Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Arts & Activism in the Midwest" Panel Discussion

Thursday, October 1, 2009 (7:00-9:00 p.m.)

You are invited to attend this “Arts and Activism in St. Louis, Detroit, and Chicago” panel discussion, which is part of the “Arts and Activism in the Midwest” Series. This panel discussion focuses on the arts scenes in these three Midwestern cities, and it is also part of the Fourth Annual Chicago Calling Arts Festival.

The panelists include James McAnally, Amanda Mueller, Andrew James, and Tony Renner in St. Louis; Rebecca Mazzei, Emily Linn, Jenenne Whitfield, and Joel Peterson in Detroit; and Lindsay Obermeyer, Carol Ng-He, Theaster Gates, Jennifer Karmin, and Dan Godston in Chicago. The panelists will be connected over the internet, via skype, so the panelists and other participants will be able to see and hear each other.

free and open to the public

Chicago location: Little Black Pearl Art & Design Center (7-9 p.m. CST)
1060 E. 47th St.
Chicago, IL 60653-3600

St. Louis location: The Luminary Center for the Arts (7-9 p.m. CST)
location: 4900 Reber Place
Saint Louis, MO 63139

Detroit location: Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (8-10 p.m. EST)
5141 Rosa Parks Blvd.
Detroit MI 48208

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“Arts and Activism in the Midwest” Series

"Arts and Activism in the Midwest" is an ongoing forum which happens four times in 2009 and 2010. Each event involves Chicago and two other Midwestern cities. The purposes of the "Arts & Activism in the Midwest" series include:
* discussion about strengths and challenges regarding independently run arts, education, and activism efforts throughout the Midwest region -- in relation to the cities, towns, and rural areas in which they exist
* ideas about opening up more communication & setting up possible collaborations between organizations and individual artists living in different Midwestern cities
* discussion regarding cultural dynamics in Midwestern cities (relations with legislators, community involvement, funding opportunities, etc.)

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Theaster Gates

Dan Godston teaches and lives in Chicago. His writings have appeared in Chase Park, After Hours, Versal, Drunken Boat, 580 Split, Kyoto Journal, Eratica, The Smoking Poet, Horse Less Review, Apparatus Magazine, and other print publications and online journals. His poem “Mask to Skin to Blood to Heart to Bone and Back” was nominated by the editors of 580 Split for the Pushcart Prize. He also composes and performs music, and he works with the Borderbend Arts Collective to organize the annual Chicago Calling Arts Festival.

Andrew James is an artist originally born in Knoxville, TN. He completed his MFA at The University of California in Berkeley in 2003, relocated to St. Louis in 2004, and in 2005 bought an 100 + year old building that he has been renovating ever since. In 2008, the first floor of 2247 Gravois was renovated into Good Citizen Gallery, which opened its doors in November of that year.
The Gallery, under the direction of James along with a considerable amount of aid from Amanda Gray-Swain, is dedicated to showcasing contemporary artists working in a variety of styles and mediums. The gallery is committed to presenting work in both traditional and non-traditional formats, which tackle a variety of concepts and perspectives. Since opening, many of their shows have received glowing reviews from both the Riverfront Times and The St. Louis Beacon, and St. Louis Magazine put Good Citizen on their A-List for Best New Gallery.
Along with the gallery, the 14’ x 48’ billboard that sits atop 2247 Gravois has been used to expand artist’s visibility into the public realm. This public project has so far given four different artists the chance to work on a grand scale usually reserved for advertising. The billboard project has so far included, Deborah McClary (Jan. – March), Jennifer Flores (April – June), Alison Ouellette-Kirby (July – Sept.), and Greg Pond (October – Dec.).

Jennifer Karmin is a poet, artist, and educator who has published, performed, exhibited, taught, and experimented with language throughout the U.S. and Japan. She teaches creative writing, literature, and media literacy to immigrants in Truman College's Adult Education Program. The recipient of a Gwendolyn Brooks Teaching Award, she also works as a Poet-in-Residence for the Chicago Public Schools. In 2009, Flim Forum Press will publish her text-sound epic Aaaaaaaaaaalice. Jennifer curates the Red Rover reading series and is a founding member of the public art group Anti Gravity Surprise. Her multidisciplinary projects have been presented nationally at festivals, artist-run spaces, community centers, and on city streets. Past grants and residencies include funding from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, the Djerassi Program, the Joseph Kellman Family Foundation, the Poetry Center of Chicago, Poets & Writers, Rochester Community Savings Bank, and the Synapses Foundation. She earned her B.A. in the Poetics Program at the University of Buffalo and M.F.A. in the Writing Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Web links to her writing, publications, and projects are listed below.

James McAnally, Director of The Luminary | Center for the Arts, is a writer, artist and musician educated at Washington University in St. Louis. Since founding The Luminary in 2007, he has worked to establish an international residency program, an award-winning concert series, and a challenging exhibition schedule that promotes interactivity and offers emerging artists the opportunity to thrive. With this multi-disciplinary emphasis, he has sought to bring together different expressions of contemporary art into a public dialogue with a new generation of art appreciators.

Amanda Mueller is a local artist and arts education professional. While employed full-time by one of St. Louis’s central arts institutions, Amanda still manages/tries to find time on the side to get involved with other projects, artists, and organizations in St. Louis and beyond. Examples of Amanda’s unofficial ‘work’ on the side include her own (very) sporadic art shows and projects, getting involved with children’s art activities and shows hosted by a smattering of local venues, and Uncle Envelope, a monthly children’s mail art project based in NY, but distributed to subscribers throughout the US.

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Carol Ng-He is a Chicago-based artist and art educator. She received a Master’s degree of Arts in Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Bachelor’s degree in Arts from Columbia College Chicago. She performed and exhibited locally at Mess Hall, Links Hall, the Duncan YMCA Chernin Center for the Arts in Chicago, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, Koehnline Museum of Art at Oakton Community College. Currently Carol teaches at Columbia College Chicago, Roosevelt University and Oakton Community College. She also freelances as a teaching artist at Silk Road Theater Project, and Young Asians With Power! (YAWP!), and Chicago Teen Museum.

Lindsay Obermeyer has exhibited her art at venues in the UK, Canada, Italy, Australia, Denmark and Colombia as well as throughout the United States at galleries and museums including the Museum of Art and Design, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Milwaukee Museum of Art. Her work has been featured in Newsweek, Fiberarts, The Los Angeles Times, and other publications. She is a project designer for Lark Books and the visual arts researcher for Chicago Artists Resource.

Tony Renner is a visual artist who has lived in St. Louis since 1981. Renner has taken photographs for years but his interest blossomed after purchasing a digital camera in 2005. Renner started painting in 2007 shortly after writing his Master's (in American Culture Studies) thesis. "Painting was as far from writing as I could get," Renner says. St. Louis print-maker Tom Huck has called Renner "a man of mystery." Renner has exhibited work at various locations throughout St. Louis and he received an award of excellence from Art St. Louis jurors in 2007.
Renner began playing electric guitar in public performance in the mid-1990s, and he has continuing playing solo gigs and in groups such as Tiger Mountain, Ne Plus Ultra, Cenozoic, and, currently, Learn, Artist!

Jenenne Whitfield has served as the Executive Director of the critically acclaimed Heidelberg Project for the last 16 years. Under Ms. Whitfield’s direction, The Heidelberg Project (Founded by Tyree Guyton) has expanded its goals to include acquisition and restoration of property in the Heidelberg area, development of an artist-in-residence program and implementation of community art and education programs. Her leadership and commitment have enabled the project to extend its reach by participating in joint projects with museums, universities and other educational organizations. Her relentless enthusiasm and tireless efforts have won increasing support and respect for this often-controversial endeavor. Her persistence has been rewarded by a growing worldwide interest in the message she embraced on that summer afternoon when she asked “what is all this?” and felt the answer resonate inside her.
Organizational Awards and achievements received under her leadership include: Michigan Notable Book Award, Connecting the Dots, Tyree Guyton’s Heidelberg Project (2008); Outstanding Community Achievement (2006); Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (2005); Environmental Design Research Association (2004); Emmy Award Winning Documentary, Come Unto Me, the faces of Tyree Guyton (2000). In addition to her role as executive director for the Heidelberg Project, Whitfield lectures regularly with Guyton and teaches a course at Wayne State University, “Topics in Art and Community.”

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The Fourth Annual Chicago Calling Arts Festival (CCAF4) takes place October 1-11, 2009, featuring Chicago-based artists collaborating in performances and projects with artists living in other locations -- both here in the U.S. and abroad. These collaborations will be prepared or improvised, and some performances will involve live feeds between Chicago and elsewhere. CCAF4 venues include: Little Black Pearl Art & Design Center, Claudia Cassidy Theater at the Chicago Cultural Center, The Velvet Lounge, Elastic Sound & Vision Gallery, Epiphany Church, Columbia College Concert Hall, WNUR, Mercury Café, WLUW, Myopic Bookstore, Café Ballou, Quaker House, Hotti Biscotti, Brown Rice, and other venues.

CCAF4 is being organized by the Borderbend Arts Collective, a not for profit organization. Borderbend’s mission is to promote the arts, to create opportunities for artists to explore new directions in and between art forms, and to engage the community.

Chicago Calling is part of Chicago Artists Month, the fourteenth annual celebration of Chicago’s vibrant visual art community. In October, more than 200 exhibitions of emerging and established artists, openings, demonstrations, tours, open studios and neighborhood art walks take place at galleries, cultural centers and arts buildings throughout the city. For more information, call 312.744.6630. Chicago Artists Month is coordinated by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and is sponsored by the Chicago Office of Tourism with additional support from 3Arts.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Vibrational Sound Narratives

By artist Alpha Bruton
Exhibiting a series of 12"x 18" acrylic on paper, a four year exploration of various jazz musicians, improvisational Jazz, creative music, electric music, and alternative sound, where I created abstract sketches in a response to their sound stream, and what I was feeling, or seeing during these performances.

Vibrational sound narratives are a very comprehensive system of patterns, or vibrations that teach our bodies at all levels how to have a new experience. They activate a practice similar to Vibra Keys association with sound, shape, and image in the context of emotional response, and unlock visual-spatial intelligence in the artists among us, who think in pictures and images.

Some of the musicians perform at venues in Chicago: Elastic Sound & Visionary Gallery, Chicago Calling Arts Festival, Brown Rice, Umbrella Music Festival at the Chicago Cultural Center, Velvet Lounge, Ancestral Lofts, Heaven Gallery, Empty Bottle, AACM tribute to Fletcher Henderson at Millennium Park, Earnest Dawkins Sunday Afternoon Jam sessions, Nicole Mitchell's tribute to Alice Coltrane, Ways and Means Trio, and Dan Godston and Jon Godston’s Mingus Awareness Project, just to list a few.

The project is supported in part by the Borderbend Arts Collective, Elastic Arts Foundation, Logan Square Chamber of Arts, and the  Phantom Gallery Chicago, curated by Susan Fox.

Exhibition October 1- October 31, at the Elastic Sound and Visionary Gallery, 2830 N. Milwaukee,  2nd Floor, Chicago IL.

Opening Reception October 3rd, 2009 6pm - 8pm, Free  and open to the public
Concert: October 3rd, Chicago Calling Arts Festival 4 (CCAF4) 8pm, 2nd set 11pm $12