Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Columbia College Chicago is enormously proud to announce that Curtis Mann, a 2008 MFA graduate and faculty of Columbia’s photography department, has been accepted into the Whitney Biennial exhibition – a 77 year-old exhibition of American Art at the Whitney Museum of American Art on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The Whitney exhibition is one of the foremost shows in the art world and has traditionally marked the leading trends in contemporary art. Out of the millions of artists living and working in America, only 55 were chosen. With the invitation to the Whitney Biennial, the experts of the art world have chosen Curtis’ work to be one of the shining examples of the most current and important art being made today. He is now in league with some of the America’s most revered artists.

"Curtis Mann discovered his own distinctive artistic voice very early in our graduate program," says Bob Thall, Chairperson of the photography department. "He then developed his work with great intelligence, energy, and ambition. We are very proud of Curtis Mann and delighted that his work will be finding an enormous new audience."

Curtis Mann creates new photography by physically erasing and manipulating found amateur snapshots. This tension between creation and destruction in his process expands the boundaries of photography, and forms unique works that are full of experimentation and beauty. In the attached video made by Alan Del Rio, Curtis walks us through some of his techniques and shares the insights he has formed while developing his art.

Curtis Mann // Photography from Alan Del Rio Ortiz on Vimeo.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Faculty Show Closing at Leviton A+D Gallery

I had a fantastic time last Thursday night attending the closing event. Closing receptions are always a bit strange because it is a time when you know that the show is coming down and that it has had its moment in the sun. I was excited though because I know that the piece I bought from Betsy Odom is soon going to go into my house. I'm not exactly sure where I'm going to put it. Where does one put a full-size leather-tooled life vest? In the kitchen? No. Maybe I'll just keep in the livingroom where my children won't be tempted to bring it to the beach with them.

Monday, August 31, 2009

LAYER CAKE: Tales of a Quinceañera - See the Video

I sat down with Camille Morgan, curator of Layer Cake, and Judithe Hernandez, artist. Check out our conversation and enjoy the pics. Remember, the opening is Tuesday, September 15, 4-8pm at C33 Gallery, 33 East Congress. Come and enjoy some real Quince cake and Mexican food.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Steve Carrelli - Interview and Blooper Reel

Steve Carrelli and I sat down last week and talked about his work and his process, but really we discussed art bloopers. Steve is on the faculty in the Art + Design Department here at Columbia College Chicago who will exhibiting in the {blank}Space exhibition in the Leviton A+D Gallery. Other exhibiting artists include Steven Carrelli, Anna Kunz, Betsy Odom and Michael K. Paxton. Organized by Jennifer Murray. I'm hoping to get interviews up of the other artists in the show, so be on the lookout. Thanks for watching.

Also...don't forget to go to the closing reception on September 10 (the information is below).

WHEN: August 13 – September 19, 2009

Closing Reception and Artwalk: September 10, 2009, 5-8pm

WHERE: Columbia College Chicago’s Leviton A+D Gallery

619 S. Wabash Avenue

COST: Free and Open to the Public.


INFO: Jennifer Murray, 312.369.8686

Website: www.colum.edu/adgallery

ArtseenChicago blog: http://www.artseenchicago.blogspot.com

to see videos of participating artists and additional images.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Columbia College Art + Design Faculty Show

{blank} place
Third Annual Art + Design Faculty Exhibition

Organized by Jennifer Murray

August 13 - September 19, 2009
Closing Reception and Artwalk: September 10th, 5-8 pm

{blank}place is about times and spaces of revolution, and their effect on visual images. We use convention and tradition to recognize images, pictures and works of art, and because art images interpret our world, they impact how we understand changes in the experience of place, space and time. We only understand visual things in contexts that are historical, geographic and cultural. Artists respond to those factors, and {blank}place is an experimental exhibition of such responses.

The exhibition uses a notion of revolution to emphasize how changes in what, when, and where we see not only changes the character of visual images, but also tells us something about the tools we use to see the world. Exhibiting artists include Steven Carrelli (image credit), Anna Kunz, Betsy Odom (image credit), and Michael K. Paxton.

In a week, I will post short video interviews with the artists. Since Anna Kunz was on sabbatical, she made her own video. Come back when they're posted.

Steve Carrelli, Homecoming, 2008, graphite on paper
Steve Carrelli, Away and Back, 2008, graphite on paper
Michael Paxton, Fig Garden
Michael Paxton, Eruption
Betsy Odom, Tom Bigbee, mixed media

Betsy Odom, Space Suit, mixed media
Betsy Odom sporting her space suit

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Anne Elizabeth Moore on Vocolo for show at Center for Book & Paper Arts at Columbia

Anne Elizabeth Moore, media critic and writer is currently showing at the Columbia College Chicago's Center for Book & Paper Arts. Check out her interview on vololo.org.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Upcoming Faculty Show at Leviton A+D Gallery

_place: Columbia College Art and Design Faculty Exhibition opens on August 13 at Leviton A+D Gallery

___place is about times and spaces of revolution, and their effect on visual images. We use convention and tradition to recognize images, pictures and works of art, and because art images interpret our world, they impact how we understand changes in the experience of place, space and time. We only understand visual things in contexts that are historical, geographic and cultural. Artists respond to those factors, and ___place is an experimental exhibition of such responses. The exhibition uses a notion of revolution to emphasize how changes in what, when, and where we see not only changes the character of visual images, but also tells us something about the tools we use to see the world. Exhibiting artists include Steven Carrelli, Anna Kunz, Betsy Odom, and Michael K. Paxton.

Over the next few week, I will be producing short video postcards about each of these artists. Today, I 'll be interivewing Betsy Odom whose current artwork address the issues of gender, sports and craft. Videos and information from the remaining artists will appear over the next few weeks.

Betsy Odom, Tom Bigbee, leather, elastic

Betsy Odom, Softball Bat, 2008, wood, leather, tape

WHEN: August 13 - September 19, 2009, opening reception Thursday, September 10, 5-8pm

WHERE: Leviton A+D Gallery, 619 S. Wabash Avenue

COST: Free and Open to the Public.

INFO: 312.369.8668 or www.colum.edu/adgallery

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Yummy Edit Grain Feed

I could not help but include this very cool post by Yummy Fresh Grain Edit. Enjoy. Subscribe to their blog. You'll love it.

Komboh Design & Illustration
Posted: 17 Jul 2009 11:41 AM PDT

Editorial Design for Issue One of Pendulum Magazine (2009)

Ah, the bustling city. This magazine cover by Canadian dynamic design duo, Komboh, has it all: high-rises, cars, trucks, and busy people. Juxtaposing the grime of the city is a thick, clean white coil, which adds a simple graphic element to the crowded urban streets. The design is straightforward, clean, unpretentious, and nice to look at.

In addition to design work, Hans Thiessen and Michael Mateyko at Komboh are also talented illustrators, creating delightfully whimsical works with bursts of color and controlled lines. Check out more of their work on their website, and be sure to visit their blog for more goodies.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

TimeOutChicago reviews Carl Hammer show Primal

Until July 22, Columbia College's gallery, Leviton A+D Gallery, is exhibiting works from Midwestern contributors of BLAB! Magazine. One of those artists is C.J. Pyle. I am happy to present here a review by Lauren Weinberg, art critic at TimeOut, of the Carl Hammer show Primal that features C.J. Pyle. I will be putting up a video tour of the gallery and the show Midwestern BLAB! next week. Keep a look out for that.
Art review


Carl Hammer Gallery, through Jul 3.
C.J. Pyle, Sugar, 2008.

Thanks to Carl Hammer Gallery’s emphasis on self-taught and visionary artists, several of the works in the sprawling “Primal: Drawing as the Mirror of Self” explore their makers’ psyches with panache—particularly Joseph Yoakum’s fantastic paintings of places he supposedly visited and devout Christian Stephen Palmer’s lovely, intricately patterned portraits of Mary and Jesus. Other pieces don’t fit the show’s introspective theme so neatly, such as Marc Dennis’s confrontational nudes and George Widener’s depiction of Megalopolis 2012, a bustling city dominated by birdlike airplanes. Still, Widener’s work, which the autistic artist has carefully organized and crammed with details, is fascinating.

The many superlative examples of drawing represent the show’s greatest strength: Three blue-penciled boards by Chris Ware offer insight into the comics artist’s process and poignant stories. In four drawings on album covers, C.J. Pyle calls forth miracles with a ballpoint pen, achieving exquisite shading and gradations of tone in weird, dreadlocked figures (pictured) whose faces appear inside-out, as though their musculature sits on the surface of their skin. Marilyn Murphy’s The Time Jumper and The Lost Glove, two pencil portraits of women shown only from the waist down, combine a luscious, photorealistic aesthetic with surreal hints of feminine anomie.

Yet one of our favorite pieces isn’t a drawing: Cow Girl, an unknown artist’s wood carving, depicts a redhead clad only in a hat, boots and suggestively placed holster. The artist knows exactly what he likes—and there’s something charming about his eagerness to immortalize it.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Layer Cake: Tales from a Quinceañera

image: Life on the Block, Adriana Lopez Sanfeliu, 2009

For young Latino girls, the Quinceañera is one of the most important moments in their youth. Like the Debutante Ball, the Cotillion and the "coming out" rituals that many young girls around the world participate in, the Quinceañera is uniquely Latino. Opening at Columbia College Chicago's C33 Gallery on September 8, Layer Cake: Tales from a Quinceañera is an exploration of the tension, delight, embarrassment, desire, joy, pride, confusion and beauty inherent in the Quinceañera. The exhibition features five to seven compelling stories – real or imagined – that speak to some facet of the greater Quinceañera narrative.

Image: Mexican Quinceanera, Javier Ramirez, Limon

Dating back to the Aztec and Mayan Empires and Spanish colonialism in the Americas (mainly Central and South America), the event ceremonially marked the time when a young girl would leave her family home to marry and begin her own family – around the age of 15.

Image: Mexican Quinceanera, Javier Ramirez, Limon

If asked what the Quinceañera means, a celebrant will likely answer: “I’m going from being a girl to being a woman,” but in today’s America of mixed moral, spiritual and cultural messages, coming-of-age is as complicated as ever. And so it comes down to the birthday girl, left to reconcile her own expectations and promises of womanhood with those of her family and community at large - rejoicing and lamenting in her newfound status.

Curated by Camille Morgan, Layer Cake: Tales from a Quinceañera has gathered artists who can capture this fantastic confusion through personal engagement - artists who can make transparent the layers of the poufy dress, the many-tiered cake, and the pomp and circumstance to reveal the truths beneath. Viewers will be drawn in and realize that this is not only an Hispanic tradition but a human one.

Image: Mexican Quinceanera, Javier Ramirez, Limon

Media is open to artist interpretation and can include painting, sculpture, photography, site-specific installation, performance and new media.

image: Juana Alicia, Don't Be So Tough, 2008

The exhibition will coincide with Columbia College’s National Latino Heritage Month (FOCO) and Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations.


Interactive Exhibit Wall – Photo Collage
Throughout the course of the exhibit, students, the rest of the Columbia College community and the public will be invited to submit personal photos from quinceañeras they have attended, participated in, had, crashed, etc. This supports the exhibit’s focus – artist’s exploring the theme of the quince through personal engagement.

image: Road Kill Series, Adriana Carvalho, 2009

"I am hoping people will enjoy displaying their crazy, funny, poignant, ridiculous and beautiful photos, " says Camille Morgan, the show's curator. "I am sure everyone will love to view them too. The purpose is to make the exhibit feel like a party everyone is invited to...a place where their experience counts and is important to the celebration of Latina womanhood."


WHEN: September 8 – October 28, 2009

Artwalk Reception: September 10, 2009, 5-8pm

Official Reception: September 15, 2009, 4-8pm (to feature a real quince cake and Mexican food)

WHERE: C33 Gallery

33 East Congress Pkway @ Wabash

  • Curator Talks (by appt) at 312.369.7663 or cmorgan@colum.edu
  • Shifting meaning of the quinceañera
  • The shifting definition of “tradition”
  • Religion and faith in terms of cultural ritual
  • Issues surrounding immigration and societal status
  • How colonialism affects “history”
  • Feminist issues in a patriarchal society

Image: Judithe Hernandez, 2009

WHEN: September 8 – October 28, 2009

Artwalk Reception: September 10, 2009, 5-8pm

Official Reception: September 15, 2009, 4-8pm (to feature a real quince cake and Mexican food)

PANEL DISCUSSION: Thursday, October 22, 3pm at Hokin Annex, 623 S. Wabash
Steve Caballero (Community Christian Church in Pilsen), Priscilla Mills (author of Quinceanera Connections) and Yolanda Nieves (Artistic Director of Vida Bella Ensemble).

WHERE: C33 Gallery, 33 East Congress Pkway @ Wabash

COST: Free and Open to the Public.

CONTACT: Camille Morgan at cmorgan@colum.edu or 312.369.7663

PRESS INQUIRIES: Elizabeth Burke-Dain at eburkedain@colum.edu or 312.369.8695

Monday, June 22, 2009

More Images from Midwestern BLAB! at A+D Gallery

CJ Pyle, Been A Long Time, (c)2009, 13 1/4" x 12 1/4", ink, colored pencil, and graphite on cardboard; to appear in BLAB! 19

Image: Don Colley, miscellaneous sketchbook drawing, (c)1996, 11 3/4" w x 10" deep, ink and watercolor on paper

Image: Teresa James, (c)2000, No Chance Meetings from "The Old Haunts" by Jeffrey Steele; 1 15/16" x 8", color etching, originally appeared in BLAB! 11

Image: (c)2004, Tom Huck; Race of the Wheelbarrow Brides; 24 3/8" x 12 9/16"; hand-colored linoleum cut on paper; originally appeared in BLAB! 15

WHEN: June 18 – July 22, 2009

WHERE: Columbia College Chicago’s Leviton A+D Gallery

619 S. Wabash Avenue

Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 5pm, Thursday 11 am – 8 pm

COST: Free and Open to the Public


INFO: Gallery Coordinator, , 312.369.8686

Press Inquiries, 312.369.8695

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tim Long Talks About Burnham in the Phillipines

Image: Tim Long, Daniel Burnham building in Manila (2008)

Tim Long, Chicago photographer, will present an exhibition of photographs that were taken in Manila in 2008. These photographs delve into the rift created by the United States' ambition to create a democratic state in a vastly distant and different culture. See ArtSeen's earlier post here. The name of Long's exhibition is ironically named, Daniel Burnham's Enduring Vision for the Phillipines and will be located at The City Gallery from September 4 - to mid December, 2009. Below is some insight into Long's approach to Burnham's work in the Phillipines.

Image: Tim Long, Manila, Phillipines (2008)

I stumbled across Burnham’s work in the Philippines while doing research for an ongoing photography project about the long shadow the U.S. casts over it’s smaller less powerful neighbors. The U.S. took possession of the Philippines, after the Spanish American War, as they did Cuba (temporarily), Puerto Rico, and Guam. Though I was familiar with some of our history with the Philippines during and after WWII (my father was based there during the war) I hadn’t realized how tangled our relations were from the start. More reading revealed a number of parallels between our efforts to establish a commercial foothold and a democracy in the Philippines and our trials and tribulations in Iraq.

When I went to Manila in 2007 I expected to find the buildings and streets built to Burnham’s plan to be obliterated by development or boarded up or simply in ruins. My simple intention was to somehow engage the futility and damage done by American imperialism in the pictures. What I found was both more complicated and more interesting.

Manila, or Metro Manila, as the entire urban entity is now known, is a mega metropolis suffering tremendous pressures of scarcely controlled development, under-built infrastructure, massive over-population, and extraordinary poverty. In the midst of this deeply chaotic place, in old Manila, stand the park and the core of the street system that Burnham drew and a dozen or so buildings designed by DB’s architects in familiar Beaux Art and early Art Deco styles. Many of the buildings are in use (city hall, hospital, post office, etc) and Rizal Park is well maintained and well used. Rather than the intrusive presence that Burnham’s work must once have had, in today’s reality this thoughtfully designed area provides a much needed respite from an overwhelmed and overwhelming urban environment.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Accidental Mysteries Blog Writes About Fred Stonehouse

Check out Accidental Mysteries where Fred Stonehouse's work is featured. Fred will be featured in Columbia College Chicago's Leviton A+D Gallery's Exhibition Midwestern BLAB! curated by BLAB!'s creator, Monte Beauchamp. Show opens on June 18! For more info on this show, go to my blog entry: here.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Re-Figure: A Contemporary Look at Figurative Representation in Art

Media Contact: Elizabeth Burke-Dain, 312.369.8695
June 5, 2009
Images are Available.

Image: Amber Hawk Swanson, To Hold, Pinball, 2008, c-print

New technologies and innovative use of traditional media have changed the ways in which we view the body – from the Sims to Facebook to YouTube, our lives are inundated with new interpretations of, and uses for, figurative representation. The art exhibition RE:figure explores the common ground between new and old media representations of the human form, as well as the different uses of figurative representation. RE:figure features artists working in a diverse range of media, such as video game screen captures, photography, sculpture, collage and drawing. The works will show a range of body types, as well as explore different relationships between the artist and his or her subject. Betsy Schneider’s “Quotidian’ series of photographs, for example, document in large grids of drugstore photos the physical development of her small children while simultaneously giving the viewer insight into the power structure between parent and child. Don Doe’s mixed-media drawings, modern-day interpretations of the Madonna, give a much darker view of motherhood. Amber Hawk Swanson’s photographic series ‘To Have, To Hold and To Violate’ of her doppelganger Realdoll ™, a lifelike sex doll she had created in her own image, provides a disturbing look into the ways in which likenesses can be abused. Stacia Yeapanis’ ‘Glitches Are Signs’ gives a more lighthearted view of the same subject, through screen captures of her own Sims ™-likeness apparent physical disintegration.
Re-Figure was curated by Cole Robertson.

Confirmed Artists (more are anticipated)
Edna Dapo http://bit.ly/cu2Ny
Don Doe http://bit.ly/Izs3g
Robert Flynt http://bit.ly/FgmPA
Jason Salavon http://bit.ly/4OWYa
Betsy Schneider http://bit.ly/nm9fu
Amber Hawk Swanson http://bit.ly/nm9fu
Stacia Yeapanis http://bit.ly/6CKin

WHEN: September 8 – October 30, 2009
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 10, 5 – 8pm

WHERE: Columbia College Chicago’s Glass Curtain Gallery
1104 S. Wabash Avenue, 1st floor
Gallery Hours: Mon-Wed, Fri: 9:00am – 5:00pm, Thurs: 9:00am – 7:00pm,
Sat. by appointment

COST: Free and Open to the Public.

MORE INFO: Gallery Coordinator: Mark Porter, 312.369.6643 or mporter@colum.edu
Press Inquiries: Elizabeth Burke-Dain, 312.369.8695

Some images:

Sabrina Raaf, Blood, Rags and Da Bomb, photograph

Don Doe, New Mother, No. 142 (cover story), 2008, gouache, ink and pastel on prepared paper

Ashley Hope, Can Opener, 2005, oil on panel

Edna Dapo, Impermissible, acrylic on canvas
Robert Flynt, New Year Baby, 2008, collage

Su-en Wong, Mighty Hymn, 2007, graphite on paper

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dismantling the Corporate State, and Other Amusements

Works by Anne Elizabeth Moore
June 19 – August 22, 2009

Dismantling the Corporate State, and Other Amusements is an exhibition of nine experimental works and activist projects of Anne Elizabeth Moore at Columbia College Chicago’s Center for Book & Paper Arts, 1104 S. Wabash, 2nd floor. One of the projects, Pie Off, will be presented at the opening reception on June 19 from 6-9pm. Another will be The Anne Elizabeth Moore Award for Excellence in Awesomeness which will occur at the closing event, Friday, August 21 at 6:30pm.

A staunch critic of consumerism and media activist Moore has been writing, publishing, and interceding in culture since the age of 15. The indomitable author of Unmarketable: Brandalism, Copyfighting, Mocketing, and the Erosion of Integrity, founding editor of the Best American Comics series, and former editor of now-defunct Punk Planet has seen her work exhibited in major museums, praised by the business press, and forcibly ejected from retail establishments. Dismantling the Corporate State, and Other Amusements includes a wide range of both personal projects and collaborations, from Chicago to Cambodia. A retrospective of sorts, this exhibition will be the first to present this work in one place.

This exhibition runs from June 19 – August 22, 2009. An artist’s talk with Anne Elizabeth Moore will take place on Friday, August 21 at 6:30 for the exhibition’s closing which will be followed by The Anne Elizabeth Moore Award for Excellence in Awesomeness.


New Girl Law: 2008 (New Girl Law Audio Book is 2009)
New Girl Law is a letter-pressed, hand-bound book created in conjunction with the 32 young Cambodian women leaders in Phnom Penh. Over a two-week period at the Harpswell Foundation Dormitory and Leadership Center for University Women, the group collaborated a revision of the traditional text known as Girl Law which circumscribes proper roles for women in Cambodian culture. This version calls for basic human rights, gender equity, the eradication of corruption, and funding for cultural production. It is a re-envisioning of a potential future for the country. Co-written in Phnom Penh, and printed at AS220's Community Print Shop in Providence, Rhode Island, New Girl Law has been the subject of several international discussions of women's position in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including two among groups of economically disadvantaged creative young women in Providence and San Antonio.

Anne Zine
Produced between late 1993 and 2004, AnneZine was a quarterly publication devoted to the unique needs of people named Anne, Annie, Ann Marie, and the like, and consisted of 47 issues, although 38 of them were fake. Each issue was created in editions of between 12 (issue #1) and 300, with multiple reprints.

The Catalog of This Exhibition
The Catalog envisions an exhibition devoted to uncreated works of art, and attempts to establish a language for talking about potential through four essays that push the boundaries of art past the visual, past the experiential, and past the conceptual into the inconceivable and impossible. It is a piece of writing that exists mainly online, but was set into a hand-bound book with coffee-stained paper for physical exhibition. It exists in a physical edition of only one. (2007)

Radical Education Roadshow: How to Make This Very Zine
Radical Education Roadshow provides do-it-yourself instructions on how to make a zine in several languages. From 2004-2009, Anne Elizabeth Moore travelled the country making zines with young people using this tool, and this is a selection of their amazing, hilarious works.

From January to February 2009, the Unlympics were a series of competitive events that engaged Chicago residents in active dialogue about the 2016 Olympic bid. The Unlympics looked at highly organized, internationally recognized, massively marketed, thoroughly branded, and extremely expensive sporting events not from a pro or con standpoint, but from a questioning standpoint. The Unlympics included real sports, fake sports, and things that should be sports but aren’t yet, including Class-Conscious Kickball, Fashion, Karaoke, Live Action Role Play Family Dinner, The Solitary Isolation Game, and Spelling. Indoor and outdoor games were held throughout the city and open to the public. These events were sponsored by organizations with a stake in the 2016 Olympic bid (unlympics.wordpress.com). Summer Games are being planned now.

The Foundation for Freedom
The mission of the Foundation For Freedom was to bring the best and brightest former ad pros together once a year; inspire young people to leave the craft; focus the industry and public at large on the profoundly negative social and economic impacts of advertising; inspire problem-solving methods focused on the most important issues facing the real world; and shine a light on the influence that advertising, media, and marketing industries have on dwindling public space, atrophying human relationships, and the destruction of democracy. In collaboration with the Anti-Advertising Agency, the FFF created an award for one lucky ad pro, PR exec, or marketing rep dedicated to leaving their life of commercial creativity and onored them with a gala event and giant novelty check during Advertising week in New York City. (2008)

The Anne Elizabeth Moore Award for Excellence in Awesomeness (closing event)
Established in 2005 as an antidote to the several barriers that had been erected to prevent Anne Elizabeth Moore from winning other awards, the Anne Elizabeth Moore Award for Excellence in Awesomeness was created by Kevin Duneman and is juried annually by Anne Elizabeth Moore, who really only ever considers herself in the running for it. A major upset in the awards' history occurred in 2007 when dark horse candidate Sarah Fan appeared seemingly from nowhere to claim victory. The 2008 award goes to Anne Elizabeth Moore in Chicago Illinois, whose achievements had gone unrecognized for several consecutive months except for by her cat, and the occasional conspicuous consumption of pie, which, although delicious, is sometimes just not enough. The 2009 award will be the first to be judged by an open ballot. People besides Anne Elizabeth Moore will be considered for this year's award. This award will be presented at the closing event, Friday, August 21 at 6:30pm.

Operation: Pocket Full of Wishes
Operation: Pocket Full of Wishes was originally a series of eight cards that mimicked the shopping aides found in American Girl Place. The ‘wish’ cards include names, images and prices of items. Anne Elizabeth Moore’s cards bore items like “Domestic Partnership Benefits,” Safe and Effective Birth Control,” and “Free Tampons.” These were distributed inside the store to the doll consumers. Eventually, it became national news—and lead to Anne Elizabeth Moore getting banned from the store. (2004)

Pie Off
Pie Off is an Irregular Semi-Annual Competitive Pie-Baking Competition held in the United States of America, devoted to exploring the boundaries of not only good taste, but also the boundaries of what constitutes competition, how decisions are made in groups, and what the limits of consumption are for even those individuals who claim to love pie more than anything else in the world. Each competition is themed differently and was devoted to the exploration of a different judging rubric, including: popular vote, Survivor-style elimination, panel of experts, celebrity vote, US Election-style, and autocratic. Pie will be provided. Opening Reception: June 19, 2009, 6-9pm.

Anne Elizabeth Moore’s website: http://www.anneelizabethmoore.com/
Columbia College Chicago’s Center for Book & Paper Arts: http://bit.ly/5NY1R
Press Inquiries: Elizabeth Burke-Dain, 312.369.8695 or eburkedain at colum dot edu

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Daniel Burnham’s Enduring Vision for the Philippines

Daniel Burnham Exhibit at City Gallery
September 4, 2009 – December 2009

An exhibition of photographs, Daniel Burnham’s Enduring Vision for the Philippines, opens at City Gallery on September 4, 2009. Architectural and landscape photographer Tim Long started this project in 2007 and completed shooting in a month long stay in 2008. The photographs delve into the rift created by the United States ambition to create a democratic state in a vastly distant and different culture.

In 1904 the United States government sent Daniel Burnham, a prominent Chicago architect and city planner, to the Philippine Islands to modernize the capitol city and a second smaller city to be used as the summer capitol. Plans were drawn for Manila and Baguio and building began. And though shifting political and economic interests in the U.S. eventually disrupted the projects, Burnham’s plans continued to exert an influence on architects and city planners, even building codes, well into the 1940s.

The greatest concentration of Burnham’s legacy can still be found in the tumultuous landscape of Metro-Manila, an urban continuum of over 10 million people. Clustered around a large city park designed by Burnham in an old section of the city are several graceful Beaux Arts buildings designed by Burnham protégés. Street systems typical of Burnham’s “City Beautiful” plans used in Washington, DC and Chicago emanate outward from the park to eventually fade into the fabric of a remarkably chaotic urban landscape.

Burnham in the Philippines: The Philippine Republic is generally considered to be an abject failure in terms of their democratic institutions, a notion made vivid by the Marcos era. It struck me then to learn that the U.S. government hired Daniel Burnham in 1905 to draw plans for two cities in the Philippines and though never completed, the plans were partly built and are still standing. I wondered how these buildings and streetscapes would look a hundred plus years later in Metro Manila, a megalopolis of over 11 million. It was easy to imagine a tense interplay between history, our two cultures and the architectural forms that represent them.


WHEN: September 4, 2009 – December 2009

WHERE: Columbia College Chicago’s City Gallery
806 N. Michigan Ave.

This project is funded in part by a grant from the Graham Foundation for the Fine Arts.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pearl of the Snowlands: Buddhist Printing at the Derge Parkhang

Image: A woodblock cutter meticulously cuts a block for a new publication of the Parkhang. The Derge Parkhang has an excellent reputation for the accuracy of its books based on careful cutting and several stages of proofreading and correction. P. Dowdey © 2009
In an age where the transfer of information is fast becoming digital and paperless, old printing techniques acquire new meaning. The Derge Parkhang is a repository for over 300,000 woodblocks and an active center for publication of sutras, commentaries and histories of Tibetan Traditional Buddhism. It is also home to a significant collection of woodblocks for printing thangka, prayer flags, mandala and other spiritual images. Founded in 1729, this printing temple is the only survivor of the three historic Tibetan printing temples and today produces sets of sutras for believers in Tibet and inner China as well as for international believers and institutions. Experts say that 70 percent of the Tibetan literary heritage is collected in woodblocks at Derge.

Image: The town of Derge with the Derge Parkhang in the center, downtown Derge on the left and the old Tibetan town on the hillsides to the right. Goenchen Temple lies to the far right. Derge town was the administrative seat of the Kings of Derge, independent Tibetan monarchs who traced their line back more than a millennium. P. Dowdey © 2009

The Derge Parkhang is one of the foremost cultural, social, religious, and historical institutions in Tibet. Derge-published sutras are valued for their accuracy, clarity, and for the tradition that they represent. As a Tibetan monk said, “Books from Derge are simply flawless; they represent unquestionable accuracy.”

Derge Parkhang books and prints represent the summit of the Tibetan woodcut tradition. Picture prints are based on the designs of well-known artists and are cut masterfully Monks, lay pilgrims and now tourists all buy prints. They are inexpensive. . Printing at Derge is someplace between the hand work of craft printing and the mass production of commercial printing. The large prints represent an artistic and technical accomplishment rooted in the Buddhist sense of compassion. I asked one of the managers of the Parkhang how he felt when he saw someone leaving with books or a print and he told me, “I feel we have provided a service.”

Image: A woodblock carved with Tibetan text. This block has already been proofed and treated with butter for long wear. It is now ready for regular printing. P. Dowdey © 2009

This exhibition and catalog are part of an innovative project to document the social context for production of Tibetan art, to bring together different perspectives on the Derge Parkhang and its position as a living institution of Tibetan culture. What came out strongly was the local people’s rich sense of participation in the Parkhang. These were Derge people and Derge people had built and equally importantly, had preserved the Parkhang.

Image: A closeup of one of the over 500 picture blocks at the Derge Parkhang which shows the detail and depth of the carving. P. Dowdey © 2009

WHEN: opens September 11, 2009 with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m.

WHERE: Columbia College Chicago’s Center for Book and Paper Arts
1104 S. Wabash, second floor
10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday

MORE INFORMATION: Steve Woodall at (312) 369-6636 or swoodall@colum.edu

RELATED PROGRAM: Derge Parkhang is one of the many programs in conjunction with Focus: China

Check for updated information closer to September!

Image: The upstairs main printing room at the Derge Parkhang during the lunch break. Ten teams of workers print the Derge edition of the Buddhist sutra here from woodblocks in almost the same way they did in the eighteenth century. P. Dowdey © 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Colleen Plumb on Jen Bekman News

I was really happy to see Colleen Plumb's work being featured on Flavorwire. Colleen is a Columbia College alum and has gone on to have a enviable career as an art photographer. She recently had a show at City Gallery, a photo gallery that Columbia curates. Thanks Jen and thanks Colleen.

Jen Bekman Photographer of the Month: Colleen Plumb
12:51 pm Monday May 11, 2009
by Caroline Stanley

Image credit: Circus by Colleen Plumb

Twice a month, Sara Distin from Jen Bekman Projects, Inc. contributes a post to Flavorwire about an artist or photographer. Jen Bekman Projects, Inc. includes Jen Bekman Gallery, 20×200 and Hey, Hot Shot!.

I haven’t been able to touch bacon since Michael Pollan revealed what happens to pigs and their corkscrew tails on CAFOs. I should have known better and become a vegetarian before I became a foodie, but I didn’t. Now I suffer irrepressible guilt for even craving salty, fatty slivers of swine. Colleen Plumb’s photograph, Pigs, makes me feel even worse.

Her series Animals Are Outside Today brings you this close to animals stuffed, strung, fenced, flying, rotting, leaping, and barely breathing, affirming our perverse relationship to other living things; when animals and humans meet, it’s usually to the detriment of the former. We are mostly oblivious and uncaring to that fact.

It might be because, as Plumb points out, we are disconnected from the natural world in general — isolated in urban environments, stifling instinct with intellectualism. Plumb’s photographs are alternately soft and dreamy, crisp and cold, engaging both the heart and the brain, and mimicking the natural cycle of attachment and detachment we have with our two- and four-legged friends. Funny and tragic, they acknowledge that these encounters are increasingly rare and diluted in spite of best intentions.

Over the last few months, we’ve spent a lot of time looking at Colleen’s work at JBP HQ. She was a Hot Shot last year; and we’ve featured several of her works on 20×200 — her editions have been eagerly collected. Plumb’s works will be on view at Denver’s van Straaten Gallery starting Thursday, May 14. If you’re not in Denver, I have a perfect pairing of Plumb and Whitman for you instead, courtesy of Ms. Jen B.

- Sara Distin