All posts filed under: Arts

Muhammad-Shah-Tent

At the Museum: Muhammad Shah’s Royal Persian Tent

For those whose concept of camping means food on a stick and a hard ground pillow, today’s luxurious outdoor excursions boasting banquets and hired help are a far cry. Yet the Cleveland Museum of Art is currently featuring a 19th century exhibit that gives contemporary glamping a run for its money. Muhammad Shah’s Royal Persian Tent, running now through June 26, 2016, transports visitors of the Arlene M. and Arthur S. Holden Textile Gallery to the Iranian royal court. The gallery features an embroidered round tent made for Muhammad Shah, who ruled Iran from 1834-48 during the Qajar dynasty. The dazzling piece was one of many tents owned by the Islamic court, where they were not only considered shelter but symbols of enormous wealth and power. Luxurious tents were pitched for imperial ceremonies, military campaigns, travel, and as gifts. The tent exudes a royal air on display with its richly hued panels illuminated against a shadowy gallery. The tent’s seven (of the original fourteen) plain red cotton exterior panels and complete ceiling beckon visitors inside …

Favorite Posts of 2014

Reflecting on a wonderful 2014, I wanted to share a few of my favorite projects from the past year. Auditorium Theatre Celebrates 125 Years With Anniversary Gala And Programming After 125 years, one of Chicago’s original luminaries shines brightly as ever (with exposed light bulbs). It was a delight to learn about the Auditorium’s culturally egalitarian vision and distinctly modern design and celebrate its many lives. Homecoming I had always dreamed of visiting my father’s homeland. When I resolved to travel to Croatia on my own and seek out relatives, I was surprised to find that my family wasn’t so far away at all. Interview: The War On Drugs’ Adam Granduciel, On Being Lost in the Dream One of the most gracious artists I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with, Adam Granduciel reflected on the journey of creating his most recent album. I enjoyed peeling back the layers of a work that conveys personal transitions in a familiar Americana format. Caillebotte Uncovered: Art Institute Restoration Reveals Hidden Details The combination of artistic masterpiece and scientific sleuthing drew …

Freebie: Edward Gorey Exhibits at LUMA

Whether or not you know him by name, you’re probably familiar with the style of Chicago-born writer and illustrator Edward Gorey. Gorey’s fingerprint can be found on works spanning over 100 books, publishing, theater design and direction, and even television’s Masterpiece Mystery. The Loyola University Museum of Art highlights Gorey’s whimsical sense of stylistic macabre in two current exhibits, running through June 15. Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey features over 170 works including original pen-and- ink illustrations, preparatory sketches, unpublished drawings, and theatrical costume designs. G is for Gorey—C is for Chicago: The Collection of Thomas Michalak draws from the private collection of a Loyola alumnus to examine Gorey’s “fanciful and frightful illustrations for book jackets, magazine articles, and children’s books.” Visit LUMA on Tuesdays for free admission and extended hours until 8 p.m. Fans of the idiosyncratic worlds of Wes Anderson or Lemony Snicket (who undoubtedly count him as an influence) will appreciate Gorey’s wickedly clever, self-sustaining microcosms. Be prepared to laugh out loud in the galleries at his poetic disposal of …

Freebie: Celebrate National Poetry Month

April’s edition of the Open Door series presents the perfect opportunity to celebrate National Poetry Month. The monthly reading hosted by the Poetry Foundation highlights work from new and emerging Chicago poets as well as local writing programs. The next Open Door reading takes place this evening at 7 p.m. This evening’s reading features CM Burroughs, an assistant professor of poetry at Columbia College Chicago. Her work has been featured in Callaloo, jubilat, and Ploughshares and her debut poetry collection The Vital System was published by Tupelo Press. Andre Price received a BA in creative writing from Carnegie Mellon University and is currently pursuing a MFA in poetry at Columbia College Chicago. Ruben Quesada teaches creative writing and literature at Eastern Illinois University. He is the author of Next Extinct Mammal (2011) and Luis Cernuda: Exiled from the Throne of Night (2008). Tana Young is a graduate student in English at Eastern Illinois University. Join the Poetry Foundation for one hour readings on third Tuesdays from September through May. Each Open Door event features two …

Come Together at the Cleveland Museum of Art

Cleveland has a new public square. Not the city’s downtown plaza, flanked by the three tallest buildings in its modest skyline. Five miles to the east of that Public Square, the Cleveland Museum of Art is transforming into a city center. The museum recently completed a historic expansion that is billed as the largest cultural project in Ohio’s history.¹ The expanded Cleveland Museum of Art balances old and new aesthetics with the magnificent Ames Family Atrium at its heart. Founded as a trust in 1913, the museum sits in University Circle’s Wade Park and holds over 45,000 works. The neighborhood boasts cultural capital including the Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland Botanical Gardens, the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Cleveland Institute of Music, Museum of Contemporary Art, Case Western University and other institutions. The original Beaux-Arts structure was built of luminous white marble in the neoclassical style in 1916. Subsequent expansions including a Brutalist 1971 wing by Marcel Breuer and additions in 1958 and 1983, resulted in a confused interior layout. The museum’s most …

SOFA Chicago 2013

SOFA Chicago, the Sculpture Objects Functional Art + Design Fair, celebrates its 20th anniversary this weekend. The art and design mecca, which features work from nearly 70 galleries around the world, including top glass, ceramics, wood, metalworks, textile, and jewelry artisans, draws many international art devotees to Chicago’s Navy Pier. To mark its milestone anniversary, SOFA debuted CONNECT, a student design exhibition and competition. Students from five of the world’s art schools have created unique design environments displayed throughout the fair, with Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute taking top honors. Entrance to over 30 lectures throughout the weekend is free with paid admission. Lectures talks by master furniture artist Wendell Castle and retired glass artist William Castle. Special exhibits that caught our eye include the Dinnerware Museum’s whimsical tabletop masterpieces and intricate craft of the American Association of Woodturners. View more images from SOFA 2013 at Chicagoist.

Interview: Artist Theaster Gates Discusses His New MCA Exhibit

Credit: Nathan Keay/MCA Chicago As one of Chicago’s brightest stars in the international art community, Theaster Gates’ current exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art opened last weekend to great anticipation. 13th Ballad is an extension of 12 Ballads for the Huguenot House, Gates’ work which was co-produced by the MCA last year for dOCUMENTA (13), an international art exhibition in Kassel, Germany. 13th Ballad examines the melding of two abandoned buildings and the accumulative affects of migration. Gates purchased the first building on Chicago’s Dorchester Avenue in 2009 as part of a continuing effort to rejuvenate his South Side neighborhood. Much of the Dorchester building was dismantled and its raw materials were used to reconstruct the historic Huguenot House in Kassel for dOCUMENTA (13) by a team from Chicago and Germany who worked and lived in the space. At a media preview prior to the exhibition’s opening, Gates described his curiosity regarding similar negative energies surrounding the former crack house in Chicago and dilapidated historic relic in Germany. “I wanted to put these two buildings in conversation with …

Freebie: Unveiled at the Art Institute with ‘Nighthawks’

I’m often asked whether I’m able to attend so many events by getting in free (no) or being paid to attend (hell no). I do spend a great  deal of time researching the intersections of interest and opportunity with regard to goings-on in my area, and people are surprised by how accessible cultural events often are. In the interest of saving you time and spurning exploration, I’ve started a series on free local events.