Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival Kick-Off Party!

We hope you are getting as excited for this year's Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival as much as we are! Over 100 artists, 3 stages of live music, theatre, dance, a curated Art Market, Revolution beer and an outstanding food lineup are sure to make the 2012 MAAF the best yet.  So, get excited and kick off the summer with a celebration benefiting the 2012 MAAF, featuring ellacombe (DJ set), Revolution craft beers, tasty hors d’oeuvres, silent auction & more!

When: Tuesday, June 26, 7-9pm
Where: Revolution Brewing, 2323 N. Milwaukee Avenue

Admission: $40 in advance/$50 at the door         
*Includes complimentary raffle ticket to win an ESP electric guitar & starter kit

And don't worry, this isn't your usual silent auction. We've specifically curated numerous items and services from local artists, businesses, & restaurants.  The donated silent auction items include goods and services from: Reform Objects, Spa O, Play, Galerie F, Cole’s, Telegraph, Fleur, JGMA, Logan Pets, The Logan Theatre, Hairitics, Tula Yoga Studio, Scofflaw, Sam Ash, Uncharted Books, Longman & Eagle and work by local artists: Brooke Herbert Hayes, W. Tanner Young, Viviana Langhoff, & FugScreens Studios +more.

Purchase your tickets at: http://maafkickoff.eventbrite.com. Move fast--this event sells out quickly!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Calling all volunteers!

Have you been wanting to get involved with the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival, but haven't been sure how to go about doing that? Well, come out to IALS, located at 2644 N Milwaukee Ave. on May 31 for a 2012 Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival Volunteer Party! Anyone and everyone is invited (so long as you're ready to roll up your sleeves and help out with the fest!) There will be a short presentation about what help is needed for the festival and we will also have sign up sheets for photographers, gate attendants, pre-festival promo helpers, flier distributors, street team, etc. So come out, share some food and yummy drinks (beer if you're 21+) and see how fun it is to be a part of the 2012 Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival team! The evening kicks off at 6PM! RSVP at volunteer@iamlogansquare.com.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

UPDATE: TIME CHANGE Photography Portfolio Walk!

Holy guacamole! Hey man, I can say that, it's summertime now! Which, of course, means all sorts of lovely walks. Speaking of which, how about a JUDGED PHOTO PORTFOLIO WALK!??

Thats right folks, IALS is teaming up with Filter Photo Festival again, along with the Logan Square Chamber of Arts to give you a chance to show off your best photographic projects, and win prizes! On Saturday, June 9th,  you can be one of 30 photographers who have RSVP'd for table space at the Hairpin Arts Center. For participating photographers, admission is $25 for 4 ft of table space, which you can register for here: http://photoreview.eventbrite.com/. All types of photographers are welcome to participate and prizes will be awarded. For the general public, the walk is free and open for viewing! It will last from 1:30-4:30 PM at the Hairpin Arts Center in Logan Square and will be followed by a casual reception until 6pm, featuring beer from our buddies at Revolution Brewing and snacks from Rewster’s CafĂ©. Seriously, how great is that? Tasty beer, mouthwatering photos (what?) and a chance to network and connect with the local photo community. And if that's not enough, theres a people's choice award!  Seriously, we've got the pulse on the teenage nation, dude. No no, f'real though, each of our judges will be awarding a prize to the strongest portfolios, and the public is invited to drop by, vote for their favorite portfolio, and see what’s happening in the Chicago photo scene!

I suppose, at this point, you may be interested in who our esteemed judges are. Say no mas!

Judges for the event are Christy Karpinski, Creator and Editor of F-Stop Magazine; Rose Licavoli, Assistant Director at Schneider Gallery: Contemporary Photography; and Gregory Harris, Assistant Curator at DePaul Art Museum. Prizes include (gasp!) a year-long membership to the Museum of Contemporary Art, passes to Filter Photo Festival’s events, and more!

Again, registered photographers will receive approximately 4 feet of table space. Photographers may show as many projects as they would like to the general public and each other, but only one portfolio may be presented to the judges. Also, participants must show all three judges the same portfolio. Photographers will be expected to arrive and setup their portfolios between 1-1:30 PM on June 9th.  Awards will be announced at 5PM!

And...to top it off....the four winning portfolios will receive a group exhibition at the Hairpin Arts Center! The exhibition will take place in late summer/early fall, with dates TBD!

Have questions? Email us at info@FilterFestival.com, where our team of trained circus chimps and seeing-eye dogs will be happy to help...or throw poop at you. They're really pretty temperamental.

Judged Photo Portfolio Walk
Hairpin Lofts
2800 N. Milwaukee Ave
Saturday, June 9th
1:30-4:30 pm

Reception following: 4:30-6 pm.

I look forward to hearing your questions, or having the chance to throw things at you,
Circus Chimp #6
W. Tanner Young

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Come out Saturday for "The Party"!
Preview of Ensemble Dal Niente's newest production.

The Party is not calling itself just a concert. Performance, experience, music? Yes. And definitely an evening that shouldn't be missed.  Chicago’s Ensemble Dal Niente and renowned pianist-conductor Marino Formenti invite us to experience some of today’s most "daring, wonderful, radical music in an evening-length concert" in the new Hairpin Arts Center, 2800 N. Milwaukee Avenue, 2nd floor this Saturday, May 12 at 6pm.  

For The PartyFormenti and Dal Niente come together to produce "a communal experience that casts away some of the concert hall’s conventions in order to bring listeners together in a brand new way." Taking place in the new Hairpin Arts Center, The Party unfolds over the course of an entire evening, pairing food, drink, and conversation with some of the most eclectic and exciting music you are likely to hear this year.  Dal Niente is collaborating with local organizations such as food artist Nick Jirasek’s catering company Guerilla Smiles, Koval Distillery, and Goose Island Brewing Company to provide an evening that is uniquely Chicago.

Ammie Brod, Dal Niente's Violist and Director of Public Relations says, "I would still definitely call it a performance, interactive but perhaps also described as self-determined.  The Party is an entire evening of music, but the people who are attending get to choose how they wish to listen to that music, how they want to sit (on a chair, on a couch, lying on the floor, etc.--we'll have multiple types of seating around) or stand or [even] leave the room."

The Party attempts to be the antithesis of listening to music through earbuds plugged into your head as you sit alone staring at a computer screen.  "This is a social thing; we want people to talk about what they're experiencing, to let the performance become what they make of it instead of letting it be circumscribed by the normal constraints of the concert hall or a digital recording." The Party brings together stylistically diverse and uniquely brilliant composers’ music for you to experience, examine and share in one unforgettable evening. This isn’t just a concert: it’s an experience.

This evening-length event includes food, drink, socialization, and performances of music by:
            Marcos Balter (b.1974)                     Timothy McCormack (b.1984)
            Pablo Chin (b.1982)                           Alex Mincek (b.1975)
            Franco Donatoni (1927-2000)         Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988)
            Morton Feldman (1926-1987)         Salvatore Sciarrino (b.1947)
            Bernhard Gander (b.1969)               Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007)
            Mauricio Kagel (1931-2008)           James Tenney (1934-2006)
            Bernhard Lang (b.1957)                   Galina Ustwolskaja (1919-2006)
            Alvin Lucier (b.1931)                         Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001)  

Ensemble Dal Niente, one of Chicago’s foremost contemporary music groups, has a growing reputation for innovation and virtuosity paired with forward-looking programming.  Marino Formenti is one of the most compelling and original interpreters of his generation and a featured piano soloist at major international festivals (Salzburg, Lucerne, Ravinia) and with some of the world’s leading orchestras (New York Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic). 

photo courtesy of Ensemble Dal Niente
Ensemble Dal Niente (Dal Niente for short) was founded in 2004 by composer Kirsten Broberg. The group consists of 22 musicians, although most of the music they play involves a small fraction of that total number, ranging from solos to as many as 18 musicians. As a group, Brod says they're "dedicated to the promotion and advancement of contemporary music through performance, education, and commissions from composers, including Chicago composers Marcos Balter and Pablo Chin (both of whom will be represented at The Party) as well as others, such as Evan Johnson, Aaron Einbond, and Noah Keesecker.  There is an enormously diverse world of contemporary music available to new music groups and we explore lots of different areas within that world, from European avant-garde and American high modernism to music influenced by jazz and popular music.  HOT by Franco Donatoni, for instance--one of the pieces we'll be playing at The Party--has big band saxophone solo influences and an instrumentation reminiscent of a jazz combo."

Ensemble Dal Niente has made Chicago its home since its founding in 2004. With a growing international reputation for virtuosic musicianship and fearlessly eclectic programming, the ensemble will present two concerts at the famous New Music Courses in Darmstadt, Germany, in July 2012. Closer to home next season, the ensemble will premiere a new work for octet, electronics, and synced video projection by Minneapolis composer Noah Keesecker. The project was awarded a major grant by the American Composers Forum and the Jerome Foundation.

You will also have more chances to hear the music from Dal Niente in the coming months, as they are also opening for indie rock band Deerhoof this summer at Millennium Park, as part of the Loops and Variations series.  Dal Niente has been on the receiving end of many good reviews, touting the originality and "enterprising" quality of their performances. (Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein, "MusicNOW, Dal Niente take listeners on exciting aural adventures", March 6, 2012)


We're going to The Party, are you?
Saturday, May 12, 6PM
Hairpin Arts Center, 2800 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Tickets: $45/$30 advanced sales, $55/$35 at the door (general/student with ID)

--Brooke Herbert Hayes

Monday, May 7, 2012

Galerie F: An Art Space for the Masses

This feature is part of an article exchange program with Sixty Inches from Center. This post was written by Raymond Figlewski.

Accessible art. The phrase seems to be as dependable as an honest politician, but owners Zissou Tasseff-Elenkoff and Billy Craven along with Gallery Director Allie Whalen are trying to make it a staple of the Chicago art scene. Emerging from Tasseff-Elenkoff’s successful silk-screening studio FugScreens, the duo decided to open a space in Logan Square that not only showcases printmaking and street art, but is also accessible to the public six days a week with an array of work that will appeal to any art lover or wallet. I had the opportunity to sit down with Tasseff-Elenkoff and Craven to discuss Galerie F and their new niche in the gallery world. 

Ray Figlewski: After establishing a successful, fully independent silk-screening studio, what possessed you to start a new venture in Galerie F?

Zissou Tasseff-Elenkoff: For me personally it is for other artist’s, I mean, yeah  it helps get the name of the studio and obviously I can put my work in there personally, but for me it is more interesting to get other people together and showcase what I enjoy in printmaking and what I like. It is the idea of having something in Chicago that represents one of the biggest printmaking communities in the country and that is also a community based thing. It is something that is affordable, yet it is not necessary to have a huge amount of income to go and purchase a gig poster or a fine art print. But there is going to be a price range as well with higher end pieces, so it is accessible to a large range of people in the community. 

Billy Craven: The one thing that frustrates me about being a consumer of any art or gallery shows here in the city is that a vast majority of them are appointment only or one day a week for three hours, so as a consumer I am extremely frustrated with the lack of availability. I do not want to have to call your gallery up and ask for permission to come and look at what you have on your wall because then I am immediately self-conscious in that I feel that you are expecting me to buy something if I walk in, so I just end up not walking in. So, if I feel that way I can’t be the only person in the entire Midwest. We wanted to open a space that is available to fans of all levels of art, whether it is fine art, street art, gig posters, 2D, anything. We wanted it so the casual walker can go by and see something in the window, walk in, and not have to make a phone call to come back in 65 days. Printmaking, the medium, is so accessible to a broader range of salary brackets. Real, honest to goodness, working class people can collect a poster from their favorite artists, where as a very small demographic can go out and buy a butterfly from Damien Hirst. We are not that demographic and we never will be.

ZTE: I think a main part of why me and Billy came to this conclusion that we wanted to do this, even though we have different backgrounds, we share the same cultural ideas and viewpoints on how things should be and are not necessarily concerning class and money. Again, that accessibility of anyone being able to potentially buy a print from our space, or a piece of art from our space is a big deal to us.   

RF: We just touched on it a little, but what would be the overall goals of Galerie F? In other words is it going to be a place just for exhibitions? Will you have events? Is it going to be more of a community center? 

ZTE: I would say it is a little bit of all those things. The idea behind it, and of course this may evolve after we realize that some things work better than others, but we are basically renting two spaces that we have made into one. What is nice is that we have double entry, from Fullerton and Milwaukee, and because of that we want to make the space slightly divided. The concept is to have, let’s say space A, predominately a gallery space at most times, and then space B, to be a retail area at all times.  There is going to be an emphasis on the retail aspect of being able to walk in and buy a handmade book, a t-shirt, or a collection of prints. Again, it’s about that accessibility but also that exclusivity of having solo shows, group shows and that gallery space. 

BC: And incorporate classes. The reason I met up with Zissou a few years ago was that I had for years wanted to get involved with screen printing and was frustrated with the financial investment of taking screen printing classes. I can’t personally afford to spend three, seven, eight hundred dollars on classes, and if I can’t there are definitely other people who can’t as well. So, I was getting coffee one day and I saw a poster by him [Zissou], and I liked the logo which first intrigued me, but it said that he was hosting classes at Fugscreens and they were by the hour and I said ‘well I can afford by the hour’. That’s what got me here; we want to continue making classes accessible to someone who always wondered what it was like to make a poster or those who are actively searching for a place to make one. We want to expose printmaking to more people. Many will never do it again, but the next Kevin Tong may be waiting for a democratically priced printing class.

RF: I am getting the feeling that a reason you both are opening the gallery is out of frustration. You saw something missing in the city (accessibility, place to buy and view art, etc.) and you wanted to fill that void. Is that a fair assessment?

ZTE: To a point. I think there is a little of that involved but if that is what sparked it, then what we want to grow out of that is making all of those things available through our space. On my side of things, I think I have a little bit less of those frustrations because I run FugScreens and my avenue through this whole thing is a little bit different than Billy’s. So mine is more based on the idea of bringing extremely talented people from all over the country, and Europe, and be able to have a single spot where a majority of those people can be shown. A place where one can go in and buy a print from someone on the East Coast, Austin, L.A, or San Francisco and then all of the local stuff will be represented.

RF: I figured I would talk a little bit about the work. You are both screen printers, what allured you both to that medium?

ZTE: Well, it is the most utilized print medium there is. I am sure some people will disagree, but it is still used in a lot of different industries. Obviously in ours with gig posters and fine art prints, but screen printing is probably the number one medium used because it is the easiest to apply, and probably the cheapest as well. Also, you can get good results with water based inks without having to use oil based. It’s still used in t-shirts, which is probably the most known way people recognize screen printing, but it’s also used on beer bottles, cans, brochures, lottery scratch cards are all screen printed. There are hundreds and hundreds of applications since the 30’s and something that digital media has not taken over. I started off as a painter and I went from wanting to combine painting and screen printing as a medium in a fine art sense, to falling in love with the medium and the process of it, to teaching it on a private level, and then to starting to do commercial jobs with bands and local artists. 

BC: I fell in love with screen printing for slightly different reasons, it was more about the tactility for me, the way a screen printing poster felt to the touch really excited me. In the past, before I ever met Zissou, I always collected screen printing but I never knew why I was collecting it, clearly I was not collecting something else. It all boiled down to how things felt. I first figured that out when I moved back to Chicago and the Tokyo Police Club was playing in 2008. I walked into a record store and there was a poster up that I really liked and I touched it and enjoyed the weight of the paper and then I could feel the ink which really turned me on. It just reinforced something that I always experienced but never nailed down what was happening.

RF: Can you talk about your interaction with street art?

BC: I work with street artists and I have close relationships with what people would consider graffiti artists. It is an avenue of art that I have a great deal of respect for. One of my goals with Galerie F is to give them a venue and to represent them better while exposing them to more people. Some of the most collectable contemporary artists like Faile, started off as street artists but are held to a higher standard now. They are revered by fine art collectors and it is very easy to buy an original piece by Faile for $20,000. Yet they used to be a couple of kids committing felonious acts, but because of great management and representation they were catapulted into the fine art industry. There is a great deal of graffiti and street artists here in the city and we need to showcase the talent that they have on a local, national, and international level. 

ZTE: I think what is interesting on my perspective, because I do not have the history that Billy does in terms of street art is that I know what I like and I know why I like it, but I do not have a particular insight into it. What is interesting is potentially a lot of street artists that have been or are currently practicing street art do that because they, I think, have a lack of an outlet. It is an easy outlet because any wall or any street is available, you just have to go there and do what you have to do. If those people had potentially a better outlet to design and be creative within a structured environment, they could probably be even more so [creative] than they are. Potentially in a different format, but that is what makes street art so interesting as well because it is the format that it is. It is out there for everyone to see. It is accessible and tangible in the sense that it is not being sold to you and that it is what separates itself from any other artistry.

RF: With that, how is Galerie F trying to capture that mentality or portray street art and graffiti that is in alignment of its nature?

ZTE: Well I think it already has, we are not the first people to do it by any means. You have pop-up shows all the time of artists putting together events. There are a couple galleries in this city that do it as well. But what we are trying to do is to do it a little better, on a bigger scale, and a more accessible scale while being consistent. You don’t have to be at the opening or a friend of the gallery owner to get in there at a certain time. You can just be around and it will be there for you to view.  

Galerie F is planning to open on the 2nd week of July at 2381 N. Milwaukee (Fullerton/Milwaukee intersection), but being a gallery founded out  of the passion for their community, Galerie F needs the community to reciprocate that passion. Whether it is a dollar or a thousand dollars given to their Kickstarter linked below, that donation is a step forward in bringing a significant, innovative, addition to our cities artistic prosperity. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fugscreens/the-launch-of-chicagos-galerie-f

Chicago Craft Beer Week!

WEEEEEE! Just try to act like you're not that excited too. Then again, if celebrating Chicago's craft beer is usually only done in a week, my life is a bit...overkill. But then again, even the actual celebration extended a week to 11 days. May 17-27 with be the longest week of drinking you've had since that one time in college, at that frat house. It's ok, we all make mistakes. But SERIOUSLY! it's like christmas in july....except not july...and you know, more like the 12 days of christmas, except only 11. Check out CCBW's website for instruction on how to participate!

On the first day of Chicago Craft Beer Week, my local pub gave to meeeee.....28 REVOLUTION BREWING BEERS! (and yes, for your sake, i'm going to end that song right there.) Yes, naturally, your favorite Logan Square craft brewery is going to be partaking in the festivities. but get ready for the BIG NEWS! ....DUN DUN DUN!!!! Rev Brew's brand new Kedzie Brewery will be having its GRAND OPENING MAY 25TH, as part of beer week, of course. get your molotov cocktails and tear-gas goggles ready! No, really, you're going to need the tear goggles, because unfortunately, tickets have already sold out-in less than a week. What! but that doesnt mean you cant still drink to dang-ing the man else where! You can find Rev Brew's beers as featured specials for the week around the city at places like Francesca's Forno and Brixie's Bar and Grille. You can also get a more up to the date list here. And of course, you can always keep it real in the square at Rev Brew's original restuarant, where, as manager Morgan Marshall Says, "at the pub throughout the week you can expect awesome tap takeovers from Firestone-Walker and Perennial, and lots of tours and new releases!" I feel my heart pumping faster and my fist raising higher as we speak!

But wait, there's more!

On another day of Chicago Craft Beer Week Logan Square did give to meeeeeee....(ok, i lied about quitting the song...)THE HISTORY OF BREWWWING BEEEEER IN AAAMMEERICA AS TOLD-THROUGH-THE-PINBACK-BUUUUTTTTOOOOON!! oh man. Just try to hold that high note. Anyway, YES! Act like you dont have a soft spot in your heart for pinback buttons, carved out of awkward teenage years, really loud music, a need to define yourself as TOTALLY ORIGINAL WITH MY OBSCURE BUTTONS DUDE! And an unfounded rebellion towards your parents. coincidentally, sorry mom and dad! Seriously though, now you can take that love and mix it with a more grown up affinity...CRAFT BEER! Your cutest little beaver, Busy Beaver Button Company will be opening up the doors on May 23rd to their button museum, where you can get a private tour of everything from "Pre-Prohibition era buttons to Spuds MacKenzie buttons to modern day brewery buttons in the museum's extensive beer button archives." Check out the event on facebook here, and be sure to RSVP to the event at denise@busybeaver.net to enjoy pizza and beer from Piece Brewing Co., and bring your own beer as well!

Chicago Craft Beer Week
May 17-27

Holy moly! Did I make it through a whole post without calling myself a blog-slave? Am I...free? I'M FREE! I'M FR--oh. no. nevermind, I've just been celebrating Chi Beer Week a bit early.

See you there, remind me later!
-W. Tanner Young