What We're Reading: 3/7/23
Something to remember as Chicago gears up again to elect its next mayor: The Person on Five has the power to remake the city — or large portions of it.
For better or worse.
It’s easy to lose sight of that as Chicagoans rightfully clamor for a mayor who can make the city safer, keep the streets clean, and not fleece us with higher taxes or shady parking meter-type deals.
But the mayor is also the city’s chief architect and urban designer.
Via Lee Bey for the Chicago Sun Times
The art world is not an easy place to make it, but Chicago has long been one of the more plausible scenes in which to try. There’s enough, but not too much, of most of what’s needed for a healthy ecosystem: museums, galleries, famous artists, collectors, and emerging talent. We could use a few more critics. The reasonable cost of living, large apartments, liberal politics, and generally functional economy mean that folks mostly have the time and space to make art and even to decide to display it in their extra front rooms, giving rise to waves of artist-run spaces that sometimes go legit and join the ranks of commercial galleries. Those uninterested in making salable objects have a solid local history of social practice on which to draw. The feeder network for this creative circuit are the plentiful art schools, which continually draw new recruits to the city, many of whom stay, and teach, and live — and keep on making art.
Are there adequate institutional exhibition opportunities for everyone? Definitely not. Excepting a recent collaboration with the Floating Museum collective, the Art Institute almost never shows artists from the region.
Two activists from an environmental group smashed and vandalized a glass case housing the sword of Scottish knight William Wallace, the hero whose legend inspired the 1995 film Braveheart, at a museum in Stirling, Scotland.
On March 2 around 11:30 a.m., Alexander Cloudley, a food bank coordinator, and Katrielle Chan, a student, entered the National Wallace Monument’s Hall of Arms, and struck the case containing the Wallace sword with mallets, chisels, and two rocks. They then spray-painted the broken glass with the words “This Is Rigged,” the name of their climate activist group.
Repercussions for the sale of cornerstone works from the Brauer Museum of Art at Valparaiso University to raise funds to renovate dorms for first-year students continue to reverberate with three key developments in recent days.
The Faculty Senate passed a resolution on a split vote asking for a halt to the sale and for the university to find other ways to fund renovations at dorms for first-year students; Moody’s dropped the university’s bond rating, part of downward slide since 2016; and the Association of Art Museum Directors sent a letter to the museum’s director threatening censure or sanctions if the sale proceeds.
Via Post Tribune / Chicago Tribune