• News
    Theaster Gates Transforms the New Museum into a Church of Memories and Music

    On the fourth floor of the New Museum, a Hammond B3 organ waits to be played, keys in want of fingers. Thick black cables connect the instrument to a set of seven Leslie speakers hung on the walls—arteries made to pump the room full of vital sound. The organ and the speakers gesture toward the heart of Black music and religious intonation. Together, they form Theaster Gates’s A Heavenly Chord (2022), a ready-made sculpture and—occasionally on Saturdays—an active instrument. Read more

  • News
    The Color Wheel: A Review of “Monochrome Multitudes” at Smart Museum

    “Monochrome Multitudes” at the Smart Museum reimagines the ways and methods in which color and monochrome can be translated to the public. Red can be seen as rage, blue can be gendered and all color can be heard. The exhibition groups 120 works various sections and alcoves around similar themes. One grouping is self-reflective, another about monochrome sound, another looks at urban spaces, and one focuses on the body. While the themes are the same, the works range in material, color, context or history. Weavings, sculpture, painting and video are among the mediums used by the global artists in the show. Read more

  • News
    At 'Reflections on 1919', poet and sociologist Eve L. Ewing explores the remnants of Chicago’s Red Summer

    On July 27th, 1919, Eugene Williams, a 17-year-old boy from Chicago’s South Side, was cooling off in the waters of Lake Michigan near 31st Street when he drifted into a whites only section of the segregated lakefront. Having crossed an invisible racial line, a group of white beachgoers began throwing stones at Williams, causing him to drown. Williams’ murder – and the subsequent refusal by a white police officer to arrest the murderer – set off a week of shootings, arson and beatings in Chicago, in which thousands of homes were destroyed, more than 500 people were injured and nearly 40 killed - the victims of which were mostly Black. Read more

  • News
    Adrienne Brown appointed director of UChicago’s Arts + Public Life initiative

    Adrienne Brown, associate professor in the Departments of English and Race, Diaspora, and Indigeneity and in the College, has been appointed director of the University of Chicago’s Arts + Public Life (APL) initiative, a dynamic hub of exploration, expression and exchange on the South Side of Chicago that centers people of color and fosters neighborhood vibrancy through the arts. Read more

  • News
    Mrs Prada and me: why Theaster Gates has joined forces with fashion


    First impressions can be deceptive. When Miuccia Prada initially encountered Theaster Gates at the jazz club Ronnie Scott’s in London, Gates was performing on stage with his band The Black Monks. “I thought, my God! He looks so intimidating and unreachable,” says the co-chief executive officer and co-creative director of Italian fashion house Prada, who is also the creative director of Miu Miu. Gates, a multidisciplinary artist whose oeuvre spans sculpture, performance, installation, space theory and land development, laughs at the memory: “We had been rehearsing so much I had lost my voice. I was concentrating on making sure the notes that came out were good.” Read more


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Passing Through: Artists from DoVA 2012-2021

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Around Chicago

Class immerses students in monochromatic art exhibition

A group of students sit in a white room filled with white art. The class clusters around a piece by Robert Ryman, who painted almost exclusively white paintings. Seated beneath the painting, co-teachers, Prof. Christine Mehring and Orianna Cacchione, gesture upward, prompting students to look closely.

Harper Theater to close in November, will reopen early next year under new ownership

Harper Theater’s ownership is changing hands, and the theater will temporarily close on Nov. 30 for months of renovations and other proprietary changes, before reopening early next year. Tony Fox, who has been in charge of the theater at 5238 S. Harper Ave. for the past 10 years, said he’s retiring from show business. “It was the honor of a lifetime, but I’m getting out of the movie theater business,” he said.

1919 brings story of Chicago race riots to the stage

July 27, 1919 was a hot day in Chicago. That afternoon, 17-year-old Eugene Williams was swimming at a public beach when he drifted across an invisible color line extending into Lake Michigan. White beachgoers began throwing stones at him, and Williams drowned. The event sparked a week of violent unrest across the city that reverberated for decades to come. Yet it was a moment that few people, including University of Chicago sociologist and Assoc. Prof. Eve L. Ewing, knew much about.

Local Color on View in Show About Modernism and Monochromatic Art

Fall colors have a different look in Hyde Park these days. That’s where a new art show is filled with vivid colors – and plenty of dark tones as well. The Smart Museum on the University of Chicago campus is currently saturated with monochromatic modern art. One of the first works you’ll see is a triptych by Claire Zeisler, the amazing Chicago textile artist, and she made three panels — one red, one yellow, one blue. Then there is a gallery of artwork in yellow and gold. And a room full of red. And no small amount of black and white and everything in between. The curators call the show “Monochrome Multitudes.”

New Exhibition Series to Showcase Work of Incarcerated Young People

SkyART, the Weinburg/Newton Gallery and Arts and Public Life are partnering for a three-part exhibition series as they work to explore the impact incarceration has on young people. The artwork on display was created by incarcerated youth. One of the missions of the collaboration is to encourage the young people they work with to focus on where they’re going, not where they started.

Architecture Guide Leading Hyde Park Walking Tour Saturday

A free walking tour of Hyde Park is kicking off this weekend to commemorate the latest edition of the AIA Guide to Chicago, a prime source for local history and architecture. Laurie Petersen will start the tour 1 p.m. Oct. 8 outside the Seminary Co-op bookstore, 5751 S. Woodlawn Ave. The tour will be around 90 minutes. Eric Allix Rogers, a photographer specializing in Chicago’s built environment, also will join the event.

The Hyde Park Jazz Festival connects the south side to the wider world of jazz

Hard times will bring out anyone’s true colors, and the Hyde Park Jazz Festival certainly showed what it was made of when COVID-19 brought live music to a halt in 2020. Its organizers emulated the music that the festival supports, improvising ways to support local jazz. First, they arranged the Jazz Postcards series, small-scale outdoor concerts that popped up around the city. Then, while most festivals took the year off, they staged the 2020 festival in parks and on sidewalks around Hyde Park and adjacent neighborhoods.

Fall museums guide: art across Hyde Park

Hyde Park Herald
September 2, 2022

Murals Hit a High Note on this CHA Building

The Minnie Julia Riperton Apartments — yes, named after that Minnie Riperton, the “Lovin’ You” singer who trilled notes higher than a wood thrush playing a pennywhistle, the mother of Saturday Night Live’s Maya Rudolph — are drab even by the utilitarian standards of the Chicago Housing Authority. Opened in 1969, and representative of that decade’s bland, brutal public architecture, the building is a 14-story hinged box of brown brick and gray concrete stained by half a century of Midwestern winters. But look up — upupupup — crane your neck, squint against the sun, and see, hanging from two blank facades, a pair of murals depicting African-American family life.

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