What We're Reading: 6/3

Chicago Cultural Center Reopens With Store Selling Locally Made Goods, New Exhibits

The Chicago Cultural Center reopened Wednesday after being closed more than a year due to coronavirus.

The center also worked with a design team, Made, from Englewood to revamp its Learning Lab. The lab is open to people of all ages and abilities and features an interactive light installation.

And the center has a new store, called BUDDY, where guests can browse goods made in Chicago by local artists and entrepreneurs. The store includes vinyl records, honey, toys for children, perfume and other goods.

Via Block Club Chicago


How the AIDS Quilt Allowed Millions to Memorialize the Epidemic

The AIDS Memorial Quilt—with 1,920 individual panels, each inscribed with the names of people lost to AIDS—was displayed for the first time on October 11, 1987. It has grown ever since.



How to see the Christina Quarles show at the MCA? Go with the rising star artist, and forget your glasses.

Christina Quarles, rising art world superstar, Chicago native, Los Angeles resident, visited the Museum of Contemporary Art the other morning. It was her first time visiting her new show, which is also her first major solo exhibition. The museum had just opened and the early crowd was a pandemic trickle. No one approached Quarles, though a couple nudged each other and whispered about her clothes: They were trying to decide if this woman, the one in the colorful pajamas, made all of this stuff on the walls. Probably, right?

Via Chicago Tribune


Rescuing Artists of Vision

Charles Smith preaches with sculpture, hundreds of hip-height figures that he’s been reworking, repainting and rearranging for decades, first at a small house in Aurora, Ill., and now at his homestead in Hammond, La. Every time this self-taught artist repositions his work he testifies anew to the unfolding history of racial violence in the United States, connecting it to personal traumas, including what he believes was the racially motivated murder of his father when he was 14, and his own combat experiences in Vietnam.

On June 26, the 80-year-old artist will star in a new and experimental museum in Sheboygan called the Art Preserve, awaiting his instruction on how his concrete figures will be shown. The preserve is the first museum in the country to focus on artists known as “environment builders,” whose worldviews take immersive and physical form, and who often turn their entire homes into works of art.

Via NYTimes


Op-Ed by Ai WeiWei: The Organizers of a Major U.K. Exhibition Used My Name to Promote Their Show. But They Were Too Afraid to Embrace My Ideas

What is art and what is its purpose? What is its relevance to our post-industrialist and consumption-oriented world? These questions may seem banal, but they are especially pertinent if we look at “The Great Big Art Exhibition,” organised by the U.K. visual arts organisation Firstsite this year. I am very honored to share that my 2021 project Postcard for Political Prisoners was not accepted—and that their rejection gave a real meaning to my artwork.

Via Artnet