Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pilsen Open Studio Fundraiser Gala

On October 21st and 22nd of this year, the Pilsen arts community will be holding its 10th annual Pilsen Open Studios art walk, a locally produced, premier event that is apart of Chicago's Artist Month. This past Saturday, September 15th at the National Museum of Mexican Art on 19th Street, community volunteers came together to raise money in support of the Pilsen Open Studio event. The Pilsen Open Studio Fundraiser Gala was an production held by the artists and who will be involved in the Pilsen Open Studio art walk this October as well as other community partners who donated their time, money and services to this cause. There was free food, drink and entertainment including flamingo dancers and a live band.

Tickets sold prior to the evening and at the door all helped fund the event as well as funding the art walk this October. The most exciting part of the evening was that the artists participating in the art walk donated a wonderful range of visual art that was available for bidding at reduced prices at a silent auction that was ongoing throughout the night. These artists donated paintings, prints, sculptures and hand crafted jewelry. The funds raised at the auction were given back to help the Pilsen Open Studio art walk. The fundraiser gala was a huge success helping promote a vast majority of locally based Pilsen artists as well as raising a huge amount of money that will go to helping promote art in the Pilsen Community. The gala was a wonderful expression of Pilsen's culture and community celebrating its roots in Mexican and Latino culture, visual and performing arts. 

To learn more about the Pilsen Open Studio art walk on October 21-22, 2012 visit and for news and information about the Pilsen neighborhood go to To learn about Mexican art and culture visit or visit the museum at its regular hours 

Monday, September 17, 2012

State of the Art

This past Friday my roommate and I made our way over to Wicker Park to visit Park Schreck Gallery. They had an opening reception for their latest exhibit State of the Art. The exhibit features artists Ray Becoskie and Jane Carney. I went to the reception having no idea what to expect; I only knew I was attending a contemporary art gallery.

The gallery was very open and inviting and the artists were easy to engage in conversation about their work. The gallery has the simple, cutting edge appearance of a modern establishment, touting white floors and walls with exposed ceiling pipes. The gallery’s clean cut look allows for full attention and engagement with the art work. 
The very first thing I noticed about the works of art dispersed through out the gallery was the complimenting contrast between geometric and organic forms. At first glance, the dripping round shapes resting above free flowing lines in Jane Carney’s paintings reminded me of flowers. After speaking with her, I found out that her current series was based upon flowers. It is inspired by her summer spent in Colorado. I definitely felt her paintings reflected upon wild flower fields. 

Ray Becoskie’s art work has a significantly different presence than Carney’s, but they complemented each other perfectly. Both of them had a nice toned-down color scheme going on. Jane Carney’s paintings were all black, white, and blue. Ray used a lot of neutral colors especially as a background. His unique line based art work laid beautifully on top, painted in unique shades of all colors. He usually kept it to about five colors a piece. He conducts truly unique free hand compositions of geometric based shapes. The paintings definitely made me think of layouts for cities, houses, and buildings. Becoskie says all of his inspiration come naturally. He took some technical art classes after being asked to attend school. However, he chose to continue pursuing his art in the way he felt was best. He has a good thing going on his own. 

Apocalypse 2012: Genisis 2013

Last Tuesday I had the pleasure of seeing "Apocalypse 2012: Genisis 2013" before opening night on Friday September 14th. All of the artwork in this group exhibit is based on the artists portrayal of what they think might happen if there was a apocalypse and what this new world would be like. The image above is a 77" x 47" watercolor piece is by Kristina Knowski and the cover image for the exhibits flyers.

This group exhibit of 30 local and international artists kept me curious and amazed the whole time. I walked around about three times just to make sure I took in every detail. Each piece of art work was very detailed and intriguing to look at. I found it interesting to see the different ideas of what a new world would be like, and how it was interpreted through art.