Category Archives: Art

AIDS Garden Chicago Gets 30′ Haring Sculpture

AIDS GARDEN CHICAGO TO UNVEIL SIGNATURE 30-FOOT KEITH HARING SCULPTURE, SELF-PORTRAIT, THIS FALL, COMPLETING FIRST PHASE OF NEW PUBLIC LAKEFRONT GARDEN

 

In partnership with the Chicago Parks Foundation, the new AIDS Garden Chicago will memorialize the early days of Chicago’s HIV epidemic & honor those who continue to fight against the disease

 

 The Chicago Parks Foundation today announced that the first phase of the new AIDS Garden Chicago will be complete this Fall with the unveiling of a specially-commissioned 30-foot-high sculpture, Self-Portrait, by iconic HIV/AIDS activist and artist, the late Keith Haring. (Precise installation date to be announced.)  AIDS Garden Chicago will be the city’s first public monument to memorialize the early days of Chicago’s HIV epidemic and to honor those who continue to fight against the disease today.   As previously released, the new 2.5-acre public lakefront garden will be located along Lake Michigan just south of Belmont Harbor, at the original location of the ‘Belmont Rocks,’ a space where the local gay community gathered between the 1960s and 1990s.

“The fight against HIV/AIDS represents more than a health epidemic: it symbolizes a time in our history when the LGBTQ+ and ally communities came together in the face of tragedy,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “We lost countless neighbors and friends and relatives over the years, but we have made significant strides in combatting the virus. What was one of the darkest moments of the 20th century has given way to a blooming garden of hope and love; this new AIDS Garden Chicago will serve as a permanent reminder of how far we have come and as a way to honor those who continue the work of getting to zero new HIV infections.”

“The Chicago Parks Foundation is so honored to be a part of this historic and legacy project for the city and all the communities and individuals who have been affected and still are living with HIV/AIDS.  We are far from eradicating the disease, but this garden and iconic Keith Haring sculpture will serve as a beacon of hope and unity for all.  This is truly a park with a purpose and a message,” said Chicago Parks Foundation Executive Director Willa Lang.

“We have worked closely with some of our longtime community leaders, held meetings with various community groups and are now excited to start phase one of this overdue project,” said Alderman Tom Tunney (44). “Self-Portrait’s new home at AIDS Garden Chicago, in the 44th Ward, is a small but powerful way to continue talking about the epidemic as we fight to bring both HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths to zero.”

Bold, bright green and nearly three stories high, Self-Portrait will be the largest iteration of this popular sculpture that has ever been fabricated, and the Chicago Parks Foundation expects it to be the Garden’s signature anchor and gathering point.  Working with the Chicago Park District and designed by landscape architects Design Workshop, AIDS Garden Chicago is set to be complete in 2020 and will include unique areas designed for reflection, education, honor, and pride.  Visitors will be guided with markers and milestones through a variety of intimate and collective garden spaces to be coordinated and maintained by community gardeners still in formation.  This park garden will provide a sensory nature experience; the most notable being a memorable grove of Gingko trees and a perennial garden of natural plantings at the entrance. A serpentine path will be the site for future temporary art installations organized by community partners.

Self-Portrait is provided to AIDS Garden Chicago through a generous gift from the Keith Haring Foundation with personal financial support from Alderman Tom Tunney that was matched by the Alphawood Foundation Chicago.  Rosenthal Fine Art, which facilitated the conversation with the Haring Foundation, was established here in 1986 and has most recently been dedicated to making art more accessible to the public through partnerships with private developers and city agencies.

Keith Haring (1958-1990) generously contributed his talents and resources to numerous causes. In 1989, Haring established a foundation to ensure that his philanthropic legacy would continue indefinitely. The Keith Haring Foundation supports arts and educational institutions by funding exhibitions, educational programs, and publications that serve to contextualize and illuminate the artist’s work and philosophy.

Alderman Tom Tunney and the Chicago Parks Foundation thank all the valuable partners still in formation and continuing to grow, including the Keith Haring Foundation, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Alphawood Foundation Chicago, Center on Halsted, Friends of the Parks, Howard Brown Health, and Legacy Project.  The Chicago Parks Foundation welcomes additional financial partners to help bring the project to completion.

The Chicago Parks Foundation, the charitable partner to the Chicago Park District, was established in 2013 as a nonprofit to operate in a private-public partnership in support of Chicago’s parks, independent and collaborative in spirit. The Foundation facilitates over $2.3 million in grants annually that support Chicago parks and park programs. More information can be found at https://www.chicagoparksfoundation.org/

More information on AIDS Garden Chicago can be found at AIDSgardenchicago.org.

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Art on the Mart and Cirque du Soleil

Have you seen Art on theMART  yet? It is  the largest permanent digital art projection in the world!   It’s pretty cool  to have this in Chicago!

Cirque du Soleil and its current hit production, VOLTA, now playing under the Big Top at Soldier Field, takes inspiration from the City’s 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre with a vibrant, larger-than-life animated projection as part of the popular public art program Art on theMART.   Click here for a preview.

 

VOLTA – a hit with both critics and consumers, alike, since opening May 21 — is a coming-of-age tale, a story of putting yourself on the line, facing spectacular challenges, and discovering for yourself what comes next. As developed expressly for Art on theMART, the projection named “VOLTA” reflects the state-of-the-art acrobatics, kinetic motion, grandiose scale, and human intimacy of the Cirque du Soleil show that inspired it, as told through the inimitable 3D animation and illusions of Chicago Projection Mapping, LLC. and concepted by creative media agency Empower.  “VOLTA” can be seen as part of the Art on theMART program nightly, starting 15 minutes after sundown, through the end of the production’s engagement in Chicago, July 6, 2019.

 

The 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre is a city-wide celebration of Chicago’s theater community spearheaded by the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and the League of Chicago Theatres.

 

“VOLTA is set in an urban environment and is inspired by the street fashion and culture. There is no better way to express that energy than by being part of the biggest urban artwork in Chicago,” said Steven Ross, Senior Publicist of VOLTA by Cirque du Soleil. “When we visit a city, we try to get involved and get inspired as much as possible by the local community. Working hand in hand with the Chicago creators and being invited to bring our colors to Art on theMART is a very powerful way for us to connect with the local people and celebrate the talents from here.”

 

“Art on theMART seeks to activate the façade of theMART with a variety of creative approaches that are accessible to all Chicagoans and visitors. We welcome the opportunity to bring the captivating work of the Cirque du Soleil artists onto our public platform,” added Cynthia Noble, Executive Director of Art on theMART.  Watch for more cool visuals,   as they change seasonally!

PRIDE NIGHT  at  Cirque is happening  June 18th!

It will benefit  Equality Illinois  and  you can get 15%  OFF.

Enter code EQIL to enjoy 15% off tickets!

Cirque du Soleil is presenting VOLTA’s Chicago engagement under its signature Big Top at the Soldier Field South Lot, 1410 Museum Campus Drive, Chicago, through July 6, 2019, only. Tickets, starting at $49, are available for purchase by visiting cirquedusoleil.com/volta or calling 1-877-9CIRQUE (1-877-924-7783).

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Cirque du Soleil brings new production, VOLTA May 2019

Cirque du Soleil brings VOLTA, its newest Big Top production, to new Chicago location, Soldier Field South Lot, May 18 – June 23, 2019!

Tickets on sale exclusively to Cirque Club members November 20;
General on-sale begins November 26 (‘Cyber Monday’)

 

Get a sneak peek of VOLTA here!

Cirque du Soleil returns to Chicago with VOLTA, a captivating voyage of discovery! Inspired in part by the adventurous spirit that fuels the culture of street sports, VOLTA explores the themes of celebrating differences and unique qualities in a world where technology often isolates people from one another rather than freeing them. Written and directed by Bastien Alexandre, with Jean Guibert as the director of creation, VOLTA weaves acrobatics in a visually striking world driven by a stirring melodic score, composed by Anthony Gonzalez from the international electronic group M83. For the first time, VOLTA will perform under its signature Big Top at the Soldier Field South Lot, 1410 Museum Campus Drive, Chicago, May 18 – June 23, 2019.   

Access to the best seats and prices are available for existing Cirque Club members beginning Tuesday, November 20. Visitcirquedusoleil.com/cirqueclub to sign up for a complimentary membership. Cirque Club members receive advance access to the best seats under the Big Top, at the best price.

 

Tickets

Tickets (starting at $49) will be available to the general public beginning Monday, November 26, 2018, aka ‘Cyber Monday,’ by visitingcirquedusoleil.com/volta or calling 1-877-9CIRQUE (1-877-924-7783). Discover Cirque’s Hennessy Black VIP Experience package which includes a cocktail reception with open bar and hors d’oeuvres inspired by the show, access to the best seats for greater comfort, complimentary parking and more!


The show

Energetic, urban and contemporary, VOLTA is a captivating voyage of discovery that showcases never-before-seen under the Big Top acrobatics in a visually striking world. Driven by a stirring melodic score and inspired in part by the adventurous spirit that fuels the culture of street sports, VOLTA is a story of transformation. It is about being true to oneself, fulfilling one’s true potential, and recognizing one’s own power to make it possible. Ultimate freedom comes with self-acceptance, and with the liberation of the judgment of others.

 

The name VOLTA refers to a sudden about-face, a change in emotion or idea often used in poetry. It also speaks to the jolt of energy delivered through the show.

 

FOLLOW  VOLTA!

Social Media:

Facebook.com/VOLTA

Twitter: @Cirque #VOLTA 

Instagram: cirquedusoleil #VOLTA

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ART on the MART Sept 29th 6:30pm

In the spirit of Chicago’s great legacy of public art and culture, Art on theMART will be the longest-running and largest digital art projection in the world. The first-of-its-kind for Chicago, this curated series of digital artworks will be projected across 2.5 acres of theMART’s exterior river-façade.

LAUNCH – THIS  SATURDAY!

Beginning at approximately 6:30 p.m., Wacker Dr. between N. Wells St. and N. Franklin St. will be closed off to traffic to enable public viewing of the projections. While viewing the inaugural program, the public will enjoy a live DJ, food trucks and a Lantern Procession presented by Light Up My Arts (LUMA8). 

The art unveiling will begin at 7:15 p.m. with a fireworks show at 8:00 p.m.

 

Can’t make the launch?   September 30 – December 30
begins at dusk Wednesdays through Sundays!

The artwork will be projected onto the river façade of theMART.

Where to view : Upper Wacker Drive between N. Wells St.  and N. Franklin St. & The Jetty and Confluence areas on The Chicago Riverwalk between Wells and Lake St.

Where to enter The Riverwalk : The Riverwalk is accessible via any of the stairways along Wacker Dr. There are ADA compliant ramps providing Riverwalk access located at the east side of State St., the west side of Clark St., and the west side of Franklin St.

THE DETAILS

PROJECTORS – 34 Christie Digital Boxer 4K30 30,000 lumen projectors for a total of over one million lumens projected on the building façade.

PROJECTION SURFACE – The building façade is 556’x165′ or 91,740 ft² (over 2 acres), and the projection resolution will be 6000 x 2620. 

READ MORE HERE!

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Artist Garek Chicago Show December 1st

GAREK is a New York based singer-songwriter-artist. Born and raised in Wisconsin, he made the transition to New York in 2010. Fusing Industrial Rock (a la Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson and Garbage) with haunting melodies and explosive choruses, GAREK creates a distinct sonic landscape. This Electro-Industrial hybrid, coupled with his artfully degenerate style, make him a force to be watched.

GAREK’s first single “Save The Queen” had tastemakers around the globe buzzing. London’s EQ Music has hailed him as “a deity of Industrial-Electro mastery” while Australia’s DNA Magazine says, “He’s ready to rule the world!” MTV’s LOGO (NewNowNext) says, “for all [his] influences, there’s something distinctive about what Garek is doing.”

In  2014, GAREK proved his influence extends beyond music as he made his UK runway debut for the Champagne-inspired jeweler ‘Wearing Memories’ at London Fashion Week. Guests of the sold-out show were treated to a spectacle blending GAREK’s Industrial stylings with ‘Wearing Memories’ classic appeal. Models strutted down the catwalk in black morph suits to GAREK’s “Save The Queen” before GAREK himself closed the show.

Now NYC-based artist, GAREK, brings his own brand of unique darkness to Chicago in his first public opening.

The exhibit opens Friday December 1st at 5 p.m. at Gallery Victor Armendariz. The show will feature artists from The Studio, a section of the gallery dedicated to accessibly priced art of exceptional beauty.

GAREK is a self-taught artist, who got his first break at Tazza Gallery NYC, in the Chelsea Gallery District. After showing the owner of Tazza examples of his work, he was signed on the spot to representation.

GAREK is known for his distinct charcoal works, focusing primarily on figurative subjects. His works hang in private collections in L.A., NYC, and London. Chris Gehringer, Madonna’s primary mix engineer, has 2 of his pieces hanging in his studio.

“Garek’s art cannot be ignored. 

His subjects are presented in a way that seems completely natural, not the product of design, as if their presence were something familiar, known and buried down deep in our subconscious. 

His skill is undoubted. This very young and multitalented artist is obviously going places; and it is great to see part of this journey through his art.”

                   -Denis Arguedas (Tazza Gallery

For more of GAREK’s art visit www.garek.tv/art or visit his Instagram @garek_art

Gallery Victor Armendariz

300 West Superior

Chicago, IL 60654

5-8 p.m. Friday, December 1st, 2017

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SOFA Art and Design Show 2017 Nov 2-5

 

The Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design (SOFA) Fair in Chicago is the premier gallery-presented art fair dedicated to three-dimensional art and design. On par with Art Basel and TEFAF Maastricht, SOFA is produced by Urban Expositions, a Clarion Events company.

Critically acclaimed and continuously running since 1994, what distinguishes SOFA from other top art events is its focus on three-dimensional artworks that cross the boundaries of fine art, decorative art and design. SOFA is noted for its exceptional presentation, with an elite selection of international dealers presenting for sale one-of-a-kind masterworks in handsome, custom-designed gallery exhibits.

SOFA is held annually in the fall at Chicago’s major destination, Navy Pier, with an average of 80 dealers and 35,000 people attending. Sales at the fair are estimated at 15-20 million dollars per show.

With a strong educational emphasis, SOFA CHICAGO includes an acclaimed lecture series and special exhibits exploring the artworks on view and surveying new trends in the art world. A VIP program includes exclusive events tailored to high-profile gallery clients and collector/museum groups.

SOFA has evolved into a dynamic international marketplace and community – a confluence of perspectives where art, design and people intersect.   BUY TICKETS ONLINE!

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Day of the Dead Chicago 2017

The National Museum of Mexican Art unveils this years Day of the Dead exhibit!
The Day of the Dead is one of the most stunning and important living traditions in Mexico, classified in 2003 by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The Mexican community north of the US/Mexico border conserves and participates in the traditions of Day of the Dead by gathering in cultural spaces such as the Museum to honor and remember loved ones no longer present. Fine art and folk art are integrated into this exhibition to bring to life a Mexican celebration that bridges borders. This year more than 100 artists are represented in the exhibition via 10 ofrendas, The Xoloitzcuintle Project, folk art, and fine art pieces. This exhibition is curated by Dolores Mercado.
The exhibition will continue through December 10, 2017.
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Day of the Dead: Xicágo
Join the National Museum of Mexican Art for the annual Dí­a de los Muertos Xicágo celebration on Sunday, October 29th from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Bring your friends and loved ones to celebrate Día de los Muertos as we transform the Museum and surrounding area into a beautiful work of art. To commemorate this special day, guests will enjoy face painting, art activities, ofrenda (altar) demonstrations, live musical performances, and Pan de Muerto (traditional Day of the Dead Bread). This year we are thrilled to be joined by Fernando Sic (Rimiyoho), who will create live animations projected on the Museum’s exterior.
Additionally, families and individuals are invited to participate by creating their own ofrenda (Day of the Dead altar) or sharing a photograph of a departed loved one as part of the large illuminated ofrenda. Read more about the event and how you can contribute.

Día de los Muertos: Love Never Dies Masquerade
The National Museum of Mexican Art’s Auxiliary Board cordially invites you to join us for a special celebration that honors life and the spirits of los muertos.
Save the Date!
Saturday, November 4th, 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the National Museum of Mexican Art

Enjoy a spectacular fall event complete with live musical and DJ entertainment, delicious culinary treats, and cocktails, all in support of the Museum’s programs.

More details to come! But early birds can purchase tickets now and take advantage of discounted pricing.

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National Museum of Mexican Art
Museum Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Admission is FREE every day!
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Scott Barnes Passing September 9th, 2017

Scott Barnes died Sept. 9 of a heart attack  at the Out at the Park Six Flags Great America event in the Chicago suburbs.

He was 50. He is survived by his former partner, Jay Howard Cook and Brian Loomis, his current companion. Barnes’ memorial service will take place at the Geisen-Carlisle Funeral & Cremation Services 613 Washington St. Michigan City, Indiana, with the viewing on Friday, Sept. 15 in the afternoon and evening, and the funeral on Saturday, Sept. 16. For those who cannot travel to Indiana a memorial service will be held at Barnes’ favorite local bar Elixer sometime next week.   There will also be a showing of his work at The SoFo Tap, 4923 N. Clark St. Details TBA. Read full Obituary  HERE.

September 20th – Memorial for Scott, who passed away this year at Out in the Park…https://www.facebook.com/events/1033964130078572

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Cirque Du Soleil Luzia Inspired Mural in Chicago

Cirque du Soleil recently announced a partnership with Columbia College Chicago and the Wabash Arts Corridor (WAC) that will add a new public mural downtown in honor of the city’s Year of Public Art. Local artist Gloria “Gloe” Talamantes is creating the mural, commissioned by Cirque du Soleil and inspired by its highly acclaimed production LUZIA, currently playing a limited engagement in Chicago through Sept. 3.

 

The Cirque du Soleil-commissioned mural is an addition to WAC’s 40+ murals in the South Loop neighborhood. It will also kick off this year’s public art exhibition Street Level, which will unveil eight new murals that will be presented at street level and highlight a diverse range of artists at the local, national, and international level.

 

The mural was unveiled this week, on the western façade of Columbia’s 33 E. Congress Parkway.

 

“We are happy to give this artistic gift to Chicago for its Year of Public Art,” said Claudine Rivard, Company Manager of Cirque du Soleil’s LUZIA. “This is a way for Cirque du Soleil to thank the city and its residents for all of their support, not just for LUZIA, but for embracing our artists and crews for over 17 productions across 28 years.”

 

Having started as a troupe of street performance artists 33 years ago, Cirque du Soleil is always looking for ways to give back to the local communities it visits, either through its social action programs or through art. The LUZIA mural project in partnership with WAC and Talamantes will permanently add the signature joy and color of Cirque du Soleil to Chicago’s greatest concentration of street art.

“Chicago is one of the top destinations in the world for public art,” said DCASE Commissioner Mark Kelly. “It is fitting that acclaimed international arts organization Cirque du Soleil has commissioned one of Chicago’s own artists for the Year of Public Art. This new mural brings additional vibrancy to the growing Wabash Arts Corridor.”

 

“Chicago’s dedication to public art is deeply rooted in the city’s history,” said Neysa Page-Lieberman, WAC’s Chief Curator and the Executive Director of Columbia’s Department of Exhibitions and Performance Spaces. “Columbia and WAC continue the tradition each year in producing, supporting, and engaging Chicagoans and visitors with vital arts and programming. The scope of Chicago’s public art will flourish from the recognition and support by the world-renowned Cirque du Soleil.”

 

About the mural

Artist Gloria “Gloe” Talamantes’ style of work suits the project perfectly, and in creating the mural, she combines inspiration from LUZIA with her Mexican heritage.

“I created wispy butterfly wings that carry flowers adorned with motifs inspired by my roots and culture,” said Talamantes. “The design inspiration comes from my family heirlooms, carpetas tejidas, the delicate and intricate original crocheted designs of my grandmother and great grandmother. After watching some of LUZIA, I reflected on the massive red papel picado that was used in one of the scenes; it immediately made me think of the many designs that make up my grandma’s doilies.”

The dripping effect at the bottom of the mural is a direct reflection of the water scenes in LUZIA, the first Cirque du Soleil show to incorporate water into artistic and acrobatic scenes.

“I wanted to create a subtle resemblance to the water while keeping it connected to my graffiti roots,” said Talamantes. “Drips are common and often the most enjoyable parts of ink tags and natural spray paint abstracts when doing stylized letters. It is important for me to stay true to my Mexican and Graffiti culture, for the two have been an integral part of my life and visual art.”

 

About LUZIA by Cirque du Soleil

LUZIA takes you to an imaginary Mexico, like in a waking dream, where light (“luz” in Spanish) quenches the spirit and rain (“lluvia”) soothes the soul. In a series of grand visual surprises and breathtaking acrobatic performances, LUZIA invites audiences to escape on a surrealistic journey through a sumptuous and vibrant world suspended somewhere between dreams and reality. Smoothly passing from an old movie set to the ocean to a smoky dance hall or an arid desert, LUZIA cleverly brings to the stage multiple places, faces and sounds of Mexico taken from both tradition and modernity. Rich in awe-inspiring moments, LUZIA enchants by incorporating rain into acrobatic and artistic scenes – a first for a Cirque du Soleil touring production.

 

LUZIA is Cirque du Soleil’s 38th original production since 1984, and its 17th show presented under the Big Top. The company has brought wonder and delight to more than 160 million spectators in more than 400 cities on six continents. Cirque du Soleil has close to 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists from close to 50 different countries.

FINAL DAYS!!

LUZIA is now playing in Chicago through Sept. 3, 2017, under the Big Top in the United Center parking lot. For show and ticket information, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/luzia.

 

Follow #LUZIA and #cirquedusoleil on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

 

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Cavalia Odysseo is HUGE!

 

Whether you like horses  or  not –  this  show  is  so much more than horses.  It’s  beautifully  choreographed  art  and  showmanship.   BIGGER  THAN  LIFE!

Imagine,  21  semi  trucks  delivered  the  show  to Chicago  over  6 weeks  ago.  a $30 million extravaganza!  The main tent stands  over 125  feet tall  and  occupies  some  58,000  square feet. From your seat,  at least to me,  the  stage  looked  2-3 times  the  size  of the space that the audience  occupies.

 

This unprecedented ‘traveling theatre’ is also composed of several exceptional features including its grandiose stage – larger than the United Center ice rink – that enables large-scale, cutting-edge creative performances. Surrounded by bleachers with 2,074 seats, the 17,500-square-foot stage requires 10,000 tons of stone, earth and sand to create so that it offers a vast space of freedom where 65 horses and 48 artists can display their intimate collaboration.

 

To help immerse the audience in the magical world of Odysseo, images of the most beautiful landscapes from around the world are projected throughout the show onto an 8,400-square-foot screen. Its technical grid, worthy of the largest permanent installations in Las Vegas, New York or London, can support 80 tons of equipment for the stage needs of the show, including a majestic life-sized merry-go-round.

Perhaps most amazing  is  when  40,000 gallons of water fills the stage!  Mind  blowing  what this show delivers! Music, Singing,  Dance, Acrobatic skills  and   65  of the most regal horses you ever see!

Get a  sneak peak NOW    and  get your  tickets  HERE!

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Art Aids America Chicago

art-sex-aids-chicago

More than a groundbreaking visual art exhibition, Art AIDS America Chicago will serve as the catalyst for a citywide dialogue on the cultural impact of HIV/AIDS through robust public programming at the newly constructed Alphawood Gallery (2401 N. Halsted Street) and via a constellation of related events presented in association with local arts and advocacy community allies.

Art AIDS America Chicago opens at the Alphawood Gallery on World AIDS Day, Thursday, December 1, 2016, and continues through Sunday, April 2, 2017.  Admission to the exhibition and all programming held at the Gallery– artist & expert talks, panel discussions, performances, gallery tours, and HIV testing — are free and open to the public. 

LOTS  AND LOTS  OF  PROGRAMMING  GOING ON  FOR THIS – CHECK OUT THE SITE!

 

Art AIDS America tells a story of struggle, pain, loss, and, ultimately, hope.  It’s about the power of art to help us overcome insurmountable odds,” said Christopher Audain, program officer at Alphawood Foundation. Audain, who is working on programming and events for the exhibition, continued, “To help us tell this story, and to broaden the impact and access of this great work, we have joined with organizations and individuals from across the city who have eagerly embraced this project. Our joint programming provides a space for the multitude of people impacted by HIV/AIDS—across intersections of race, sexuality, gender, age, and artistic disciplines—to tell their story, particularly those we don’t often hear, from their own voice. We want to spark conversations that don’t happen nearly enough about how this disease has affected each of us in immeasurable ways. We know that artists, activists, and advocates standing together can create real change.”

About Art AIDS America

This is the first exhibition to explore how the AIDS crisis forever changed American art. Since the first reports of mysterious illnesses in the early 1980s, HIV and AIDS have touched nearly every American in some way, and operated as an undeniable, though often unacknowledged, force in shaping politics, medicine, culture and society. While acknowledging and honoring the enormous anger, loss and grief generated by the epidemic, the exhibition refutes the narrative that AIDS is only a tragic tangent in American art. Instead, Art AIDS America offers a story of resilience and beauty revealed through the visual arts, and of the communities that gathered to bring hope and change in the face of a devastating disease.

 

Art AIDS America Chicago is the local – and largest – iteration of this groundbreaking national exhibition which underscores the deep and unforgettable presence of HIV in American art. The exhibition will feature some 140+ significant contemporary works on display at the Alphawood Gallery, a temporary space created in a former bank by the Alphawood Foundation to bring the exhibition to its only Midwest venue.   The Alphawood Foundation, a Chicago-based, grant-making private foundation working for an equitable, just and humane society, is proudly presenting Art AIDS America here.  Each year the Foundation awards grants to organizations, primarily in the areas of advocacy, architecture and preservation, the arts and arts education, promotion and protection of the rights of LGBT citizens and people living with HIV/AIDS, and other human and civil rights.

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Art AIDS America Dec 1 – April 2

art-aids-america-chicago-exhibit

Art AIDS America Chicago

This groundbreaking exhibition underscores the deep and unforgettable presence of HIV in American art. It introduces and explores the whole spectrum of artistic responses to AIDS, from the politically outspoken to the quietly mournful, surveying works from the early 1980s to the present.

 

Uncomfortable, wistfully beautiful,
and vitally important… — Advocate.com

 

Art AIDS America will culminate its national tour at the new Alphawood Gallery, established for this presentation by the Alphawood Foundation, at 2401 North Halsted Street (at Fullerton Avenue). The exhibition – opening on World AIDS Day, Thursday, December 1, and continuing through Sunday, April 2, 2017 – will be free and open to the public.

Tino Rodriguez (born 1965), Eternal Lovers, 2010. Oil on wood, Overall: 18 × 24 inches.

Private collection.
Photo courtesy of the artist.

 

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BIG BOOK OF DRAG AND ART

magnus-hastings-why-drag-art-book

WHAT A GORGEOUS BOOK! And for a coffee table art book, its very affordable at about $35! Why Drag?

224 pages of the biggest and most diverse queens across America and beyond, all answering the question, Why drag?

Everyone loves to gag over photographs of their favorite queens, and chances are, some of the photographs have been taken by talented drag queen photographer, Magnus Hastings. His popular Facebook page, Dragged Around the World, archives some of his best work.

This celebrated artist has been photographing drag queens for the past 10 years- and his artwork showcasing queens is taking the world by storm! LAST YEAR, Hastings’ first photo exhibition in New York, Why Drag?, ran during Pride, at the OUT HOTEL. The best part about this unique exhibition is that each queen he photographs explains why it is that they do drag (but you’ll have to the exhibit to see that!) – Now, you can get the book!

Magnus Hastings came up through the London Gay scene and quickly gained recognition as one of the forerunners of his type of the pop art photography. playing with campy ideas when it was not fashionable to do so and embracing drag queens as a subject and study. He says, a “child of drag,” prone to putting on his sister’s clothes and dancing around his childhood home. But he didn’t truly discover the drag world until much later, long after he himself had stopped dressing across gender lines.

He completely revamped the Gaydar franchise in 2009 and has been published worldwide in magazines such as Glamour (uk), GQ (uk), Cosmopolitan (Italy),People (usa) , US weekly (use), Attitude (uk) ,AXM (uk), Bent (uk), QX international (uk), Blue (australia), Boyz (uk), Nois (spain) to name a few.

why-drag-magnus-hastings-

In 2003, on a visit to Sydney, Hastings walked into the Arq nightclub and saw the drag queen Vanity Faire lip-syncing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz in a flawless Dorothy outfit. The experience changed his life.

“I started shooting drag because it’s my home and my world and it feels like my family,” Hastings said.

Watching that performance connected Hastings to a part of himself that he’d abandoned due to social pressures as a child but that he still longed to explore.

 

With Vanity’s guidance, Hastings began photographing the city’s vibrant drag scene and developing a polished, dynamic style of portraiture reflecting his subjects’ creativity and humor.

 

magnus hastings photographer

As he traveled the world, he continued capturing local queens with a focus on those who best represented the art’s diversity and daring, from the bearded to the “fishy,” or ultrafeminine.

His images attracted a larger audience when he started posting his photos to his Facebook group, “Dragged Around the World.”

Magnus now lives in Los Angeles with his Jack Russell named George and is heavily involved in photographing the drag scene.

Why Drag?‘ with photographs by Magnus Hastings and a foreword by Boy George, was published in May by Chronicle Books. BUY THE BOOK!

Why Drag?

detox drag queen magnus hastings

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KURIOS from Cirque du Soleil August

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It’s back!

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL RETURNS TO CHICAGO THIS SUMMER
WITH KURIOS – CABINET OF CURIOSITIES!

Written and directed by Michel Laprise, the new touring production will premiere under the iconic blue-and-yellow Big Top at United Center beginning August 6, 2015

TICKETS, STARTING AT $35, NOW ON SALE!

It’s been  too long!   Cirque du Soleil returns to Chicago after four years with its newest touring show, KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities™, performing under the iconic blue-and-yellow Big Top at the United Center parking lot, 1901 W. Madison Street, August 6 – September 20, 2015.

Cabinet of Curiosities premiered to the world in Montréal in April 2014 and is Cirque du Soleil’s 35th production. Since its debut, the critics have been raving: “KURIOS is Cirque du Soleil’s strongest act in years…one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen on a stage” (Toronto Star) and “KURIOS is the best Cirque du Soleil show in a long time.” (San Francisco Chronicle).

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  • Picture credit : © Martin Girard shootstudio.ca
  • Costume credit : Philippe Guillotel

 

Written and directed by Michel Laprise, KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities is a tale in which time comes to a complete stop, transporting the audience inside a fantasy world where everything is possible. In this realm set in the latter half of the nineteenth century, reality is quite relative indeed as our perception of it is utterly transformed. The name of the show refers to the humble and strange characters that inhabit the Seeker’s Cabinet of Curiosities.

In an alternate yet familiar past, in a place where wonders abound for those who trust their imagination, a Seeker discovers that in order to glimpse the marvels that lie just below the surface, we must first learn to close our eyes. In his larger-than-life curio cabinet, the Seeker is convinced that there exists a hidden, invisible world – a place where the craziest ideas and the grandest dreams lie waiting. A collection of otherworldly characters suddenly steps into his makeshift mechanical world. When the outlandish, benevolent characters turn his world upside down with a touch of poetry and humor in an attempt to ignite the Seeker’s imagination, his curios jump to life one by one before his very eyes.

Tickets are available for purchase by visiting cirquedusoleil.com/kurios or calling 1-877-9 CIRQUE (1-877-924-7783). Tickets range from $35 – $145.
KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities is Cirque du Soleil’s 35th production since 1984. The company, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2014, has brought wonder and delight to close to 150 million spectators in more than 300 cities on six continents. Cirque du Soleil has close to 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists from close to 50 different countries.

For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com.

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Harrison Scott in Chicago July 9th

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Entertainment Weekly says “Harrison has a real knack for emulating the sounds of ’80’s synthpop” while Crossfadr states “His smooth vocals hark back to a time when the “pop” in synthpop and electro-pop mattered, while the production maintains timeless.” Fashionista said “Scott is a modern vision as he wears slick dark designs from Landeros New York and Nick Palmer.” He has also been featured on  VH1, MTV and LogoTV. 
Harrison  will be at Debonair Social Club this Thursday, July 9th.
1575 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 227-7990
There are no pre-sale tickets, it’s just $8 at the door.
Harrison Scott
Scott recently released his debut album, Spectral Evidence. Listen here .
His video  “Silence into Noise” can be seen here.

 
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Dance For Life Chicago August 15th

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Dance for Life: Dancers Unite to Inspire Chicago from Center Stage
Chicago’s Top Dance Troupes Raise Funds and Awareness for HIV/AIDS on Aug. 15

 

Experience a night of breathtaking performances as seven of Chicago’s top dance companies come together for one evening at Dance for Life. With thought provoking choreography and poignant music, this highly anticipated event is held annually to support organizations and dance community professionals dealing with critical health issues, including, but not limited to HIV/AIDS, through the art of dance. Since 1992, Dance for Life has raised millions of dollars to support the cause.

This year, the funny and talented Joey Bland and Tim Mason from The Second City will emcee the night. Choreographer Randy Duncan will bring his highly acclaimed work STAND BY ME with special music arrangement by Ira Antelis to the Auditorium Theatre as Dance for Life’s finale. Performing group C5 will also present a show stopping world premiere.

Dance for Life believes in cultivating young talent in the Chicago dance community and giving them the opportunity to shine. That’s why for the first time ever, the finale will feature local professional dancers that were selected through a special audition.

Funds raised through this year’s Dance for Life benefit the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and The Dancers’ Fund.

Participating Companies Include:

• Giordano Dance Chicago
• Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
• Joffrey Ballet
• River North Dance Chicago
• C5
• Chicago Human Rhythm Project
• Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre

 

Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015
5:00 p.m. – Gala Reception – Hilton Chicago Grand Ballroom (720 S. Michigan Ave.)
7:30 p.m. – Dance for Life Performance – Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University (50 E. Congress Pkwy.)
*Complimentary shuttle bus service provided between the two venues.

COST: $15-$75 (performance only)
$250- $600 (includes admission to 5:00 p.m. gala reception and premiere seating at the performance)
To purchase tickets, please call 312-922-5812 or visit www.danceforlifechicago.org

 

Connect with Dance for Life on Facebook!

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LGBQ programs at CIMMfest 2015

cimm fest chicago LGBT

2015 CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL MOVIES & MUSIC FESTIVAL

CIMMfest No. 7 TO ROLL OUT LGBQ PROGRAMMING

APRIL 16 – 19, 2015

The 7th Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (CIMMfest), the annual four-day showcase celebrating the inseparable connection between music and movies, is proud to announce the festival’s LGBQ programming include films The Dicks from Texas, Cakes da Killa: No Homo and a special video and music event Cruising TRACKS: a Radical Queer Video. For a complete lineup of confirmed films, musical acts and live scoring events for CIMMfest No. 7, visit http://cimmfest.org/.

 

CIMMfest’s queer film screenings and music event present documentaries, video art, short fictions and music videos. These presentations touch a wide array of topics: stretching notions of gender identity; kinship and sexuality; proper bodies and their organized functions while dealing with other social and political struggles such as the fight against HIV/AIDS, sexism, confinement, racism, and mental illness.

 


 

Thursday, April 16th         The Dicks from Texas (pictured)

The Dicks from Texas tells the story of the men, the myth and the music behind the band that defined Texas hardcore punk. Long before Austin made weirdness a civic virtue, The Dicks made it a cause. Three rawboned Marlboro Man types fronted by Gary Floyd, a fat queer with a penchant for fright wigs, this self-described “commie faggot band” helped put the Texas capital on the punk map in the early ’80s with anthems like “Dicks Hate the Police” and “Wheelchair Epidemic.”

7:00pm @ The Society for Arts, 1112 N Milwaukee Ave

A la carte tickets are $12


 

Friday, April 17th

CIMMfest’s Cruising Tracks – Radical Queer Video Program includes:

·         Queer Video Screening, videos & event curated by Rebecca Lavoie.

·         Live performance by Donzelle, Montreal’s Sassiest Rapper and her dancers; Douce Angoisse, provocative electronic musician backed by hypnotic disco/darkwave melodies.

·         Slo ‘Mo dance party: A throwback to old-school R&B, Slo ‘Mo seeks to unite people of all identities, bodies and expressions through soul music. Including the sounds of Anita Baker, Frank Ocean, Janet Jackson and more, Slo ‘Mo Dance Party is hosted by Kristen Kava with grooves by DJ Tess and Audio Jack of Slo ‘Mo.

8:00pm @ The Hideout Inn, 354 West Wabansia

Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door and $5 for the dance party only


 

Saturday, April 18th

Cakes da Killa: No Homo (short doc) playing with feature documentary The Hip-Hop Fellow

The short doc follows Cakes Da Killa (born Rashard Bradshaw), a 22 year-old up and coming rapper who also happens to be an out and proud gay man. With provocative lyrics that explore sexuality and gender politics, he’s not your run of the mill rapper, but he just might be your new favorite.

9:00pm @ The Society for Arts, 1112 N Milwaukee Ave

A la carte tickets are $12


 

CIMMfest No. 7 takes place April 16-19, 2015 along the Milwaukee Avenue corridor – from Wicker Park to Logan Square – with satellite events in the West Loop, Pilsen and beyond. Four-day festival passes, which include admission to An Evening of Music, Film & Wine with Spike Lee, are currently available for $110 at CIMMfest.org. Additional (non-Spike) CIMMfest passes – $75 (basic) and VIP ($100) – are also available now.

 

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WARHOL Wonka Ball April 10

WonkaBallWarhol-1

Come claim your 15 minutes of fame at About Face Theatre’s annual gala WONKA BALL:

WARHOL, where guests are invited to step into Warhol’s infamous factory for one night only. This year’s highly-anticipated soiree takes place Friday, April 10, 2015 at 8 pm (VIP Cocktail Reception at 7 pm) at Moonlight Studios, 1446 W. Kinzie St. in Chicago.

WONKA BALL:

WARHOL will celebrate the pop art icon and his cadre of superstars, celebrities and subjects. Guests are invited to experience live, Warhol-inspired art-making by Matthew Lew, JoJo Baby and Edgewater Workbench, short experimental films by Warhol and contemporary Chicago filmmakers, a punch-out prize wall, a photo booth and more. Guests will also enjoy fantastic food with catering by Wolfgang Puck, delicious drinks and stellar silent and live auctions, including a three-night stay in Key West.

Join Chicago’s celebrated center for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and ally arts (LGBTQIA) as it celebrates its 19th year on this unforgettable evening. Tickets are currently available at www.aboutfacetheatre.com or by calling (773) 784-8565.
VIP Cocktail Reception

Join About Face for an exclusive VIP Cocktail Reception beginning at 7 pm, guests will enjoy early access to the venue, specialty cocktails, an exclusive raffle with complimentary raffle tickets, culinary treats, live entertainment and a VIP gift bag. The reception will be hosted by the evening’s honorary co-chairs and members of the AFT Board of Directors.

 

WONKA BALL: WARHOL Honorary Co-Chairs include AFT Artistic Associate Precious DavisJohn Dalton and Kristen Kaza.

 

Proceeds from WONKA BALL: WARHOL will support About Face Theatre’s award-winning mainstage programming, new play development series and nationally-recognized educational program. Since 1995, About Face has created exceptional, innovative, and adventurous plays that advance the national dialogue on gender and sexual identity and have entertained and challenged audiences in Chicago, across the country and around the world. Support from Wonka Ball enables About Face to thrive as Chicago’s celebrated center for LGBTQIA arts; an inclusive home where diverse artists, youth, audiences and community partners come together for artistic exchange and cultural dialogue.

 

EVENT DETAILS:

Event: WONKA BALL: WARHOL

Date: Friday, April 10 from 8 pm – 11 pm;  VIP Cocktail Party at 7 pm

Location: Moonlight Studios, 1446 W. Kinzie St. in Chicago

Tickets: General admission: $150 (Early Bird Special $125 through March 13, 2015). VIP Cocktail Reception: $200 (Early Bird Special $175 through March 13, 2015). Additional sponsorship packages are available. Tickets currently available at www.aboutfacetheatre.com or by calling (773) 784-8565.

 

THE SPONSORS

Catering: Wolfgang Puck Catering. Liquor: AbsolutAngels EnvyGoose Island and Sidetrack. Event furniture: Cort. Photo booth: Red Weddings. Restaurant Partners: Wow BaoGarrett PopcornHamburger Mary’sCabot CheeseInsomnia CookiesYo Soy!, Swirlz Cupcakes, Mariano’sRique’s ChicagomEATDS Tequila and Do-Rite Donuts. Key West vacation: Historic Key West Inns.

 

About Face Theatre creates exceptional, innovative, and adventurous plays to advance the national dialogue on gender and sexual identity, and to challenge and entertain audiences in Chicago, across the country, and around the world.

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Chicago House THE TEASE Feb 28th

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the tease chicAGO STRIPPERS CHARITY

Nadine DuBois is a commanding addition to this year’s production of The Tease. Renowned for her masterful ability to transform shows into a “more cohesive and pure slice of burlesque,” DuBois will provide a “glamorous framework for The Tease‘s incredible cast of artists.”

Hailing from Minneapolis, DuBois laces a glimmer of sexuality into her Minnesota-nice demeanor. She brings experience performing throughout the Twin Cities in large theatrical productions such as Grown and Sexy PRIDE, which every year features a special guest from RuPaul’s Drag Race, and in big-stage shows that have toured across New Zealand and Australia with Chicago burlesque artists Jett Adore, Bazuka Joe and Ray Gunn. DuBois has also made appearances in venues such as Chicago’s Subterranean and Music Box Theatre.

For DuBois, burlesque is truly an innocent, fun and freeing experience. “When I’m on stage, it’s the most present I ever am.”

This love affair started one hot summer night in Minneapolis when DuBois walked past an unnamed bar. Inside, she saw mystic artists who looked like they truly belonged. Trained as a singer, DuBois sought the perfect platform from which to share her talent, but she had yet to find the right fit. On this warm night in 2003, Nadine DuBois fell in love.

From there grew the persona that DuBois describes as “comedic in a real way.” Opening shows with the question, Have you ever been to a burlesque show before?, DuBois channels the audience’s nervous energy into her comedy. She responds suggestively to those new to the art form, eager to pop the cherries of burlesque virgins around the world.

This month, DuBois will host The Tease. Tying together performances by aerialists, dancers, jugglers and contortionists, DuBois will provide the scaffolding for The Tease’s portrayal of the turmoil of love. As a fierce ally to the communities Chicago House serves, Nadine DuBois intends for her performance to “highlight and encourage the powerful compassion and immense resources that Chicago House provides for its clients.”

  Two shows  7:30  and  10:30!!!  Saturday  Feb. 28th!

Buy tickets to this year’s production of The Tease on our website or by calling 773.248.5200 x 304.

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Wonka Ball 2015 WARHOL

wonka-ball-warhol-lgbt-event

In 1968, Andy Warhol proclaimed:
“In the future everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes.“

In 2015, About Face Theatre proclaims:
“It is the future and everyone can be Andy Warhol” at…

WONKA BALL: WARHOL

Named as one of Chicago’s top theatre, dance, and music events for the 5th year in a row, WONKA BALL: WARHOL will celebrate the Pop Art icon and his cadre of superstars, celebrities and subjects.

Guests will experience live, Warhol-inspired art-making and performances, plus fantastic food, delicious drinks, music and a stellar silent and live auction for which Wonka Ball itself has become famous.

Get your discounted Early Bird tickets now and support About Face Theatre, Chicago’s premiere center for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and ally arts (LGBTQIA) as we celebrate our 19th year and party like superstars!

Early bird tickets available through March 13th ONLY!

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