Thursday, October 16, 2008

Art shows indicate neighborhood strengths

From the evidence at archaeological sites and art museums around the world, one might conclude that arts and culture are outgrowths of strong and healthy societies: that it takes a thriving and culturally advanced community to foster a high level of creative output among its residents.

If that is true, some Chicago neighborhoods might be stronger than traditional economic and social measures suggest. The arts are thriving across the South and West Sides, and this weekend the evidence will be on display in South Chicago, East Garfield Park, Little Village and Pilsen.

It's all part of the citywide Chicago Artists Month, but what impresses me is how individuals and organizations in neighborhoods have very consciously cultivated and promoted and participated in the creation of art by local residents -- and in public gatherings that honor that creative work.

So my hat is off to the organizers of these events:

Garfield Park: Alpha Bruton alerted me to this exhibition, part of the Phantom Gallery series.

Fred Owens, Helen Jones Myers, Vivian Vissar, Jamin Jadda, Gabriel Patti, Kat Silverstein, Nancy Zook, Students from Chicago Christian Academy, Loveitta Simpkins, Dewitt Quayim

Garfield Park Market Place (just north of the Garfield Park Conservatory on Central Park Avenue)
Friday, Oct. 17, 2008, noon to 8 p.m. Reception 5 to 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 18 and 19, noon to 5 p.m.
Learn more at

South Chicago: Claretian Associates is promoting a whole series of events including a gallery in their own office space, a knitting workshop at Villa Guadalupe, cartooning for kids and a performance by the 63rd Street Drummers.

Friday, October 17
Knitting Basics by Marisa Arevalo of Studio KOI
Villa Guadalupe
3201 E. 91st Street
6:15pm - 7:15pm
Participants must bring their own supplies or project.

Saturday, October 18 Saturday, October 18
Sweetest Day for Artists, Performers, and Musicians by The 63rd Street Drummers with Ms. Yakiri, Flo Mills, and Artist Friends Pilgrim Baptist Church 3235 E. 91st Street 2pm - 4pm

For the full schedule, go here:

Little Village Arts Fest:
Villarte, an emerging arts coalition in Little Village, organized two days of free art exhibits, performances and workshops that kick off Friday night, October 17, from 6 to 10 p.m. in the Second Federal Savings parking lot at 25th Place and Pulaski. Get the official map and program at Catedral Cafe (2500 S. Christiana) or download it here.

Pilsen Open Studios:
Bigger than ever, this Saturday and Sunday event features dozens of artists and locations throughout the neighborhood (see map below by Salvador Jimenez). Many of the artists will be at the kickoff from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17, at Prospectus Art Gallery, 1220 W. 18th Street.

By any measure, that's a pretty convincing display of cultural strength, don't you think?

1 comment:

Patrick Barry said...

Just in from Alpha Bruton is that the weekend's activity at Garfield Market Place will include the SpEak OuT Open Mic event featuring poetry, rap and spoken word, starting Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Garfield Park Conservatory Market Place, 300 North Central Park Avenue.