Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A five minute video explanation of Neorealism

From Earnie Park in Sight & Sound magazine // May 2013
“The only great problem of cinema seems to be more and more, with each film, when and why to start a shot and when and why to end it.” – Jean-Luc Godard
Worth watching: http://vimeo.com/68514760

What is neorealism? from kogonada on Vimeo.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

July 2013 SLAC article on Chicago Artists Resource

South Logan Arts Coalition: Artists Helping Artists, Helping Neighbors

SLAC Puts Artists in Vacant Storefronts, Recharges a Neighborhood

South Logan Arts Coalition
Any artist working in Chicago knows all too well the challenges of finding studio space that is both affordable and accessible. We’ve all spent hours searching for work space with cheap heat and good ventilation, in a decent neighborhood, close to public transit and maybe even modifiable. But how many emerging artists can afford to pay for what is essentially the price of a second apartment, plus utilities? Even sharing can be risky; if a partner suddenly leaves, you could get stuck with the bill. Most of us don't take the risk, working out of a spare bedroom or sharing a damp garage with two or three other creative hopefuls.
Despite the overwhelming need for artist studios in Chicago, not many Chicago property owners care to address it. It is rare to find owners of buildings that are willing to work with the zoning and insurance issues that come with renting creative workspaces. Luckily, there are artists and arts advocates in the Chicago community that took notice of this need and took action.
Gwendolyn Zabicki, co-founder of the nonprofit South Logan Arts Coalition, not only found a unique way to support her creative peers and beautify her neighborhood, but she got what she wanted more or less for free. She and SLAC partners Jason Walker and Joe Tighe, the three of whom make up the SLAC board of directors—encourage Logan property owners to donate temporarily their unused storefronts and facilities to artists to use as pop-up studio spaces.
"I think it’s extremely important to attract and retain creative people."
To participate in SLAC’s program, non-matriculating, Logan Square-based visual artists are invited to submit proposals to be considered for a temporary storefront studio space. Accepted artists are provided a storefront studio for a period ranging from 30-90 days. They are also eligible for studio visits with established artists and curators. Because the artists are often working in storefronts, they have built-in opportunities to exhibit their work in the windows, and to host open studio events that are advertised by SLAC at no cost to the artist. SLACtakes no commission on works sold through the spaces
To say Gwendolyn and her team were able to run SLAC for “no cost” is not to say that they didn’t have a long list of obstacles that would prove both challenging and time-consuming. SLAC spent months working with Chicago aldermen, contacting neighborhood associations, communicating with volunteer arts attorneys and introducing themselves to dozens of property owners in Logan Square.
The SLAC board of directors, artists themselves, sets an example for the kind of relationships that artists can and should have with their communities and creative peers. Architect and Logan Square property owner JulesLapkus recognizes this. He has already benefited from SLAC’s efforts and creative energy.
“I took over this space four or five months ago. I had just put a sign up for rent and I wasn’t getting any calls. [Gwendolyn Zabicki] just came by and knocked on my door,” says Lapkus, describing the process of installing working neighborhood artists into his space.  “When we pulled up the Venetian blinds with the art, people started contacting me. I got five calls the first week because people can actually look in, and it’s not so foreboding.”
Lapkus’s collaboration with SLAC has inspired the construction of a new studio space on Diversey Avenue behind the Hairpin Lofts. As an architect, he is interested in working with Logan Square artists to give them the facilities they need to have affordable and functional workspaces in their own neighborhood.
“[The new space comprises] three storefronts and what I want to do is get that property occupied,” saysLapkus. “The [artists] can work in the three storefronts, split it up any way [they] want. I’ll provide the heating and the air conditioning, ventilation and new plumbing … clean up facilities, the bathrooms, wash-bins, whatever they need … I’ve got multiple buildings that fit into this scenario that are empty right now.”
Lapkus adds there is a yard behind the three Diversey storefronts that link up to Milwaukee Avenue. He hopes to install a privacy fence there to allow the artist-residents the option to invite the public inside for exhibitions and open studio events.
“I think it’s extremely important to attract and retain creative people ... I don’t want this area to turn to Manhattanization, [where a neighborhood] gets richer and richer and richer, and it becomes hollowed out,”
South Logan Arts Coalition has been instrumental in recharging parts of Logan Square and its storefronts. What used to be stretches of empty, boarded-up windows have been revitalized as tenanted, active studios boasting their own works-in-progress in the windows.
One of the most valuable aspects of being an artist is the ability to problem solve creatively—to approach obstacles with a unique perspective. South Logan Arts Coalition confronted the serious lack of affordable work space in Logan Square, and found a win-win-win solution that is good for the artists, the property owners and the neighborhood. SLAC’s program has had direct results—an inspired property owner determined to bring more a permanent studio solution to Diversey Avenue. Now: who’s going to step up and support the artists in your neighborhood?
The South Logan Arts Coalition is a nonprofit organization made up of Logan Square residents who support and value the arts. We serve as a facilitator between the owners of empty storefronts and artists from the Logan Square area. Our goals are to award local artists free, temporary work studios; improve the appearance of the southwest commercial corridor in Logan Square, with a focus on Armitage Avenue west of Western Avenue; and give artists increased visibility through promoted open studio events and studio visits from curators and established artists.

Read the article here: http://www.chicagoartistsresource.org/articles/south-logan-arts-coalition-artists-helping-artists-helping-neighbors

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Never A Lovely So Real

I have a new pop-up gallery downtown, which I've named Frogman. This space is mine to curate for the next six months to a year! My second show, Never A Lovely So Real, is opening this Thursday, July 11th (6 to 9pm). You can see install photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nvaughn/sets/72157634575182342/

And a visit from photographer and writer Paul Germanos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/73059802@N00/9268574985/

Clarissa Bonet, 2013

“Never a lovely so real” is a phrase from Nelson Algren’s Chicago: City On The Make. In the novel, Algren tells the story of Chicago’s history though its hustlers, hop-heads, and old cokey-joes “on the prowl for one last wandering square.” Ultimately, Algren declares his love for the city: "Once you've become a part of this particular patch, you'll never love another. Like loving a woman with a broken nose, you may well find lovelier lovelies, but never a lovely so real." 

About the Artists:
Clarissa Bonet (b. 1986 Tampa Florida) Lives and works in Chicago. She received her M.F.A. in photography from Columbia College Chicago in 2012 and her B.S. in Photography from the University of Central Florida. Her work has been exhibited in Chicago, California, New York, among other places as well as internationally in Paris and at the Pingyao International Photo Festival in China. She was the recipient of the Albert P. Weisman grant for two consecutive years. Her work is in the collection of the South East Museum of Photography and Calumet Photographic. In 2012 she was in the top 50 of Critical Mass, won PDN’s the Curator; search for undiscovered fine art photography. Most recently she has been chosen as a winner in Magenta Foundation’s 2013 Emerging Photographer exchange.http://clarissabonet.com/

Dmitry Samarov was born in the USSR in 1970; emigrated with his family to the US in 1978; graduated from SAIC with a BFA in Painting & Printmaking in 1993; published Hack: Stories from a Chicago Cab in 2011; lives and works in Chicago, IL. He no longer drives a cab.

Noah Vaughn is a Chicago-based artist whose work primarily deals with depicting overlooked and vernacular aspects of the built environment. He received a BFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1993, and has been working with photography since 2007.http://noahvaughn.com/

Frogman Gallery is committed to showing the work of emerging and mid-career artists in Chicago. The name Frogman comes from the group of top secret WWII divers trained in underwater combat. Like a scrappy Italian commando, Frogman Gallery appeared from nowhere and may disappear at anytime.

This exhibit was made possible by the generous help and support of the Chicago Loop Alliance. For more information, please visit:


Gallery hours:
Wednesday- Friday noon to 5:30pm

Frogman Gallery is located inside the Block 37 building, 108 N. State St, ground floor, Chicago, IL 60602

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival-- mention in Bad At Sports

The scene on Milwaukee Avenue this weekend.

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival Roundup

As if Logan Square wasn’t already the best neighborhood in Chicago (sorry haterz), this weekend’s Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival was the perfect combination of art, craft and deliciousness. The festival had everything: boneless rib sandwiches, hot dogs, cheese burgers, italian sausages, cheese fries, funnel cakes, Wisconsin cheddar curds, corn dogs, chicken strips, cheese sticks, cheese curds, nachos and potato skins. Here are a few of the highlights:
All of the things!
Lisa Lindvay somehow managed to make Doritos gorgeous at one of the SLAC storefront exhibitions
We loved Natalie Krick’s clever use of the dressing rooms in the abandoned clothing store where one of the SLAC exhibitions took place.
WTT? is a longtime GDBD fan, so we were of course delighted to see member Jamie Steele’s work, Lady(2013) at MAAF.
The extremely lovely and extraordinarily talented Nadine Nakanishi at her booth for Sonnenzimmer.
Aron Gent’s cardboard palace for Document &Threewall‘s joint booth at the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival.
Orange: No further proof needed than the ongoing and extreme popularity of the negroni slushies from Parson’s Chicken & Fish.
Mobile negroni slushie’s at MAAF this weekend. Photo via Parson’s Facebook.

LS Alderman, Rey Col√≥n, checking out a photo by Garrett Baumer at one of the SLAC’s pop-up art exhibitions on Milkwaukee.