May 24, 2022

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Today in the Culture, August 18, 2021: Mask Mandate Is Back | Tony Fitzpatrick’s Final Museum Show | Thompson Center Sale Delayed

12 min read

“Candyman,” “Candyman,” “Candyman,” “Candyman,” “Candyman”


“Thank God I’m An Artist And Not A Movie Or Tiktok Star”: Barbara Kruger

“If my image or portrait has to be reproduced in an article, I don’t want to be included at all,” Barbara Kruger, whose survey show is coming to the Art Institute, tells The Art Newspaper. “There are images floating online and that pisses me off. I want my work to speak for me. Thank God I’m an artist and not an internet or TikTok or movie star; any time I go to a gala, all those people are fighting to get on the red carpet, but the photographers don’t give a flying fuck about artists… I have friends who are writers and use Twitter or Instagram as a public relations tool: this is what I read or this is what I eat, so this is what I am. But I’d rather go to hell than do that about myself. Really, everyone is needy in different ways.”

Cleve Carney Museum Presents Final Museum Exhibition By Tony Fitzpatrick

The Cleve Carney Museum of Art on the College of DuPage campus will open its inaugural season with “Tony Fitzpatrick: Jesus of Western Avenue.” This will be the final museum exhibition by the multimedia artist and Chicago resident. Fitzpatrick is best known for his multimedia collages, printmaking, paintings and drawings. The exhibition will run from October 16 to January 31, 2022. The exhibition will feature over sixty mixed-media works. “These graphically rich and inventive works deliver messages and stories that reflect on the artist’s connection to Chicago, his social and political concerns and our shared changing reality,” the museum says in a release. “While Tony’s artwork is deeply influenced by the Chicago area, it is recognized around the world,” Cleve Carney Museum of Art curator Justin Witte says. “Tony is one of the most well-known artists working in Chicago today and we are thrilled to be able to feature him as we launch our first full season at Cleve Carney Museum of Art.” More here.

Makers Of “The Underground Railroad” Cite Kerry James Marshall Influence

Cinematographer James “Laxton and [director] Barry Jenkins also tapped into a fondness for formal compositions sparked by their long-standing love of still photography and portraiture,” writes Hugh Hart in an awards-themed interview at the Los Angeles Times. “For ‘Underground Railroad,’ they drew inspiration from Chicago painter Kerry James Marshall, whose brooding portraits of Black subjects vibrate with intensity. In keeping with that aesthetic, the show periodically presents group portraits of slaves looking somberly straight into a barely moving camera.”

Weinberg/Newton Gallery Announces Smart Museum Collaboration

Weinberg/Newton Gallery, a noncommercial gallery dedicated to promoting social justice causes, announced a collaboration with the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago as an exhibiting gallery for a multivenue exhibition taking place throughout 2021. Featuring the work of twenty-nine MacArthur Fellows, Toward Common Cause: Art, Social Change, and the MacArthur Fellows Program at 40 builds on “the idea of art as a catalyst for social change. Through speculation, reflection and action, Toward Common Cause explores our current sociopolitical moment, in which questions of inclusion, exclusion, ownership and rights of access are constantly challenged.” Extending from the exhibition’s main venue at the Smart Museum, Weinberg/Newton will present work by MacArthur fellows Wendy Ewald and Amalia Mesa-Bains, whose projects concern Latinx migration in Chicago, running from September 24 through December 18. More on Toward Common Cause here. More from Weinberg/Newton here.



State Delays Thompson Center Bid And Sale Deadline

April 2022 is the earliest the Thompson Center could be in private hands, reports Greg Hinz at Crain’s. “The state of Illinois has quietly delayed by at least a few months the long-anticipated sale of the James R. Thompson Center downtown to a private developer—a sign of potential difficulty finding a buyer in a Loop office market that’s now overflowing with empty space.”

A Modest Proposal For Demolition At Obama Center Site

“I write as one of the plaintiffs in the Protect Our Parks lawsuit trying to prevent the Obama Foundation’s seizure of Jackson Park,” writes art scholar W. J. T. Mitchell at the Sun-Times. “They have already begun closing roads around the park, and the demolition of the historic Women’s Garden has begun. It will be used as a staging area for the trucks and heavy equipment required to clear cut over a thousand mature trees, many of them a century old… Since all this has now come to seem inevitable… perhaps it is time for those of us who oppose the destruction of Jackson Park to admit defeat and provide helpful suggestions for ways to make this next phase as efficient and painless as possible… Why not set the trees on fire? That way they will provide the fuel for their own destruction, saving the burning of fossil fuels required by all that heavy equipment. Many of the trees are over a century old, and the energy expended in cutting them down can easily be saved by burning up the thousands of years of energy stored in them. This will also save considerably on labor costs.” More.

Amazon Delivery Lockers In Chicago Parks On Hold

Neighborhood ire, aldermanic action and reporting have led to a hold on Amazon delivery lockers in Chicago parks, reports Block Club Chicago. “After lockers were placed on walking paths, the Park District is working to ensure that they are installed in areas that are not obstructing pathways or restricting access to park activities,’ a spokesperson said.

Juan Antonio ‘Tony’ Fernandez, Jr., Founder Of Tony’s Sports Streetwear, Was 54

Tony Fernandez, Jr., founder of Tony’s Sports Streetwear, popular with major hip-hop stars including Mary J. Blige, Busta Rhymes, DMX and Common, died last week in an apparent drowning in Texas, reports the Sun-Times.

Owners Of 1922 Lincoln Square Sullivan Building, The Krause Music Store, Seek Buyer

After more than two years on the market, the owners of the The Krause Music Store still hope to find a buyer, reports Block Club Chicago.



Indoor Masks Up Again For Restaurants, Taverns Friday

As of Friday, the city will reinstate an indoor mask mandate that includes the fully vaccinated for restaurants, hotels, stores, bars and other commercial areas. The Sun-Times: “City officials noted that Chicago’s average daily case count was now at 400. Just days before the Lollapalooza music festival in Grant Park, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is saying she would not hesitate to return to a mask mandate if Chicago’s daily rate of coronavirus cases was ‘consistently going over’ 200.”

Tweets Block Club Chicago’s Kelly Bauer from the Tuesday afternoon press conference: Dr. Allison Arwady says, “We are today announcing a new mandate as Chicago’s case count moves into the higher transmission risk. Now, as we cross 400, masks are now required in indoor public settings in Chicago for all persons aged two years and older beginning on Friday, August 20… Here in Chicago, we are now averaging 419 COVID diagnoses per day. With that, we move from substantial risk into higher risk.” The city is not anticipating business restrictions at this time. “But we’re watching metrics.” If we see them move to “untenable” territory, Bauer recounts, “We may need to put further restrictions in place. But different from last year, a high case count does not automatically translate to a high hospitalization count and a high death count. And we’re hopeful that having the mask in place for everybody will get us through Delta while we keep working on getting folks vaccinated… Our goal is to remain open but careful.”

First Deputy Commissioner Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Ken Meyer: “Businesses have stepped up in the past to keep our city safe, and we must do what is necessary.” Masks can be removed at restaurants and bars when they’re actively eating or drinking. They can also be removed for activities that require removal, like facials and shaves,” adds Bauer.

WMAQ-TV: “Every county in Illinois except one is seeing ‘substantial’ or ‘high’ community transmission, placing nearly the entire state in the category in which everyone over the age of two should resume wearing a mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status, federal health officials say. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance late last month to recommend that fully vaccinated people wear masks in indoor settings again” in these areas.

James Beard Awards Announce 2021 Configuration 

The James Beard Foundation announced their 2021 event, “James Beard Awards: Stories of Resilience and Leadership,” will be a salute to the independent restaurant community, showcasing  organizations, leaders, and businesses that have had a significant impact in the industry and their communities during the pandemic. “The show will highlight inspiring stories of passion, community, innovation, resilience, and leadership under extreme hardships,” writes the group.” The live broadcast can be viewed via Twitter on September 27 at 7pm. In addition to  streaming the event, the Foundation will host up to 400 guests atop the Harris Theater in Chicago “to enjoy delicious bites while watching the broadcast.” More here.

Chicago’s Only Filipino Tasting Menu Coming To Kasama In Ukrainian Village

French café and Filipino restaurant Kasama, open since July 2020, finally opened for indoor service. Despite the pandemic, wife-and-husband team Genie Kwon and Tim Flores have built a following with carryout and a forty-seat patio. With pandemic numbers on the wane last month, reports Eater Chicago, “the team saw a glimmer of hope and closed the restaurant [to prepare] their fifty-to-fifty-five seat dining room to… debut dinner service with some of the modern Filipino dishes Flores has been yearning to serve… But after seeing the increases in infections and hospitalizations from the delta variant, Kasama is again shifting gears. Though indoor service started Monday, the restaurant will remain open only in the mornings and late afternoons.” “We have to close for dinner,” Flores tells Eater. “There’s not enough staff to cover service.” Kwon says, “It’s strange because this is just not what we were planning, and we’ve kept going back and forth a million times.”

Making The Scene At Continental Sales Lots-4-Less

“Liquidated and discounted grocery items make up about forty percent of Continental Sales [Lots-4-Less]’ stock at any given time, most of which is sold between forty percent and sixty percent off the listed (and blacked-out) price,” writes Mike Sula at the Reader. “But there’s also a Health and Beauty department currently boasting good deals on hemp oil- or charcoal-spiked Colgate toothpaste. Apparel might have some sweet House Lannister tank tops on sale, ‘Pulp Fiction’ T-shirts, or random Bulls/Bears/Cubs/Sox/Hawks swag. In Auto, there are windshield wipers, air fresheners, and antifreeze for days, and Housewares usually has cheap wine stems or maybe some oversized drinking glasses imprinted with Bible verses.” The owner got a cool deal “on 500-some boxes of Aunt Jemima pancake mix, discontinued after Quaker Oats ‘updated’ its racist branding. They were nearing their sell-by date, and priced and positioned to move, near the front of the store. Any day now he was expecting the mother lode of Olympics-themed Team USA Oreos, their red, white, and blue creme filling loaded with ‘popping candy.’”



“Say It, I Dare You”: “Candyman” Pop-Up Shivers Michigan Avenue

Promoting the August 27 release of the modern-day update of “Candyman,” Universal and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures bring the urban legend into the daylight with the “Say it. I Dare You!” challenge, an interactive pop-up experience. Guests are invited to enter a dark room where they are challenged to stand in front of a mirror to repeat the name “Candyman” five times. The event is at Pioneer Court, 401 North Michigan on Saturday, August 21 and Sunday August 22 from noon to 8pm.

Cinema Chatham Replaces Former Studio Movie Grill Chatham 14

Emagine Entertainment took over the former Studio Movie Grill Chatham 14 that closed in March 2020 and reopened last weekend at 210 West 87th.” Cinema Chatham Powered by Emagine” is the second Illinois location for the company, a 40,000-square foot theater with 1,300 seats in fourteen state-of-the-art auditoriums that feature stadium seating with loungers. All auditoriums are accessible and equipped with assistive devices for both visually impaired and hearing-impaired moviegoers. A lobby makeover features walls and hallways lined with movie posters inspired by the community and staff. “We are thrilled to bring this theater back to the Chatham neighborhood in South Side Chicago. We have been busy making improvements to both the interior and exterior of the property to create the best neighborhood theatre we can,” said Jon Goldstein, Partner, Emagine Entertainment. More here.

Art-house Kan-Kan Cinema Opens In Indianapolis

Kan-Kan Cinema and Brasserie is a “new independent grassroots theater in Windsor Park,” reports the Indianapolis Star. “The cinema will be a hub for first-run indies, themed series and local premieres. Movies will be shown in three double-height theaters that seat 145, 45 and 35.”



Pivot Gang’s SqueakPivot Killed

“Producer, DJ and out West native SqueakPivot, 26, died Monday afternoon after a shooting that took place in the Austin neighborhood,”, reports The Triibe.”Squeak was best known as a member of West Side boyband Pivot Gang. He was one of the music group’s in-house producers and the group’s official concert DJ. On June 4, he dropped his latest music project ‘En Route’ on streaming platforms” Chance the Rapper from Twitter: “God bless squeak and every one that loves him Great man”

CSO Fall And Holiday Single Tickets Go On Sale Thurday

Chicago Symphony Orchestra single tickets for fall and holiday programming go on sale on Thursday, August 19 at 10am here. Fall programming begins with music director Riccardo Muti leading the CSO in the September 23 opening concert of the Orchestra’s 131st season and their first performance since February 2020, as well as the September 2 concert with Herbie Hancock that opens the season of the Symphony Center Presents Jazz series.



Chicago SummerDance In The Parks Starts Today

Chicago SummerDance In The Parks starts today and runs through September 18, with dancing and live music featuring reggae, steppin’, line dancing, cumbia, house and salsa at Park District locations across Chicago. Details here.

League Of Chicago Theaters Sets Vaccination And Mask Requirements

The League of Chicago Theatres joined with more than sixty-five performing arts venues and producers across the Chicago are for uniform vaccination and mask requirements for audiences through the end of 2021. This unified protocol will be in effect by September 1, for indoor productions, requiring audience members to provide proof of vaccination or negative test certification upon entry and to wear masks.

A Red Orchid Theater Plans Two Comedy Pop-Ups

A Red Orchid Theatre is presenting “2 Nights of Comedy Pop-Ups,” Monday, August 23 and Tuesday, August 24. Monday’s bill: Onicia Muller, Kellye Howard and Michael Shannon & David Pasquesi; Tuesday: Gena Gephart, Sherman Edwards, Michael Shannon & David Pasquesi. All proceeds benefit A Red Orchid Theatre. Tickets here.

Lyric Opera Revises Health Guidelines

Lyric Opera of Chicago will require that all audience members provide proof of full vaccination with a vaccine approved by the FDA or by the WHO in order to enter the Lyric Opera House. Additionally, facial masks, worn properly over the nose and mouth, will be required for all patrons for the duration of their time in the opera house. Those under the age of twelve who are not currently eligible for vaccination will not be admitted. Lyric’s main stage productions will be performed at full length, including intermissions, and houses will be seated at full capacity. More here.

Invictus Theatre Company Announces Season

Invictus Theatre Company’s fifth season of plays will open with Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” to run October 21 through November 21, 2021. Continuing the company’s tradition of performing modern classics as well as Shakespeare, the season will also include the 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner “Ruined,” by Lynn Nottage, February 17-March 20; and Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” May 12-June 12. The company will perform in their new storefront theater at in Edgewater, in the space formerly known as The Frontier. More here.



Picturing World Naked Bike Ride Chicago 2021

Time Out Chicago has the peepers, and the snaps here. “Organizers say they’re still working out the total number of riders this year, but typically about a thousand nearly-naked folks take to the streets for a ride that snakes through the Loop and the North Side. Lead organizer Elizabeth Tieri told Time Out Chicago that Saturday’s ride, bolstered by gorgeous weather, went off without a hitch.”

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