• 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

     

  • News
    Vanja V. Malloy appointed the Dana Feitler Director of Smart Museum of Art

    Vanja V. Malloy, an accomplished museum director, curator, scholar and community builder, has been appointed as the Dana Feitler Director of the Smart Museum of Art, effective Oct. 1. She will lead the University of Chicago’s fine arts museum and its exhibitions, public and arts education programs, and student and faculty collaborations. Read more

  • Prof. Theaster Gates. Photo by Rankin Photography
    News
    Theaster Gates Jr. named Special Advisor to the President for Arts Initiatives

    Theaster Gates Jr., professor in the Department of Visual Arts and the College and a world-renowned artist, has been appointed Special Advisor to the President for Arts Initiatives at the University of Chicago. Gates is a social innovator whose work demonstrates the intricacies of Blackness through space theory, land development, sculpture, and performance. As Special Advisor to the President for Arts Initiatives, reporting to President Paul Alivisatos, he will build partnerships and plan the infrastructure for various arts initiatives, including those located off-campus in the neighboring University community. Read more

  • Around Chicago
    ‘Reclamation: Spirit of Black Dance in Chicago’ will be a Year of Dance event in Millennium Park you won’t want to miss

    It’s the Year of Chicago Dance — a yearlong initiative led by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events — and these days, you can find dance tucked into every nook and cranny of our great city. This summer alone, you might have come across pop-up performances at Navy Pier and Taste of Chicago, dance tutorials on the Riverwalk and in Grant Park, or dance-focused Art on theMART installations plastered nightly across the Merchandise Mart. Read more

  • News
    Lit 50 2022: Who Really Books in Chicago

    This year’s edition of the Lit 50, our first in two years thanks to the pandemic, might seem long, but it reflects a mere fraction of the accomplishments of the individuals and organizations we write about. The literary community is more vibrant than ever, whether it’s in the programming of an increasing number of venues, in the organizations providing support and advocacy for writers and readers or in the resurging strength and expansion of independent bookstores, it’s a great time to be a book lover in Chicago. Read more

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Events

Kali Malone Concert

Saturday, October 1, 2022
8:00 PM

Humanities Day on October 15

Saturday, October 15, 2022
9:30 AM

Exhibitions

All That Light: A Ten Year Retrospective of the AIR Program (2012-2022)

Friday, July 8, 2022 - 6:00 PM to Sunday, September 11, 2022 - 9:00 PM

Slavs and Tatars: MERCZbau

Thursday, May 5, 2022 - 9:00 AM to Friday, October 7, 2022 - 5:00 PM

Around Chicago

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

‘Black dance is American dance’

On August 27 in Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, the eight companies representing the Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project—Ayodele Drum and Dance, Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, Forward Momentum Chicago, Joel Hall Dancers and Center, Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago, Najwa Dance Corps, and Red Clay Dance Company (joined also by Creation Global and M.A.D.D. Rhythms)—share the city’s largest outdoor stage for the first time in Reclamation: The Spirit of Black Dance in Chicago, coproduced by DCASE as part of the Year of Chicago Dance.

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.

The Chicago Gallery Scene Is often Overlooked—It Shouldn’t Be

Several cities leap to mind when discussing America’s contemporary art galleries: Los Angeles, with its recent influx of East Coast spaces opening West Coast outposts. Palm Beach, as growing populations and support for the scene have turned seasonal locales into year-round ventures. New York, always ubiquitous. But Chicago seems perennially overlooked. Yet galleries in the Second City are thriving and distinguishing themselves from their coastal counterparts.

‘Art is all around us’: Exploring creative works across the UChicago campus

Most students and faculty on the University of Chicago’s campus are familiar with Henry Moore’s famous sculpture, “Nuclear Energy,” which can be easily spotted on Ellis Avenue in front of Max Palevsky Residential Commons. A large number of artistic works (in the form of sculptures, murals, and more) can be found inside and outside of the University’s buildings, representing intellectual achievements across a wide variety of academic disciplines. But some of them, unlike “Nuclear Energy,” are often overlooked by passersby on a bustling campus.

Africa International House USA, Inc. launches 33rd annual African Festival of the Arts

African Festival of the Arts, one of Chicago’s favorite end-of-summer festivals returns Labor Day weekend to Washington Park following a two-year hiatus due to the COVID pandemic. Spectacular pre-festival events embrace the theme, “Back to Culture. Back to Tradition” which emphasizes a return to the basic elements needed to sustain healthy, vibrant, and culturally anchored communities.

Smart Museum of Art closed for summer due to renovations

The Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago is closed until Sept. 21, as its gallery-adjacent study room is getting its first major renovation since the space opened in 1999. The renovation, designed by Chicago firm Wheeler Kearns Architects, is set to expand and enhance the study room's research and teaching utility by doubling its current footprint to 700 square feet.

How to celebrate Juneteenth at the University of Chicago

This year, members of the University of Chicago community have organized events to celebrate Juneteenth, the annual celebration that is now in its second year as a U.S. federal holiday. Juneteenth traces its origins to the reading of “General Orders No. 3” in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865—which brought news of freedom to enslaved people years after President Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

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