On Thursday, I went to the Art Institute with the youth from the ODS for the first time since last summer. I was hoping that waiting for this to happen. Now, several things happened simultaneously: the Art Institute returned the evening hours (Thursdays and Fridays till August 15), the Obama portrait exhibit opened, and the Art Institute Council for public relations gave the Night Ministry two dozen tickets for this exhibit, which includes the full Art Institute admission.
The exhibit is very small: the portraits of Barak and Michelle, several related artworks, and how these portraits were painted.
Last Friday, I was so busy going things with Anna’s family that I completely ignored the event that was happening very close to my home: the Wall painting at Loyola Beach! Fortunately, Igor documented it pretty well, so I am going to use his photos and comments from his Flickr album, so I am copying his description here:
Rogers Park’s Loyola Beach has this structure right where the park ends and the beach starts. I’ve always called this structure “the steps,” because it looks more like a step on a staircase than a wall, but it is officially a sea wall.
Since 1993. Rogers Park residents have been invited to paint that wall. Loyola Park Advisory Council started the whole thing because they didn’t like the graffiti (gang and otherwise) that used to cover it. While I’ve heard it described as sort of pure expression of creativity, but because one has to pay for the right to paint at one of the 160 slots, the whole thing is really more a fundraiser for Loyola PAC that happens to involve making the wall look pretty.
Normally, the wall would get repainted once a year, but the COVID-19 obviously kiboshed the 2020 session. I honestly kind of assumed that Loyola PAC would leave the 2019 murals up until 2022, so I was surprised when I stopped by the beach three weeks ago and saw the wall completely bleached. I checked the Loyola PAC’s website and discovered that, yep, they will be repainting. While normally, it would all be done in one day, it was split over three days, on June 18-20, to give artists room to socially distance.
This isn’t a perfect before-and-after set, because I lost my photos of 2019 murals to a corrupted SD card, I kind of rushed through the beach on Friday and I didn’t check the past photos on Saturday and Sunday. But, at the very least, this will give you a view of this year’s painted murals and some of the behind-the-scenes stuff. I’ve been visiting Loyola Beach for the past 11 years or so, so I got to see many versions of the wall murals, but I never got to see it painted, so that was kind of neat.
It was a wonderful weekend. I feel like I am getting more things done here, and I am not sure why.
No, I didn’t resolve all the issues in my apartment. I still need to fix my ceiling lights/fans, and I am still waiting for the rest of my furniture for the dining room. Also, I need to change my driver’s license and mom’s State ID for new addresses. And I didn’t go to the local library yet and didn’t find a new doctor for my mom or me.
The list is endless, but still, I had a fabulous time this weekend. Of course, it helped that we now have summer Fridays, so the weekend started at 2 PM on Friday. Here is what I did this weekend (in addition to the regular errands list)
I biked to Northwestern twice. The first time, I messed up a couple of times, and the second time was a charm.
I went to do my nails. I didn’t like the place that much, so I will continue to explore what else is around, but at least I have my mani-pedi, which were overdue.
I went escorting for the first time since February
After escorting, I took my mom to the Art Institute to see the Monet exhibit and a couple of other exhibits which will close within the next week
I biked to the Glenwood Sunday Market (and bought tons of awesome stuff). I was not sure from their website whether they allow bikes on the market, and put a new bike lock in my backpack. But fortunately, they allow the bikes in, which helped to plan my purchases realistically :). I liked his market so much better than the Evanston market! I think I will be going there most of Sundays.
I made sorrel soup (perfect for the hot weather)
Also, I made a rhubarb tart
I had mom and one of my friends over for coffee
And I went to the beach and even dipped myself into the cold water of Lake Michigan (I will show the pictures in a separate post).
And with all that, I even caught up on some work, these boring parts with paperwork, which you tend to push away beyond all the deadlines.
The Art Institute reopened two weeks ago, but it was only today that i got a chance to visit it.
I can’t even describe how happy I was to stroll through my most favorite rooms!
Also, I knew that there was one more new exhibit open, and I wanted to check it out.
It was a Bisa Butler exhibit. I never heard about her, and I was stunned when i entered the exhibit. The Art Institute website says:
Although Butler’s finished works are exclusively fabric, her methods remain interdisciplinary: photographs inform her compositions and figural choices, she layers fabrics as a painter might layer glazes, and she uses thread to draw, adding detail and texture.
(It is a very long post, but I want to record my memories of that day)
On Thursday. we had the best-ever field trip to the Art Institute. The best in almost four years that I volunteer at the Open Door Shelter!
When I came to cook dinner the first time after “the start of everything,” we discussed what we can do outside the shelter, and I said that we could do the Art Institute and see the new Monet Exhibit. I also suggested a couple of other things, but this one was embraced immediately.
Remembering all out previous Art Institute outings, I was pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm but held a pinch of skepticism. It happened before that when it is time to go, the youth forget, or just do not want to get out of the house, or whatever. I remember all delays in departure, losing people on the way there and back.
This time around, being late was not an option. I was not even sure how to secure our place in line for a Monet exhibit for the future date. A week after our conversation in the ODS, which was a week before our Art Institute outing, I went there during my lunch break, trying to see more of the exhibit and finding out what my options are for next Thursday.
The Monet Exhibit in the Art Institute opened last week. I didn’t have time to attend during the members-only days, but I was also hoping that the second week won’t be so crazy.
It turned out that although the line outside was small, the virtual line for the exhibit was massive. I came in only twelve minutes after the museum was open on that day, and the first hour of each day is a member hour.
I guy with an iPad was standing at the entrance, and he asked whether I was planning to visit the Monet exhibit and if yes, he can put me in the line. There was already 30 minutes wait by that time!
While waiting, I went to a permanent Impressionists exhibit. It is one of my favorites, if not the most favorite collection. The room, which usually exhibits Monet’s works from the permanent collection, was vacant for the time of the new exhibit, and I was thrilled to see that it was repurposed to show tons of Toulouse-Lautrec works! I don’t know whether any of my friends love Toulouse-Lautrec art with the same passion as I do, but let me tell you, it was a real treat! I am posting just a couple of works, which usually are not on display.
This week, I started to go to the office again, and for the next couple of weeks, I am planning to be in the city three times a week.
I can’t even start to describe how much I love being in the city. Coming to the office gives me a lot of structure. Yes, I am a very organized person, but I still do not know why, but I always get more things done in the office. Also, for many years, I used the time on the train as “my personal time.” It was always that I had almost two hours a day when I could reply to my personal emails, ce=heck the social media, write my own blog posts. And when I work from home, it is like: when I sit down at my desk, it means work.
Walking in the city feels different, as well. I do not know why. Today, my Apple Watch shows more than fifteen thousand steps, and it feels like nothing. When I am in the city, I walk fast, and nothing hurts.
On Tuesday, I had lunch with Vlad (belated birthday lunch), and I didn’t get to walk much, because I had to carve time between meetings. But today – I walked and walked.
I went to the Art Institute. The same El Greco exhibit, which I saw on my last visit to the museum before it closed, is open again, and I felt infinitely good looking at these amazing paintings. Afterward, when I realized that I have over an hour till the next train, I headed to the Riverwalk (actually, I half-planned it to be that way). That way my first real date with my city after months being apart, and I was breathing in this twilight, and the opaque water surface…
On Friday, I was planning to see El Greco exhibit in the Art Institute, since now the museum has after-hours three days a week, including Friday. I was anxiously monitoring their website, which was saying that the museum is opened. Finally, since there was not that many people in the office, I decided to go there during the lunch break. We were told to work from home on Thursday evening, but since I left on Thursday before that announcement, I had to come on Friday to pick up some stuff.
I was approaching the museum and wondering whether it was still opened. I was; there were not that many people inside, but there were some, and I was so happy I had that chance to enjoy the exhibit. Actually, the closing was announced two hours after I left the building :), so I was lucky indeed.
Anna and Nadia were visiting me last weekend. We asked Nadia whether she wants to see art, the dinosaurs in the Field Museum, or the whales in the Aquarium, and she said – art! So we went to the Art Institute. Anna wanted to see Andy Warhol e
xhibit, but Nadia refused to acknowledge it as an art :). After being there for ten minutes, she started to ask, “can we see the art now?”
We went to the Ryan Educational Center to do the family project – a shadow box. Then we went to see Chagall’s “American Windows.” To our surprise, Nadia liked them a lot! She was sitting on her knees by the first window, then running to the second one and sitting there, and then moving to the third one. She spent at least ten minutes there, and would probably spend more if we would let her. So you can’t even say that an abstract art in not for toddlers. Go figure!