Posted inArts & Culture

Jake Troyli contains multitudes

Jake Troyli moved to Chicago in September 2020, the same month “Don’t Forget to Pack a Lunch!,” his first-ever solo exhibition in Chicago, opened at Monique Meloche Gallery.  In the exhibition’s titular work, Troyli puppeteers a small army of cloned characters through siloed loops of never-ending labor—physical, emotional, and otherwise. Small firefighters ascend a burning […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Excavating the unconscious

Krista Franklin has a recurring fantasy in which she burns all her journals.  “Watching the flames dance in a fire pit glowing from the kindling of my memories,” she writes in “On Time,” one of several lyrical essays included in Solo(s): Krista Franklin, a catalog of visual art and poetry by the Chicago-based artist. It […]

Posted inTheater Review

Seeking sanctuary in Routes

Nearly a decade after it debuted at the Royal Court Theatre in 2013, Rachel De-lahay’s Routes has landed at Theater Wit for its American premiere. Presented by Remy Bumppo, Routes is a story of progressively intertwined, mirrored vignettes of two characters and the handful of people who will determine their respective fates. Olufemi (Yao Dogbe) […]

Posted inArt Feature

A new home, a new energy

When I first set out to profile gallerist and art dealer Mariane Ibrahim, she didn’t exactly decline, but she didn’t immediately say yes, either.  After being heavily profiled over the past couple of years—both for her curatorial style as well as her unconventional path to Chicago’s gallery scene via Seattle—the gallery’s focus was understandably on […]

Posted inTheater Review

Southern gothic heat

For their inaugural production, Violet Sky Theatre company has chosen Tennessee Williams’s Summer and Smoke from 1948. As is expected with any of Williams’s canonical works, Summer and Smoke is a portrait of the delicious agony of unrequited love. Alma Winemiller, the minister’s daughter, has been in love with John Buchanan, the boy next door, […]

Posted inTheater Review

Love in the time of fascism

The rescheduled world premiere of The Black Knight by Angeli Primlani with Lifeboat Productions (directed by Brian Pastor) is billed as a timely tale of love, trust, and resistance. It’s indeed timely—set in Nazi-occupied Prague during 1942-1943, the play is ultimately an exploration of how easily fascism can take hold during periods of uncertainty. More […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Thinking of us

Barbara Kruger, collagist, conceptual artist, and Futura Bold Oblique font savant, will turn 77 two days after her exhibition “THINKING OF YOU. I MEAN ME. I MEAN YOU.” closes at the Art Institute of Chicago on January 24. The expansive exhibition, which opened in September after being delayed almost a year by COVID-19 concerns, is […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Decisions, demons, and doom

While many of us (perhaps too optimistically) planned to complete any number of creative projects over the course of pandemic isolation parts one, two, or—dare I say it—three, 300 Chicago-area high school students managed to write and submit one-act plays to Pegasus Theatre Chicago’s 35th Annual Young Playwrights Festival.  And three of those students—Laylah Freeman […]

Posted inTheater Review

Y Tu Abuela, Where is She? explores identity and family codependency

As part of this year’s Destinos: Chicago International Latino Theater Festival, Visión Latino Theatre Company presents the world premiere of Y Tu Abuela, Where is She?  Written by Puerto Rican playwright Nelson Diaz-Marcano and directed by Xavier M. Custodio, Y Tu Abuela is not the writer’s first collaboration with VLTC, a company of Latinx artists […]