Woman Made Gallery, Chicago Cultural Center, and !WAR

With school right around the corner my end of the summer ritual has begun. Namely I’m attempting to cram everything I meant to do over the summer into these last few days. Or really, I tried to cram everything into today, because tomorrow and Friday are reserved for packing, packing, and more packing!

The two big things that I’ve been meaning to do are visit Woman Made Gallery and the Chicago Cultural Center. One because I really believe in the mission and have heard many good things about it, and the other because it’s right there! Immediately outside of the train station! And yet I didn’t even realize it existed until earlier in the summer (Which is shameful, really. I’ve probably passed it a hundred times!)

Getting to Woman Made Gallery isn’t very difficult. Just hop on the blue line and head on over to the Chicago stop. It’s pretty quick, only five stops from Jackson, and the gallery itself is only about two blocks from the station.

I forgot to snap a pic of the exterior, but it's fairly easy to identify. This logo is on the little black and white sign above the entrance.

 Unfortunately for me, they were between exhibits. I was in such a hurry this morning I forgot to check whether there would be anything for me to see at the gallery. Luckily they had a small selection of paintings from Las Caras Lindas, a program aiming to engage the unique strengths of Black and Latina women. The work was fun to see! If you can’t make it down to the gallery they have photos up on Woman Made’s facebook page. (Also check out their blog and their twitter)

Even though I didn’t get to see as much as I’d like, it was still a very lovely gallery. I’m sure that during exhibits it’s completely amazing. In fact, their next exhibit sounds really interesting! It’s simply called, “The Project”, and is described as such:

I gave twenty women artists clay and a medium-sized piece of paper to fabricate an object. I brought each object to a psychic to be read and analyzed.

Sounds like fun! I’m jealous of everyone who will be in Chicago to see it (It runs from September 9-October 27).  In addition to this, I was told that there’s a call for another show for twenty year old artists. So if you’re twenty you should look into it and submit!

I also picked up a postcard for !Women Art Revolution. I’ve written about the film before and how it wasn’t yet showing in Chicago.Unfortunately for me, as I won’t be here, (But fortunately for Chicagoans) Zeitgeist is bringing the film to the Windy City from September 30-October 6. Check here for showing times.

This is joining my wall of gorgeous postcards.

I still really want to see this film! I’m still holding out hope that the stars will align and it will come to Rochester or return to Chicago while I’m on break or something. I may eventually just buy it, but these things are always more fun when they’re an event. Films are just better when you go with friends!

After visiting Woman Made Gallery I made my way over to the Chicago Cultural Center (I’d also like to mention that there was more to this day. I’m only talking about two places so it may not seem very crammed, but there were definitely more fun things! They just don’t entirely relate to this blog). 

Have any of you ever been there? It’s stunning!

Look at this dome! This is a beautiful dome!

The building was beautiful, there were enormous stained glass windows, an elegant stairwell, beautiful woodwork and stonework, you name it. 

The shows they had running are worth going to see as well! There were two main shows including “Wounded in Action: An Art Exhibition of Orthopaedic Advancements” and “Movie Mojo: Hand-Painted Posters from Ghana”.

In Wounded in Action I saw two pieces I really enjoyed, and it turned out that they were both by the same artist! 


Smile on a Stick

Barbara Balzer created the first of these pieces as symbolic comfort to men and women who have been emotionally or physically injured in war. The oversized hand refers to the soldiers she saw return from Vietnam missing limbs, suffering from burns, or experiencing other injuries. Memories that were refreshed by the Iraq war. Balzer says of these wars and soldiers, “these people who see more clearly than most, who are more healthy than most, are more altruistic than most, will become invisible at best, or marginalized and condescended to when they have experienced such loss”.

Balzer’s second piece depicts the worry she feels at her son going off to war, all hidden by a fake, exaggerated smile.

They’re both very interesting sculptures, I think that I’m going to have to look up more of her work!

The other exhibit, Movie Mojo, was very theatrical, which I suppose makes sense as it’s comprised of Ghana’s movie posters. 

Quick photo of the exhibit. I took a few quick pictures before I was told photography was prohibited!

A closer view of one poster.

There were a lot of brightly colored, absurd and almost surreal images. I would definitely recommend this exhibit, especially to people with nerdy friends (It’s very sci-fi-esque) or children (Bright colors! Monsters!)

So that’s all of my rambling for now. I’m just really glad that I can finally cross these two places off of my end of summer cram list!




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