Weekend Arts Guide (2/27-3/1 2020)
Image Credit: Work by Yena Peace Park as seen in Presence and Absence, on view now at Heaven Gallery.
With the month winding down, this weekend is the last chance to catch several exhibitions across Wicker Park Bucktown! Other happenings, receptions, and special events fill in the schedule to keep things busy and our latest WPB Weekend Arts Guide has everything you need to know...
Challengers Comics + Conversation
Kelly Williams: A Letter to Jo Signing
Renowned comics illustrator and writer Kelly Williams will be at Challengers to celebrate the release of A Letter to Jo, the heart-wrenching graphic novel of a real-life WWII Polish-American machine gunner's letter home. Letter to Jo is at once a tender love story and a harrowing battlefield memoir which includes appendices with photographs, scans of the letter, developmental art, and an illustrated poem by WWII machine-gunner Leonard Sieracki (the author's grandfather). Kelly has also illustrated for Creepy and Eerie, the graphic novel Metaphase, WWE comics, and written and illustrated The Dark.
4:00pm to 6:00pm
Zine Club Chicago: Fascination Edition
What are you obsessed with right now? Chances are, someone has published a zine (or you’ve created your own) about your deepest passions, no matter how offbeat or obscure. This month at Zine Club Chicago: Fascination Edition, the group will be discussing the most captivating titles about topics that make our hearts beat faster. Bring your faves and join in a fun conversation complete with snacks! Zine newbies and longtime enthusiasts alike are always welcome at Zine Club Chicago, the city’s only book club-style event for people who read zines.
David Leonardis Gallery
Matt Lamb Paintings
David Leonardis Gallery is celebrating a new series of Matt Lamb paintings. DLG has over 100 fantastic Matt Lamb artworks available along with new works by Donald Topp, Aly Jados, and more! As always the PBR, red wine, and bottled water are on the house!
Reception 6:00pm to 10:00pm
Firefly Fiber Arts Studio
Meet and Greet with Knitcraft and Knittery
Firefly is very excited to be welcoming owner and dyer, Morgan, of Knitcraft and Knittery for a special meet and greet event! Join fellow knitters for the weekly Stitch Night, squish the newest trunk show yarn, and mingle with Morgan!
6:00pm to 8:00pm
Syd Veverka: Stop Complaining and Kiss Me!
Gallery Café presents Stop Complaining and Kiss Me!, a complete take-over by artist Syd Veverka. Veverka's colorful abstracts and playful imagery are encapsulated by her murals, tables, porcelain animals, paintings on canvas and drywall, and varied artistic output on exhibition.
Exhibition Closes - Final Day
Speak: All Ages Open Mic
We want to create a safe space for Chicago's youth to perform and share their stories, poems, music and more! Join us for the last Friday each month as we open the store to Chicago's young talent. Adults can join the fun as well, but we ask that any work shared be appropriate for young audiences (i.e. No racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist language. No sex, drugs or violence.) We're excited to get this started. Teachers, spread the word!
6:30pm to 8:30pm
AdventureLand Works on Paper
CA$H ONLY by Jacob King
AdventureLand Gallery will open a unique photo exhibition featuring Chicago born artist Jacob King, on view through the end of the month. CA$H ONLY will feature several works by King that explore the microenvironment of a rare Chicago institution, the “Slashie” (half bar/half liquor store). Rite Liquors is a community hub sitting in East Ukrainian Village. This Slashie institution remains a constant amongst the rapidly changing neighborhood King also grew up in. The works presented depict four years of this Chicago community while emphasizing conversations of culture and informational exchanges...All accompanied by a shot and a beer. Born in 1994, Jacob King documents complex and intertwined social scenes within Chicago using 35mm film photography. King first experimented with images at a young age through a darkroom course at Marwen, a youth art center for CPS kids. He continues his education at Northeastern Illinois University and has volunteered as a lab assistant at LATITUDE Chicago, a nonprofit, digital print lab in West Town. King has participated in many group shows over the years and CA$H ONLY will be his first solo exhibition.
Exhibition Closes - Final Day
Agitator Co-operative Gallery
Jessica Brackett: I Love You to Death Closing Reception & Artist Talk
Join Agitator in celebrating their first Artist in Residence as she delivers and artist talk at the closing reception of her solo exhibition I Love You to Death. Jessica Brackett is a Chicago-based artist with ties in LA, Portland, and London. She works in sculpture, painting, and installation. Through her work, she seeks to falsify the familiar and elevate the mundane. Working in still life, she uses plants, insects, and water as metaphor for the human condition. She received her BFA in Painting and Art History from the Kansas City Art Institute. Her paintings can be seen throughout the US, and Asia, as well as featured 3 years in a row on Emmy-Winning hit television series Portlandia.
Closing Reception & Artist Talk 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Natural Illusion: Samantha DeCarlo
Natural Illusion is an exhibit of new work by Samantha DeCarlo.
Exhibition Closes - Final Day
Robin Ha: Almost American Girl + Storytime with Queen Esther
The Volumes team is super excited to welcome Robin Ha while she is in town for C2E2. Her new book Almost American Girl is a graphic memoir that is sooo good! While at Volumes, Ha is expected to chat about her book, her work as a cartoonist, and so much more. She will be joined in conversation with comic artist Dave Kelly. Almost American Girl is a powerful and moving teen graphic novel memoir about immigration, belonging, and how arts can save a life. For as long as she can remember, it’s been Robin and her mom against the world. Growing up as the only child of a single mother in Seoul, Korea, wasn’t always easy, but it has bonded them fiercely together. So when a vacation to visit friends in Huntsville, Alabama, unexpectedly becomes a permanent relocation—following her mother’s announcement that she’s getting married—Robin is devastated. Overnight, her life changes. She is dropped into a new school where she doesn’t understand the language and struggles to keep up. She is completely cut off from her friends in Seoul and has no access to her beloved comics. At home, she doesn’t fit in with her new stepfamily, and worst of all, she is furious with the one person she is closest to—her mother. Then one day Robin’s mother enrolls her in a local comic drawing class, which opens the window to a future Robin could never have imagined...
Come one, come all to a special Story Time for queens, kings, princes and princesses! Queen Esther will read a Purim story, lead some fun improv followed by a photo op, and crown decorating activities. Come dressed as a queen, king, or any costume that suits your fancy, so bust out those princess dresses, prince crowns, superhero capes, and all of the rest! Be bold, be brave, and come have some epic fun while learning about this incredible Jewish holiday and meeting the great people behind the PJ Library. PJ Library sends high-quality, age appropriate Jewish books and music to families each month–with absolutely no strings attached. Beyond the books, PJ Library in Chicago offers holiday events, family meet-ups, opportunities for volunteering and many more ways to connect with the values in the stories and the people in the community
Storytime 10:30am to 11:30am; Robin Ha 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co. + 826CHI
Spring Bilingual Chapbook Translating Party
Calling all Spanish/English translators! Join 826CHI at Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply to help translate their next bilingual chapbook, penned by the prolific writers of their After-School Tutoring & Writing program! The group willl translate pieces of student work and discuss translation strategies over free lunch.
¡Oye, traductores hispanoparlantes! ¡Acompáñanos en 826CHI a traducir nuestro próximo librito bilingüe, escrito por los escritores prolíficos de nuestro programa de tutoría y escritura! Vamos a traducir obras de estudiantes, discutir estrategias de traducción, y comer lonche gratis.
Noon to 2:00pm
Firefly Fiber Arts Studio
Knitcraft and Knittery Trunk Show
Firefly is excited to be hosting Knitcraft and Knittery for their March trunk show! Knitcraft and Knittery is owned and operated by Morgan, a scientist by degree who has found that nothing can compare to being your own boss and getting to create something magical. Morgan considers knitting to be an art form and loves creating rich colorways inspired by nature. Knitcraft and Knittery tries to be as environmentally conscious as possible in their business practices, whether that is through dyeing habits or choice of fiber. The wool they source for dyeing is 100% untreated wool that comes from farms committed to protecting the environment and maintaining sustainable practices.
Noon to 6:00pm
Jackson Junge Gallery
Cuffing + In The House of Color
With the Holidays and New Year in the rear view mirror, we find ourselves in the midst of Cuffing Season! Cuffing, Jackson Junge Gallery’s first group exhibition of 2020, pays homage to this cultural phenomenon. The seemingly millennial occurrence fools no one...since the dawn of time, couples have turned to each other for warmth, comfort and seasonal fun when the days grow darker and colder. Urban Dictionary defines “cuffing” as the moment when “people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves, along with the rest of the world, desiring to be tied down by a serious relationship.” Cuffing explores these desires and exposes the intimacy and inevitable end to this “thirsty” time of year. The exhibition features artworks by sixteen artists around the United States including Alvin Black III, Michael Coakes, David Decesaris, Anita Frazier, J. Allen Hyde, Kurt Kreissl, Kenneth Marier, James Mesple, Christina Ivelisse Morris, Juan Arango Palacios, Darrin Patton, Karen Remsen, Samuel Schwindt, K Smith, Allan Teger, and Benjye Troob.
Jackson Junge Gallery presents In The House of Color, its first solo exhibition of 2020. This exhibition features paintings on both panel and paper by M Jackson, created at her studio here in Chicago. M Jackson, also known as L Lee Junge, has been hailed as an ‘intoxicating' new talent on the American artistic front. A fascination with movement typifies much of Jackson's artwork, which ranges dramatically from floral and inanimate renditions, to the worlds of musical expression or evocative, often jaded bar scenes. No matter what the depiction, the fluidity of her work channels an energy that seems to defy the very nature of a one-dimensional canvas. In this exhibition Jackson has altered her “In the House of” mindset to focus on “The House of Color,” or the theory that different colors, lines and shapes provoke a range of different emotions in an audience. The inspiration for In The House of Color stems from a passion for new artistic horizons. Experimenting with fresh forms of abstraction, Jackson has explored a new approach to her paper pieces. Allowing for a more flexible and oftentimes smaller surface than her usual large compositions these works challenge Jackson in a new way. Fascinated by color theory, Jackson’s focus lies with two of the primaries, blue and red. She is interested in the way that people are drawn to certain colors and the way those colors create energy and set a mood. In her own words, “When one asks why or what it is that I paint, the answer is very simple. I paint because I must and I paint what I feel. My inspirations are energy and movement and I strive to capture these as I explore various subject matters; it is my goal to touch the emotions of the human spirit.” Both panel and paper works will be on display and available for purchase during the exhibition.
Exhibitions Close - Final Day
Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co. + 826CHI
Secret Agent Storytime
Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to sing, dance, read books, and make crafts with Agent Zach and your friends, parents, and siblings on the first Sunday of every month at the Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co. This message will self-destruct in 30 seconds. We're counting on you, junior story agents! This event is free and open to the public. Recommended for junior agents ages 0-4 and their families.
Paul Sierra: New Works
Paul Sierra is a storyteller, a literary painter. He equally melds message with the pure art of painting. His works tell of mystic struggles; from coming to terms with life, to the finality of mortality and how that finality affects every day in between.
In A Room With Many Windows + Presence and Absence
One her exhibition In A Room With Many Windows, Chicago artist Gwendolyn Zabicki says "After becoming a mother, my relationship to time changed and warped. I am awake more hours than I used to be and am busier than before. Yet, there is also a lot of downtime in my day when I am feeding or holding my sleepy daughter. It is during these times that I am alone with my thoughts. Those brief, flickering thoughts that come and go so quickly between so many other things have become the subject of my new work. Sam Anderson wrote, 'How many fleeting associations combine to make up a life? How many rusty pipes do we mistake for owls? A vast majority of our waking hours are filled not with witty jokes or brilliant thoughts or epic feelings but with tiny, private mind-motions—thoughts that are hardly even thoughts at all, that don’t rise to the level of sharing with another human being. That millisecond when—again and again—a rusty pipe looks like an owl, or a newscaster’s voice reminds you of a long-gone uncle, or a daily routine sets off a small chain of involuntary associations. These things are almost nothing, and yet they are who we are.' These uncatchable, ghostly thoughts are almost impossible to notice and then adequately describe-- a kind man who held the door for me and my bulky stroller; the perfect shadows of two curators on a wall; a rainy flight home; that gray lady on a smoke break, seen over a decade ago, blending in with three gray columns; startling myself awake from a nap because I thought I was falling. The act of painting these fleeting thoughts is an attempt to capture a nearly invisible but very large part of being alive."
Presence and Absence is a collaborative group show of Korean and Korean-American artists based in Detroit and Chicago. The exhibition includes mixed media photography, video installation, minimalist objects, photographic installation of ceramics, non-traditional woven objects, and portrait paintings. Presence and Absence presents the artists’ introspective processes and the dialogue between materiality and craft that they each engage with. Stable and serene, historic and contemporary, traditional and speculative—diverse visual languages inform each work and together build a vital conversation about identity, culture, and experience today. The perspectives of each of the Korean or Korean-American artists represented in the exhibition are woven together to address the tension felt between the West and the East. In Presence and Absence, the artists identify conflicts tied to their educational backgrounds in the United States and the surrounding circumstances they are immersed in politically, socially, and culturally in Detroit and Chicago. Exhibiting artists include Joonghan Bae, Seuil Chung, Ray Im, Myungchan Kim, Jeong Hoon Park, and Yena Park.
Langer Over Dickie
Controlling Time extrapolates on the quick media that places a halt on late capitalism’s infinite stream of time. Based around “vignettes” of video made for the portable device screen that can be viewed anywhere, the videos in the exhibition mystify and evade immediate consumption. The videos are elusive in their subject matter and in their creation. They are the shadows and alternate temporalities that late capitalism abhors, and they become the lull contemporary society needs. The artists in Controlling Time use the materiality of video to assert autonomy and regain control over their temporal situation. As video continues to be the medium for emancipatory practices, envisioning alternative histories and possible futures, the artists in the show engage video art’s subversive history, and leverage its potential in order to create new discourse, and in turn regain control of the constant flow of time. The exhibition features work by Chekwube Danladi, Tanya Garcia, Jiwon Ham, Taha Heydari & James Williams II, Shawné Michaelain Holloway, Kasem Kydd, Charles Long, Yvette Mayorga, Jessye McDowell, Danielle Rosen, Vida Sačić, Alfredo Salazar- Caro, Rabia Tayyabi, and Marcela Torres. An concurrent pop-up will feature work by exhibiting artists as well as additional artists including AjA Design/Elnaz Javani, Shir Ende, Yvonne Martinez, and Xandria Phillips, with a make-up bar by Kate Bowen. Controlling Time is currated by KT Duffy.
LVL3 is proud to present something blue, a group exhibition marking their first 10 years as an artist-run space. something blue digs through the archives of LVL3 to welcome back 10 previous artists: Jaime Angelopoulos, Alika Cooper, Amy Feldman, Yowshien Kuo, Ryan Lauderdale, Christopher Meerdo, Adam Milner, Daniel Shea, Soo Shin, and Wyne Veen. LVL3 is honored to celebrate the accomplishments of these artists and the impact they’ve had on our programming. To commemorate the past decade, we pay homage to the traditional American 10 year wedding anniversary gift. Tin, aluminum, silver and cyan—the work in this exhibition celebrates something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.
Line Dot Editions
Sean Hannaway: Now With More Extra!
Line Dot is thrilled to present Sean Hannaway’s first solo show, Now with More Extra!, featuring a new collection of original paintings on reclaimed rococo-style mirrors. Hannaway is a Chicago born-and-based painter known for his punchy, densely layered style that blends high Renaissance subjects and graffiti aesthetics. The push and pull between his techniques, colors, and influences creates a dynamic tension in his work. A cheeky sense of humor pervades his practice, and is manifest in his use of plastic framed rococo-style mirrors from the 1960s as his canvases. Once obscured by layers of paint, the forms of the mirrors lose their gilded, gaudy essence and become graceful curves and flourishes that seamlessly blend into the final painting. Hannaway daylights as a Creative Director at Leo Burnett and has been featured in three previous shows at Line Dot, all of which sold out.
Little Broken Things
Wires & Fires
Join Little Broken Things for Wires & Fires! Ash Kirby's first ever art show will include colorful art prints of dragons and robots! Popping up with Ash will be Albina Tritina handmade beaded and wire wrapped jewelry. The folks of Little Broken Things are so excited for this event, so stop by and have fun with them! Bring a friend and drink, shop and support all things local!
Hookups & Breakups
Rainbo hosts an exhibition of wire art by Rich Salamander and collage by Orphan Schlitz.
Toy de Jour: Vintage, Toys, Arts & Farts
Toy de Jour and Junk Fed present Walrus Mania, a group exhibition featuring 30 artists working in painting, sculpture, toy art, illustration, and photography. The curated works will pay tribute to the vintage Star Wars Walrus Man action figure. Originally sculpted by Stephen Geddes for the now defunct Kenner toy company and released in 1979 as part of the second wave of Star Wars action figures, Walrus Man is one of the most vividly iconic action figures of its time. With a complementary contrast of orange and blue, flippered feet, and vaguely walrus-like head, the figure is a departure from the character depicted in the film, and remains a favorite among toy collectors. The Walrus Mania exhibit was conceived by visual artist Todd S Rogers, under the moniker Junk Fed, out of a personal obsession with the aesthetics of the original action figure and the creative liberties taken in its design, separating it from the creature seen briefly in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. Contributing artists include BattleBabies, The Block Watch, CantinaDanny, Cassie Hart, chooseplastik, Dollar $lice Bootlegs, Galaxxor, Green Plastic Tunnels, Nathan Hamill, Handmade Stuffs, Healeymade, Ironoclast, Jellykoe, Junk Fed, Killer Bootlegs, KrymsynGardImmoral, Lab Monkey Number 9, Mad Monster Lady, ManOrMonster?, Mortar Heads, Mr. Walters, Oscar Cisneros, Pez Banana, poopbird, Super Group Hugs, Terra, The Sucklord, The Tennessee Wolfman, Tiffany Flanagan, and Undead Speed Equipment.
Nick Van Zanten: easily suede
UGLY is pleased to present easily suede, an exhibition featuring new work by Nick Van Zanten. This is Van Zanten’s first exhibition with the gallery and will feature new entries into his Formfit series of abstract/wearable wall-mounted fabric assemblages as well as a series of photograph and sewn compositions.
Video Game Art Gallery
System Link: Video Game as Memoir
Video games have historically been a product catered to the player. A focus on engagement, replayability, and general entertainment value has guided design strategies that create impersonal pieces, appealing to the widest range of players possible. While film, music, writing, and other media have historically been vehicles of memoir and personal storytelling, games often maintain a trajectory as products of their audience and not their creator. The voices of the individual artists have recently begun to break through the standards of generalization in the medium, creating stories where players are able to experience the emotional perspectives of the creator. In doing so memoir games reveal that assumptions about the general audience skew toward specific perspectives, and exclude others. VGA Gallery's first exhibition of 2020 seeks to highlight those works, exploring how a range of game makers and artists have translated their personal experiences into the interactive context. Each work is designed to allow the player to understand, empathize with, and connect to other lived realities, using the participatory advantages of video games to express a story as no other medium can. The different projects showcased in System Link: Video Game as Memoir offer different answers to the question “What happens when you let the player of games into your story?”
Challengers Comics + Conversation: Kelly Williams: A Letter to Jo Signing - 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Quimby's Bookstore: Zine Club Chicago: Fascination Edition - 7:00pm
David Leonardis Gallery: Matt Lamb Paintings - reception 6:00pm to 10:00pm
Firefly Fiber Arts Studio: Meet and Greet with Knitcraft and Knittery - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Gallery Café: Syd Veverka: Stop Complaining and Kiss Me! - exhibition closes
Volumes Bookcafe: Speak: All Ages Open Mic - 6:30pm to 8:30pm
AdventureLand Works on Paper: CA$H ONLY by Jacob King - exhibition closes
Agitator Co-operative Gallery: Jessica Brackett: I Love You to Death Closing Reception & Artist Talk - closing reception & talk 7:00pm to 9:00pm
The Dime: Natural Illusion: Samantha DeCarlo - exhibition closes
Volumes Bookcafe: Storytime with Queen Esther - 10:30am to 11:30am + Robin Ha: Almost American Girl - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co. + 826CHI: Spring Bilingual Chapbook Translating Party - noon to 2:00pm
Firefly Fiber Arts Studio: Knitcraft and Knittery Trunk Show - noon to 6:00pm
Jackson Junge Gallery: Cuffing + In The House of Color - exhibitions close
Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co. + 826CHI: Secret Agent Storytime - 11:00am
Firecat Projects: Paul Sierra: New Works
Heaven Gallery: In A Room With Many Windows + Presence and Absence
Langer Over Dickie: Controlling Time
LVL3 Gallery: something blue
Line Dot Editions: Sean Hannaway: Now With More Extra!
Little Broken Things: Wires & Fires
Rainbo Club: Hookups & Breakups
Toy de Jour: Vintage, Toys, Arts & Farts: Walrus Mania
UGLY: Nick Van Zanten: easily suede
Video Game Art Gallery: System Link: Video Game as Memoir