• Slow Stretch at Mana Contemporary

    Slow Stretch is the unearthing of seemingly mistaken photographs and discarded science projects. Beautifully displayed on parallel stands or tacked to the walls, the work of Eileen Rae Walsh and Sarah and Joseph Belknap move you through the gallery causing you to think about the approaching spring, how asphalt feels under your feet, and perceived organized mess.

    It’s difficult (and unnecessary) to talk about the artists who made the photographs, sculptures, and installation separately. Their placement and comingling convey their desire to be considered as one. Just let the work move you. Walk along the outside of the two floor panels holding the bulk of the work near the floor. Consider their height, the ease they offer to lean over and investigate the works presented. The white of the gallery, the floor, and the panels are the sterile, clean slates for debris and curved edges of the works to stand out against. Think about walking between the floor panels and then hesitate. Your body might not be meant for that entry point. Crumbling deteriorations are playful gestures rather than install mistakes. An image of wet hair dripping on a bare back lives comfortably next to cool metal arms holding black, rock-like sculptures. Viewing them seems cold, keeping you at a distance, reminding you that this is their space not yours.

    Placement, color, and study excite at a pace the title suggests as the works range from gritty to saccharine. Large woven rubber strands on the wall resemble the lanyards we made as kids. The hot pinks and greens we wove displace themselves into the images and images blur like the night we had our first drink. The mess of life events and chemistry on display is deflated and saturated. These open vitrines allow study and imposition of the personal. Life, and the materials in it, is frantic, collaborative, and futile but the language in which the works display these feelings elegantly remind us we’d have it no other way.

    As if the space itself wasn’t enticing enough, a publication is available to remind you of what you’ve seen and encourage your return. For some, three issues were received by mail leading up to the exhibition. For others, the three can be purchased at once in the gallery. The artists offer mementos wrapped neatly with interviews and passages of process. Relics of their collaboration take the form of a photogram, poster, and tack for your assemblage pleasure. If the show itself does not permanently engrain into your mind, these objects offered will. A new memory to recall in this wintery Chicago haze.

    Slow Stretch will be open at Mana Contemporary until April 3 rd . Please see Third Object’s website for more information: http://www.thirdobject.net/slowstretch/

  • Globe Al Chemical Company receives temporary office space

    Globe Al Chemical Company is the most local chemical company on the planet. Located in Chicago, IL, Globe Al asks important questions like “why can’t we schedule thunderstorms yet?” and reminds us that websites are not books. S.A.C.K., an organization within Globe Al Chemical Company, benefits artists who are also parents. They recently received a temporary office space at Mana Contemporary in Pilsen and have events scheduled from January 27-March 19.

    S.A.C.K acquired two artworks from local artists (and parents) Faheem Majeed (left) and Hillary Baldwin (right). Displayed slightly below adult eye level, their viewing is perfect for those of all ages.

    In addition to the artworks on view, events are scheduled at the space throughout the next two months. All are kid friendly and visitors are encouraged to bring their youth to discussions and events being held. Light refreshments are often supplied but check their Facebook event to find if you must RSVP.

    Here’s what will be going on:

    Events*:
    Feb 7, 1:30-3pm: Dialogue With The Youth
    Same as every month, only this time indoors.

    Feb 17, 11am-1pm: What Could be Inside?: Reimagining Canned Food
    An all-ages workshop. Bring a smock to wear or clothes to paint in. Hosted by Treetop School.

    Feb 21, noon-4pm: The Building Open House
    Play our $5 jukebox and help us raise money to support more artists with kids or children. Manna provided.

    Feb 29, Noon-12:30pm: Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood episode 1616^
    Mar 1, Noon-12:30pm: Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood episode 1617^
    Mar 2, Noon-12:30pm: Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood episode 1618^
    Mar 3, Noon-12:30pm: Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood episode 1619^
    Mar 4, Noon-12:30pm: Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood episode 1620^
    ^ Stick around for music by King Friday XIII following each episode airing.

    Mar 6, 1:30-3pm: Dialogue With The Youth
    Just like the previous month but with a different host.

    * Food will accompany most events.

    The space will change over the course of time, loosely along the lines of weekly themes which are as follows:

    Feb 7-13: It was Just Like a Song
    Feb 14-20: Who Are The Youth and What Should We Do About Them?
    Feb 21-27: Closed Set
    Feb 28-Mar 5: Garbage Week (The Neighborhood)
    Mar 6-12: Views From The Majestic Hotel
    Mar 13-19: Closings (S.A.C.K. ED)

    About S.A.C.K.
    S.A.C.K.—Supporting Artists with Children and/or Kids—is a naught-for-profit founded in 2013 to serve artist parents. Principal support is provided through the purchase of works of art from artists and the supply of fruit to them and their families. Through the newly formed S.A.C.K. ED, publications and other educational aims will be developing in 2016.
    S.A.C.K operates as the philanthropic arm of and receives operational support from the Globe Al Chemical Company.