Sunday, February 15, 2009


The Harold Washington Library downtown is ~10 stories high. Most floors have some kind of art on display. In the Author's Reading Room, Tim Rollins + K.O.S. and Students from Chicago Public High Schools made art out of book pages, "Amerika: For the Authors of Chicago."On the 9th floor there is a huge atrium with trees and vines, it's very inspiring. The 9th floor has a temporary exhibit about Abraham Lincoln with a ton of photos of President Lincoln. There were also some good quotes on the wall in the hallway of the 9th floor. I liked this quote: "We take our bearings, daily, from others. To be sane is, to a great extent, to be sociable." -John UpdikeWe went to Ed Debevic's on the 600 N block of Wells in downtown. It was a unique experience. They have footlong hotdogs and the waiters sing and they are generally rude to you on purpose - our waitress threw packets of ranch dressing from across the room and flung straws with a sassy attitude. There was a lot of energy and noise and a ton of people packed in there, including a balloon-twister.

The Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago had a good selection in the collection and rotating exhibits. I was inspired by the floral and geometric motifs on the ancient Asian and Indian pottery/vessels. A jar from 2400 BC China (aren't the circles cool!):
This is a rectangular cauldron (bronze) from 11th century BC China. I love the geometric designs carved into the front. I enhanced the image to bring out the design but it really looks good enough on its own in real life:An oak and white pine chest from Massachusetts, c. 1710:
This is a "Cloud-Shaped Pillow" from 10th Century China. I LOVE the starburst motif on the side:
'Opal Sea' by Maurice Prendergast, 1907/10, Oil on canvas. I love his work, the colors and lines:
'Model House,' Nyarit, Mexico, 200BC/500AD (I like the design on the roof):

This was funny - 'Pigsty and Latrines,' gray earthenware with stamped decoration from 1st century BC/AD China. If you look closely you can see an interesting geometric design on the ledge near the stairs:A lion guarding the entrance to the museum:
The Chicago Cultural Center houses the recently restored Tiffany Glass Dome. The building interior is covered with mosaics on the walls and the floors. Some of the tile mosaics on the floor looked so delicate. This is one of the mosaics on the wall in a stairwell:
The Cultural Center had several exhibits, including 'Collaborative Vision,' The Poetic Dialogue Project. The exhibit reminded me I can do anything with art, I must not feel constrained by what I consider to be the 'social norm' of art. The various artists represented in the exhibit used a variety of materials and techniques. My favorite painting was by BettyAnn Mocek, Michael Heller: Collage:Matrix:City:Bird, because of the colorful squares in the lower right-hand corner of the painting. There was an interesting textile by Bonnie Peterson, titled "Bitter Root" with a lot of hand stitches. Also at the Cultural Center were the Lane Tech Murals, murals by Henry George Brandt. The murals are long (2.5' x 15') and have simple lines and muted colors. I love the floral designs and especially how he depicts the aspen, animals, and clouds.

Just north of the Cultural Center inside the HotTix outlet, there was an exhibit "The Exquisite City: A City in Cardboard."  My favorite display was a set of houses made from strips of colored paper by J. Ryan:
There was also this colorful collage.

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