more live/work space in Chicago.

Logan Square is involved in an experiment to see if an under- utilized strip of Milwaukee Ave. can be rejuvenated by a zoning change that encourages live/work space for artists.  Alderman Col√≥n of our 35th Ward has just rezoned most of Milwaukee Ave. between Diversey and Central Park B2-2. This zoning change allows for artist live/work space on any level including store-front. This is the largest B2-2 zoning change that we are aware of in the city, and also the first one that was initiated by the Alderman and local art activists (including myself) instead of being initiated by a building owner.

The challenge now is to develop a plan that will help property owners and artists
redevelop the neighborhood in way that is beneficial to all.  The B2 zoning change is a big part of the plan and Architect Katherine Dranstadt, of Latent Design, will be there to present some option on how to redevelop existing buildings and storefronts into live/work space. We
need local artists to attend this meeting and to be involved in the redevelopment of the
area. It would be great if Logan Square can create a model for other neighborhoods and
Aldermen to use.

In addition to the exciting changes going on in our own back yard, there is another
ordinance soon to be presented at city council that will allow any storefront in the city to
convert 30% of the floor space to live space. The ordinance being created by Alderman
Moreno and Tunney will be explained at the Creative Chicago Expo on the 24th. I will
also be involved in this panel discussion about live/work space with Alderman Moreno
and representatives of several proposed live/work developments all over the city. This
will be a great opportunity to learn more about what type of spaces are being developed
in Chicago for artists.

If you stopped by the town hall meeting, "Why Culture Matters", you heard a little about the future plan for Logan Square to develop it further as a cultural community and the live/work ordinances. Come out to the workshop to learn more!

--Melissa Stanley

Monday, March 19, 2012

Art, Expos, and Festivals. Oh My!

Have you ever wanted to hang out in a historic building all day with people who share your professional interests? Well, you just might be in luck!

For the ninth straight year the city is hosting the Creative Chicago Expo at the Chicago Cultural Center. The expo has expanded to two days, with workshops aimed at arts organizations and owners of creative-focused businesses on March 23 and workshops aimed at individual creatives on March 24. If you are involved with or have an interest in music, film, fashion, theater, dance, design, or the literary or visual arts, the expo is your chance to meet with like-minded folks and get in touch with organizations that spark your interest.

I Am Logan Square at last year's Creative Chicago Expo

Over 140 vendors will be at the expo, including your very own favorite nonprofit, I Am Logan Square. Stop by the booth and say hi, grab a button, and ask about this year’s Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival (see below for information about the festival!).

On top of that, your very own favorite nonprofit leader, Cara Dehnert Huffman, will take part in a panel on March 24 from noon to 1 p.m. The panel, “From Hyperlocal to Virtual: Connecting Art and Community,” will also include Patricia Larkin Green of OpenWall, Stephanie Pereira of Kickstarter, Tristan Hummel of the Chicago Loop Alliance, and Paul Klein of Klein Artist Works.

These workshops are all free, so you should definitely take advantage. See here for a list of workshops. Other offerings include one-hour mentor sessions, the City Treasurer’s Small Business Plan Competition, and a hosted discussion about the Chicago Cultural Plan.

March 23–24, 2012
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day
Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington Street

In addition to the expo, we are also gearing up for the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival (MAAF) which will take place July 20–22, and we’re sending out a call for artists, vendors, sponsors, and volunteers. No other neighborhood has a festival quite like this! Nearly two miles of the Milwaukee Avenue between Kimball and California will be transformed into a full-blown arts district in a celebration of visual and performance arts.  This year's festival will be organized a little differently that in previous years-- instead of stretching all along Milwaukee, there will be three focal points of multi-arts programming at:
• the Festival Center at (Milwaukee & Logan)

• the North End (Milwaukee & Kimball) at the Hairpin Arts Center
• and at the South End (Milwaukee & California)

Very soon, we will be posting the announcements for how you can apply to be an exhibitor, performer, vendor, or even sponsor. Keep checking the website here to be notified when the applications are available!

--Tamara Matthews

Monday, March 12, 2012

Introducing the Arts Professional Development Series!

In an effort to provide artists with even more resources in the neighborhood-- we have teamed up with The Logan Square Chamber of Arts and beginning this week, we are rolling out our new professional development series.  These workshops are designed to help artists with the logistics of managing their own businesses, marketing, and promoting themselves and their art. The series will enhance your professional skills and provide opportunities to network with other local artists! 

So first up, this Wednesday, March 14, Marci Rolnik from Lawyers for the Creative Arts (LCA) will present a comprehensive overview of copyright law, licensing, and assignments. Surviving and thriving as a freelance artist means knowing what steps to take to protect your work.  To that end, Marci will also address implications of marketing your artwork online via social media and other third party websites.

This seminar, designed for freelance artists, will help you understand your legal rights in the visual arts, and will leave you with:
    •    Resources on copyright and fair use laws.
Marci Rolnik
    •    Tips about linking to a site you control versus uploading directly to Facebook or other third party sites and will discuss licenses part of terms of use for these sites.
    •    Best practices and advice about submitting your work for contests and art shows and various actual and implied licenses that seem to come into play about using such artwork to market the show.

Workshop Info:
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Admission is $10 and space is limited. RSVP to if you are interested!
Hairpin Arts Center
2800 N. Milwaukee Ave
2nd Floor

Coming up in April, the series will focus on Social Media and we will be featuring a panel of seasoned industry professional who will share their secrets of building an audience online.  Keep on the lookout for more info about our upcoming workshops.  And as always, your feedback is very valuable and we would love to hear your ideas regarding topics for further workshops in the series. If you have something you'd like to share, please drop us an email!

We hope to see you soon!

--Brooke Herbert Hayes

Friday, March 9, 2012

Parish, Parish book release at Uncharted book!

Investigative reporting! Hurricane Katrina(!) Hand-bound...books...! Go-go gaget Uncharted Books party! Thats what us investigative blog-slaves call, "an intriguing opening." This can also substitute:

Mr. Bean and babies with candy aside, we're very excited about the book release/reading party this Saturday, March 10 at Uncharted Books. Which is what I've been trying to say....I think. Writer Brian Lewis-Jones will be celebrating the release of Parish, Parish, a book born out of "the culmination of heartache and backache," containing "stories of Katrina, presidential-candidate-volunteers, environmental desolation, philosophy, weird lovers and an even weirder town." Aside from the heartache and jazz, the book's other parent is a series of un-published newspaper articles Lewis-Jones wrote while on assignment in New Orleans as a reporter for a Lawrence, Kansas newspaper, three years after the events of Katrina. See, I'm not just making this stuff up! The book is being released via his new publishing endeavour, Groundsman Publishing, featuring hand-made/bound, limited edition runs, "spliced together only with ideas and thread," as he puts it.

Now if that's not enough to intrigue you...well then you have no soul. coincidentally, you probably also don't like Mr. Bean. WELL LETS SWEETEN THE DEAL A LITTLE BIT THEN. Also present for the book release/reading, aside from the limited number of handmade books (I did mention how limited and handmade they are, yes?), will be musical acts, Julie Marie Byrne and Jake Acosta. OH! I bet Brian will even write a personalized autograph-message, if you ask real nicely.

I think that about covers all the aforementioned intriguing info. If you'd like some more intrigue, try stealing candy from baby, yourself. OR! You could follow the latest new for Groundsman Publishing on their website. Next up is an illustrated book of short stories titled, The Scientist, The Scholar & The Alchemist by Justin Benzel.

Parish, Parish Book release/reading
Uncharted Books
Saturday, March 10

p.s - if you don't pick up a copy at the book release this Saturday, look for your copy at Quimby's and 826 CHI

p.p.s - If this doesn't tickle your literature fancy enough, try whacking your Literature funny bone at our next Industry Night at D'Noche, Tuesday, March 27, too!

p.p.p.s. - lolololololol

with heartache and headache,
-W. Tanner Young

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hey, Kids! Don't Negate the Premise!

Starting next week, you can come and get your improv on with local institution, The Annoyance Theatre. They'll be offering two 8-week classes beginning March 5th at Logan Square's Charnel House (3421 W. Fullerton Avenue - only minutes away from the Logan Square Blue Line stop).  The landmark building has been transformed from a chapel, into a 99-seat space that hosts performance art (drama, comedy, ballet) and also visual arts.

Charnel House, courtesy of Annoyance Productions

Annoyance’s brand of “absurd and outrageous” (Theatre Chicago) improv began in 1987 at Chicago’s Cabaret Metro, creating over 100 shows along the way.  Their focused approach is said to leave students with a better sense of themselves, as the training is not only centered on the scene itself, but also on the individuals that make up each scene.  Not enough evidence of their greatness?  Well, their show Coed Prison Sluts ran for an astounding 11 years - the longest running musical in Chicago history!

These classes are geared toward adults, though high-schoolers with parental consent can enroll. The students are allowed to be completely uncensored, so things might get spicy! On Mondays, beginning March 5, Megan Johns will teach Annoyance’s AP2 class from 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. Cost of the 8-week series is $200.  On Tuesdays, starting March 6, Tim Paul will teach AP3 from 6:30-9:00 p.m. and the fee for the 8 weeks is $220.

Annoyance's artistic director Mick Napier teaching a class
Photo courtesy of Annoyance Productions 

Interested?  Class details, registration info, and instructor profiles can be found on the website.  

--Dave Castaneda

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


The only Aissawa in North America gathers right in Logan Square’s backyard. That’s great, you might say, but what does it mean? An Aissawa, according to every blogger’s favorite resource, Wikipedia, is a religious and mystical brotherhood with origins in Moroccan culture. Aissawa groups are known for their music ceremonies that evoke a trance-like state in participants.

DrumFace potterwheel © Marianna Kadlecova
 For Quentin Shaw, Aissawa means a chance not only to celebrate a deep connection with an ancient cultural practice, it also means a chance to share and participate in the musical traditions that he loves. He hosts the Aissawa group at the studio space, known as DrumFace, that he co-owns with his wife Heather McQueen.

DrumFace has been around for two years and in addition to hosting the Aissawa group, the space is also used for making both ceramic and metallic drums. Heather crafts the ceramic drums and Quentin, an experienced metal worker who helped with building the fence art at the Logan Square skate park, crafts the metal drums. They sell their drums through Andy’s Music and the Old Town School of Folk Music, as well as to individual buyers by request.

The DrumFace studio is also used for group and individual drumming lessons, workshops based around different drums and drumming styles, drop-in drum making classes, and occasional shows. The last Thursday of every month is an open house and vegetarian potluck night. Those interested can bring some food and/or a drum and bask in the welcoming atmosphere of a proper drumming community in our very neighborhood.

DrumFace Q spark © Marianna Kadlecova

Drum on!

3231 W. Armitage Ave.
Chicago, IL  60647

--Tamara Matthews