Tuesday, February 02, 2010

call for entries

50 ALDERMAN/50 ARTISTS: A Group Show
How many Chicagoans know what their alderman looks like? How many Chicagoans can tell you who their alderman is, and what they have been doing lately? We're not pollsters, so we don't have any hard data to provide answers to these questions -- but we are artists, and we're interested in using art as a vehicle in depicting and learning more about the 50 elected officials who represent us at City Hall. To this end, we invite other Chicago artists to join us in producing 50 ALDERMEN/50 ARTISTS: A group exhibition of portraits that will enable people to learn more about the 50 aldermen who make up the Chicago City Council and raise awareness of local government. The show takes place Friday, March 16 from 7-11pm at the Johalla Projects Gallery, 1561 N. Milwaukee.
For the exhibit, 50 artists from across Chicago will be invited to choose one alderman to feature in a 16"x22" portrait, using their media of choice. Participating artists will be required to interview or attempt to interview the alderman they are depicting. All 50 aldermen will be invited to the opening, which will include biographical information and a voter registration table. In addition to the show, we hope to feature the 50 alderman portraits — as well as portraits of Richard M. Daley and Cook County Board President Todd H. Stroger — in a book.

Aldermen serve four-year terms, during which they vote on regulations and rules that affect all of us. And sometimes they participate in the notorious Chicago political machine: Since 1974, 30 aldermen have been convicted of federal crimes ranging from tax evasion to bribery. (A couple of others died before going to trial.) Whether ethical or corrupt, aldermen make our city what it is, and make Chicago's history. 50 ALDERMEN/50 ARTISTS hopes to acknowledge this fact, as well as celebrate the richness of our local political culture.
The kickoff event for 50 ALDERMAN/50 ARTISTS will be Friday, Jan. 15 at Debonair Social Club, 1575 N. Milwaukee. This event will be a meet-and-greet for all artists involved, and where artists are matched up with their alderman. This will also be an opportunity to answer any questions artists may have.
In keeping with the spirit of 50 ALDERMAN/50 ARTISTS, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to a nonprofit, non-partisan voter registration organization. Not only do we want to inform people about the aldermen who make a daily impact on our lives, we also want to give people the tools to act on that information. The voter registration group, (tbd), will register voters at the March 16 opening.


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