This past Friday I had the privilege of attending the Manifest Alumni Party hosted by my Alma Mater, Columbia College Chicago. The Manifest Urban Arts Festival is Columbia’s premier showcase of student work, featuring gallery exhibitions, live performances, fashion shows, readings and more. I met some amazing people at the alumni party, which was Brazilian themed at a great space called LOFT in the South Loop of Chicago. I really felt a sense of belonging at the party, especially when the dancing started. Everyone was so self expressed in their own way. People were dancing (and you knew who the dance majors were on the dance floor), or enjoying the vibe. It felt great to be a part of it, this melting pot of self expression – but that’s what happens when you put a room full of creative people together. I was looking at the Columbia College mission statement online, and one of the bullet points reads “to help students to find out who they are and to discover their own voices, respect their own individuality, and improve their self-esteem and self-confidence” – mission accomplished!
I saw “Coco Before Chanel” the other night. I appreciate fashion and Chanel is an icon in the fashion industry. I am also a big Audrey Tautou fan, who plays Coco Chanel in the film. And of course, it was set in France and I love France – I was French in a past life…
What I really appreciated about her story is that she lived her art. She used her talent to contribute to people’s lives. It was all about the development of her artistry for the sake of the art, not the ego.
Coco really listened to her calling, like when she decided not to pursue singing anymore and eventually opened up her own shop in Paris. It was very much about what the world demanded versus what she thought she wanted. How many times have your heard of stories about people struggling to make use of their God given talent versus what they think they should do? I know I have that internal dialogue in my head sometimes about what I am called to do with my life and what I think I should do.
Anyway, that was my take on the story of Coco Chanel, it was about the art, the legacy of her work, and the gift she had of having an eye for beauty and simplicity. I highly recommend seeing this film for those who want to get inspired about their life’s work.
Long time no blog. Last week I met my friend Harrison for dinner to reconnect. He worked with me on the tail end of a web mag and attempted social media site for an artist collective I started and managed called Fluxcore in 2001. We were reminiscing about how fun those times were. We worked for nothing and put our blood sweat and tears into the creative projects we were so passionate about for Fluxcore. I was looking through some of the old photos I salvaged throughout the years and I got really teary eyed as I viewed them. The reason being is because I looked so happy in those photos, and it looked like I was having heaps of fun. Funny thing is back in those days I thought it was such a struggle to put together these events and it seemed like there was always so much drama. So in hindsight, I wouldn’t trade the experiences I had with the people and events involving Fluxcore. It was an amazing time in my life and it helped launched and shape a lot of people involved in who they are today. I believe we had a huge impact in the Chicago art scene in the early to mid 2000s.
On Friday, I want to my friend, Shala.’s opening exhibition called “Girls Against Boys”. It was one of the most phenomenal shows I’ve seen in a while. The vibe was great and the art was excellent. I haven’t been out in the art and gallery scene for quite some time and it was refreshing to see such innovation and edge to a show. My favorite was the white room designed to alter one’s perspective.
I give major props to Shala. for delivering an amazing show. You should definitely check it out!
Here are some great murals I found in the neighborhood of West Lakeview in Chicago. They are on the side of the Army and Navy Surplus Store on the corner on Barry and Lincoln. I love finding art like this in the city. I think talent doesn’t necessarily have to be showcased in a gallery or a show. Sometimes the gorilla art element makes it more fascinating.