June 4th, 2012 § § permalink
Very soon your parents, siblings, grandparents, friends, lovers, etc. will be descending on Chicago like a swarm of buzzards, ready to spend the last weekend of your MAPH career asking you about job searches, moving plans, and your love life. Even those of you who are secretly (or outwardly) excited to have your parents here in a few days might just be clamoring for them to leave by the end of the weekend, especially if you don’t plan ahead. Chicago is a bustling city and it’s going to be even more bustling this weekend with the huge annual Blues Festival and the CPAC conference (which is why we were bugging you to book hotels so early).
So, our advice is to start thinking now about how to entertain your guests this weekend during the actually extensive downtime between convocation events. Oh, and right off the bat, if you haven’t made reservations for dinner Friday or Saturday yet, DO IT NOW. We put some restaurant recommendations in the Convocation timeline post, but come see us if you’re still deciding.
In the meantime, here are some helpful ideas for actual places to go and things to do (not restaurants) around town with your folks this weekend:
1. Chicago Blues Festival: The festival runs from June 8th-10th in Grant Park and is phenomenal for so many reasons. First, it’s FREE. You can wander into Grant Park pretty much anytime between 10:00AM and 9:00PM any day of the festival, pop-a-squat on a plot of grass and listen to some high quality blues music. Or, if you do feel like spending some money, you can buy some food tickets to get Robinson’s Ribs (Remember that delicious food we served you during the Opening BBQ last summer? Yeah. That was Robinson’s.), complete with corn on the cob and mac and cheese. Yum. Or, go classy and bring a blanket and a little cooler with a bottle of wine, some brie, and some baguette for your very own “outdoor mini-Social Hour” with your folks. They’ll be so impressed.
2. Green City Market: Hands down one of the best farmer’s markets in the area. It runs on Saturdays from 7:00AM-1:00PM and it located at the south end of Lincoln Park (approximately 1790 N. Clark if you want to map it). Seriously the best thing about the market is the location because there are so many other great things to do in the Lincoln Park area. Go to the market and grab a crepe or some pizza bread, maybe some fresh, local strawberries (just out as of last week) then sit and listen to the little jazz band that plays in the late morning. Then, you can wander over to the Lincoln Park Zoo or the little shops that line Armitage in Lincoln Park (Francesca’s, Paper Source, Art Effect, just to name a few). Oh, and if you’re stopping at Art Effect on Armitage, you HAVE to go to Annette’s right across the way. They have peanut better cup cookie dough ice cream. Yes, it’s all one flavor.
3. The Lichtenstein Exhibit at the Art Institute: You really can’t beat the Art Institute in terms of impressing your parents. It’s in the heart of downtown Chicago, right by Millennium Park and the building alone is worth a 15-minute ogle. Add the fact that they currently have an amazing Roy Lichtenstein retrospective up right now and you can get in for free with your UChicago ID. Your parents will marvel at their little cultured, frugal child. And, if you want the icing on the cake, hit the Chicago Architecture Foundation gift shop afterwards (right across the street on Michigan Ave.) for some early holiday shopping. Yes, I think about Christmas all the time.
4. Old Town Art Fair: This is one of the better summer art shows that comes through Chicago. First, it’s pretty huge (as in over 260 artists). Second, it’s in one of the cute, ritzy, old Chicago neighborhoods so it’s fun just to wander and look at the architecture, even if you’re not shopping for art. The main entrance is at the intersection of Lincoln and Wisconsin and it runs both Saturday and Sunday of this coming weekend.
Hopefully these suggestions will give you a jump start on plans this weekend. Don’t forget that Chicago is also home to a ton of amazing museums and a fantastic theater scene, so we’re always happy to give you more ideas if you need them!
September 12th, 2011 § § permalink
Here’s a guest post from indispensible preceptor Anna Lee, who will be your virtual guide to the Art Institute and art institutions in Chicago in general. We’ll be visiting the Art Institute as a MAPH horde on Thursday evening (meet at MAPHCentral at 4:15 PM or at the Modern Wing entrance at 5:00 PM). Anna’s intro gives you a great overview of some of the museum’s highlights–and of other places you’ll want to check out around town.
Although the Art Institute of Chicago’s collection is strong in various areas, the Impressionist holdings tend to be particularly popular. In the last few years, the newly-opened Modern Wing has also been a major draw. But since you’ll have the entire year to explore the museum, here are a few of the most “famous” members of the collection to start you off. It’s great to view these in person, no matter how many reproductions you’ve already seen, and it’s nice to know where they are when relatives visit. The links below will take you to each work’s official AIC description, which includes an image as well as its location in the museum:
GEORGES SEURAT, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte:
Seurat, "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte." Just like Promontory Point, n'est ce pas?
August 25th, 2011 § § permalink
So it seemed like it was time to update the blog with a new batch of free or cheap ways to entertain yourself as a graduate student. Courses haven’t started so there is no excuse for not trying out a few of these options before you are drowning in reading.
First for incoming students it is great to know that your University of Chicago ID serves as your arts pass to get you in free or discounted to many area museums and theaters.
Ceiling at the Chicago Cultural Center
Festivals and Lectures
There will be many fantastic lectures on campus. However, the Chicago Humanities Festival hosts events all over the city in October and November. Most of them free or very cheap for students there is no excuse not to go see Steven Sondheim, Laurie Anderson or Jonathan Franzen speak.
Many Chicago street festivals are still happening in September and October.
Check out the Renegade Craft Fair September 10-11, Oktoberfest, September 23-24 or the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, September 24-25. A full list is here. Don’t miss free concerts in Millenium Park or Grant Park.
Discounted theater tickets are available the week of performances at hottix It is always worth asking for a student rate or checking your arts pass discount at most theaters.
Be sure to check out my guide to Chicago theaters here. There are over 200 small theaters in Chicago covering ever style, taste and price range, many small companies still have industry nights, or pay-what-you-can nights.
More free things after the jump . . .
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August 16th, 2011 § § permalink
- French horns are for girls.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra is located a quick Metra ride from Hyde Park (get off at Van Buren Street) on Michigan Avenue. Supposedly Ricardo Muti, who was hired as Musical Director after epic, NFL Lockout-like negotiations last year, went on to spend nearly the entire season convalescing (17th Century Style) in the Alps for what seems to have been a mysterious illness (post-contract fatigue. See also ADAM DUNN but HOLY GOD Don’t get me started). Get student rush tickets after the jump… » Read the rest of this entry «
November 30th, 2010 § § permalink
So you are finally done with all your papers and want a cheap way to reward yourself before heading home, or you planned your winter travel badly and have a week to kill before you go home. Either way, it is a great opportunity to bundle up and see some of Chicago’s winter sights.
Ice Skating in Millennium Park
See the full list after the jump. . . » Read the rest of this entry «
October 4th, 2010 § § permalink
Guest post: Eric Wilson (MAPH 2011), who blogs at The Spirit of Space.
Taking the title of this post from a song off of Port Arthur, Texas’s own UGK (Pimp C & Bun B) album titled Underground Kingz, I have in mind rappers from the South (UGK =
Houston (Chewston), Texas; Lil’ Wayne = New Orleans, Louisiana; Project Pat/Three 6 Mafia = Memphis, Tennessee (Tennekee); Clipse = Virginia Beach, Virginia). I come hoping in a sense to enlighten (excuse me as I add yet another joke about the material that we’ve been reading).
I don’t want to stand here (as a digital avatar) and preach that I am an expert on
Southern rap music or possess an exhaustive knowledge of the complete history
of rap (for that history lesson see Can’t Stop Won’t Stop). To quote Quit Hatin’
the South as a means of defending my lack of a claim to exhaustive knowledge: “There’s some trash in the south, I promise you/from the east to the west, some of y’all [rappers are] garbage too.” I have not heard it all and, in a way, I don’t want to; I cherry pick, though I prefer to call it bricolage.
Lyrics, licit and otherwise, after the jump…
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April 14th, 2010 § § permalink
Kealey is studying East Asian Art History, with a focus on Chinese Painting. Her MA thesis addresses methods and authenticity of Ni Zan’s brushwork in his later works. Upon graduating she will study at Tsinghua University in Beijing in a two-month intensive language program.
Please describe what you were doing before you enrolled in MAPH?
I am a more ‘seasoned’ student in MAPH, graduating college in 2001. I attended the University of Chicago, concentrating in Economics. Around the end of my second year, I realized I loved my Chinese Art History classes, performed well in them, and had great relationships with my professors. However, I was acquiring a tremendous amount of debt while in school and thought the most rational idea was to continue forward with a career in finance, which I also enjoyed, just not as much. After about eight years on Wall Street, I enjoyed my job less and less and realized my role would not dramatically change in the future. By this time I had paid off my debt and saved the money to return to school. After submitting my application to Chicago, I was laid off in the fourth round of cuts at my job. Although it gave me that last push off the cliff I needed, two weeks after the program started in September 2009 I was asked if I wanted to return to my old seat. I confidently turned down the offer. Talking with so many interesting people, their research, and the endless resources of the University, I had been bit and could not turn back.
Why Chicago? Why MAPH?
I needed to be retrained on how to research and write like an art historian at a graduate level. I also had several gaps in my resume that need filling, such as language. Finally, I needed to see if I would sink or swim, and if a Phd was in my future. I knew from my undergraduate work that Chicago is a fantastic institution, with the best professors & resources. It would challenge me like no other place.
What opportunities, expected or unexpected, have presented themselves this year?
The Humanities definitely proved to be a more difficult discipline than finance when navigating the job market. There is no recruiting season, personalities vary dramatically, and job descriptions can be vague sometimes. It was a real challenge to figure out what people were looking for and if I was seeing every possible opportunity. However, during Fall quarter finals week I received a mass email from the MAPH email distribution about a writing position for a Chicago-based Asian art dealer. I sent in the usual materials, letter, resume, and writing sample. About a month later I was called in for an interview. A couple days later I was asked to do a ‘test’ writing piece based on a topic the gallery selected. I was hired shortly after that, and now I write 1-3 articles a month based on their collection. The articles are posted on their website and blog. I would never imagine in my life that someone would pay me to write, especially write about what I want to write about! Additionally, I can do all the work remotely on campus. No commute!
What are some of the topics you have written about in this position?
Demystifying the swastika, Chinese New Years folk art, painting traditions, and recently I wrote a piece about Chinese Erotica. I am currently working on Blue and White ceramics with Middle Eastern influences.
What are the positives and negatives of writing for a company?
I had become comfortable with the academic format of writing. When receiving a topic from a course there is a certain amount of freedom of topics under the broader assignment. There usually is a ton of time to think about the topic, research, write and rewrite. With a company, I usually have about 48 hours to research and write an article. The article is a representation of the company, so when posted online it is not attributed to me. Many times I will address the topic and once the gallery sees the result they will realize what they told me to write was not exactly what they wanted, in which case I will have to edit or toss the work done and start over. Also the company has editing freedom, so often there are unexpected changes in the final version. Like most employers, they want what they want when they want it, no extensions, no excuses, and a little mind reading is definitely helpful. However, something I love is I can continue the work when I study at Tsinghua University this summer, and when I return and continue my job search. Also, something that isn’t often addressed in academia is interacting with art that falls into the art market between dealers and collectors. I think its great to see the work that is not necessarily deemed important by a museum. The pieces I work with and write about are part of a long Chinese tradition of collecting. Sometimes these objects and their dealers create markets where there were none. I guess that appeals to the art historian and economist in me.
What skills and experiences will you take away from this year?
Working in the Humanities takes a lot of personal risk and a lot of confidence in your abilities and your ability to sell those skills. I also saw that I really got out of the program as much as I put in. I went to every workshop that would have me, every informational interview that would make the time, audited any class that would allow it, and persistently addressed and readdressed challenges, feedback and shortcomings in my work. I found professors, advisors, and students really responded to that diligence. MAPH gave me the tools and platform to take away what I wanted from the year.
February 24th, 2010 § § permalink
Do you know about Special Collections? It is the area of the Regenstein Library that holds rare books, manuscripts, documents, and archives. We have a spectacular collection here at the University of Chicago- be sure to check it out!
Here is a link to the Special Collections blog, where they let us know about all kinds of events, new acquisitions and more: http://lib.typepad.com/scrc/
February 14th, 2010 § § permalink
In honor of Cupid’s birthday:
by John Donne
LITTLE think’st thou, poor flower,
Whom I’ve watch’d six or seven days,
And seen thy birth, and seen what every hour
Gave to thy growth, thee to this height to raise,
And now dost laugh and triumph on this bough,
Little think’st thou,
That it will freeze anon, and that I shall
To-morrow find thee fallen, or not at all.
Little think’st thou, poor heart,
That labourest yet to nestle thee,
And think’st by hovering here to get a part
In a forbidden or forbidding tree,
And hopest her stiffness by long siege to bow,
Little think’st thou
That thou to-morrow, ere the sun doth wake,
Must with the sun and me a journey take.
But thou, which lovest to be
Subtle to plague thyself, wilt say,
Alas! if you must go, what’s that to me?
Here lies my business, and here I will stay
You go to friends, whose love and means present
To your eyes, ears, and taste, and every part ;
If then your body go, what need your heart?
Well then, stay here; but know,
When thou hast stay’d and done thy most,
A naked thinking heart, that makes no show,
Is to a woman but a kind of ghost.
How shall she know my heart; or having none,
Know thee for one?
Practice may make her know some other part;
But take my word, she doth not know a heart.
Meet me in London, then,
Twenty days hence, and thou shalt see
Me fresher and more fat, by being with men,
Than if I had stay’d still with her and thee.
For God’s sake, if you can, be you so too;
I will give you
There to another friend, whom we shall find
As glad to have my body as my mind.
September 21st, 2009 § § permalink
Ben Brownson, a MAPH alum from this past year – writing on Oscar Wilde’s Salome, has kindly written up a post about theatre here at the University and around Chicago. He is the Assistant Box Office Manager at the Court Theatre here on campus, and his plays have been workshopped, most recently, by the Chicago Dramatists.
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