By Jason Foumberg
I caught up with two dozen Chicago artists for recommendations on getting into the swing of spring.
How to beat the winter freeze:
Lion Stout (from Sri Lanka, 8.5 ABV) —Laura Davis
Water my plants —Dianna Frid
King Spa for a massage, salt sauna, and spicy Korean food —Gwendolyn Zabicki
Whine and Wine —Magalie Guerin
Hot yoga —several artists
I’m not gonna lie…you can’t escape. —Mariano Chavez
How are you preparing for spring?
Walking around Bill O’Brien’s show at the MCA. —Karolina Gnatowski
Cranking out as many new paintings as I can before my new exhibitions. —several artists
Just got a new bike. —Kirsten Leenaars
In the studio, artists are listening to…
For over a month straight I just listened to Joe Smooth’s “Promised Land” over and over. —Mariano Chavez
Podcasts! THAT American Life (THIS American Life parody), Wiretap, BackStory, Freakonomics, Slate’s Culture Gabfest, Thinking Allowed with Laurie Taylor, In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg, Bill Moyers, Fresh Air, WTF, Filmspotting, Savage Love, Radiolab, and Leonard Lopate from WNYC.
Artists are reading…
Glenn Adamson’s “The Invention of Craft” —Samantha Bittman
“Creative Enterprise” by Martha Buskirk —Laura Davis
“Sex, or the Unbearable” by Lauren Berlant and Lee Edelman —Dianna Frid
“There’s Always Work At The Post Office: African American Postal Workers and the Fight for Jobs, Justice, and Equality”—Kirsten Leenaars
“Deerskin” by Robin McKinley —Jenny Kendler
“Binocular Vision” by Edith Pearlman –Judith Brotman
“After Finitude” by Quentin Meillassoux —Daniel Baird
“Remote: Office Not Required” —Matthew Hoffman
Noam Chomsky’s “Latin America from Colonization to Globalization” —Carlos Barberena
Favorite artwork in the Art Institute’s collection:
Eva Hesse’s “Hang Up” —a couple of artists
Charles Ray’s “Hinoki” —Jenny Kendler
Sue Williams’ “It’s a New Age” —David Leggett
Robert Ryman’s “The Elliott Room (Charter Series)” —Daniel Baird
Albrecht Dürer’s “Knight, Death and the Devil” —Carlos Barberena
I used to love the quiet and humidified Tadao Ando room before they removed the doors. —Dianna Frid
Best cheap eats in Chicago?
Go to Rich’s Delicatessen on Western and Iowa, get the carrot salad (the spicy one, not the sweet one with raisins), pierogi, and an E. Wedel chocolate bar. If you like halvah, they have that too. —Gwendolyn Zabicki
Anything at The Handlebar. Handlebar, you’re perfect; please don’t ever change. —Jenny Kendler
What are you drinking on a Friday night?
Campari and Soda with a slice of fresh orange.
Gin with one of Mathew Jinks’ delightful elixirs.
Huitzi by 5 Rabbit Brewery.
St. George Gin, shaken, straight up with a joint on the side.
“Whatever is the cheapest.”
Secret source of Chi-inspiration:
Jo-Ann Fabric —Samantha Bittman
A disgusting thrift store —Laura Davis
City Winery —Gwendolyn Zabicki
Museum of Surgical Science —Judith Brotman
Walgreens at 3am for people-watching. —Kirsten Leenaars
South Side Community Art Center —David Leggett
Bunny Hutch. If their arcade doesn’t inspire, I don’t know what will. —Matthew Hoffman
The other day my daughter begged me to take her to the Catholic Church in my neighborhood in Garfield Ridge. We walked into the Polish service and sat through the whole thing. After we went to Racine Bakery on Archer Avenue to get bread and ham for home and drank a seventy-five-cent coffee at the window bar. When I got home I felt that I went somewhere else and it was magic. —Alberto Aguilar
What would make art openings more exciting to attend?
Responses included more dancing, EZ parking, friendlier, chattier strangers, shuttle buses, and a take-away akin to how you sometimes get a free little bat at baseball games.