Off the Tracks with Michele: Sidetracked Studio

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I generally like to write about art that I encounter outside of Sidetracked Studio, but I’ve been fielding lots of questions about our latest show “ For Your Eyes Only”. The show is all Fine Art Erotica pieces. The most asked question was “What’s the difference between porn and erotica?” I wasn’t sure, so I looked it up! The Miriam Webster dictionary defines pornography as “the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement. They define erotica as “works of art or literature that deal with sex and are meant to cause sexual feelings : erotic works “. So basically, no difference!!
People tend to classify pornography as something “dirty” or “forbidden”. Erotica on the other hand, sounds a little more sophisticated, or acceptable. I think a lot of people are very uncomfortable with viewing porn / erotica in a public setting, which I can understand. (That’s why you can view the show online here.) Porn/erotica is all in the eye of the beholder. What you find distasteful, I may find very beautiful. That’s what makes this show so intriguing. The artistry and creativeness is undeniable. There are several pieces I found absolutely stunning. ( On Sale at Your Favorite Newsstand by Kelis Houlihan) (The torso by Thomas Wharton)


Some made me uncomfortable. A few made me giggle. (Chris Riccardo’s  “Selfie”). Most surprised me because the beauty and detail just couldn’t be gleamed over the internet.
Art should involve feelings. This art definitely does! It might make you uncomfortable, or it might totally turn you on! Either way, don’t be afraid to move out of your comfort zone and come see “For Your Eyes Only”. Who knows? You might just find a unique Christmas gift for someone special.

-Michele

Off the Tracks with Michele: The Field Museum

 

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I can’t remember the last time I visited the Field Museum of Natural History. I’m sure it was over 15 years ago! Last week my visitors asked if we could check it out, so we were off to explore!
On the steps to the entrance we were met with several unique black sculptures. They were created by the musician/artist Herb Alpert! (Did anyone else’s mom make them listen to The Tijuana Brass while they did their chores??) Alpert was inspired by cedar totem poles he had seen in Vancouver made by indigenous artists. He “took the work in more abstract directions and it became more like a jazz response.” We were off to a great start and we hadn’t even gotten inside yet!

Once inside, we were greeted by Sue the T Rex, which is always a thrill. I had forgotten that her head is so heavy (600 lbs.!!) that they have it in a separate display case.

We went upstairs to check out Sue’s skull, and found my very favorite area of the museum. The Grainger Hall of Gems.  There is some amazing jewelry on display here, as well as cases of incredible minerals and meteorites which are beautiful and awe inspiring. I kept thinking that my friend, artist / jeweler Flannery Grace Good would be in gem heaven here!!

Onward to the special exhibit “China’s First Emperor and His Terracotta Warriors”. This exhibit is totally worth the ticket price. It is so interesting and beyond fascinating. In 1974 a farmer was digging a well and revealed a major archaeological find. The tomb of Qin Shihuangdi, guarded by an estimated 8,000 terra-cotta warriors. Each warrior is unique, with distinct faces, and were hand painted. The work is an absolute marvel. Qin Shihuangdi ascended the throne at the age of 13(!!!) in 221 BC. Before the age of 40 he had conquered the last of his rivals and forged the country we now know as China.  He united his empire through a common writing system, standardizing the currency, and having a unified system of measurement. He is also credited with the construction of The Great Wall of China. The history is mind boggling, as are  the treasures and art .  This exhibit is up until January of 2017.

-Michele

For Your Eyes Only


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
contact: Rory Coyne
gallery: 847/644-5876, info@sidetrackedstudio.com

Social Media:
Facebook: Sidetracked Studio Facebook Page
Instagram: Sidetracked Studio Instagram
Twitter: Sidetracked Studio Instagram


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Harry Sudman “Kink #7″ Oil on panel 40″x40”

EVANSTON, IL – Sidetracked Studio is proud to present our second annual fine art exhibition of erotica called “For Your Eyes Only.” Last year Lauren Levato Coyne and Rory Coyne were the only artists to make erotic work.

“This year we wanted to broaden the show by inviting many other artists from around the country, some who make erotic work on a regular basis and some who are interpreting the theme specifically for this exhibition,” said Coyne.

“For Your Eyes Only developed from our celebration of ‘sugar week’,” said Levato Coyne. “In different years but somehow all during the same week in July we met, had our first date, rescued both our dogs, married, Rory moved to the United States, and it’s his birthday. So of course we have dubbed this ‘sugar week’ and by extension we wanted to make a big exhibition celebration of it as well.”

According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, the word erotic derives from Greek erōtikos — sexual love: it arouses and excites sexual desire or excitement.
This definition is still accepted today and while erotica is by definition different than pornography it can also include it. The aim of “For Your Eyes Only” is to embrace the myriad of differences in sex, sexuality, and gender by showing a diverse range of work celebrating the humor, desire, lust, pornography, body image, identity, and love that all fall under our definition of erotica.

Participating artists: Chris Riccardo, Elizabeth Claire, Ellen Greene, Harry Sudman, Jason McPhillips, Josh Rogers, Kelis Houlihan, Lauren Levato Coyne, Melissa Lee, Menton3, Michael Popilek, Michele Doll, Nadine Robbins, Reuben Negron, Rory Coyne, Thomas Wharton, Tyler Krasowski, Vanessa Walsh, Vic Selbach, Whistlemag, and Zane York.

OPENING RECEPTION Sat., July 9, 6 – 9 p.m.
 exhibition continues through July August 27, 2016 Beverages provided by New Holland Brewing Co.

Link to Facebook Event: “For Your Own Eyes Only.”

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About Sidetracked Studio 
Sidetracked Studio is the storefront studio of artists LaurenLevato Coyne and Rory Coyne founded  with collector and advisor Michele Mahon Jahelka. Throughout the year Sidetracked Studio also presents gallery exhibitions of visiting artists, workshops, and lectures. For information visit sidetrackedstudio.com or find us on social media.

Sidetracked Studio is located near purple line Main Street station and the gallery is wheelchair accessible.

532187_10151254156601661_1910377877_nBeverages provided New Holland Brewery.


Off the Tracks with Michele: Home Tourist

 

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I had some out of town visitors this weekend who had never been to Chicago before. We were on a mission to see as much of the city as possible, so we did one of those double decker bus tours. It was fabulous! We had so much fun, and I learned some new things about the city I’ve lived in my whole life. The interesting thing to me was seeing the great art scattered throughout the city that sometimes I take for granted. It was fun seeing it through the eyes of my guests. If you are looking for something to do with your kids or guests this summer, do the bus tour! Totally worth it! Be a tourist in your own city!!

One unexpected surprise for me was that the Gold Coast Art Fair was going on. I had never been before!! We decided to check it out after we snapped our pictures at “The Bean”(Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor). I was shocked at how many vendors there were!! Truly something for everyone, with varying price points and types of art. The best part of the Art Fair was bumping into one of my favorite Chicago based artists, Darren Jones. (www.darrencjones.com) Darren’s work is absolutely beautiful. His colors and textures are hard to capture in pictures, but in person they just come to life! ( He won a Best Of award from the judges!) I am curating a show at Firecat Projects in January of 2017, and Darren is one of the artists who will be in that show. Check him out on instagram darrenjonesart. I didn’t purposely plan an art filled day, but it turned out to be one!

-Michele

Off the Tracks with Michele:”The Secret Birds” at De Paul Art Museum

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IMG_4607Tony Fitzpatrick has a show up right now at the De Paul Art Museum entitled “The Secret Birds”. GO SEE IT!!! Take your kids, it’s better than the zoo. It is a visual aviary filled with some of the most beautiful birds you’ll ever see. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, Tony was really my guide into the art world, and I have long admired his work. One thing I have learned about Tony is that he loves birds. LOVES them. I follow him on social media, and as he creates new pieces they show up in his feed. One at a time these colorful beauties have popped up on my screen over the years. As I walked into the huge main room at the De Paul Art Museum and saw all of these pieces in one place it was jaw dropping. All the birds had come home to roost! I spoke with Tony on the opening night and he told me it was the only time he had seen all the pieces in one place at one time. It is a huge body of work – in fact it fills a book! Grab a book, and read Tony’s musings on his work. As you read about his thoughts and inspirations, you’ll love these birds even more.

-Michele

Off the Tracks with Michele: Chicago Cultural Mile

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Last weekend I got to have a “staycation” in Chicago and made some amazing art discoveries! My sweetheart ran the Soldier Field 10Miler, so we stayed in the south loop on Michigan Avenue near Roosevelt Road. This area has been dubbed The Cultural Mile (chicagoculturalmile.org) Who knew??
We ventured a block or so west and started walking south along Wabash to check out the neighborhood. We started seeing some really fun murals on the sides of the buildings. I just happened to glance to the side when I saw a mural that one of my artist friends had painted. “X Marks the Milky Way” by Renee Robbins (reneerobbins.com). I own a few pieces by Renee, and to see her vibrant, colorful work on such a grand scale was a thrill!! There was a couple checking it out, and I couldn’t help but blurt out “My friend painted this!!” The Wabash Arts Corridor is definitely a walk worth taking.


The next afternoon we decided to head north on Michigan Avenue. We discovered beautiful parks filled with beautiful art! One piece in particular caught my eye. From the street, it looked like a giant Rubik’s Cube. As we got closer, we realized it wasn’t a cube, but more the size of a train car. Getting even closer, we discovered that it was covered in thousands of names. Artist’s names!! The piece is by Tony Tasset and is called “Artists Monument 2014”(kavigupta.com/artist/tonytasset). Well that really piqued my interest!! I started searching for names and found a few familiar ones!

Be adventurous this summer and explore our beautiful city! I promise you will find something beautiful and unexpected!!

-Michele

Swarm


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
contact: Rory Coyne
gallery: 847/644-5876, info@sidetrackedstudio.com

Social Media:
Facebook: Sidetracked Studio Facebook Page
Instagram: Sidetracked Studio Instagram
Twitter: Sidetracked Studio Instagram


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Jason McPhillips, “Negentropy,” Oil and Gold Leaf on Panel, 10″x10″

EVANSTON, IL – Sidetracked Studio is proud to present “Swarm,” a small works exhibition. The word can be defined in different ways – from an act of aggression/protection to simply a group of animals – and we thought it high time to mount our own swarm via artists interpreting the theme. This exhibit is a wonderful spectacle of highly crafted works that are mostly no larger than fifteen inches, and an installation made of smaller components by the artists to make one collaborative piece, or swarm.

works by: Lauren Levato Coyne, Rory Coyne Jason McPhillips, Erin Gergen Halls, Anthony Cramer, Gail Potocki, John Walker, Erich J. Moffitt, Victoria Fuller, Renee McGinnis, Maike van Wijk, and Stephanie Inagaki.

OPENING RECEPTION Sat., June 4, 6 – 9 p.m.
 exhibition continues through July 2, 2016 Beverages provided by New Holland Brewing Co.

Link to Facebook Event: Facebook Event for Swarm

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About Sidetracked Studio 
Sidetracked Studio is the storefront studio of artists LaurenLevato Coyne and Rory Coyne founded  with collector and advisor Michele Mahon Jahelka. Throughout the year Sidetracked Studio also presents gallery exhibitions of visiting artists, workshops, and lectures. For information visit sidetrackedstudio.com or find us on social media.

Sidetracked Studio is located near purple line Main Street station and the gallery is wheelchair accessible.

532187_10151254156601661_1910377877_nBeverages provided New Holland Brewery. newhollandbrew.com