The Propeller Fund

May 13, 2010

posted by Caroline Picard

The Propeller Fund!

Gallery 400 at UIC and threewalls announce Propeller Fund and the initial round of this new granting opportunity for independent visual artists, curators and visual art groups in Cook County, IL. Applications Due: August 1, 2010, with 15 winners announced in October 2010.

Five workshops to introduce Propeller Fund, with tips, hints and advice on how to prepare an application will be held in the area during June:

Wednesday, June 2, 6 pm: Gallery 400, 400 South Peoria Street, Chicago
Saturday, June 5, 12 pm: Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 South Cottage Hill Avenue, Elmhurst
Saturday, June 12, 1 pm: Mess Hall, 1060 East 47th Street, Chicago
Saturday, June 19, 12 pm: Little Black Pearl, 6932 North Glenwood Avenue, Chicago
Wednesday, Jun 23, 6 pm: threewalls, 118 North Peoria Street #2C, Chicago

Propeller Fund is founded to support visual arts projects that are: independent, informal, and self-organized. Shannon Stratton, Executive and Creative Director, threewalls, states: “Propeller Fund has been created to identify and help sustain the range of Chicago’s autonomous visual arts facilitators and presenters. Propeller Fund recognizes that the efforts of individuals working independent of institutions and formal funding structures are vital to the creation of a diverse and dynamic creative landscape. With the generous support of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, threewalls and Gallery 400 look forward to providing meaningful support to those projects.”

The goal is to stimulate further independent growth throughout Chicago; to encourage more varied models of visual arts presentation; to spread the self-organized activities into more diverse areas; to promote the public’s interaction with, and public recognition of such activities; and to spark ambitions beyond current formats. “This is an exciting time in Chicago. Creative people are making their own projects and activities on a range of scales and trajectories. Propeller Fund provides an opportunity to support, recognize, and accelerate this dynamic independent visual arts activity. We at Gallery 400 are pleased to be partnering with threewalls and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts on Propeller Fund, and look forward to Propeller Fund’s role in the arts in Chicago.”  writes Lorelei Stewart, Director, Gallery 400 at UIC.

Propeller Fund will provide support at two levels:
Five grants at $6,000
Ten grants at $2,000
The two-tiered funding structure spread amongst 15 projects is devised to provide substantial support for major costs—printing, rental, honoraria, material, shipping, research time, with the aim to ensure that each project has the resources to live up to its ambitions.

Launched in May 2010, Propeller Fund is administered jointly by Gallery 400 and threewalls. Initial support for the program is provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts as part of its initiative to promote informal and independently organized visual arts activities across the United States. Previous re-granting programs initiated by the foundation are located in San Francisco, CA (Alternative Exposure), and Houston, TX (The Idea Fund).

Any questions can be addressed at one of the informational workshops or contact Propeller Fund at: or call 312-432-3972.

More information on the Propeller Fund Website.

Become a Fan of Propeller Fund on Facebook.

Follow Propeller Fund on Twitter.

Gallery 400
400 S Peoria St. (MC 034)
College of Architecture and the arts
University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, IL 60607

119 N Peoria #2d
chicago, il 60607

posted by Caroline Picard

“Hey everyone, just a reminder that the deadline for applications to Harold Arts 2010 is fast approaching…applications are due May 15th!”

Harold Arts

Invitation to Apply

Harold Arts Residency Program 2010

The Harold Arts Residency Program is an opportunity for artists and musicians to further their artistic goals and interact with like-minded individuals in a pastoral environment. Situated in the Appalachian foothills of Southeastern Ohio on the grounds of the Jeffers Tree Farm, the Harold Arts Residency Program provides a remote location with shared and individual studio facilities, comfortable accommodations, and chef-prepared meals. Throughout each 11-day session, residents are offered a forum to develop new work alongside their contemporaries while enjoying lectures, performances, and workshops presented by our staff and visiting artists. Harold Arts aims to foster exchange and dialogue across artistic disciplines while offering a platform for the production and dissemination of new works.

Attending the annual residency program opens the door to an array of opportunities for both artists and musicians. Musicians attending the residency will have the chance to collaborate with our staff of professional engineers in producing an annual compilation record, in addition to other projects administered by our creative partners, Captcha Records, Sundmagi Records, and Vosotros. Visual artists attending the residency will find themselves within a matrix of working artists and cultural producers, devising curatorial projects to be deployed nationally throughout the year. All residents are also invited to participate in our annual multimedia arts festival, Harvest, located in Chicago each fall. New to the residency are two thematic sessions, led in partnership with DFLux and threewalls.

The application is available at our website,; All materials must be submitted by May 15th. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance on May 31st. For more information on how to apply, or any other questions, please check our website:; — or contact us at info@;


Harold Arts;


Harold Arts is a 501(c)3 arts organization based in Chicago, IL, devoted to fostering the collaborative and interdisciplinary endeavors of emerging and mid-career artists.

From Phonebook 2008-2009

April 16, 2010

posted and written by Caroline Picard

This was published a few years ago in PHONEBOOK, (published jointly by threewalls & the green lantern press) an index/archive of “alternative” art practice across the country. I’m revisiting all this stuff at the moment as I work to put together some thoughts on the next incarnation of The Green Lantern.


Last fall I met a Canadian fellow in the middle of the Santa Cruz Mountains. I was in the middle of a meditation retreat and he happened to be there for the same. A few of us in the group woke up early one day, before the sunrise, to hike up one of the peaks. We wanted to get to the top in time to see the sun kiss the flanks of the surrounding mountains. We woke up in the middle of the dark and made our way through the woods, tripping now and again on stray roots in the ground. Aside from our footsteps everything was terribly still, the dark a thick cloak of ink around everything. While I could feel my companions close, I could not make out their faces. One woman was wearing a white sweatshirt and aside from the tiny flashlight orbs, trained on the ground, she was the thing to follow. Her shirt a ghost.

At a certain point on the hike, I realized that Henry regularly referred to a woman in his life. Jill, her name was. She lived in New York. He lived Vancouver. He didn’t call her his girlfriend. He only called her by name. And yet she frequented enough of his stories, as a sideline, not the subject, that the intimacy of their relationship became clear.

Finally at breakfast another one of the hikers, Mike, asked about her.
“Who is Jill? Is she your girlfriend? She sounds important.”
“That’s funny that,” he said. The way he spoke, his words were flecked with a European inflection, what I at first assumed was part of the Canadian way. “We spent forever trying to work out what to call ourselves. We tried everything. We weren’t happy with any of them. Girlfriend/boyfriend. Lover. Friend. My parents are Dutch immigrants, so we even tried some other words, amore, leipschen. Cabbage. Each thing seemed too limited, too entrenched in a system of expectations and roles and obligations. Obligations that were imposed by society, as part of the definition of those terms.
“Each name seemed to come with a job description, and yet we felt ourselves distinct. The joy of our relationship has come from the sense that we have a non-traditional bond. It felt important to represent that. And finally we decided to create a name for ourselves, a title we each agreed to.”

You can imagine, of course, at this point in the conversation the whole table was waiting, the knives and forks suspended for a moment; steam from tea rising, a few peculiar smiles on the faces of his audience. Many of them wore wedding bands.
“We came up with Companeres Amores. It seems to best fit how we feel about one another.”

To my mind, it is additionally perfect because the name belies certain awkwardness, acknowledging the need to appropriate another language, reaching outside of one tradition to another, in order to transplant another set of terms that might function as a blank slate. It wouldn’t do to make up a name from gibberish, for in doing so one runs the risk of denying a certain degree of importance in the relationship being named. Instead one looks for name that carries with it enough meaning, a meaning that is nevertheless ambiguous, so that the power of defining meaning clearly is in the hands of the founding members.

After the release of last year’s PHONEBOOK, I heard concerns, nothing directly, but maybe in the way that these communities operate, through a chain of conversations that traveled like a brush fire through the community. One group started talking about the problem with the title “Alternative Art space,” and whether or not they felt comfortable being represented under that moniker. Members of that conversation ended up at a bar, perhaps, a few weeks later and the subject came up again, and so on. The obvious failings of the term came to light within the same community our index is trying to represent.

I believe that in this way, in discovering the limitations of this or that, we might discover, collectively, through dialogue, more common ground. Through these conversations we might reach toward a clarity of vision, something that will both further define the unique and peculiar manifestations of each space, while also demonstrating something common: an impulse, one or several goals, a questioning of culture as it is. While developing that dialogue, mapping out intentions and choices, we may actually empower ourselves as well. In my mind, the most important thing to recognize is that there will never be one name that incorporates each space. If anything each space is like it’s own family, operating like a tribe within each city. At the same time, there is at least one thing that we all share: that is, we are creating different kinds of cultural venues, providing new and idiosyncratic personalities in the midst of an increasingly homogenous cultural landscape.

Nevertheless, I think it’s important that we don’t let our differences prevent collaboration. If we are to celebrate community, personality and culture outside of the mainstream, if we really want to influence the world in which we live, we must embrace and celebrate one another as much as we do ourselves.

In some sense this is an apologia. Apologizing up front for the invariable ways in which PHONEBOOK will fall short of a complete and perfect categorical index. We don’t even scratch the surface. I’m sure about that. Furthermore we are celebrating a myriad of practices, and imagining that one term would sufficiently sum everything up would do us a disservice. It is precisely because the venues listed here provide different colors, emphasese and aesthetics that they accomplish so mean so much to the communities involved.

I’m additionally sure that, despite our best efforts, PHONEBOOK 2008/2009 will make other blunders, an issue not addressed that perhaps misrepresents one or another of the organizations listed. In anticipation of those instances, I would invite everyone to send us an email, write a letter or even just talk to your peers. We want to hear them. Those moments are opportunities for better understanding.

Like Henry and Jill, a number of these organizations, if not all, are working to redefine their relationship in society. There is a great power in naming things. I would argue that, through the naming things, we define our world, isolating traits that seem most prominent and then, through the exercise of that name, those traits seem to best embody the thing itself. Whether one calls the world ugly, or beautiful, for instance, affects the way one sees that same world. More importantly though, names reflect the way we think about things, and way one thinks about his or her community, its extent, its bounds, will influence the impact it might have. We have kept the name Alternative Art space on the list. Some spaces use it. It is also a name recognized by the greater public, one with perhaps less access to these watering holes. It is important to give that public a chance to see these spaces, for it is likely that more opportunities to experience divergent cultural media will have a long standing impact on the world we live in.

companeres amores
project space
progressive institution
center for development of contemporary aesthetics
cultural center
apartment gallery
exhibition venue
the underground
neighborhood space
rumpous room
anarchist collective
play room
garage gallery
art practice
watering hole
ass hat
community space
house project

Next Weekend: Bookfair

February 21, 2010

posted by caroline picard


Friday, February 26, Noon – 6 pm
Saturday, February 27, Noon – 6 pm

Two days of art, books, talks, things for sale, things for free, and more!

Organized by Temporary Services in conjunction with ART WORK: A NATIONAL CONVERSATION ABOUT ART, LABOR, AND ECONOMICS •

G400 Lecture Room & Gallery 400 at the Art & Design Hall, University of Illnois, Chicago
400 S. Peoria St (at Van Buren) • 312-996-6114

AREA Chicago
Bad At Sports
CAFF “Find us in the real world motherfuckers!”
Gallery 400
Esteban Garcia
Golden Age
Green Lantern Press
Half Letter Press
Terence Hannum
Harold Arts
Imperfect Articles
Clifton Meador & guests
David Moré
No Coast
Onsmith Dog Stew & Monkey Nudd Wine
Pros Arts Studio
Proximity Magazine
Radah & Team
Spudnik Press
Bert Stabler

Our Forthcoming Catalogue

August 13, 2009



Details on release venues TBA please contact Caroline Picard : for more information


a reprint of an original 1821 newspaper with excerpts from Captain Parry’s log, an essay by John Huston & end notes by transcriber/poet Lily Robert-Foley printed in an edition of 250 w/ silkscreen covers & limited edition 7” record provided by Nick Butcher of Sonnenzimmer 2009 $30


by Stephanie Brooks. Released in tadem with The North Georgia Gazette, Love is Like a Kind of Flower lists the various nouns, adjectives, adverbs and verbs to which love is compared. Printed in an edition of 250 w/ color plates by author/artist 2009 $10


by Terri Griffith. A debut novel about a self-sabotaging Credit Union employee, a cold woman at odds with and alone in the world. In the absense of her lover, she seduces her lover’s sister, wades through old storage units and wonders after her own absent family. Printed in an edition of 500 w/ silkscreen covers by Nick Butcher of Sonnenzimmer 2009 $20


a collection of short stories by Ashley Donielle Murray printed in an edition of 500 w/ silkscreen covers by Nadine Nakanishi of Sonnenzimmer 2009 $20


The ARC Digest is meant to archive in print, the activities of Chicago’s artist-run spaces between 1999-2009. Included are introductory essays by the curators; a set of interviews between Dan Gunn and the spaces participating in the Hyde Park Art Center’s summer exhibition Artists Run Chicago, short visual or text essays by additional spaces and a series of short essays and responses by participants, critics and historians of artist-run activities. Published w/ threewalls and scheduled for release at HPAC on October 30th. Printed in an edition of 500, 2009 $20


by Justin Andrews. An untraditional travel guide that re-inserts the exotic by way of abstraction. Printed in an edition of 500 w/ silkscreen covers by Nadine Nakanishi of Sonnenzimmer 2009 $20


by Devin King. Using lyrical language, repetition and abstraction, King retells the Odyssey representing Penelope, Odysseus, the city and Patrokles at once. Printed in an edition of 250 w/ color plates by artist Brian McNearney 2009 $10


a new translation by Nick Sarno III. All proceeds will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for Christmas. 500 w/ silkscreen covers by Nadine Nakanishi of Sonnenzimmer 2009 $20


GOD BLESS THE SQUIRREL CAGE by Nicholas Sarno III printed in an edition of 500 w/ silkscreen covers by Mat Daly 2006 $20 URBESQUE a collection of short stories by Moshe Zvi Marvit printed in an edition of 500 w/ silkscreen covers by Mat Daly 2006 $20 ARTS ADMINISTRATOR’S SKETCHBOOK edited by Elizabeth Chodos & Kerry Schneider printed in an edition of 500 w/ silkscreen covers by Mat Daly 2007 $20 LUST & CASHMERE by A.E. Simns winner of the 2008 IPPY Independant Voice award printed in an edition of 500 with silk screen covers by Alana Bailey 2007 $20 FRAGMENTS by David Carl printed in an edition of 500 with silk screen covers by Alana Bailey 2008 $20 TALKING WITH YOUR MOUTH FULL with essays by Lori Waxman, Claire Pentecost & Carrie Lambert-Beattie printed in an edition of 250 2008 $10


PAPER & CARRIAGE VOLS. 1, 2 &3 a limited edition publication with silkscreen covers by Dan MacAdam of Crosshair, Sean Stuckey and Dan Wang. Published with threewalls $18/ea. Vol 1 nominated for the Utne Reader Award, Best New Publication 2008 PHONEBOOK 2007/2008 : ANNUAL INDEX OF ALTERNATIVE ART SPACESedited by Shannon Stratton & Caroline Picard $10 PHONEBOOK 2008/2009 : ANNUAL INDEX OF [….]  ARTSPACES edited by Shannon Stratton & Caroline Picard $15

Going Out With A Bang.

April 23, 2009

posted by Caroline Picard : Another Run-Down of What’s Coming UP

*fyi: Our monthly reading series & podcast, The Parlor, will continue throughout the summer and fall and thereafter.

I present you with a circus, including 2 fairs, Carol Anshaw to read at The Parlor, the last opening at the current space, an opening at the Hyde Park Art Center (where upon you may see a preview copy of the North Georgia Gazette), a screening, a call for submissions, and the final closing party–that is, the “It’s Your Turn” Party, (whereupon submissions will be read and toasts will be made)


April 25 & 26 , 2009
1pm to 8pm

Benton House Gymnasium
3052 S Gratten Avenue
Bridgeport (off Bosley Park)
(a few doors north of the Benton House)

The NFO XPO (pronounced “info expo”) brings art groups and community orgs together to exchange information and ideas as well as provide a public platform for each group to present themselves. It’s a trade show for experimental art, emerging spaces, and radical exchange. It’s our version of what an art fair should be. It is a fantastic opportunity to view emerging art, to network and make shit happen.

( Link to Last years XPO :

Participants include:
Albert Stabler and Paul Nudd ($heart), Green Lantern, Institute of Socioæsthetic Research ( Daniel Mellis), Alan Moore, Spoke, Antenna, The Space LIC, Reuben Kincaid, Art Shanty Projects, Hui-min Tsen, Marc Arcuri and Ellicott, Joe Baldwin, Laura Miller, Casey Smallwood, Marc Moscato, Hale Ekinci, Michael Coolidge, Andi Sutton and Anne Elizabeth Moore, Amanda Lichtenstein, Evan Plummer and Maritza Mosquera (Letter Writing Revivalists), Grant Newman, Sarah Kenny, Ashly Metcalf, Ray Emerick Studios, Trendbeheer, ChicagoArts, Threewalls, Hungry Brain, Aaron Delehanty, Birdhouse Museum, Jeriah Robert Hildwine, Doug Smithenry, James Jankowiak, Nicholas Schutzenhofer, Stephanie Burke and others.

The Free University happens simultaneously to the NFO XPO downstairs in the classroom facility of the Gymnasium.

2) “It’s Your Turn” zine to be released in conjunction with the closing of Green Lantern Gallery on June 16th.

Dear members of the art community of Chicago,

We’re making a zine entitled “It’s Your Turn” to commemorate the closing of the Green Lantern Gallery, and the launch of many other new and awesome spaces in Chicago.  We’d like to include some thoughts from people in the art communities in Chicago–memories of past experiences at the Green Lantern Gallery and other art spaces in Chicago, or responses to the prompts below:

Describe Chicago’s art community in six words or less…

What is the sound (or smell, or touch, etc.) of the Chicago art community? …

What is your ideal art space / exhibition venue?

Where is the art world?

How do you feel about approaching spaces to show your work, host your band’s show and whatnot?

How do Chicago’s art communities compare each other…and to those of other cities?

To be included in the zine, (and proposed as toasts on the day/evening of the party!) we need to recieve them by 5/10, seriously.  Responses should be sent to Ms. Rachel Shine–

If you have any other ideas for inclusion in the zine, email Young Joon at

We’ll be sharing a booth with our buddies from Featherproof, hawking books and telling stories, so if you want to stop by, you can find us at  booth #
7-7136 on the 7th floor of the Merchandise Mart, May 1-4th. There is an opening “preview” reception on Thursday the 1st.

4) Carol Anshaw will read at The Parlor Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 at 7pm

Carol Anshaw is the author of the novels Aquamarine, Seven Moves, and Lucky in the Corner. Her books have won the Carl Sandburg Award, the Ferro-Grumley Award, and the Society of Midland Authors Award. Her stories have appeared in Story magazine, Tin House, The Best American Stories and, most recently, in Do Me: Tales of Sex and Love from Tin House. Anshaw is a past fellow of the NEA. For her book criticism she was awarded the NBCC Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. She is a professor in the MFA in Writing program at the School of the Art Institute. She has just finished a new novel, Carry the One.


Following her 30 minute reading, Carol will take questions from the audience.


As always, the event will be recorded and published on-line for your repeated listening pleasure on iTunes and at


All readings take place at The Green Lantern 1511 N. Milwaukee Ave, 2nd Floor


For more information, please visit or contact


5) IN LIEU OF GIFTS: opens May 9th from 7-10pm; a solo show by Jenny Walters

Chicago, IL. (April 20, 2009) — From May 9 to June 6, 2009, The Green Lantern Gallery presents In Lieu of Gifts, featuring new works by Los Angeles-based, artist Jenny Walters.  For this solo presentation, Walters debuts photographs and video exploring the narrative impact of transformative life events, specifically the durability and mutability of personal identity and their aftermath.

A pervasive sense of feminine desire, vulnerability and desperation links a number of these pieces, but they are also marked by an attraction to universally theatrical gestures and scenarios that signal the complexities of relationships with oneself, others and the future.  The installation explores the issues of aging, mortality and performance while presenting visual information that allows the viewer to recognize and share the inherent intimacy in failure.  Constructing a sort of psychological anthropology via performance and the photo/video document, Walters recognizes that it is in our failures that we begin to see each other and ourselves and draw closer together. This point of power exchange, in all its manifestations and nuances, drives primal human connections. It is in the crumbling of personal mythologies that a deeper intimacy with her subjects and their possessions occurs.

Evoking a consciousness of nostalgia and absence, Walters’ work probes the idea that identity often exists in a fluid state.  It is in this investigation into stages of uncertainty–the doubling, dividing and interchanging of the self—that she so adeptly creates a visual experience of the uncanny or a sense of helplessness evoked by the anxiety of unknown emotions.

Walters’ portraits are characterized by an intimacy and quiet involvement with the subjects and places she selects. While there is an innate awareness of the historical, aesthetic paradigms of portraiture native to her work, she subverts many of the expectations of the form by inserting intentional transgressions in her process.  In her new work, she has chosen to construct and show images that capture the truth of unique moments as opposed to presenting a homogenous study over time.

Walters earned her MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2004 with a focus in video and photography.  She has exhibited her work in solo exhibitions, including Galeria Andre Kermer, Leipzig, Germany and has also been featured in group exhibitions at such venues as Vox Populi, Philadelphia; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; EAST International (a juried exhibition curated by Neo Rauch and Gerde Lybke) at Norwich Gallery, Norwich, England and Jen Bekman Gallery, New York.  She currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

In conjunction with this exhibition Walters is also releasing a limited edition portfolio of photographs.

Exhibition Reception: Sunday, May 10, 3 – 5pm The Hyde Park Art Center will feature Artists Run Chicago, an exhibition showcasing the energy and audacity of some of the most noteworthy artist-run spaces that have influenced the Chicago contemporary art scene over the past decade on view from May 10 – July 5, 2009 in Gallery 1.  Chicago has long been known for cultivating a strong entrepreneurial/Do-It-Yourself spirit in business and the arts.  The participating artist-run venues have transformed storefronts, sheds, apartments, lofts, industrial spaces, garages and roving spaces into contemporary art galleries testing the notion of exhibition while complicating the definition of art.  Coinciding with the Hyde Park Art Center’s 70th anniversary, Artists Run Chicago reconnects the Art Center to its beginnings as an artist-run space by bringing much deserved attention to those outstanding spaces that continue to reinvent the mold unique to Chicago.

7) NAROC!3 Sunday, May 10th : A SCREENING! details TBA; doors open  at 7 and will include performance, screenings and a DJ Dance party to follow.

(also coming up but still to be announced: The Parlor’s 2nd Annual Emerging Writer’s Festival takes place on the 27th of May
+ the Milwaukee Avenue Bike Tour (also the 27th of May) + Joe Meno reads at the Parlor first Tuesday in June + Printer’s Row)

and finally
(drum roll)

7) IT’S YOUR TURN party
On the 13th of June, we will officially close our doors at this location. It has been an incredible experience running this space, and it would not be possible except for the support of the community; whether you came to visit, or volunteered, or hung your work here, collaborated, schemed, purchased, donated–whatever, this space, in some sense, belongs to everyone and for that reason, it’s worth having an awesome party about it. While the details are still being worked out, mark your calendars. We’re going to try and kick it off in the afternoon with some sort of BBQ, whereupon we will begin to make toasts, reading from the zine that Rachel Shine and Young Joon Kwok are so awesomely putting together. Of course, improvised on the spot toasts will be encouraged, and if you would like to create some sort of performance comemorating or reflecting on the Green Lantern, or similar spaces, let me know ( and I’ll try to fit you into the schedule. Basically this is an opportunity for everyone to think about and celebrate what these organizations mean. In addition, there will be some readings from the Gazette, and (knock on wood, if all goes well) from Terri Griffith’s forthcoming (debut!) novel, and (again, knock wood) live music. There will be no cover; refreshments are available by donation and everything will shut down at 2 a.m.
At which point I’ll be taking a big long nap.

Again, the goal is to re-open in the fall of 2010, so keep your fingers crossed! (and thank you again and again)

Artists Run ChicagoMay 10 – July 5, 2009

Exhibition Reception:

Sunday, May 10, 3 – 5pm

Gallery 1

Gallery Hours:

Monday – Thursday: 10am – 8pm

Friday – Saturday: 10am – 5pm

Sunday: 12pm – 5pm

Your browser may not support display of this image.

© JNL Design


Chicago, IL (February 2009) —  The Hyde Park Art Center will feature Artists Run Chicago, an exhibition showcasing the energy and audacity of some of the most noteworthy artist-run spaces that have influenced the Chicago contemporary art scene over the past decade on view from May 10 – July 5, 2009 in Gallery 1.  Chicago has long been known for cultivating a strong entrepreneurial/Do-It-Yourself spirit in business and the arts.  The participating artist-run venues have transformed storefronts, sheds, apartments, lofts, industrial spaces, garages and roving spaces into contemporary art galleries testing the notion of exhibition while complicating the definition of art.  Coinciding with the Hyde Park Art Center’s 70th anniversary, Artists Run Chicago reconnects the Art Center to its beginnings as an artist-run space by bringing much deserved attention to those outstanding spaces that continue to reinvent the mold unique to Chicago.

Artists Run Chicago will include installations, performances, video, art objects and ephemera provided by artist-run galleries both currently in operation and those dearly departed.  Venues include 1/Quarterly, 65 GRAND, Alogon, Antena, artLedge, Butchershop, Co-Prosperity, Dan Devening, Deluxe Projects, Fraction Workspace, Fucking Good Art (FGA), Green Lantern, He Said-She Said, Hungry Man, Joymore, Julius Caesar, Law Office, LiveBox, Margin, Medicine Cabinet/Second Bedroom Project Space, Mini Dutch, Modest Contemporary Art Projects, NFA Space, Normal Projects, Old Gold, Polvo, Roots & Culture, Scott Projects, Standard, Suitable, Swimming Pool Projects, Teti, VONZWECK and many more. This exhibition is curated by Britton Bertran and Allison Peters Quinn with assistance from Jacob C. Hammes and Francesca Wilmott.

A program of events related to the exhibition will coincide with the Hyde Park Art Center’s 70 Days for 70 Years programming series commemorating the Art Center’s anniversary. Programs will range from tours to artist-run spaces, panel discussions and public performances to reenactments of memorable happenings from the participating galleries. In addition to the exhibition and events, the Center plans to build and house a permanent and public archive documenting Chicago’s past and present artist run spaces through the gathering of materials for Artists Run Chicago. A publication documenting the exhibition will be produced by Threewalls/Green Lantern Press.

Artists Run Chicago will be on view from May 10 – July 5, 2009 at the Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 South Cornell Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60615; 773.324.5520 and Exhibitions are always free and open to the public. Advertising and publicity for Artists Run Chicago is sponsored by Proximity Magazine.
The Hyde Park Art Center is a not-for-profit organization that presents innovative exhibitions, primarily work by Chicago-area artists, and educational programs in the visual arts for children and adults of diverse backgrounds.  The Center is funded in part by the Alphawood Foundation; The Chicago Community Trust; a City Arts III grant from the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and the Illinois Arts Council; The Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; The Leo S. Guthman Fund; The Irving Harris Foundation; The Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; The Joyce Foundation; JPMorgan Chase Foundation; The Mayer & Morris Kaplan Family Foundation; The MacArthur Foundation; The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince; The Orbit Fund; Polk Bros. Foundation; The Clinton Family Fund; The Sara Lee Foundation; South East Chicago Commission; The Wallace Foundation; and the generosity of its members and friends.

In the third issue of Paper & Carriage (pub. GLPress/threewalls), we had the honor of publishing some of Henry Darger’s writing, in conjunction with some of the images used in the Folk Art Museum show “Dargerism.” It’s a really stunning issue, actually, full of goodies, including some drawings by Daniel Johnston, an original CD of other people’s mantras by Sherri Lynn Wood and an inserted artist multiple by Carmen Price. At any rate, I thought I’d post the Darger stuff, along with the some of the Dargerism images. If any of you have any interest in picking up a copy, you cand so here. Printed in a limited editon of 250, they are $18/piece. At any rate, over the course of the day, I’m going to post three of the Darger excerpts. You can see what you think-

posted by Caroline Picard

Ash Wednesday by Anthony Goicolea

Ash Wednesday by Anthony Goicolea

A Note on the Text

Henry Darger wrote in a large, legible script. At first glance, one would deem it child-like, but the similarities in the letters and their even spacing are not those of someone just learning how to write. Rather, I would describe his handwriting as determined. If the letters do not take shape smoothly, it is not due to unfamiliarity with their form: it is because he wrote slowly, with force, plotting out each word in advance.
And yet, despite its clarity, there were choices to be made. There are misspellings, of course (some of them rather interesting: machenry for machinery, for instance, or prime instead of prim), but no more than can be expected in a handwritten manuscript several thousand pages long. There are inconsistencies in capitalization (Second World war) and marks floating just above and below the lines of notebook paper that could serve as commas, periods, or apostrophes (though never all three simultaneously). I would like to have printed a faithful reproduction of Darger’s own notebooks, with strikes through the mistakes he crossed out and all the misspelled place names intact, but in the end I decided to err on the side of readability. This should serve as an introduction to a vast archive of materials that are only now coming to light; as such, it would be a shame to litter the page with brackets, footnotes and strikethroughs.
I have corrected a number of misspelled words, capitalized where needed but, all in all, I have left the writing as it is. Stains on the manuscript obscured the few words you will find in brackets: these are my guesses as to what they may be. The titles of the selections were not chosen by the author, but were taken directly from the text.
Special thanks to Michael Bonesteel for for facsimiles of the original manuscript, and to Kiyoko Lerner for allowing us to publish these selections.

March 2008

posted by Caroline Picardphonebookcover.jpg

2 things: Book Release & Live Music Afterparty

This Thursday @ threewalls : PHONEBOOK 2008/2009 Release

119 N Peoria #2D
Chicago,IL 60607
threewalls & Green Lantern Press announce:
PHONEBOOK 2008/09:Compadres Amores
Release Date and Party:October 23rd,2008,6-9 pm
Held in conjunction with threewallsSALON,Enablers and Platformists:turning the content over to participation

CHICAGO:Back by popular demand,PHONEBOOK,the essential travel guide to artist-run centers,small not-for-profit,fringe galleries and other exhibition and presentation projects,will be released October 23rd at threewalls.

This new edition adds over 50 news spaces in the United States and over 40 Canadian centers alongside updated entries,periodical listings,a series of essays from across the
country and some road-trip tips from the editors.PHONEBOOK is a valuable resource for artist and audience alike,connecting a web of makers and projects while acting as an archive of work by smaller organizations and groups throughout the visual arts community. Use PhoneBook as a research tool,as a travel guide to the visual arts,for networking, for exhibition proposals or to facilitate artistic exchanges.

Please join us for PHONEBOOK’s release party,held in conjunction with a special threewallsSALON,”Enablers and Platformists:turning the content over to participation,”an open discussion about artists working as presenters and enablers of other creative and intellectual projects.

PHONEBOOK is published by threewalls and Green Lantern Press.PHONEBOOK
will be available at your local artist-run and NFP art spaces,on the threewalls website and on for $15.00. For review copies and pre-orders please contact Nick Sarno,Editor ofThe Green Lantern Press at
or go directly to

with an afterparty @ The Green Lantern
Live Music Event : Helen Money & Bruce Lamont
doors open at 8pm

Helen Money is Alison Chesley, a Chicago based cellist who has become known for her unique sound and compelling stage performance. Using the tools of a lead guitarist, she channels her sensibilities and experience as a rock musician through a classical instrument. A founding member of Epic Records recording artist Verbow, Alison has opened for bands as diverse as Shellac, Earth, The Bad Plus, Hunn Huur Tu and KTL. She has also worked and recorded with musicians such as Bob Mould, Disturbed, Frank Orrall, Fred Lonberg-Holm and Mono, among others. In addition to her solo work, Chesley has composed music for film and dance, including the soundtrack to the award-winning documentary “Indestructible” and two major works for Chicago based Mordine and Company Dance Theater, “Quest” and “Time Stilled”. She also recently completed the full-length album Aural Anarchy with poet Krista Franklin, exploring the life, work, mythology and influence of Jimi Hendrix.

Bruce Lamont joined Yakuza in February of 2000.  The group has since recorded 4 full lengths, including their latest release “Transmutations.”  His other projects include Forced Transcendence (rotating members.. saxophonist Dave Rempis, cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm
(Brutal Truth) and sometimes Painkiller vocalist Kevin Sharp, Buried at Sea/Minsk mastermind Sanford Parker, and Jim Yakuza), Moment of Inertia ( guitarist Jeff Parker, bass player Nate Mcbride, and drummer Frank Rosaly), Mahj (featuring members from Behold the Arctopus, Dysrhythmia, and Day Without Dawn/ex-Postman Syndrome). Bruce has recorded with the Japanese black metal turned space-prog band sigh,east west blast test (on ipecac), Ken Vandermark for one of the next Dalek records, Jai-Alai Savant (out now on GSL), Cephalic Carnage (Relapse), Minsk (Relapse), Nachtmystium, and others. In July of 2006 he made is debut solo performance using a looper pedal and effects along with saxophones, guitar, voice, harp, and percussion. He has performed along side Scott Kelly (Neurosis), Battles, Toby Driver(Kayo Dot), OM, Daniel Higgs (Lungfish), Lichens, and appeared at the Relapse and Furniture record showcases @ the sxsw music festival.  He
has also jammed with Stooges sax man Steve Mackay, The Akron Family, Midnight Snake, Eugene Robinson (Oxbow), Borbetomagus (recording out there somewhere), and teamed up with Mark Solotroff (Bloodyminded, recording also out there somewhere).  In June 2007 he made his first official solo debut (recorded by Sanford Parker) entitled “Feral

posted by Caroline Picard

For those of you who don’t know about what “PHONEBOOK 2008/2009 annual directory of {insert adjective here} art spaces” is about, let me give you a little window. First of all, we’ve added Canada, which means there are about 100 additional spaces. Secondly, whereas last year we collected essays by art-space-directors here in Chicago, this year, we’ve asked for essays from people across the country. We thought it would be a good way to sample different aesthetics and goings-on, straight from the horses mouth, so to speak. At any rate, I posted one of those essays a while back about Portland. I’m about to post an essay about Philadelphia (you see how broad our sights) by Andew Suggs.

Phonebook is set for release in just a few weeks! The release party will be held at ThreeWalls (119 N Peoria St., in Chicago’s West Loop). Check out their website for details, or scroll back on our blog (I posted an announcement about it). If you’re interested in pre-ordering a copy, you can do so. Just email Nick Sarno: The cover price is $15, if you order now we can sell you a copy for $12 (includes shipping & handling).

Here is yet another essay of foreshadowing….

The Alternative, or The Underground

by Andrew Suggs

The founders of “alternative” art spaces may now look to well established models.  The degree of creativity, experimentation, and risk that may have once inhibited would-be startups no longer exists.  Alternative spaces are ubiquitous, especially in major cities, and some have been around for more than twenty-five years.  Traditionally, alternative spaces have served as incubators for artists’ careers; the ideal trajectory has been a move from alternative space to commercial gallery to museum.  In our current moment, though, this scenario has become much less exact, as have the distinctions among the kinds of art spaces that exist.  Think of that behemoth alternative/museum space on Houston in New York that regularly showcases unheard-of twenty-somethings alongside blue-chip artists, within a moneyed and well-connected institutional setting, or of recent Whitney Biennials and their youth-obsessed scouting of cities far and near for obscure “talent.”  Mid-career artists are finding themselves drawn to show in alternative spaces if it suits their practice more than traditional settings.  Artists whose concepts were once more en vogue are now pushed to show in smaller, less-traveled venues, as the speed with which art trends come and go increases.  “Alternative” space and programming is increasingly hard to define.

Especially in Philadelphia, where the commercial sector of the art market is mostly irrelevant and far smaller than the alternative art scene (because of a lack of collectors?), one begins to wonder: to what do alternative spaces stand in juxtaposition?  They are multifarious here and, as elsewhere, upset the categorization alternative space/commercial gallery/museum: Vox Populi, Bobo’s, Space 1026, PIFAS, Print Liberation, Fleisher-Ollman, and Little Berlin represent alternative practices, commercial models, museum-like settings, collaborative efforts, and/or experimentation in varying degrees.

When I moved to Philadelphia two and half years ago, I found myself scoping out a niche within this scene.  Circumstance and internet luck led me to intern at Vox Populi; I then became an artist/member and Exhibitions Coordinator.  Vox, like many alternative spaces, follows a museum model: there is a white cube for display and other signs of aspiring professionalism; members hope for career advancement and recognition/visibility.  There are announcement cards, (low budget) publications, invited accomplished speakers, etc.  This is not to be disparaged, of course.  It is no small achievement for a small artist/member-run organization to function successfully without the financial and organizational resources of institutions with wealthy boards and immense private funding.

I have come to realize, though, that while my involvement with Vox is rewarding (I enjoy the community, the “game” of running a space, the opportunity for frank discussion of my artwork and my peers’), my penchant for the alternative is not being totally satiated.  What I want is an underground.  I want to feel as if my challenge to accepted practices is more subversive, and more tangible.

My longing leads me into basements and warehouse spaces with loud music, sloppy painting, and raunchy, challenging performance art. Here the experience blends with rivers of booze, ending in nights of debauchery and communal cursing of the system.  In such venues I have found the queer artists whom I had initially thought were totally absent from Philadelphia’s landscape; they are my neighbors in South Philadelphia where they party, make artwork, and support themselves with part-time and odd jobs.  Their challenge to authority – to accepted structures – and their ingenuity to create effective and personal work/play/exhibition structures (outside the more mainstream “alternative”) astound me.

Philadelphia’s underbelly exists, if even on a small scale and in cloudy clash with nostalgia-for-bygone-counter-cultural scenes – but it is strangely disconnected from my experience with an established alternative space.  A conundrum, then: reject the more established alternative as staid and unexciting or try to use the resources of a twenty-one-year-old alternative space to suit my desires to bring truly challenging ideas to a public outside my circle of friends.

Spaces like Vox are not rare.  In fact, most alternative spaces, which you probably frequent or to which you are more intimately connected, follow a similar model.  The model is effective in many ways: artists are given a chance to show their work in a respectable situation with a variety of visitors—an opportunity they might not otherwise have. Communities develop around the space (if not enough among spaces), and ingenuity and hard work end in tangible results.  Artists are able to become more visible within the gallery/museum framework, and their ideas reach a greater audience.  If underground culture’s aim, though, is to in some way rupture the fabric of the status quo, and if we (as champions of the “alternative”) espouse these aims, to what ends are our efforts directed?

My concern and my charge is this: in following what we must admit is a now-standard framework for founding and maintaining alternative spaces we must not compromise the timbre of our programming.  An alternative space that supports unchallenging output is not fulfilling its function.  Our output – the work we make and show, the music we promote, the performance for which we provide venue, the discourse created by our events and associations – should remain dangerous, toothy, aesthetically bold and strange.  Our organizational/business model may mimic a museum or gallery (even if our little money comes from different sources), but we must take care that our programming and our relationships do not mimic those systems.  The stable aspects of institutions allow us a framework in which to function.  But our success within this framework can be redefined.  Administrative practices that enable sustainability should allow our output to be more challenging.  We should be as subversive as commercial ventures that infiltrate and appropriate DIY/underground/alternative cultures for their own ends in our infiltration of institutions to exploit our messages.

If our goal is to show work that would otherwise remain unseen, we should pursue this mission with vigor.  The statement itself lends some direction.  Why would work remain unseen?  Part of this answer has to do with means, of course.  Exhibiting work requires some money and space.  However, as is evident in Philadelphia, even living room galleries that require almost no resources for startup can quickly become hotspot destinations.  There is no shortage of alternative space.  Rather, work remains unseen because its concept is difficult, its aesthetic unpopular, its message peripheral.  But the reason we visit alternative spaces, the reason we pour our energy into maintaining them – is to provide a home for this work.  Let’s remember that vague concept, “the underground,” and its aims.  Let’s mine it, foster it, and realize it.

Andrew Suggs is an artist who lives and works in Philadelphia.  He is the Exhibitions Coordinator of Vox Populi and an occasional writer, critic, and curator.