Visual Art at the 2012 Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival!

It's almost here....the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival is this weekend! On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, there will be no shortage of great music, food, craft beer, and of course, the visual art!

This year's fest features five curated art exhibitions in the Festival Center, numerous artists and vendors in our TWO MAAF marketplaces (one in the Festival Center and one at Milwaukee and Belden), two exhibitions in the Hairpin Arts Center, film screenings and the Threadless Make Great Market, curated by Urban Folk Circuit (located at Milwaukee and Belden).

In the festival center, next to Comfort Station (Milwaukee and Logan Blvd.), check out the five featured art exhibitions:

Spudnik Press- The 2012 10 x 10 Project
Penguin Foot Pottery- Transformation In Form: An Exploration in Shape
Latitude- City on the Make
AnySquared- Stop. Look. Listen
Comfort Station- The Bloomingdale, photographs by David Schalliol

City on the Make, presented by Latitude, features the work of Matt Austin, Walker Blackwell, Maria Hummel, Eileen Mueller and Victor Yanez-Lazcano. Stop. Look. Listen., presented by longtime MAAF collaborators, AnySquared is a multi-media art exhibit that poses the question: "If you could put one moment of your life on pause, what would it be?" It will be an opportunity to experience some of local Chicago artists' most defining moments. It is curated by Jenn Grossman in representation of the AnySquared Arts Collective and features the work of Steven Barrett, Molly Brandt, Jerry Cargill, Gabor Esperon, Jennifer Hines, Kayla Koeune, Luis Sahagun and Peter J. Schulz.

For Penguin Foot Pottery's, Transformation In Form: An Exploration in Shape, there will be work by Jeremy McLeod, Michelle Stiehl, Nicole Argy, Carrie Crawford, Sarah Finkel, Aly Stout, Jessie Decaro and Anna Spreitzer. There will also be live demos on the potter's wheel. Try out another hands-on activity at the Spudnik Press tent and view the work of Brian Hofmeister, Colin Palombi, Jeremy Tinder, Joe Tallarico, Justin Santora, Krista Franklin, Liz Born, Lovercraft, Nate Beaty and Revise.

Courtesy of Peter Schulz, part of Stop.Look.Listen
Chioke R. Morais, who showed with Elastic Arts for many years before leaving Chicago is returning to Logan Square this summer to be a part of the MAAF.  His solo show of all new works titled “Song for My Father” at the Hairpin Arts Center includes mixed media presentations inspired by the photography of his father and the games of his children.

“My father was a photographer in Harlem in the 40s and 50s and many of the pieces in the show are based on these small 2x3 photographs of his that I still have,” said Morais. “Because of their size, the pictures are kind of hard to display, you can’t really hang them on your wall and I wanted to preserve them, to give these people life again. So I decided to paint my interpretation of them. It seemed like a good way to honor my father’s work and it was a way to bring our art together.”

The shadow paintings depict the street games of his youth and the games his daughters play. His children and their friends cast many of the shadows on the actual paintings.

“I have such great memories of being a kid in Staten Island and then in St. Louis playing these games with my friends and I get great joy now seeing my own kids playing them. I felt like I needed to document that part of childhood,” said Morais.

Showing the work in Chicago “is perfect for me,” said Morais. “I live in a very rural environment now and both of these series’ celebrate what I love about urban life. Since Chicago is most definitely my favorite city, it makes all the sense in the world to bring the series there first.”

Morais has lived and worked on Martha’s Vineyard since leaving Logan Square in 2008. “I am really looking forward to being a part of the Logan Square art world again and thrilled to be bringing my work back in time for the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Fest.”
“Song for My Father” opens Friday, July 20th at 6 pm and will remain up through Labor Day Weekend.

Also at the Hairpin Arts Center is the Unity Park, Art in the Park gallery and several film screenings. On Friday night at 8PM, come out and get spooked at the 720 Film Screening, featuring five 16mm horror films all created in 2012 by local Chicago artists. On Saturday at 6:30PM and Sunday at 5PM, Cinema Culture will present an eclectic selection of short and feature films from local and regional film and video artists. Along with two special curated programs, Avant Garde Remixed and Watch This! Film & Video Tour.

Finally, on the south end, get some fun shopping done at the Threadless Make Great Market and MAAF marketplace. The Threadless market is curated by Urban Folk Circuit and includes handcrafted good by 12 artists and crafters. In addition, check out the artwork and merchants all along Belden, all while sipping on Revolution Brewing beers, Lula sangria and listening to Cole's stage music.

Check out the website for more info and for even more details about #MAAF2012!
Can't wait to see you there!


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