Our first Detour of 2014 will be “Saturated Landscape,” a special afternoon event of an art exhibition and tour in Logan Square on Saturday, February 15. In addition to our recurring public walking tours, these one-off Detour special events usually partner with awesome experts and organizations to design unique experiences that share Chicago architecture, history and culture from new angles.
I love putting these special events together because it gives me an excuse to collaborate with people, learn new things, and dig into the archives for in-depth research.
Art Exhibit from Azimuth Projects Gallery
For this Detour we have partnered with Azimuth Projects Gallery. The two-part experience of “Saturated Landscape,” held at their apartment gallery at 2704 N. Whipple St. from 2pm-5pm, combines an intimate exhibition of landscape-inspired artwork (curated by Azimuth) with a walking tour of the everyday landscape of the Logan Square neighborhood (designed by Chicago Detours). For the art exhibit we’ll experience art that has been inspired by landscapes, and then on the walking tour we’ll go outside and interpret the landscape around us.
For the exhibit, Azimuth Projects Director Helen Maurene Cooper has curated works that illustrate the metamorphosis of landscapes that results from the growth, layering and juxtaposition of natural and manmade materials. To give you a little background, the curatorial project of Azimuth Projects has produced artist talks, supper club parties and conceptual nail art events.
I’ve been to Maurene’s special events, and they bring people together for memorable activities that go well beyond just the standard art opening (the cookies alone for Feb. 15 will be worth a trek in the snow – I’ve sampled them and it’s true).
Come to the apartment gallery, and you’ll see the latest works of artists Peter Cardone and Madeleine Bailey. Cardone has pairs of large format photographs that show a two-part process of first photographing an overgrown lot, and then clearing the location for a second image. Bailey, who is captivated by histories and mythologies of flying and falling, sky and air, makes mixed media work that layers paper and photographs of landscapes at different times of day to capture subtle shifts in location and time.
Logan Square Walking “Detour”
Because the 2:15pm walking tour of Logan Square is already filling up, we have added an additional time slot. Two limited groups of 18 can experience the walk at either 2:15pm-3:15pm (few spots left) or 4:00pm-5:00pm. The tour requires advance reservations from our website. The $12 ticket includes Katherine Anne Confections hot chocolate for the walk, hand warmers, post card gift, and a $20 gift card for a future tour with us of interior architecture or historic bars. Attendance to the art exhibition is free.
The challenge of designing a walking tour of the everyday landscape and architecture has been to make something so mundane into something interesting. Like any of our guided tours of architecture, history and culture, we pride ourselves on being smart but also sharing intriguing perspectives, concepts and stories that go beyond dry dates, names, facts and figures.
This tour is inspired by D.W. Meinig’s “The Beholding Eye,” which considers the different perspectives from which we interpret the unseen processes and messages of the landscape. And I promise you it will be quite fascinating to dig up some surprising ideas on how we relate to the world around us in our regular Chicago lives.
We’ll talk about the tour and its topics – which range from the engineering underground to why the Midwest landscape is considered so boring – in a second blog post next week.
– Amanda Scotese, Chicago Detours Executive Director