Catherine Laraia

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2nd Fridays have local artists’ studios open for public view

Every second Friday of the month is the opening of Chicago artists’ galleries and workspaces in the Chicago Arts District  from 6 to 10 PM and The Fine Arts Building (410 S. Michigan Avenue) from 4:30 to 9:30 PM. Chicago Arts District If you are near South Halsted and 18th Streets, try to stop at one of thirty independent galleries of emerging, established, and energetic artists. This is a spot to locate unique and trendy creations that would most likely not be seen in a museum. If the... [more]
Posted by Catherine Laraia on 8/9/11

Martinis and Glass

Ken Saunders Gallery  is open Thursday night, August 4, from 5-7PM, exhibiting outstanding and ground-breaking glass sculpture artists, while serving dirty martinis. Currently featured last month was Stephen Powell, who will continue to showcase fabulous creations for this Thursday night, until early September. Powell’s talent is beyond words and worth viewing live. His pieces are only to be seen in person to truly capture the effective artistic power he obtains. Each work is uniquely... [more]
Posted by Catherine Laraia on 8/3/11

The Chicago Project at Catherine Edelman Gallery

Catherine Edelman Gallery  launched their fourth local photography project this month, titled The Chicago Project IV, showcasing twelve young Chicago talents on the gallery walls until September 3, 2011. The primary goal of Edelman was achieved on their opening night, July 15th, where the venue was packed like sardines, minus the smell. These new, exhibiting photographers were exposed to the true gallery experience, while the eyes of local Chicago admirers could say the same about such... [more]
Posted by Catherine Laraia on 7/28/11

Dogs, pearls, high-heels, and ornate mirrors

Yes, this title is correct. Perimeter Gallery  features new works by Greg Murr called “Nature,” until September 2, 2011, that houses a variation of works containing dogs, pearls, high-heels, and ornate mirrors. Despite an illustrative and somewhat playful execution, these works contain a deeper, more serious importance than originally perceived. Instead of luring in the average dog or shoe lover, Murr introduces an issue with human nature in relation to news media complexities seen today,... [more]
Posted by Catherine Laraia on 7/25/11

The End: New works by Amy Casey at Zg Gallery

What will the end of the world look like? What about in a dream? Amy Casey, a curious artist with a solo exhibit at the Zg Gallery until September 3rd, examines a reoccurring dream about the end of the world in a new collection "Boomtown: New Paintings." Her works appear to reflect “the nervous state of affairs the world seems to be in.” ( From natural to unnatural disasters, Casey portrays urban settings trapped within ropes and thick strips made of brick.... [more]
Posted by Catherine Laraia on 7/23/11

Cartoons are art too!

Currently at Jean Albano Gallery , cartoon strips, watercolors, and iris prints by the infamous cartoonist for The New York Times, Jules Feiffer, dance with witty charm, up and down the gallery walls until August 26th, 2011. New York based, Feiffer portrayed urban chaos as an outlet for clever humor therapy. He took situations relatable to all, and enjoyed by all. He included many topics of discussion including city life, politics, and relationships. One cartoon strip filled with a dark sense... [more]
Posted by Catherine Laraia on 7/20/11

Old Master paintings preserved by Contemporary Photography at Schneider Gallery

What better ways to preserve and present Renaissance portraits than with the use of photography? Artists RES and Constanza Piaggio, featured at the Schneider Gallery  until August 26th, analyze the ‘history of the pose’ by rendering contemporary people in compositions exactly derived from the genius minds of Renaissance artists, but do they reveal similar meanings? When in contact with RES and Piaggio’s Roman Tevez & Maria Alche, 2006, most art historical admirers should automatically be... [more]
Posted by Catherine Laraia on 7/12/11

Asian Art in high demand: What does Chicago have to offer?

The Spring of 2011 art season produced millions of dollars for Asian Art at Hong Kong and American auctions. Sotheby’s Hong Kong averaged $447 million (, while Christie’s Hong Kong sale brought in $515 million (  Meanwhile, in Chicago, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers grossed over $4.5 million, an outstanding amount since the sale was estimated at $1 million ( Art trends are commonly connected to the most popular sales at auctions, thus the art market determines... [more]
Posted by Catherine Laraia on 7/8/11

Contemporary wood sculptures going green

Natural materials like stone, wood, and mud, have been popular mediums for art since the Stone Ages. How can these ancient materials used for art today remain contemporary? Wood and stone artist, Firat Erdim, now exhibited at Roy Boyd Gallery  uses wood to create a vision. An amalgam of issues from identifying nature to the practice of deconstructing and reconstructing raw material, Erdim builds an empire of wooden posts trapped within the gallery, overpowering any observer with awe. Each... [more]
Posted by Catherine Laraia on 7/2/11

Nicole Gallery’s positive view on art, life and mangos

There is more than contemporary Haitian, African, African-American and Shona stone sculpture art featured at Nicole Gallery (); there is chance to escape the horrors of the world. A powerful statement to offer, but Nicole, owner of Nicole Gallery, declares this statement as a reality for everyone upon entrance into her mango-colored space. A majority of art today displays a negative, depressive influenced message. When viewing art, why be reminded of painful tragedies seen every day? Nicole’s... [more]
Posted by Catherine Laraia on 6/24/11

Freezer Art: Abstract Expressionism frozen in time-How this style remains 'new'

A style since the end of the 1940s that continues to survive with much popularity, and currently featured from works by Katherine Perryman and Sijia Chen at the Zhou B Art Center (, abstract expressionism has not disappeared from the forefront of contemporary art. What is it about this style that relates to our world today as it had for the passed sixty years?  And why do we continue to look at this style as ‘new’?  Vivid colors and foreign forms hide the white walls of the main gallery, where... [more]
Posted by Catherine Laraia on 6/19/11

Life-sized trompe l'oeil stops pedestrians at windows of Ann Nathan Gallery

When art becomes a mind game for reality rather an outlet for decoration is proof that the role of art in our everyday lives is worth more credit than given. How can art stop a pedestrian from their rhythmic step and cast the viewer under a spell to question reality? Artist Marc Sijan, currently featured at the Ann Nathan Gallery  and his hyper-realistic human sculptures express such powers.            Sijan, along with similar artists Duane Hanson and John DeAndrea, adjusts an ancient... [more]
Posted by Catherine Laraia on 6/15/11

Calling all 'Freaks': Odd art at the Carl Hammer Gallery

The Freak Show is in town! Get front row seats to witness a live, graphic history of vintage sideshow banner art presented by Carl Hammer Gallery (). Large banners hang from the gallery’s floor to ceiling and suggest a walk on the wild side of circus life, the side of humans with abnormalities. A four legged lady, a human unicorn, and a tattooed girl were displayed as freaks and these banners were their billboards. Most notable banner painters, Fred Johnson and Snap Wyatt, set the stage for... [more]
Posted by Catherine Laraia on 6/10/11