Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Rebecca Villareal Exhibits + St. Louis Hiphop Conf.

El Sol de los Pies Magic Friend, artist and poet Rebecca Villareal has been creating with divine inspiration since she got to Chicago a few years ago. Though she lives on the West side, she has had exhibits across the Chicagoland region, including at the university. From a recent email she sent me, here are some of her shows, which include photos like the one shown at right ("El Sol de los Pies Magic," photography by Rebeccca Villareal):

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, from 5:30pm-8:00pm, you are invited to my opening at Northwestern University’s Dittmar Memorial Gallery. The show, Telling Stories: Finding Home in Image and Verse features color and black and white photographs from around the world along with poetry installations. I’ll do a poetry reading at 7:30pm.

Dittmar Memorial Gallery at Northwestern University | October 20th-December 4th, 2005
“Telling Stories: Finding Home in Image and Verse” Poems and Photographs by Rebecca Villarreal
Dittmar Memorial Gallery
Norris University Center
1999 Campus Drive
Evanston, Illinois
(847) 491-2348
Opening October 27
with a poetry reading by Villarreal at 7:30pm

Stories free us to visit new places as ordinary as a friend's kitchen, or the proverbial far away land. No matter the location, the search for the universal remains: the identifiable and the familiar in feeling or detail. Rebecca Villarreal's photographs and poems compose a geography of transitory moments and emotions. Her verse evokes an instant in time: a glimpse of an old pair of barber shop clippers, the banter at the local laundromat, or the celebration of a niece's quinceañera: “I was born in 1989 celebrate me cake/cowboy hats and shimmering dresses/shiny faces sweating.” Telling Stories” is a sensory ride through time and place, yet Villarreal's universal themes and engaging narrative bring the viewer home.

The gallery is open from 10am-10pm daily. The show runs through December 4th. If you drive, it’s best to visit after 4:00pm when the gallery coordinator told me that you can park in the visitor’s lot without a visitor’s parking pass. You can also take the purple line to the Davis stop and walk to campus.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28—see “The Newly Dead Show” at Las Manos Gallery. The opening will also feature the music of Son del Viento, an acoustic ensemble that perform traditional folk songs from Mexico.

Las Manos Gallery | Friday, October 28, 2005, 7–10pm
5220 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL
“The Newly Dead Show: South Meets North” takes off from the traditional Mexican Dia de los muertos (Day of the Dead), a holiday embracing the inevitability of death. Each piece explores a unique aspect of death in contemporary times, including the death of past ideologies, forms, value systems, industries, and cultures. As the global network expands, some elements fall casualty, emulating the natural cycle of death and rebirth. This show calls attention to those elements newly dead, whose memory lingers simultaneously while new life, ideas, and cultures are born.

This group show brings together local artists from different parts of Chicago, and bridges the long-standing gap between the North and South Sides of the city. The pieces represent the diverse, multicultural fabric of Chicago, with each offering a personal perspective on issues that surface today, whether in Chicago or across the globe.

Please join us for the opening night of “The Newly Dead Show” at Las Manos Gallery in Andersonville. Son del Viento, an acoustic ensemble of young players that perform traditional folk songs from Mexico, will perform throughout.

I'm not sure how long this show runs, but you can contact the Los Manos Gallery directly to find out! I plan to check out the Northwestern show in the next few days.

From the First Civilizations crew in St. Louis, I received the following email:

On Saturday, November 5th, 2005, veteran hip hop artists will discuss St. Louis’ historical and present contributions to hip hop culture at UM-St. Louis in the Millennium Student Center, Century Room A, from 12 pm to 3 pm. Much is known about the early 1970s Bronx, New York origins of hip hop and significant additions made by west coast artists, such as NWA in the late 1980s. However, St. Louis did not receive national attention until Nelly broke out in the summer of 2000. Three panels of hip hop experts will talk about the early days of St. Louis Hip Hop that paved the way for today’s rap artists. Also, the panels will offer views on the present and future of St. Louis Hip Hop. This event is free and open to the public.

Nelly, Chingy, the St. Lunatics, etc. They sell a lot of CDs (I still always want to type either records or albums) and have their own highly distinctive, catchy flow. Coming from St. Louis, which is always well behind the times, I'd never have believed it possible that the city would become a source of well-known hiphop especially before larger spots like Chicago and Detroit, though it has always had many native musical traditions and produced some high-profile musicians, from Scott Joplin to Miles Davis to Clark Terry to Albert King to Chuck Berry to Lester and Joe Bowie to Billy Davis Jr. and the other Fifth Dimensions to Grace Bumbry to Ike and Tina Turner. So why not hiphop too? If you're in the Lou, the conference, on the longer history of the form in the Mound City, could be very enlightening.

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