MoMA

Two meetings I planned for Saturday morning before leaving for Chicago got canceled, but I already knew what I was going to do: The Museum of Modern Art was less than a 20-minute walk from my hotel. The last time I was at MoMA was with Igor’s friends’ family, and it turned out that I completely missed some paintings. I can’t say that we didn’t visit these rooms, because I remembered some paintings very well.

As I often do when I have limited time in a huge museum, I decided not to rush and see just a part of the museum but to pay close attention to each painting. The room with WWI and WWII-inspired art immediately caught my attention. It is possible that I saw these paintings last time as well, but they didn’t feel so timely back then. Unfortunately, I just realized that most of my photos from that room are very blourry, so there s almost nothing to show.

Collective suicide
Beckmann- “Hell”
Beckmann – Family picture
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The Art Institute And Gelato

It was more for today’s day! After all of the morning /afternoon activities in Palatine, I returned to the city and met the youth from the shelter in the Art Institute.

We were there a month ago, and although some of the youth appeared interested, the field trip was pretty chaotic. I was unsure how things would turn up this time, but to my surprise, seven of the youth showed up, including a couple of folks who were there on our previous Art Institute outing. Another surprising thing was that everybody was very engaged, and we stayed in the museum until it was about to close. I had to answer the same questions they usually ask in Medieval art: where are people of color? And as usual, they shake their heads in disbelief when I tell them that people lived in one town or village throughout their entire lives, and they didn’t know: you mean, they didn’t know there were other places? They thought that people everywhere were like them? 

After the Art Institute, I took everybody to the new gelato place. Some people started to walk forward, and our volunteer coordinator told those still there that I was taking them for gelato. 

— What is gelato?

— It’s a kind of ice cream.

— Ice cream?! Hey, stoop! STOOOP! She is taking us for ice cream!!!! 

We got to the gelato place. When the youth realized they could try multiple flavors, one of the girls asked: can I try all of them?!

The staff of the gelato shop was super-patient, and when the youth got all the flavors they wanted, there was peace, quiet and eternal happiness. 

Chalk Howard

This annual event took place yesterday, and I went there for the first time. The festival was great, the chalk art itself, and the music, and the food (we didn’t try any, because we chose completely wrong time for it, but it looked fabulous, especially Senegal food.

However, I felt sad seen an excessive number of police and security staff, and knowing that on regular days, this area is experiencing not the best of its days. I want to find a way how I can contribute to making it a little bit better.

But for now – enjoy the pictures!

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Chicago Adventures With Lena

Yesterday, my friend Lena from Ann Arbor came to visit me for the weekend, and today was a blast! Not even mentioning how much I enjoy Lena’s company, what a fun person she is, but we did tons of cool things together.

We started the day with the Millennium Art Fair on Michigan Avenue, where I bought two rings with flowers inside, and Lena bought a pair of earrings with butterfly wings (they explained to us that they collect the wings from dead butterflies).

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Sinebrychoff Art Museum

On Tuesday, I met with my friend Natasha, and she took me to the Sinebrychoff’s Art Museum.

As the museum site states, the private art collection gathered by Fanny and Paul Sinebyshoff was bequeathed to the Finnish state in 1921. All I can say is that the collection is really impressive; many of the items are real masterpieces. There are some Early Renaissance and Medieval Italian paintings, Dutch and Flemish art, Russian Icons as old as the 14th century, and many other art pieces. I wish there would be more information available in English and more information in general. Many artworks do not have an artist’s name, the origin, or both, or do not have the art school specified. For example, a 15th-century Russian icon can come from different parts of Russia, or an “anonymous artist” of the 18th century could come from different countries, and I would love to know about that :).

Here are some pictures I took in the museum:

We were wondering what this is and what it could be used for. Does anybody know?
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Love To Ukraine – an Art Exhibit

Our local Greenview Art Gallery opened a benefit exhibit featuring the works of Ukrainian artist Anatoliy Khmara with all proceeds going to support Ukraine. Khmara came to the US on a special visa for persons with Exceptional Abilities over 20 years ago. Many of his relatives are still in Ukraine, and the exhibit opens with their portraits.

He paints magical landscapes and blooming flowers, but I was immediately drawn to his Chicago pictures. The picture of Montrose Harbor made in the most unusual colors caught my attention.

It did not fit either in my budget, or on my wall, but I could not take my eyes off it. When Khmara asked me which picture I liked, I pointed to this picture but added that I can’t afford it either way. He said that he should have smaller prints of it, but Igor and I told him we had already gone through the bin and didn’t find any. Then he asked one of the staff to check in the back because he remembered he had a smaller print. She fetched one but said it was marked as sold. But, she added, we can other another one. Khmara said – why, we can give her that one, and order an additional print for that other customer :). I could not say “no.”

My “war budget” for April was long gone, but the staff offered to pay in installments, which I gladly accepted.

This is the actual painting
And that’s the print I got

The Art Institute

Saturday marked a return of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, but it also marked a sharp temperature drop (down to 11F in the morning). Because of that (actually, because of both), I decided against any outings on that day. I attempted to go to escort (the last shift), but it turned out that we were not even needed, and I could leave an hour later.

My fellow escorts asked me how did I get there. I replied – “interestingly,” and they immediately suggested giving me a ride to any CTA station further North. For those who haven’t been on the CTA on St. Patrick’s Day – good for you! For those who took CTA on that day previously – it was twice worse than you ever saw!

But to compensate for it – Sunday was beautiful, quiet, and the weather was gorgeous! I thought I needed to do something together with mom, because then I will be gone for ten days, so I suggested we go to the Art Institute during the member’s hour. And it turned out to be a very nice outing. I was finally able to see the Egyptian Exhibit without the crowd.

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Cultural Activities

The Illinois indoor mask mandate will expire on February 28, and it looks like the city of Chicago will follow suit. Masks will still be required in the hospitals and such, in schools (if the legal battles will get to some resolution), and on public transport (thank goodness!!!)

I will monitor the situation, and I guess I will act as I feel comfortable. What makes me really happy is that pretty much all festivals and celebrations are returning. I still need to copy the schedule to my calendar, but I already know that summer will be busy in a good way!

That being said, there were a lot of cultural activities in the past two weeks, as much as I could fit with the amount of work I had!

I finally went to see a movie in the Siskel center with Igor (they are running so many interesting programs, and I can’t find time for any!) We went to see a 1971 movie from the “Bad Romance” series “The new leaf.’ Nothing special, but it was very entertaining. 

Then, there was a Hairspray production in the CIBC Theater. I tried to do a Broadway in Chicago subscription this year, and I am still unsure whether I like it and will do it in the future, but I am attending several performances this season. 

Official photo
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