From the Directors: Three Things

In our last update, we talked about what we’re doing as artists, organizers, and educators. For this post we wanted to share three things we are really into at the moment. These can include readings, art material recommendations, exhibitions, recipes, etc. These posts are meant to provide useful recommendations, and potentially an insight into our practice and interests.

LYNNETTE MIRANDA

1. NO/FUTURE: Mike Taylor at Booklyn Artists Allaince: Early January I visited Mike Taylor’s studio to discuss his upcoming solo exhibition at Booklyn (check it out here). Last Saturday I went to the opening of the exhibition and I highly recommend everyone check it out! The exhibition is up until March 30th, 2014. While I have seen some of Mike’s work at Booklyn before, this exhibition was a thoughtful presentation of his work and larger concepts within it. The exhibition and its accompanying publications are visually exciting and explore concepts of generational identity, politics, and popular culture.

2. Creative Time Reports: “From Santiago Streets to Parliament Seats, Chile’s Student Revolution” reported by Federico Zukerfeld on Creative Time Reports (CTR) on December 16th, 2013. Based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, artist Federico Zurkerfeld reports on the Chilean student protest movement demanding free public education, and their use of art, performance and creative actions. Click on the link above for the full report and watch the video below. This is one of many great articles and videos up on CTR, which publishes artists perspectives on issues of our time. On CTR there are various kinds of series including Forms of Life, a monthly podcast hosted by curator Nato Thompson, one of my favorites.

Video from Creative Time Reports; Created by Federico Zukerfeld.

3. MSJ Screen Printing Supplies: Back in September I bought two large aluminum screens from this company at a reasonable price and delivered in about a week. While you can buy screens locally, the company sells packs of 6 or 12 screens at very affordable prices. If you go in on this with a few friends it’s totally worth it (and they usually offer free shipping for the 6 pack). While I cannot speak about any of their other products, this is great option for buying screens in bulk.

JASON JUDD

1. The Mountain Was A Gift / Palomino: I have been listening to the Palomino EP from The Mountain was a Gift (a musical project from artists EJ Hill, Matt Austin, and Jeff Austin) while working. I haven’t been able to give it the attention it deserves until recently and I recommend you check it out. A stream of smart songs that is best listened to without attention to track numbers or titles.

2. In the Turn by Lauren Edwards at Andrew Rafacz Gallery: Last Month I visited Andrew Rafacz Gallery to see Lauren Edwards first solo show. I was familiar with Edwards’ work from my days as an intern at Gallery 400 and was excited to see what she would show at Andrew Rafacz. Honestly, the show is probably not for everyone, but I have a soft spot for work that critically engages images and architecture. Throw a bit of suggested narrative and exhibition design in the mix and you have Edwards’ exhibition. Recently the exhibition received a review in Artforum that was very on point.

3. The West Side Show Room / Vampire Lesbians of Sodom: I could not be more impressed with The West Side Show Room’s opening debut. I have recently moved to Rockford, IL and to have a group of people organize a space like this down the street from me is a wonderful surprise. I am not well versed on On-Broadway or Off-Broadway plays, but experiencing this play and space was exhilarating. Producer/Director Mike Werkle and Producer Liz Newman created a DIY theater was both engaging and entertaining. In the vein of alternative, The West Side Show Room exceeded every expectation from a professional cast, engaging staff, and hand made back drops from local artists to fold out chairs and cheap beer upon donation. The recent play Vampire Lesbians of Sodom has added additional dates and just released a new casting call. I am looking forward to were this is going.

ETTA SANDRY

1. The 2014 Calendar from Living Proof Print Collective: Living Proof Print Collective is a community-based print shop in the Twin Cities in Minnesota. I first heard of the collective because a close friend of mine, Emma Colón is a member of the group. Each year, the collective prints an editioned calendar and hosts a calendar release party as a fundraiser for their programming. This year, though I was unable to attend the party, I pre-ordered a calendar and picked it up when I visited Minneapolis over the holidays. Each page of the calendar was printed by a member of the collective or one of six guest artists who helped with the project. I’m excited to have supported this awesome organization and to have thirteen new prints to display in my kitchen as the year goes by.

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2. The Negotiation by Lilli Carré at the MCA Chicago: Since the fall, I have been working as an Artist Guide at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago leading tours for school students ages Kindergarden – 12th grade. Working in this position necessitates a new perspective for looking at art. No longer can I look at the work in the museum solely from the critical perspective of an art school alumna, practicing artist, and member of contemporary art culture but must constantly question which pieces will best engage students in a variety of age groups and how we can talk about them.

Right now in the MCA’s Chicago Works gallery, a gallery reserved for small solo exhibitions by Chicago-based artists, is work by Lilli Carré, a Chicago-based comic artist, animator, and illustrator. Featured in the exhibition is a new two-channel animation projected on opposite walls of the screening room that combines abstract shapes and textures with sound and movement to create an immersive viewing experience. This has become one of my favorite works at the museum to bring students to. It is accessible and exciting to students of all age groups and is always a pleasure for me to view with them.

 3. Wonder Weave Hand Loom: I got this little guy out of a large donation of supplies that was given to one of the organizations where I work. It’s a vintage plastic loom from the 1960s produced by Karbercraft. The loom is small and portable and has a built-in mobile heddle system that allows the weaver to easily raise and lower threads for plain weave. It’s just about big enough to weave coasters or granny squares that could be sewn together to make a larger fabric.
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