Chicago Alderman Project 50 Alderman/50 Artist

22 03 2010

If you’re looking at that headline and are always thinking about urban art, it’s difficult to deny the correlation. But boy did I try.

I have no respect for Chicago’s City Council. They do not deserve to be saluted through art. There I said it.

I can’t deny that some have made good moves. Former Alderman of the 24th ward, Michael Chandler did an outstanding job revitalizing North Lawndale. At one time the poverty stricken area had a Starbucks, with a drive-thru! It was also home to a movie theater that employed neighborhood youth, a Dominicks with a fresh produce section and newly built and rehabbed condominiums. Chandler was defeated in 2007. If you happen to ride down Roosevelt near Kedzie, you will a close dilapidated movie theater, a closed Starbucks and the other the economic effects as well, both in the store windows and the pothole ridden street. Chandler is the only city councilman of distinction who I can recall.

Conversely, there is  Issac Carothers formerly of the 29th ward who wore a wire tap during meetings with real estate developers for a year in order to create a plea bargain for when he was to be called to trial for his fraud and bribery charges.  His trial is set to begin this month. According to the May 29, 2009 online edition of the Chicago Sun-Times “Daley issued a carefully worded statement calling the charges against Carothers “sad and surprising news to those of us who have worked with him.”” Carothers was the second councilman to plead guilty to federal charges, following in the footsteps of his co-worker, former Ald. Arenda Troutman of the 20th ward who admitted to misconduct in 2008. According to the February 1, 2010 online edition of the Chicago Sun-Times, Troutman said that all Aldermen are hoes.

On Thursday, March 15, 2010, Deborah Graham was appointed to takes Carothers seat. Lets see how that goes. By the way, Carothers’ father, a former Alderman was also charged and convicted of fraud and bribery in 1983.

But back to the art.

Johalla Projects decided to get an even better look at our elected officials. Located at 1561 N. Milwaukee, “Johalla Projects was established in the fall of 2009 by Anna Cerniglia as a venue for emerging and mid-career artists,” says their blog at johallaprojects.wordpress.com.

50 Aldermen/50 Artists curated by Jeremy Scheuch and Lauri Apple runs Friday, March 19 – April 2, 2010. The gallery is open on Saturdays from 12-5pm or by appointment during the week. For more information, contact the good folks at Johalla Projects at johallaprojects@gmail.com. V





Laser Graffiti

15 02 2010

I hadn’t heard about Laser Graffiti till I heard that Kid Static was scheduled to create it at the Mos & Doom show that was at the Congress Theatre on February 13th and now I’m enamored.

Laser Graffiti seems like a huge projector, projecting graffiti onto the sides of buildings. According to muonics, engineers of the one I’m going to show you below: “In its simplest form the Laser Tag system is a camera and laptop setup, tracking a green laser point across the face of a building and generating graphics based on the laser’s position which then get projected back onto the building with a high power projector.

They give you the recipe for creating one here. If you do make one, be sure to call me so that I can come and help you try it out. It seems that this system is mad politician friendly and just overall cool.

But really, I’m tired of typing about it. You watch the Graffiti Research Lab and Laser Graffiti in action. All I’ll say is that this is about as urban art as urban arts can get.

Venus





The world’s tallest female-designed skyscraper

23 11 2009

I saw this story on Fast Company first. Read that here.

The Aqua Tower

According to the Studio Gang Architects website: “In an increasingly dense city like Chicago, views from a new tower must be negotiated between existing buildings. Aqua tower considers criteria such as views, solar shading and function to derive a vertical system of contours that gives the structure its sculptural form. Its vertical topography is defined by its outdoor terraces that gradually change in plan over the length of the tower. These terraces offer a strong connection to the outdoors and allow inhabitants to occupy the building façade and city simultaneously. The result is a highly sculptural building when viewed obliquely that transforms into a slender rectangle from further away. Its powerful form suggests the limestone outcroppings and geologic forces that shaped the great lakes region.”

Architect: STUDIO GANG ARCHITECTS
Architect of Record: Loewenberg & Associates
Owner: Magellan Development
Program: Hotel and Residential High-rise with retail and commercial spaces
Size: 1.9 m SF including parking, 823 feet high
Completion: Summer 2009, currently under construction
AWARDS:
2008 American Architecture Award; Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture & Design

 

This is hot! We don’t get magnificent structures in the city often, but when one is created by a woman, we have to stand back in awe. This gives the entire city something to look up to. Learn more about the Studio Gang Architects at http://www.studiogang.net.





Sears Tower’s New Skydeck :: The Ledge

2 07 2009

Sears-2
CHICAGO, IL.- Sears Tower presented The Ledge, a series of glass bays that extend from the building, debuted to the public as part of an updated Skydeck Chicago experience. Reaching out 4.3 feet from the building’s Skydeck on the 103rd floor, visitors have unobstructed views of Chicago – 1,353 feet straight down.

“We’ve listened to our visitors and people just want to get closer,” said Randy Stancik, general manager, Skydeck Chicago. “You’d only need to see the forehead prints on the windows to know that visitors are constantly trying to catch a glimpse below. Now, they have an unobstructed view straight down and an exhilarating experience.”
I remember visiting the Skydeck when I was younger and being thoroughly bored. I was too short to see over the railing and the telescope left me really wanting to see my house from the cloud sky view. With the new ledge, it will satiate the thirst to put the Sears Tower’s height in perspective. I can’t wait to go up there.

An unmatched view is not all that Skydeck Chicago offers. From the moment visitors arrive, they will enjoy new interactive and educational museum-quality exhibits. The exhibits highlight the iconic landmark, and celebrate Chicago’s sports, architecture, pop-culture, history, food, music and people. Interactive displays feature the city’s rich history, major Chicago attractions and fun facts.

The multi-media elevator gives visitors one of the fastest rides in the world up more than one hundred flights, while giving visitors points of reference for the heights they are ascending along their journey to the 103rd floor. Design and branding firm Hornall Anderson developed the visitor experience to showcase the tower’s story as both a Chicago and global icon. Combined with The Ledge, the Skydeck Chicago experience provides visitors from all over the world an encompassing view of the building and the city.

“The Skydeck attracts more than 1.3 million visitors annually who enjoy views of up to 50 miles and four states,” Stancik said. “Now, visitors will be taken on a ‘one stop Chicago’ journey from the building’s inception and role in Chicago, to the daring experience that awaits them on The Ledge. In a single trip up to 103, visitors see and learn about the best that Windy City has to offer.”

MTH Industries, the Chicago-based 120-year-old glass and architectural metal contractor that installed Cloud Gate in Millennium Park, installed The Ledge’s glass panels. Each glass box is comprised of three layers of glass laminated into one seamless unit. The low-iron, clear glass is clear is fully tempered and heat-soaked for durability. In addition, the motorized system that projects and retracts the boxes from the building utilizes steel LinearBeams.

Read more at artdaily.org





Chicago Is Dishing Out Arts Grants

25 06 2009

Associated Press
5:10 AM CDT, June 25, 2009

CHICAGO – Dance groups, theaters and art houses are among the 277 organizations sharing $1 million in grants from the city of Chicago.

Groups received grants from $1,000 to $8,000 to support artistic work from photography and music to literature and mixed media.

Some of the recipients included the Ukranian Institute of Modern Art, A Red Orchid Theatre, the Chinese Fine Arts Society and the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus.

The City Arts program was started in 1979. It funds everything from emerging artist groups to large organizations with income of more than $2 million.