An evening with Teresa James, Clifton Spargo, Alan Gresik and Experimental Sound Studio
When I arrived here from Paris, I didn't know much about the Chicago art scene, but something about this city, perhaps the combination of Midwestern warmth, the generous hospitality, a wild side and a rich eclectic town have led me to an array of special and truly accomplished artists.
Meet Teresa James. Teresa has been a printmaker in Chicago for the past 20 years. She was Tony Fitzpatrick's master printer for 12 years before opening up her own shop - White Wings Press - in 2002. Her work mixes drawing and etching with old world photographic processes and her prints really push the boundary between technology and handcrafted works of art. Teresa's set up also enables her to invite internationally exhibited guest artists (Fred Stonehouse, Gary Baseman and Audrey Niffenegger to name a few) who work closely with the staff to create distinct limited edition prints. Both her studio and shop are in her home in Logan Square and I'm excited for you to get to know her, understand her work and discover the printmaking process. After our visit with Teresa, I'd like to continue down the path where gems are found here in Chicago, and take us all on another level…
R. Clifton Spargo and I have been chatting about throwing a book release party for his new novel, Beautiful Fools, The Last Affair of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, (I should mention Clifton is a well-known Chicago-based novelist and his book is praised by critics from across the country.) We figured it would be dazzling to go back to the roaring twenties when Scott was a literary celebrity and Zelda was the quintessential flapper. The thought of vintage cocktails in a garden somewhere in Chicago, with everyone dressed in full attire and timeless jazz music swaying us back and forth was rather exciting. Clifton would tell us all about his novel, what he knows about Scott and Zelda and how he put the story together.
Well, I found just the right spot tucked away on Ravenswood, with a charming garden and a little stage. How appropriate that it’s a recording studio where great musicians come together to create new sounds and stories that carve the way to new eras. Let's meet there and sip on some cocktails while enjoying delicious hors d'oeuvres. Let's spend time with Clifton, have him sign copies of his book and enlighten us with secrets of the heart wrenching relationship between Scott and Zelda…
I am so pleased to announce that my friend Alan Gresik, a regular at The Green Mill, will join us for the evening. He is quite the character, an incredibly talented pianist and grand connoisseur of the timeless jazz music from the epoch. He has concocted a little something special for us; just know that if you wish to plunge back into the swing band boogie-woogie vibe of the time, he's the man to take you there. Let's honor these great artists and come in full late twenties attire… and for a fleeting moment, forget the present and fully live in the past.
photo credit: JJ Jetel