Monday, April 30, 2012


A party to celebrate the release of 

Sunday, May 6, 1-5pm
ACRE Projects
1913 W 17th Street

ACRE’s COOKBOOK SHUFFLE will be an afternoon of treats and libations featuring performances and happenings to celebrate the release of Kadabra Vol II. Donate $5 to feast on a buffet prepared by the ACRE kitchen witches or just feast your eyes on our new collection of recipes and artwork out of the ACRE kitchen. Performances include an experimental operatic violin and voice conversation between Meg Leary and Allison Trumbo, the synchronized dances and theatrical anger of Forced into Femininity, and a quiet set from the always dramatic electro-dance group Xina Xurner.

KADABRA VOL II pairs delectable recipes from the ACRE kitchen with artists’ renditions of those recipes in a set of 25 cards packaged in a limited edition screen-printed tea towel designed by Ciara Ruffino. Contributing artists include: Zacharias Abubeker, Caitlin Arnold, Matt Austin, Becca Brown, Emily Clayton, Caleb Cole, Ben Driggs, Emily Green, James Green, Maggie Haas, Ashley Hudson,  Matthew Lane, Bryan Lear, David MorĂ©, Kristina Paabus, Joseph Rynkiewicz, Erin Washington, and Nicholas Wylie. Plus some extra special entries from 2011 visiting artists Selena Abbott & Ariel Diamond, Jenny Kendler, Lora Lode, and Courtney Nulicek. Compiled and edited with love and care by ACRE chefs Melissa Damasauskas and Rachel Ettling.

ACRE (Artists’ Cooperative Residency and Exhibition) was founded in 2010 with the ambition to provide the arts community with an affordable, cooperative, and dialogue-oriented residency program. The residency itself takes place each summer in rural southwest Wisconsin and brings together artists from across disciplines and levels of experience to create a regenerative community of cultural producers. Over the course of the following year ACRE endeavors to further support its residents by providing venues for exhibitions, idea exchange, interdisciplinary collaboration, and experimental projects.

More information about ACRE can be found at

Monday, April 16, 2012

It ain't over....

Civil disobedience. Maybe it doesn’t always stay so civil. Maybe we’re not so civic minded.

There is no way for me to play Switzerland in this one—this is me taking one for the team. This is illuminating the comings and goings in my bed. This is a power f**k. These gestures are direct and directed at me. This is the wrong people speaking out, having their say. This is singing like a canary at the top of your lungs. This is sidestepping the dirty laundry; this is just dirty. Laughing in your face. Going for blood. Putting your cards out on the table.

The works of Barbara DeGenevieve, Brent Garbowski, and Joe Mault challenge the rules; up end structures. But not every challenge is militant. You may change the way you think about that other person’s body, the things that come in or go out of your mouth, or your relationship to power. But you might just sit a while and laugh.

Join us for the opening reception Saturday, April 28, 6-9 p.m.
The exhibition continues through May 26.

2153 W. 21st Street, Chicago, IL 60608 (one block west of the Pink line Damen stop)
Open to the public Saturdays noon-5pm, or by appointment.
To make an appointment call 773/645-8803.
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FOR EXAMPLE: Did you know you can now drink your favorite beverage from a slow receptacle?
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Slow is an alternative exhibition venue for contemporary art. Not quite an apartment gallery, not commercial. Presenting art that leans away from hipster, toward introspective and vulnerable (read slightly nerdy)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

4/15: BOYS' LIFE // new works by ADAM BLUMBERG

new works by ADAM BLUMBERG
APRIL 15-16, 2012

Opening Reception: Sunday, April 15, 4-8pm
Open Hours: Monday April 16, noon-4pm

ACRE Projects
1913 W 17th Street, Chicago 60608

BOYS' LIFE brings together photographs, sculptures and found and ephemeral objects that reflect on personal memories and popular culture to explore and examine perceptions of masculinity and cultural archetypes. Pragmatic images and symbols extol and critically articulate various iterations of masculinity in the American middle class. With a muted gaze that guiltily but inevitably verges on exploitation, these images and objects strive to retain evidence of Blumberg’s shared cultural heritage and participation in the events in and around the works while also addressing how the subjects view each other. Created with a playful spirit, the works serve as a commentary and celebration of American leisure in the language of popular culture and working class signifiers.

Untitled, Archival Ink Jet Print, 2011

ADAM BLUMBERG (b. 1978, lives Philadelphia) - Raised amongst the horseradish fields and abandoned coal mines of a rural St. Louis suburb, Adam Blumberg is an avid baseball fan and enjoys collecting smashed pennies. He earned an MFA from ICP-Bard in 2007 and a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2002. From 2004 to 2005, Adam participated in the Research Program at the Center for Contemporary Art in Kitakyushu, Japan. His work has been exhibited in England, Germany and Japan in addition to the United States, including recent exhibitions at Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Philadelphia, PA and Unit B Gallery, San Antonio, TX. He is currently curating an upcoming exhibition at Storage Gallery, Philadelphia for the summer 2012.


new work by PAUL ERSCHEN

April 14- 28, 2012

Opening Reception: Saturday, April 14, 6-10PM
Open Hours: by appointment

128 N Campbell Street, Chicago 60612

Sparked by an ongoing habit of collecting discarded cigarette packs, NEWPORT ROOM, presents a stubbornly incomplete taxonomy of anonymity, suspicion, and excess. Including an installation of screen prints, several hundred archived menthol cigarette packs, and a grouping of cast-object assemblages, "Newport Room" reveals Erschen's preoccupation with the ambiguities of trash and the folly of urban legends.

Studio View: Marlboro and The KKK, Screen print and acrylic on canvas, 40" x 34", 2012

PAUL ERSCHEN is an artist and musician who lives and works in Chicago. Erschen's recent studio practice involves sculpture, printmaking, mold-making/casting, and archiving. Recent exhibitions include: "West Plaza" at Document Gallery, "Group Hug" at Co-Proseperity Sphere, and "Recipes for Mold And Sun", a collaboration with Rachel Ettling, at Roxaboxen.
More information about Paul Erschen can be found at

The Hills Esthetic Center is both a conventional and organic exhibition space located within a complex of artist’s studios and audio recording facilities on Chicago’s west side. Focusing on emerging artists and local arts initiatives, the space aims to promote a breadth of cultural production and invention in the service of independent artistic expression. We value a relaxed artist-controlled environment with the potential for the interaction of critical and social dialogues.

More information about The Hills Esthetic Center can be found at

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Other Side Breathing: New works by Victoria Martinez

Other Side Breathing: New works by Victoria Martinez

Friday, April 13th

Cobalt Studio
1950 W. 21st St.
Chicago, IL

Other Side Breathing will present a body of work inspired by various sites around Pilsen. They include alleyways, the abandoned mini mall on Cermak, the late La Unica taco shack, a flower shop and convenient stores. Upon the completion of exhibit, installations will be planted at designated sites and left to rest, live or disappear.

"My artwork explores the ephemeral, I am drawn to memories and events I cannot completely comprehend. Through soft sculpture installation and collage I assemble nostalgic, festive and curious work utilizing materials that are given to me, found or purchased at local stores, depending on my location. The key factor that activates my work are the sensations received from the past be it death, passion, innocence or mystery."
-Victoria Martinez, April 2012 (on Soft sculpture/Installation/Collage work)

Victoria Martinez is an interdisciplinary artist from Pilsen who received her BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She is also a teaching artist who will be collaborating with youth from Yollocalli Arts Reach to create a soft sculpture installation to be exhibited at The Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University this summer.