What's New This Week
The Women's Service League Annual Charity Ball was held at Berrien Hills Golf Club on Feb. 8. This black-tie event is a great place for current WSL members and community supporters to reconnect with friends and enjoy an evening of dancing and delicious food. Each year, a local charity selected by the entire Women’s Service League is awarded the proceeds from this event. The 2014 beneficiary, The HERBIE Clinic, provides free healthcare services to adults who do not have any form of healthcare coverage—including government programs.
Apr 15-20 Harre Union Jazz Fest, call for times, Valparaiso University Harre Union Ballroom, 1509 Chapel Dr, Valparaiso. 219.464.5415. valpo.edu. The Midwest's largest non-competitive jazz event spans six days and features a variety of jazz performers, including John Fedchock on the trombone on Thursday and Friday and Grammy award-winning New York Voices performing on Saturday.
May-Sept Shining Sculptures—Lighting up St. Joseph Downtown St. Joseph. stjosephpublicart.com. This art and fundraising event celebrates the lighthouses of the Lake Michigan shoreline. The public art exhibit will showcase 30 art pieces of St. Joseph's inner and outer lights. The city chose lighthouses for next year's theme after the federal government deeded the lighthouses to the city in October.
May 9 Fashion on the Shore, Heritage Museum and Cultural Center, 601 Main Street, St. Joseph. 269.983.1191. nwi.com/fots. This annual fashion show features the top student designers from colleges and design schools in the Chicago, Northwest Indiana and Southwest Michigan areas. Tickets are $25 in advance or $35 at the door. Wine and hors d'ouevres will be served.
June 7 The Annual Heartland Alliance Home & Garden Tour, 9am-5pm, throughout Southwest Michigan. heartlandalliance.org. Join Heartland Alliance for a tour of six splendid, professionally designed homes and gardens in Southwest Michigan. This spring tradition benefits the work of Heartland Alliance and its supportive and affordable housing programs that move individuals from harm to hope and into homes. The event will also feature a lunch and an after-party and silent auction.
Apr 11 Mini Taste of Munster, noon-3pm, Community Park Social Center, 8710 Lions Club Dr, Munster. 219.836.7275. munster.org. The best restaurants in Munster come together for this delicious event where attendees will be treated to samples of some of the best dishes Munster has to offer.
Apr 12 Blue Chip Brewfest, 1-3pm VIP session; 1:30-5pm general admission, Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa, 777 Blue Chip Casino, Michigan City. bluechipcasino.com. The fourth annual Blue Chip Brewfest features top microbreweries from around the nation showcasing the unique flavors of different brews.
Apr 13 Save the Dunes First Annual Fundraiser, 4-8pm, Miller Bakery Café, 555 S Lake St, Gary. 219.427.1446. millerbakerycafe.com. Miller Bakery Café and Save the Dunes partner to raise funds and increase membership for Save the Dunes during this first annual fundraiser. The evening features more than 20 boutique wines, an all-you-can-eat buffet, a silent auction, a wine raffle and live music. Proceeds benefit Save the Dunes.
Apr 26 Dark Lord Day, 10am-10pm, Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brew Pub, 9750 Indiana Pkwy, Munster. 219.922.4425. darklordday.com. Dark Lord Day is the only day of the year to buy Three Floyds Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout. DLD is the festival at Three Floyds Brewery where participants can meet other beer enthusiasts and sample beers from all over the world. Visitors can buy Dark Lord Stout, eat, listen to live music and have a great time.
Apr 26-27 Waterscape Weekend Garden Pond Expo, 9am-5pm, Lake County Fairgrounds, 889 S Court St, Crown Point. illianagardenpond.org. Wind twirlers, stone bird houses, hot tubs, outdoor fireplaces and yard art are just a few of the many exhibits guests will encounter at this 13th annual event. The day also includes water features, lighting and garden experts, plus educational seminars and workshops.
May 17 Crown Beer Fest, 2-6pm, Lake County Fairgrounds, 889 S Court St, Crown Point. crownbeerfest.com. One general admission tickets allows attendees to sample beers of craft brewers from Indiana, Illinois and surrounding states during this annual event. Attendees must be 21 years or older and present a valid I.D.
May 17-18 Voyageur Rendezvous, 10am-4pm, Grand Kankaee Marsh, 21690 Range Line Rd, Hebron. 219.769.PARK. lakecountyparks.com. During this fun and educational event, visitors will travel back more than 250 years when Northwest Indiana was primarily a marshland. Attendees will learn how merchant traders and early settlers, among others, lived and traded along the Grand Kankakee River. Activities include interactive games for kids, storytelling, a tomahawk throw, a fashion show, food and more.
Through Apr 26 Indoor Farm Market, 11am-3pm Sat, Foundry Hall, 422 Eagle St, South Haven. 269.543.4658. southhaven.org. The South Haven Farmers’ Market moves indoors for the winter with freshly picked produce, baked goods and handmade items.
Apr 24-May 10 Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, throughout West Michigan. 269.342.1166. thegilmore.org. Internationally recognized as America’s most prestigious piano music festival, this biennial festival celebrates its 25th year with performances from some of the most notable and accomplished pianists and keyboard musicians—including John Legend, Ben Folds and Rafal Blechacz—and artists just emerging on the international stage.
Apr 26 Sounds of Saugatuck, throughout Douglas & Saugatuck. 616.886.1162. saugatuck.com. Live music can be heard at various venues during this fun evening. A free shuttle is offered between venues.
May 4-Oct 5 Antiques on the Bluff, 10am-5pm, first Sun of every month, Lake Bluff Park, downtown St. Joseph. 269.985.1111. stjoetoday.com. This annual fair on the shores of Lake Michigan is a premier event for antiquers, featuring vendors from around the Midwest.
May 14 Great Gardens Party, 5:30pm, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, 1000 E Beltline Ave, NE, Grand Rapids. 888.957.1580. meijergardens.org. This gardens-themed party features a delicious sit-down dinner and a selection of beer and wine, as well as live and silent auction where guests can bid on rare plants, high-quality artwork and unique activities—including impressive trips, VIP experiences, concert tickets and more. This signature spring fundraising event supports the gardens and sculpture park.
May 22-Aug 28 Riverfront Concert Series, 7pm Thu, Riverfront Park on Water St, South Haven. 269.637.0772. south-haven.com. During this summer-long concert series, music lovers can experience a variety of musical performances—including jazz, classical, folk and contemporary—while enjoying views of boats traveling on the river and fantastic sunsets over the lake. Concerts are free to the public and attendees should bring their own lawn chair or blanket, as well as a light coat.
Ongoing Chicago French Market, 7am-7:30pm Mon-Fri, 8:30am-5:30pm Sat, 131 N Clinton, Chicago. 312.575.0306. frenchmarketchicago.com. More than 7,000 people per day visit Chicago’s first and only year-round indoor marketplace for fresh ingredients for cooking at home, delicious grab-and-go options for every meal, meaningful gift items and more from local vendors. Also, through Dec 20: Marché de Noël.
Through Jun 15 Envisioning China—A Festival of Arts and Culture, various locations around the University of Chicago Campus, Chicago. 773.702.2366. arts.uchicago.edu. This five-month festival features more than 40 events and exhibitions related to Chinese cultural history. The diverse selection of art, film, music and performance events are free and open to the public, supporting the festival’s mission of creating a dialogue around Chinese art and heritage.
Apr 11 UNICEF's Message of Hope Gala, 6:30-midnight, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago’s Grand Ballroom, 120 E Delaware Pl, Chicago. 312.222.9121. unicefusa.org. This annual gala features entertainment, exciting live and silent auctions, a raffle and dancing at the After Party. Funds raised benefit The Eliminate Project—a partnership between the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and Kiwanis International to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus from the face of the earth by 2015.
Apr 25-26 Bacon Fest, 7-9:30pm Fri, 12:30-3pm 7-9:30pm Sat, UIC Forum, 725 W Roosevelt Rd, Chicago. baconfestchicago.com. Chicago's best chefs concoct and serve bacon dishes, complimented by cocktails, beer and wine. “Bacontrepreneurs” and bacon-friendly brands show off their wares.
May 3 Steppenwolf’s Gala 2014, 6:30pm performance; 7:15pm festivities, Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N Halsted, Chicago. 312.654.5632. steppenwolf.org. Members of Steppenwolf’s acclaimed ensemble reunite for this gala, serving as hosts for an exclusive 30-minute performance, a lively cocktail reception and seated dinner, a live auction featuring extraordinary adventures with the artists, a live rock concert and after-hours cocktails with a late-night DJ set. The gala benefits the theater, allowing it to produce ambitious plays and impact a young audience through educational programs.
May 10 American Beer Classic, session 1: 1-5pm; session 2: 7-11pm, Soldier Field, 1410 S Museum Campus Dr, Chicago. Americanbeerclassic.com. Beer enthusiasts can sample beers from a diverse lineup of the country's finest breweries and mingle with fellow beer lovers. The menu includes ballpark classics—hot dogs, burgers, pretzels and more.
May 13 A Taste for the Arts—Annual Gala, Harris Theater at Millennium Park, 205 E Randolph, Chicago. atasteforthearts.org. Delight in the talents of the Chicago's most promising young artists and in the innovative tastes of the city's most prominent chefs at this annual gala and performance, a special evening to support the Chicago Academy for the Arts.
Through May 10 Embroidered Archetypes, Lubeznik Center for the Arts, 101 W Second St, Michigan City. 219.874.4900. lubeznikcenter.org. Twenty-two embroidered images depict the symbols of the tarot. Each panel by Laurel Izard is small and highly detailed. Each uses embroidered colors to create dramatic texture and color combinations. Also, through May 10: What is Left Unspoken; May 16-Jul 26: Material Possessions and Ignorance with Wings by Michael Bill Smith.
Through May 18 2014 Thesis Exhibition by BFA and MFA Candidates, The Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame. 574.631.5466. sniteartmuseum.nd.edu. A culmination of the projects of students graduating with a BFA or MFA degree from the Notre Dame Department of Art, Art History and Design, this exhibit features a broad range of works—from industrial, graphic design and complex multi-media installations to more traditional art forms, such as paintings, photographs, prints, ceramics and sculpture.
Opens Apr The Banquet, Southern Shore Art Association, 724 Franklin St, Michigan City. 219.369.9028. southernshoreartassociation. During the month of April, long custom tables will feature “tableware” from a multitude of artists in a variety of media. Table arrangements will include plates, bowls and goblets created from wood, ceramics, alabaster, textile and glass, by gallery and regional artists, with small paintings and photographs as placemats. Also, May: Art in Good Taste.
Apr 16-May 11 Valparaiso University Art Student Exhibition, Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso University Center for the Arts, 1709 Chapel Dr, Valparaiso. 219.464.5365. valpo.edu/artmuseum. Valparaiso University studio art students exhibit their artwork, which has been selected by their professors. Also, through May 11: Valparaiso University Art Faculty Exhibition, and Classical and Popular School Japanese Paintings from the Walter and Dörte Simmons Collection.
Apr 27-May 25 40th Annual Tri-County Junior/Senior High School Art Show, Center for Visual and Performing Arts Atrium Gallery, 1040 Ridge Rd, Munster. 219.836.1839. southshoreartsonline.org. Student artwork submitted by their teachers is on display for a chance to win monetary prizes. Students attend schools in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties in Indiana and south suburban Cook County, Illinois.
Through Apr 16 Inspiring Future Artists, Box Factory for the Arts, 1101 Broad St, St. Joseph. 269.983.3688. boxfactoryforthearts.org. Artwork by local middle and high school students will be on display in all galleries.
Through Apr 30 Butterflies are Blooming, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, 1000 E Beltline Ave, NE, Grand Rapids. 888.957.1580. meijergardens.org. The butterflies return to Frederick Meijer Gardens once again. The largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibition in the nation offers guests the chance to mingle with butterflies from all over the world flying freely in the Tropical Conservatory. Also, through Apr 27: Committed to Paper—Master Drawings and Prints by Sculptors; May 10-11: Michigan All-State Bonsai Show; May 23-Aug 17: David Nash: From Kew Gardens to Meijer Gardens.
Apr 12-May 18 High School Area Show, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, 314 S Park St, Kalamazoo. 269.349.7775. kiarts.org. This annual juried exhibition features work by artists 18 and younger in grades 9-12 in local counties. More than 100 pieces of art are featured in a variety of media—glass, 2-D, 3-D, video, ceramics, metal, jewelry and more. Also, throughMay 4: Environmental Impact; through May 25: Inside Steinway—Photographs by Christopher Payne; through Jul 5: Cultural Encounters—India, Burman and Tibet; Mar 8-30: Young Artists of Kalamazoo County; May 17-Aug 16: West Michigan Area Show.
Apr 25-Jun 22 Krasl Art Center Biennal Sculpture Invitational and Ken Thompson, Krasl Art Center, 707 Lake Blvd, St. Joseph. 269.983.0271. krasl.org. A selection of 25 sculptures by some of the finest and most creative sculptors working today grace the KAC grounds and other nearby locales. Working models and sketches are on display indoors, plus a solo show by 2012 Purchase Award winner, Michigan sculptor Ken Thompson. Also, through Apr 20: Heather Parrish and The Harmon and Harriet Kelly Collection of African American Art—Work on Paper.
Apr 25-Jun 1 Impressions of South Haven, South Haven Center for the Arts, 600 Phoenix St, South Haven. 269.637.1041. southhavenarts.org. Young budding artists from local elementary schools showcase their talents during this exhibit. Also, through Apr 20: Building Blocks.
May 2-Jun 15 Northern Indiana Artists—Curated Exhibit, Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve, 13988 Range Line Rd, Niles. 269.695.6491. fernwoodbotanical.org. This exhibit by the Northern Indiana Artists group features their latest work. Also, through Apr 27: Sally Hughes—My Garden through the Seasons.
Through Sept 1 National Geographic Presents—Earth Explorers, Museum of Science and Industry, 57th St and Lake Shore Dr, Chicago. 773.947.3133. msichicago.org. This exhibit journeys to the wildest places on the globe, highlighting the Earth's spectacular eco-zones—polar regions, oceans, rain forests, mountains, caves, and savannas. Also, through May 4: Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives; through Sept 1: 80 at 80.
Through Jan 4 The Machine Inside—Biomechanics, The Field Museum, 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago. 312.922.9410. fieldmuseum.org. The marvels of natural engineering are on display during this exhibit, which explores how living things—including humans—are machines built to survive, move and discover. Also, through Sept 7: Opening the Vaults—Wonders of the 1983 World’s Fair, through Feb 1: Before the Dinosaurs—Tracking the Reptiles of Pangaea; through Jun 7, 2015: Bunky Echo-Hawk—Modern Warrior.
Opens Apr 18 Modern Masters Return, The Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago. 312.629.6635. artic.edu/aic. This renowned collection of modern European painting and sculpture returns to its home on the third floor of the Modern Wing with more than 100 works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall, Constantin Brâncusi and Salvador Dalí. Also, through Apr 13: Amar Kanwar—The Lightning Testimonies and Isaac Julien—The Long Road to Mazatlán; through Apr 20: Ugo Rondinone—we run through the desert on burning feet, all of us are glowing our faces look twisted; through Apr 25: Africa—The Modern Eye; through Apr 27: Renior's True Colors—Science Solves a Mystery;through May 4: Iterations—John Ronan's Poetry Foundation; through May 11: Christopher Wool; through May 18: Christopher Williams—The Production Line of Happiness and Nilima Sheikh—Each Night Put Kashmir in Your Dreams; through Jun 1: Dayanita Singh; through Jun 15: The Thrill of the Chase—Drawings for the Harry B. and Bessie K. Braude Memorial Collection; through Jun 16: Hired Hand; through Jul 27: When the Greeks Ruled Egypt; May 14-Oct 5: Nairy Baghramiam—French Curve/Slip of the Tongue.
May 3-Oct 5 Unbound—Contemporary Art After Frida Kahlo, Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago. 312.280.2660. mcachicago.org. Stemming from the artist's interest in language and poetry, this exhibition is organized like a poem and divided into several sections or stanzas, with each section featuring works in several media. Pieces on display range from sculpture and ceramics to drawing, textiles and painting. Also, through Apr 13: CITY SELF; through Apr 15: Lilli Carré; through Apr 20: Amanda Ross-Ho; through May 18: William J. O'Brien; through Jun 15: Warhol and Marisol; through Jul 13: Alexander Calder; Apr 12-Aug 3: Isa Genzken—Retrospective; Apr 29-Sept 16: Zachary Cahill.
Stephan Wanger was lately in Natchitoches, Louisiana discussing a Bead Town promotion in honor of the city’s status as the oldest city in the Louisiana Purchase. Natchitoches was established in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, who diplomatically named the town after a local Indian tribe. But before he gets to that project, he’s back in New Orleans, where his home and gallery (Galeria Alegria) are located in the French Quarter, talking with me and Robert Hanrahan, who is managing the promotion of Methodist Hospital Foundation’s Mardi Gras-themed fundraising efforts which culminate each year in mid-February with a masked ball. (The prize for the head of the Krewe raising the most funds for the foundation is to get to be King and Queen at the Methodist gala. Also at the fundraiser, there will be a drawing for a trip to the real Mardi Gras, which officially occurs on Tuesday, March 4th.)
Stephan and Robert met for the first time by chance at the Fat Tuesday celebration last February. Stephan Wanger’s Bead Town projects were already locally famous by then. Although Stephan arrived in New Orleans right after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, his project of creating works of large, publicly displayed, destination pieces of art out of recycled beads, took several years to get going and longer than that to have an impact.
Working with recycled beads was labor intensive so Stephan would typically take five or six weeks on a commission “to pay the rent,” as he says and then move on to the next job. Gradually he got opportunities to work with schools and other civic groups but 2010, when he created NOLA’s Resilience was the big breakthrough for Stephan. “I got a local actress to put on this veil and makeup and created this piece,” a mosaic of her head, with two tombstones in the background one for Hurricane Katrina and another for the BP Oil Spill, measuring six-by-eight feet.
The artwork, which contains 200,000 beads, was unveiled five years after the hurricane and one month after the Macondo leak was plugged, on August 26, following a jazz funeral to the JW Marriott hotel. That anniversary event received worldwide coverage and after that Stephan was inundated with requests for fundraising art projects.
“And here’s how I’m making money in the meantime. I’m executing these social living events at the Galeria Alegria, charging $45 per person, for food and frame-making and everybody is coming in and making bead art and these events would sell out in a week,” he explains. Then there were more out-of-town gigs that attracted tourists to small towns nearby like Natchitoches, like Winnsboro, Louisiana where Stephan had 10 locations for Bead Town—four in schools—that drew thousands of visitors in 2012. The following year was a triumph with 1.5 million recycled beads cut and placed by an army of volunteers to create the Paragons of New Orleans a night skyline 8-feet high and 42 feet long to benefit the Arc of Greater New Orleans and the St. Michael Special School, two non-profit bead recyclers.
Stephan, who was born in West Germany, but traveled as a naval soldier and decided to move to Chicago in 1990. He graduated with a degree in marketing and advertising from Columbia College in 1996 and worked for Mayor Daley’s Office of Special Events on projects including the Democratic Convention that year. Stephan learned a great deal working in the city and came into contact with the Creoles there. He decided to leave Chicago, he says, after the big projects were played out. He ended up in New Orleans after the hurricane because he thought there would be opportunities. “I just moved down here,” he says. “I was thinking I could just pick up a hammer and build a roof. I was in my mid-30s then. I wanted to be outdoors.”
The chance to bring Bead Town to Northwest Indiana seemed logical and natural to Robert and Stephan. By the time Stephan and his crew (workers who hold workshops and help volunteers create and install Bead Town art) arrive here in December there will be several locations including the Miller Arts and Creative District’s Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts where bead art will be created and exhibited. Another location will be the "old" library on Court Street in downtown Crown Point.
The work and the fun, Robert says, will get underway with the opening exhibits on January 6th and will last about six weeks. If it’s anything like other Bead Town’s some projects will be more family oriented than others. For adults there are the possibilities of restaurants sponsoring mask-making and frame-making workshops. Schools may opt to create and auction their own mosaics of bead art. There will be two major piece specifically created as a donation to the Methodist Foundation.
Skeptics may challenge this idea, considering the weather and the time of year in this area. Stephan understands that but he’s confident, nevertheless. He believes in the “outcome itself,” he says. “It’s the art form itself. There is nothing to compare it to; it’s a collective work that makes the outreach perfect.”
Recycled beads from Mardi Gras necklaces have been reworked into dazzling pieces of art to go on display next week in Crown Point and Gary and soon in Valparaiso.
The exhibits by New Orleans self-taught artist Stephan Wanger are part of a fundraising effort by the Methodist Hospitals Foundation to enhance and advance services at its Gary and Merrillville facilities. Ten Krewes raise money at separate events leading up to the February ball. There is a drawing for a trip to New Orleans' Mardi Gras at the Methodist gala and anyone can enter that drawing.
Wanger's Bead Town exhibits in Northwest Indiana, which will be displayed in Gary at the Marshall Gardener Center in Miller and also in Crown Point at the "old" library on Court Street, are just part of the program. While Wanger is in region he will be creating---with the help of student artists---two pieces of work, that will become part of his traveling exhibtion.
"We engaged (Wanger) to exhibit his Bead Town for the first time out of Louisiana so residents can experience it, and to raise money for the foundation," said Robert Hanrahan, Methodist Hospitals Foundation executive director.
The series of exhibitions and events will begin on Monday, January 6th to coincide with Twelfth Night, marking the end of the Christmas season and start of carnival season in New Orleans.
The Twelfth Night reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Monday at the Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts, 540 S. Lake St., Gary. Another event will take place next weekend on Sunday in Crown Point. Details are being finalized for a site in Valparaiso, Hanrahan said.
The Methodist's fundraising campaign culminates with the gala on Feb. 13th.
Hanrahan said he met Wanger during a visit to New Orleans and was "stunned" when he saw his work.
Some of the works Wanger creates for Northwest Indiana will incorporate local recyclable materials, possibly including some steel-related.
All local schoolchildren have been invited to take part in student workshops at the Gary and Crown Point locations.
For more information about the events and workshops, call Maria Diaz at the Methodist Hospitals Foundation office at (219) 886-4468.