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Design History

A Yellow Brick Road is Paved in Chicago to Mark Former Home of ‘Wizard of Oz’ Author L. Frank Baum

November 4, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photographs: Bickerdike

Follow the yellow brick road to 1667 N. Humboldt Boulevard in Chicago. The address is home to recently rehabbed affordable housing in the rapidly gentrifying Humboldt Park neighborhood. It’s also where author L. Frank Baum penned “The Wizard of Oz” in 1899 (though the author’s residence has since been demolished). The 70-foot long section of sidewalk is now paved with yellow bricks, a nod to one of the most famous stories in American popular culture, thanks to nonprofit developer Bickerdike. An upright rounded wall will also feature an Oz-themed mural commission from Chicago-based artist Hector Duarte.

In an interview with Block Club Chicago, Bickerdike clarified that the whimsical touches were not part of the core affordable housing budget; the project partners including the architect, general contractor, an an outside foundation paid for it out of pocket. (via Block Club Chicago)

 

 



Art Colossal

Submit Your Idea For an Artistic Mini Golf Course Hole by October 31st for ‘Par Excellence Redux’ at the Elmhurst Art Museum

October 22, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Submissions close on October 31, 2019 for next year’s Par Excellence Redux. If you’ve been sitting on a great idea, now’s the time to send it in! The 18-hole artist-designed golf course will be fully playable, installed in 2020 at the Elmhurst Art Museum. Par Excellence Redux is a contemporary reimagining of the landmark exhibition in 1988 at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, curated by Colossa’s Editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson. Find out more and submit your idea here! Selected artists will be allotted $1,300 as a combined honorarium and materials budget.

 

 



Art Colossal

Open Call: The Elmhurst Art Museum Resurrects ‘Par Excellence,’ an Artist-Designed Mini Golf Course from 1988

October 2, 2019

Colossal

In a unique collision of recreation and art, the Elmhurst Art Museum will commission an 18-hole artist-designed golf course in homage to the wildly popular 1988 exhibition Par Excellence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The fully playable course will be conceived and fabricated by a new group of contemporary artists, designers, and architects selected through an open call process. Designed to fill the entirety of the museum’s interior galleries, the course will be comprised of a surprisingly varied collection of themes and forms, promising an unusual twist on a familiar pastime.

The extraordinarily popular exhibition was the brainchild of sculptor Michael O’Brien and opened to lines down the block. The show sold out daily and found its way to the pages of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, CNN, and the Chicago Tribune among others. The course went on tour to downstate Illinois before returning to Chicago as a rebranded commercial miniature golf course called ArtGolf at 1800 N. Clybourn in Lincoln Park (currently the site of Goose Island Brewery).

Artist-designed golf courses are now a popular addition to many Midwest museums such as the Walker Art Center, The Sheldon, and Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, but Par Excellence is widely believed to be the first.

Par Excellence Redux is curated by Colossal’s founder & editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson. To learn more about the open call process and submit your ideas for a hole, head on over to the Elmhurst Art Museum for more info.

Archival photos of Par Excellence & ArtGolf 1988-1992

 

 



Art

Plein Air Oil Paintings of Chicago Architecture, Parks, and Landmarks by Luna Prysiazhniuk

August 26, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Luna Prysiazhniuk creates sharp oil renderings of Chicago architectural scenes in plein air. The Ukrainian architecture student views the paintings as an alternative mode of thinking about the architecture that surrounds her, and uses it as a way to work through new projects and conceptual designs for her classes. In the paintings you can spot an icy Chicago River beneath a lifted bridge, scenes from above and below the elevated train platform, and iconic buildings seen through the openings of crowded city streets. Each painting is layered with colorful and dynamic reflections that fill large pane windows and slick pavement. You can follow her oil paintings within and beyond Chicago on Instagram.

 

 



Photography

A New Book Reveals a Colorful Side to Vivian Maier’s Renowned Street Photography

November 14, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Location and date unknown. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location and date unknown. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Nanny and self-taught photographer Vivian Maier (1926–2009) (previously here and here) kept nearly 150,000 photographic images, including street photography and self-portraits, hidden from the world until an estate sale in 2007 revealed a large bulk of her secretive hobby. Since 2010 her photographs have been widely exhibited in galleries and museums across the world, and were the subject of the 2013 documentary Finding Vivian Maier, which was nominated for an Academy Award.

Although her mostly Chicago and New York-based photographs have become infamous in the decade since their discovery, her color images have been less prevalent due to the technical challenges involved in their development and recovery. This month the largest monograph of her full-color photographs was published by Harper Collins, which includes images pulled from the roughly 40,000 Ektachrome color slides spanning the last 30 years of her life. Vivian Maier: The Color Work explores over 150 of her colorful images with details that have been gathered about her story and photographic process. The book also features a forward by photographer Joel Meyerowitz and text by Colin Westerbeck, a former curator of photography at the Art Institute of Chicago.

“Maier was a self-invented polymath of a photographer,” writes Westerbeck in the book. “The one advantage Maier gained from keeping her photography to herself was an exemption from contradiction and condescension. She didn’t have to worry about either the orthodoxy or the approval of her peers.”

Vivian Maier: The Color Work was created in partnership with Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York City, who will be presenting an exhibition of the same title opening November 14, 2018 and running through January 5, 2019. Several of the color photographs included in the exhibition will be presented for the first time. You can see more of Maier’s black and white and color photography on this portfolio site dedicated to her collection, and you can purchase a copy of the new book on Amazon. (via Chicago Magazine)

Self-portrait, Chicago, February 1976. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, Chicago, February 1976. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location unknown, May 1958. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location unknown, May 1958. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location and date unknown. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location and date unknown. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

New York City, 1959. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

New York City, 1959. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location unknown, 1960. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location unknown, 1960. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Chicago, 1962. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Chicago, 1962. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location and date unknown. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location and date unknown. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, Chicagoland, October 1975. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, Chicagoland, October 1975. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Chicagoland, 1975. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Chicagoland, 1975. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, Chicago, January 1979. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, Chicago, January 1979. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, 1975. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, 1975. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

From Vivian Maier: The Color Work, by Colin Westerbeck. Copyright © 2018. Images reproduced here with permission from Harper Design, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

From Vivian Maier: The Color Work, by Colin Westerbeck. Copyright © 2018. Images reproduced here with permission from Harper Design, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

 

 



Art Colossal Design

Chain Reaction: An International Print Show Featuring Bike-Centric Artwork

November 14, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

The Road by Eleni Debo

This Friday we’ll be kicking off Chain Reaction, an international print show featuring artists, designers, and printmakers from all over the world. Chain Reaction includes works by seventeen artists, including many previously featured on Colossal: Eleni Debo, Alex Senna (previously), Arna Miller (previously), Mart Aire (previously), Lydia Fu, Moniker, Fran Labuschagne, and Vance Lump.  We’re sharing half the show in this article—stay tuned for part two next week!

Each piece included in Chain Reaction was made exclusively for the exhibition and will be available in person at the Design Museum of Chicago, as well as online in The Colossal Shop. 10% of each print sale will benefit the non-profit organization Blackstone Bicycle Works. Chain Reaction is part of the Design Museum’s winter exhibition, Keep Moving, which explores the history and culture of bicycles in Chicago.

If you’re in town we’d love to see you at the opening at the Design Museum’s HQ at Block 37. You can find out more on our event page, and RSVP on to the event on Facebook. Kids are welcome and the opening is free and open to the public.

Life on Wheels by Alex Senna

Joy-Ride by Arna Miller

ANDAR by Mart Aire

Small Revolutions by Lydia Fu

Keep Moving by Moniker

Let’s Ride by Fran Labuschagne

The Rider by Vance Lump

 

 



Amazing Photography

A Top Floor Sprinkler Leak Creates a 21-Story Tower of Icicles on a Chicago Fire Escape

January 11, 2018

Christopher Jobson

All photos © Andrew Hickey.

Late last week, a bitter cold snap that swept across the U.S. brought temporary chaos to Chicago’s south loop when a sprinkler system failed atop a 21-story hotel and storage facility. Water cascaded down a fire escape and quickly froze into a tower of ice. Street art photographer Andrew Hickey stopped by and captured some shots of the amazing sight before it was cleared up a few hours later.