22
November , 2017
Wednesday

Email This Post Email This Post

 

Tour will provide unique opportunity to experience collection of rarely viewed Chicago visual arts gems

 

 

 

Chicago, IL – Non-profit cultural presenter portoluz will jumpstart its June programming with a rare public tour of the Depression-era murals at Lane Tech High School. The artwork is widely recognized as emblematic of public murals and paintings produced beginning in the 1930’s, many with the support of the federal government as part of a sweeping program designed to put unemployed artists back to work. The tour takes place on Thursday, June 9, at 5pm at Lane Tech, located at 2501 West Addison Street in Chicago. Attendees should use Entrance M (off the parking lot) to enter the building, and are being asked to make a $10 donation.

 

The mural tour is one of two June visual arts programs — and a plethora of additional public events this summer — being produced under portoluz‘ moniker of WPA 2.0: A Brand New Deal, a groundbreaking project featuring over fifty arts and humanities programs throughout the city. The year-long festival of programming features some of the nation’s leading scholars, musicians, civic leaders, visual artists, policy makers and cultural workers. The series is structured to look back on what the federal Works Progress Administration, or WPA, brought to millions of unemployed Americans at the peak of the Great Depression — and how we can reenergize the spirit of the WPA to organize and thrive today, in the worst economic crisis of the last 80 years.

 

 In 1934, forty murals from the General Motors Exhibition Hall at the World’s Fair “Century of Progress” became a part of Lane Tech’ art collection, and additional works were added during the WPA era. Many were produced through the Federal Art Project, one of the divisions of the WPA. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had made several attempts prior to the creation of the FAP to provide employment for artists on relief, most notably the PWAP – the Public Works of Art Project – which operated from 1933 to 1934, and the Treasury Department Section of Painting and Sculpture, which was created in 1934 after the demise of the PWAP. The FAP provided the widest reach, creating over 5,000 jobs for artists and producing over 225,000 works of art for the American people, including some of Lane Tech’s most visually stunning art works.

 

The widespread popularity of the murals with the public generated great pride at the high school, but over the years the mural collection suffered serious deterioration. In 1995, Lane Tech’s principal and teacher Flora Doody initiated the Mural Restoration Project to save this important collection. Students and alumni lead the in-school tours of the thirteen murals that are currently included in the tour. 
The Lane Tech mural tour is being co-sponsored by Preservation Chicago(www.preservationchicago.org), founded in 2001 as a not-for-profit organization that advocates for the preservation of Chicago’s historic architecture through education and community outreach.
On June 25th, portoluz is also sponsoring a tour and lecture on the work of renowned visual artist and designer Edgar Miller, at a classic “Edgar Miller home,” the Sol Kogan Studios in Old Town. Edgar Miller worked in as many art forms as he could imagine – including sculpture, watercolor, drawing, stained glass, the graphic arts and, later in life, graphic design. His most popular collections can be found on and in the richly remodeled buildings of Old Town, with visually stunning art and artifacts that include stained glass, fresco, ceramic tiles, sculpture and mosaic. Larry Zgoda is a renowned stained glass artist, a friend of Miller’s, and an important champion of his legacy. It was Miller’s quirky recycled glass, mosaic, and tile work on the 1920s Carl Street Studios complex that inspired Zgoda’s artistic path some 30 years ago, and that continues to guide his beliefs in the lost power of ornament. Pre-registration is required by RSVP to portoluz@gmail.com. 

……………………………………………………………………… 

To see a PDF copy of the program booklet with detailed descriptions of the entire series, click here

 

Highlights of June programs in year-long series of events: 

 

Timuel Black – Remembering the New Deal  

followed by a solo piano concert by ‘MacArthur genius” Reginald Robinson 

 

Saturday June 18th 2pm  $5/unemployed free/ all ages welcome

The Du Sable Museum of African American History 740 East 56th Place

 

Timuel D. Black is known as Chicago’s griot. He has spent his lifetime gathering the stories of Chicago’s African-American community, documenting the great social movements, and working for peace and justice. Born in Alabama in 1918, Black came to Chicago’s South Side with his family as part of Chicago’s first wave of the Great Migration–when tens of thousands of African-Americans left the South. After serving with distinction in World War II, Black attended Roosevelt University and the University of Chicago. A teacher, social scientist and historian, Black played a leading role in the civil rights movement in Chicago and nationally, working closely with Dr. King.  He is the author of countless articles and of Bridges of Memory, the oral history collection documenting the lives of African-Americans who came to Chicago in the first and second waves of the Great Migration. Mr. Black is currently at work on his own memoir. 

 

Timuel Black’s talk will be followed by a solo piano recital by Reginald Robinson. Writer Sharon Warner will read Gardeners of Dreams to open the program.

Special guest : Sharon F. Warner is a writer of diverse interests and experience. Her work has been published in 3 countries, and of course, online.  She has been part of the Neighborhood Writing Alliance since 1997, and her work has appeared in the Journal of Ordinary Thought since that time. “Gardeners of Dreams” was inspired by remarks made by Timuel Black at an Edible Activism workshop at the Artistic Garden in Hyde Park.

Reginald Robinson

 

Reginald R. Robinson, born and raised in Chicago is a noted pianist/composer and an educator on ragtime music across the U.S. Reginald became interested in playing Ragtime while in 7th grade after a city funded arts program visited the school. The program was led by Jazz trumpeter Orbert Davis and covered many different styles from Beethoven to Miles Davis but Reginald paid close attention when the musicians talked about Ragtime and performed “The Entertainer” by Scott Joplin. He had heard this melody coming from the ice cream trucks every summer but had never heard the song played as a serious piece of music on piano before. For Christmas that year his mother bought him a small electronic keyboard in which he began to teach himself how to play. In 2004, Reginald received “the genius” fellowship Grant from the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for his innovation in Ragtime music !

 

……………………………………………………………

THE BACKYARD ROUNDTABLES

portoluz is up-ending the paradigm for panel discussion by creating intimate conversations with local visionaries. These events are intended to be in-depth exchange between the featured guest speaker and attendees. As some of these events are in private homes, pre-registration to these programs is necessary RSVP @portoluz@gmail.com with backyard roundtable in the subject line. 

 

Dan Swinney: Breaking Ground: A New Educational Model for Working Class Youth

Sunday June 12th  5-7pm Hyde Park private home.

Please RSVP portoluz@gmail.com for invite

 

Dan founded the Center for Labor and Community Research (CLCR) in 1982 in response to the thousands of manufacturing plant closings in the Chicago area. Prior to founding CLCR, Dan worked for 13 years as a machinist in the Chicago area and organized Steelworker Local 8787 at G+W Taylor Forge in Cicero, Illinois and served as Vice President. Taylor Forge closed in 1983.  Dan will be speaking on the creation of Austin Polytechnic High School an education response

 

Carl Davidson – The Mondragon Cooperatives  

Tuesday June 21st  6:00-7:30 pm

Unity Center 3339 S. Halsted St

A multimedia presentation on the 120 Worker-Owned Mondragon Cooperatives centered in Spain’s Basque Country, their impact and growth in other countries, their influence in the U.S., and their implications for socialist theory in a new era.

Carl Davidson is currently a national co-chair of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, a national board member of the Solidarity Economy Network, and a member of Steelworker Associates and Beaver County Peace Links in Beaver County, PA.  

…………………………………………………….. 

VISUAL ART

The Federal Art Project was one of the divisions of the W.P.A. created under Federal Project One. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had made several attempts prior to the F.A.P. to provide employment for artists on relief, namely the Public Works of Art Project (P.W.A.P.) which operated from 1933 to 1934 and the Treasury Department Section of Painting and Sculpture which was created in 1934 after the demise of the P.W.A.P. However, it was the F.A.P. which provided the widest reach, creating over 5,000 jobs for artists and producing over 225,000 works of art for the American people.

 

Tour of the Lane Tech High School Murals

Albert G. Lane Technical High School 2501 West Addison Street

Thursday June 9th 5pm $10 – for tour Use Entrance M (off the parking lot) to enter the building.  We will meet in room 113 – the security person at Entrance M will direct guests to that room. Pre-register at portoluz@gmail.com

In 1934, forty murals from the General Motors Exhibition Hall at the World’s Fair “Century of Progress” became a part of Lane Tech’ art collection. Additional works were added during the WPA era. The widespread popularity of the murals with the public generated great pride at Lane Technical High School. Over the years, the mural collection at Lane suffered serious deterioration. In 1995, The principal and teacher Flora Doody initiated the Mural Restoration Project, an effort to save this important collection. Students lead the in-school tours of the thirteen murals. This event is co-sponsored by Preservation Chicago. Preservation Chicago, founded in 2001, is a not-for-profit organization that advocates for the preservation of Chicago’s historic architecture, achieving its mission through education and community outreach.  www.preservationchicago.org

……..

Edgar Miller & Larry Zgoda

Saturday June 25th 11am

Sol Kogan Studios 155 W. Burton Place

pre-registration required by RSVP to portoluz@gmail.com

Edgar Miller worked in as many art forms as he could imagine. Sculpture, watercolor, drawing and stained glass were among his fortes. He also excelled in the graphic arts and later in life, graphic design. His most popular collection of works is at the richly remodeled buildings in Old Town. Here one finds stained glass, fresco, ceramic tiles, sculpture and mosaic, just to name a few. Larry Zgoda is a renowned stained glass artist, a friend of Miller’s and an important champion of  his legacy.  It was Miller’s quirky, recycled glass, mosaic, and tile work on the 1920s Carl Street Studios complex that inspired Zgoda’s artistic path some 30 years ago, and that continues to guide his beliefs in the lost power of ornament. Join us for a special tour of “an Edgar Miller home” at the Sol Kogan Studios led by Larry Zgoda.  

……………………………………………………………………… 

 

WPA 2.0, a Brand New Deal

During Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first term as president, Congress passed The New Deal, a series of economic programs designed to help lift the nation out of the Great Depression. In 1935, Roosevelt established the WPA, the Works Progress Administration, the New Deal’s largest agency and a core part of the effort to put millions of unemployed Americans back to work. The WPA fed children and redistributed food, clothing, and housing; built parks, bridges and schools in virtually every part of the country; particularly in rural communities and the West; and spent more than $135 billion in today’s dollars between 1936 and 1943, providing 8 million jobs and serving as the largest employer in the country. Besides providing meaningful employment to out-of-work artists, WPA organizers were inspired by the notion that all Americans, rather than just a privileged elite, could take heart from and deserved access to art.

 

In 2011, portoluz‘ ten-member program committee chose WPA 2.0, “A Brand New Deal” as an overarching theme for a visionary new multi-disciplinary program designed to revisit the paradigm of public cultural engagement, within the context of sweeping new attacks on a host of civic milieus, from arts education in public schools to collective bargaining. The project is designed to look at the conditions that gave rise to New Deal reforms, and explore what parallels might be relevant today. portoluz developed this instigation as a kinetic and contemporary take on a meme by utilizing a variety of forms of cultural production to explore the Great Depression of 1929; the WPA and role of the “cultural worker;” and the current recession. By riffing on history, re-mixing archival ephemera, and commissioning and curating a wide range of voices, portoluz seeks to

primarily emphasize and inspire solutions that respond to today’s worldwide economic and social crisis.

 

 To develop WPA 2.0, portoluz collaborated with numerous artists, guest curators, historians, and others to produce a broad range of events – From documentary film screenings, to intimate roundtable discussions, the organizers intend to spark a city-wide discussion about art/work and  the kind of society we wish to live in.

 

Featured participants include: Timuel Black, Dean Baker, Van Jones, Helen Shiller, Don Byron and Reginald Robinson.  For more on the individual programs and participants, 

click here. 

 For a gallery of promotional images of the participants: 

click here. 

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

Recent Posts