Author Archive for Ryan Walach

Drone On

If I had to choose only one gallery to recommend from the 41st Annual East Pilsen Artists’ Open House, it would be Bryan Sperry’s. At first glance, Sperry seems like an unlikely poster-child for contemporary art.

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Like a scrawl on the wall that reads “Yes, this is a gallery,” an evening of performances–curated by Annie Maurer and Millie Kapp and entitled “wave wave, wind wind, bough bow”–explored reflexive reflexivity and the affect in saying nothing at all.

Cool and Collective

In its latest iteration, the Archer Ballroom is about two years old. Once a Lithuanian cultural center, the ballroom fell unto hard times until an architect bought the building and recognized its potential as an arts space. It cycled through residents until a group of students from Oberlin Conservatory saw the listing online during their senior year and decided to transplant their community of artist-musicians from Ohio to Chicago.

Because we are

Roundtable discussions led by aldermen and local activists detailed new efforts to promote “creative solutions” by inspiring informal leadership–everything from education to crime prevention to neighborhood beauty.

Joyful Noise

Sponsored by the University of Chicago’s campus radio station, WHPK 88.5, this event brings together two musicians with little in common besides their axes of choice.

Sound it out

With talent drawn from the deliciously obscure Midwestern avant-noise/free music scene, “Pictures and Sounds” revisited the live soundtrack tradition of early silent film.

Dancing just to wake up

Louis Turcotte was not dancing, he was pacing rapidly, pantomiming the carriage of a hard-boiled egg over his cupped palm. He was lunging, conveying himself as horizontally as bipedalism allows–all with the aplomb of a classical danseur (after all, he was a cast member in the University Ballet of Chicago’s recent production of Swan Lake).

The promised land

Scouting for a seat in the crowded lecture hall of the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy, it’s difficult not to notice the unusual heterogeneity of the people who are making the task so difficult. Their nametags identify…