By Jason Foumberg
Threewalls Relocation Hiccup
This summer the artist-run non-profit gallery and cornerstone of the West Loop district Threewalls shuttered its exhibition programming to search for a new, expanded location. They hosted a ten-year-anniversary fundraising party to do so, but have been unable to secure a space. Executive director Shannon Stratton says there have been “real possibilities and fairly involved negotiations that fell through” on real estate, including a promising space west of the West Loop near Union Park. Threewalls plans to continue looking for a new location and be moved in by September of 2014. Meanwhile, they remain at 119 North Peoria, with a Faith Wilding retrospective opening in January.
A Funeral for Roxaboxen
The artist-run Pilsen gallery housed in a former funeral parlor, “with a piqued façade that makes it look like a little castle,” is closing after three years of exhibition programming. Roxaboxen, founded in 2009 by Liz McCarthy, Kyle Stephens and Miranda Stokes, was a live/work space with artist studios, yoga classes and stitching parties. They hosted dozens of solo and group exhibitions of original programming, such as the “Splay” and “Grow in the Dark” shows, ACRE resident exhibitions, and participated in the MDW fair.
Autumn Space Falls Out
The artist-run Autumn Space in Ravenswood has lost its lease and suspended exhibition programming until a new venue can be found. Kirk Faber’s October exhibition was cut short, and Lauren Edwards’ upcoming show, as well as an entire year of programming, has been put on hold. The gallery, run by Seth Hunter and Brad Carter, had been open for three years and exhibited numerous Chicago-based artists, including Michelle Grabner. Hunter and Carter employ a unique funding strategy, collecting donations from nearly twenty different churches. Carter says they don’t have a mandate to exhibit religious art, but “the church is a largely untapped” pool for nonprofit art galleries.
Last Call for Hornswaggler Arts
The pop-up art bar created by artists Joseph Rynkiewicz and Graham Hogan is ending its run of “delightful hand-crafted cocktails at art events while collecting donations from the imbibing public.” Hornswaggler used the donations to purchase Chicago art, and established an art-lending library. For the past three years Hornswaggler was seen serving up artful cocktails at diverse places through the city, including the MCA, Dorchester Projects, 6018North and the Smart Museum. Wrote Hogan of his future: “We are continuing to develop our recipes and product line, while exploring other options and dreaming of opening a Hornswaggler Bar.”
The Mission Colonizes Houston
After successfully running The Mission in Chicago for three years, the gallery has opened a second location in Houston. Gallery principal Sebastian Campos and director Natalia Ferreyra both grew up in the Texas city, and they met while both worked on the important Latin American exhibition “Inverted Utopias” at the MFA Houston. The Mission opened in Chicago in 2010 and shows artists from South America, Texas and Chicago. The Houston outlet is twice the size of the Chicago location.
Laura Letinsky Sets the Table
In 2009 Laura Letinsky temporarily stopped making photographs, saying she had a “momentary revulsion” to the medium. “I had to take a step back,” she says. The photographer who shoots the remains of dinner parties is, naturally, an excellent chef. During her hiatus she tried her hand at crafting unique dinnerware in the Hyde Park Art Center’s ceramic studio. “I wanted a bowl for a fish soup,” says Letinsky, who also ended up making dinner, salad and dessert plates. The four-piece porcelain dinner set is available in white with a gold lip or in black with a platinum lip, for $420 through Artware Editions. Letinsky’s dinnerware was all hand-formed with pinching and coiling methods, and she used a balloon to mold the curving bowl, giving the asymmetrical plates what Letinsky calls an “elegant and awkward” edge. It turns out that she double-majored in ceramics in college, but “I had forgotten I had ever done it until I did it again.” The move from fine to functional art isn’t so uncommon; Dan Flavin and James Turrell have both made dinnerware sets. Letinsky isn’t finished setting the table. Now she is collaborating with fiber artist John Paul Morabito to create a series of napkins digitally woven with spill patterns.
Jason Pallas is New Curator at Harold Washington College
Harold Washington College in the Loop is the only Chicago city college that has an art gallery and paid curator. This summer the school hired artist (and former Newcity contributor) Jason Pallas to curate its President’s Gallery. Pallas intends to make inroads with the other six city college art programs and Chicago artists, as well as forge strategic relationships with the MCA’s education department and a local high school. Pallas’ debut exhibition is excavation-themed with Marissa Lee Benedict, Amy Babinec and Erin Washington on January 14.