This week, I visited Lill Street Arts Center in Chicago, IL. I grew up in the Chicago area, but this past Wednesday was my first time ever riding the "L". Though scenic, I'll have to say its a little slow compared to the NYC subway I've been riding for the last couple years. I rode the Metra in to Union from Aurora, walked a couple blocks, got on the Brown line out to Montrose stop. Just around the corner is Lill Street Arts Center. I had no idea it was such a big place with much much much more than ceramics!!! Metals, printmaking, textile design, painting and glass - whoa! Spacious studios, clean and uber-organized!
The gallery is small, but packs a punch in terms of quality craft and art. I almost bought a pair of way-genius and dangly "level" earrings by LeeAnn Herreid ($70), but settled for a beautiful and nicely ergonomic Sam Chung mug ($40) instead. I know, I'm totally bias. "4 x 4, 20 women, 100 pots" is the current show in the gallery exhibition space, and it is amazing! If your in the area you MUST see it, clay lover or not. For contact info, gallery hours and location click here.
Momoko Usami is the current resident clay artist at Lill Street and here she is in the glaze lab. Look at all those test tiles! I'm totally geeking out over how many there are and how organized they are! Sweet. Momoko was a visiting student from Japan at SUNY New Paltz for one year 2007-2008 during my time as an MFA student. She is making some amazing work, and just sent a bunch to the Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, MN. Click her name above to see her web site.
During my visit, I also met Thomas Lucas, printmaker, who runs Hummingbird Press at Lill Street, and he was full of energy and promoting a cross-diciplinary approach to crafts - right on, Tom! Here is the blog.
Thanks Momoko and Mia for showing me around, hope to see you both again soon!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Click on the image to go to my Flickr page highlighting some of my favorite pieces of the show. Please excuse the photo quality, I forgot the Nikon at home, so the iPhone had to do. This and two other pictures are credited to Jessie Schlosser Smith, Fuller Craft Museum's Exhibition Director. It was a great opening, and thank you, Wendy Tarlow Kaplan, for including my work, its an honor for it to be included in an exhibition of this caliber.