15. Jan 2010

I have spent the last two weeks in an Interim class with Rowley Kennerk and Matt Stolle. Over the time, we went to the Modern Wing of the Art Institute twice, the MCA to see the Italics show, to the Renaissance Society, to see the Joseph Grigely show at Rowley Kennerk Gallery, as well as Matt Stolle/John Opera show at the Andrew Rafacz Gallery. We also saw Dayton Castleman/Jeremy Tubbs Out of Chicago opening at the Jennifer Norback Fine Art Gallery. We did studio visits to artists like Molly Zuckerman-Hartung and took a trip out to see the shows up at the Suburban.

Overall, it’s been a good two weeks.  Not looking forward to this ending. However, when it does, we have a few new things planned for our church-artists group.

First, I received this email from Bert Stabler:

Some of you I saw last night, some of you I may not have seen for a while.  So this might be sort of random, or sort of redundant, but I want to extend an invitation to you.

I started attending a Presbyterian church in Wicker Park, Covenant Presbyterian Church, in August 2008 (if you check out right here, that’s okay…. still with me?).  The head pastor, Aaron Baker, approached Dayton Castleman, a fabulous local artist who attends Covenant, and myself about starting an art program, with the support of the church.  For my part, I want to direct the resources, conections, and interests of the church into projects that resonate with things both many churchgoers and many Chicago artists do outside of doctrinal differences– like create and extend communities through projects, ideas, objects, food, etc.

In the interest of starting a conversation about that, and gauging interest among potential artist participants, Dayton will be leading an informal, informative, and intuitive tour of the Covenant sanctuary next Thursday, January 21st, at 8:00 pm.  We would hopefully sit around (or possibly go across Damen to Danny’s) afterward to discuss some ideas of what we should pitch to the church.  There is absolutely no conceptual limitation on the projects– they don’t need to happen on the church premises, they don’t need to touch on religious (or irreligious) themes, it doesn’t need to be restricted to artists from Chicago, it’s a modest but open-ended proposal right now.

One idea I’m currently thinking about is a tribute and retrospective to Flo McGarrell, an amazing artist with Chicago connections who was doing fantastic work in Haiti and died in the recent disastrous earthquake.  Our church has a long-standing relationship with that nation and might be interested in learning from Flo’s work– and artists could also see some of what Covenant does in Haiti.

Best wishes,


Also, on January 24th, we are having our first presentation of work for our artists small group. What this means, is that Bert Stabler is scheduled to present his work that night. I am scheduled to follow him, which is, I’m not going to lie, a bit intimidating. but also encouraging in a way. We’ll see.

Josh Ippel and Charlie Roderick’s Hideous Beast show is going up at the end of this month. Their opening is scheduled for February 25th at the Seerveld Gallery.

Also, I am starting a new body of work. Updates to come.




One response to “15. Jan 2010

  1. RIP – Flo McGarrell, 36, a transgendered artist who specialized in organic & recycled agri-sculpture, was born in Italy, grew up in the US but lived in Haiti. It was an unfortunate place to call “home” on January 12th. http://urdead2me.wordpress.com/2010/01/12/rip-flo-mcgarrell/

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