Monday, August 31, 2009

Press Release for Sept. 11th Show at Sapere Art

Disclaimer: Apologies for simply cutting, and pasting a press release, but here goes...

Media Contact - Gary W. Marr/Owner Curator
Sapere Art/Intuitive Works
Flat Iron Arts Building
Studio 341
1579 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622

RW Ruehlen to Open New Work at Sapere Art
"It's mysterious, it's a collection - think of it as a book" - that is all RW Ruehlen will say when asked to describe his next piece opening Sept 11 at Sapere Art/Intuitive Works at the Flat Iron Arts Building on North and Milwaukee. "I will add that the future is part of the art, as is the past, and the art will unfold over and over again spinning secrets and confessions locked deep inside the mass hypnosis, ", Ruehlen went on. He won't even tell us its name!

RW Ruehlen's works already on exhibit at Sapere Art do get your neurotransmitters going with a myriad of religious, sexual, technical and other connotations driven from his vast palette of color and symbology used - this one is going to be interesting, and if as half interesting as his previous pieces, a must see.
Sapere Art/Intuitive Works is new to the art scene. Gary W. Marr a corporate escapee from the hotel world, as well as artist, decided to open a gallery in the Flat Iron as well as his own studio. He has put together quite a collection of artists currently numbering 14 with a broad range of medium and genre - the word has it, and commented on from his 3,800 and growing list of fans on Facebook - is - it works.

Marr selected the Flat Iron Arts Building from amongst a great variety of locations possible. "I wanted the input of my own art from the other tenants of the building" Marr says, "I also expect that nowadays, people might wish to buy from sources closer to the artist than 'the high rent district'... I hope I'm right" he concluded. Let's see!

Other artists on exhibit in this salon style gallery - Joe Boudreau, Nancy Charak, Meghan Current, Eulalio Fabie deSilva, Brooks Golden, Mark Lace, Gary W. Marr, Jacqueline Patrice, Rograss, Cody Sanders, Diane Schroeder, Laura Slota, Ezra Siegel and Jon Neal Wallace
Opening - Sept 11, 2009 - 6PM-10PM and running Until October 1, 2009
Sapere Art/Intuitive Works
Studio 341
Flat Iron Arts Building
1579 N. Milwaukee (at Damen/North)
Chicago, IL 60622
How to Get There:
Blue Line to Damen Stop - walk one block to the Flat Iron Arts Building
Red Line to North/Clybourne. Take 72 Bus WEST to Milwaukee/Damen, walk one block to Flat Iron Arts Building
Additional Information
on RW Ruehlen -
on Sapere Art/Intuitive Works - http://www.SapereArt.Com or on Facebook at
Attached Image -Sample of Work - Higher Resolution Available on Request
Aquarian Kryst Pollinating on the Throne of Existence
2009 - RW Ruehlen, Acrylic on Canvas, 40" Wide x 54" High

Gary W. Marr
Sapere Art/Intuitive Works

To hear about us, take a gallery tour and see our artists and their work - Visit www.SapereArt.Com
Fan and join the fun on Facebook with over 3800 fans -
See what makes Gary tick -

Visit us at The Flat Iron Arts Building
1579 North Milwaukee
Studio 341
Chicago, IL 60622

or call 312.208.1504

Read our archived Newsletters:

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Inside Studio N, and De LOUICE

Two very different designers, both with unique styles, and their own storefronts to boot...

Adrian of De LOUICE at 1755 W. North, and Natalia of Studio N at 2136 W. Chicago Ave.

Images from Verse

Verse at 1821 W. North, where Via Firenzi used to be, is closing, and relocating to the West Loop.

Savings of 70% are advertised in Verse's window, a message that lured me in as I was walking around the neighborhood this past weekend. Here are a few images, along with Verse's owner, Kortnee.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Green Roof Growers with Local, Virtual Roots

A professor in North Africa recently emailed three Wicker Park residents. He had stumbled across the Green Roof Growers blog, and plans to grow tomatoes on his roof.

"He [the professor] doesn't have much water," noted Heidi, a Green Roof gardener, though after exploring her garden, which includes 11 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, herbs, beans, peppers, eggplant (pictured), melons, eggplant and no doubt other edibles I didn't jot down during a recent visit, it's probably safe to call what's going on a rooftop farm. (Oh yeah, there's a beehive, too.)

Because the professor doesn't have much water, the soon-to-be farmer will maximize six plus hours of North African sunlight, and grow his tomatoes inside a Sub-Irrigated Planter, or SIP. Though the acronym sounds daunting, as acronyms oft do, it's just fancyspeak for a container, which can take many forms, from cbucketommercially trademarked Earthboxes, to D.I.Y. versions, like five gallon buckets-- in Heidi's case, food-grade buckets from longtime neighbor Alliance Bakery, handy during her home's "leaky roof years," and, more recently, buckets donated from the nearby Vienna Beef plant (pictured). Other SIPs include 18 gallon plastic Rubbermaid (tm) totes, and recycled pop bottles, like these.

Per Heidi, the impetus to develop her garden came from a 2006 Chicago Reader story, "The Future in a Box," ( by Martha Bayne. Soon after reading Martha's story, Heidi, and Art, her partner, both pictured, started a garden on the roof of their hheidi and monitors ome, which housed a discotheque many years ago. Art constructed a trellis, along with a spiral staircase leading to the roof after a year, or so of using the fire escape to access it. Heidi visits the garden everyday, and when she's not able to make the trek physically-- she works from home as an editor of medical manuscripts-- she can peek into the beehive, or gardens via video screen monitors that Art installed.
Joining Heidi, and Art in their growing adventures were longtime friends Russ, and Bruce. Pictured in today's masthead amid his rooftop garden, Bruce lives about a block away from Heidi, and Art. Russ gardens from his roof in nearby UK village. Initially, the trio shared their experiences via Heidi's Flikr album, and Bruce's, yet after upwards of 35,000 visitors to their albums, the trio launched the Green Roof Growers blog. There, in a recent posting, Bruce gives a tour of his garden, and speculates the culprit behind his suffering tomatoes: blight. In another post, Heidi provides an in-depth, informative recap of a SIP workshop, held at Wicker Park a few months ago.

So, is it really that simple for a landless urbanite with a patio, or roof to start growing food? Just a few buckets, soil, seeds, sunlight, a bit of TLC, and in the time-span of a growing season I could be staring at my own plate of homegrown tomatoes, like these, pictured? Heidi, a self described evantomatos via green roof growersgelist for urban growing, certainly made it seem easy enough, as did Bruce, whom confessed to not being much of a green thumb prior to starting his garden, and is now the proud parent of healthy squash blossoms, pictured. Heidi's enthusiasm was near infectious, too, though no matter how powerful, it could not build me a roof, patio, or six hours of sunlight, all of which I've lacked over the past five years, thus I remain a grower of a dozen or so houseplants, and one somewhat unlucky lucky bamboo, none of which I can pop into my mouth at whim, though, for now, however, I'm content to consume vicariously through these photographs, and share a small slice of the Green Roof Grower's story here, as I'm guessing other people in the city have roof space, and wouldn't mind procuring dinner from it, along with a tan.

Green Roof Growers is now own the blogroll, at right. Readers can also contact the growers directly at

-- This story initially appeared in the Aug 24th Pipeline eNewsletter as well as reposted on my neighbors, Eric, and Morgan's blog, Ecofiend.

Cut & Paste at CAC Gallery, now in Wicker Park

Click on the poster, below, to see a larger, more readable version.


Chicago Artists' Coalition (which recently relocated to Wicker Park, per this Examiner story) presents
Richard Shipps
Jun Jun Sta.Ana
Vanessa Vargas

Opening Reception: Thursday, September 3, 5:30-8:30pm

The exhibition will run through Saturday, September 26th.
Gallery Hours:
Wed – Fri from noon to 7pm,
Sat from noon to 5pm, or by appointment.
It is also open until 8pm on the first Friday of each month.

Coalition Gallery
2010 W. Pierce Street
Chicago, IL 60622
Ph (773) 772-2386
One block south of the Damen, Milwaukee, North Avenue intersection; Blue line Damen stop

Monday, August 24, 2009

Meble on Milwaukee Closing

Per its sign, savings upwards of 50% will continue through Meble's inventory liquidation. Run by a mother-daughter design team, Meble's eclectic, and inspiring interior designs have appeared in hundreds of homes, and many international magazines over the past 12-plus years. Pictured here is a custom built bed that Hugh Hefner of Playboy Fame slept in, albeit for a photo shoot, along with other Meble merchandise, with the exception of the Bon Voyage pillow, which comes from Findables up the street, which is also closing. I just thought it was a fitting message.

On a pop to Meble about a month, or two ago, I learned the (simple) meaning behind the store's name: meble is the Polish word for furniture. I don't want to know the Polish word for goodbye, but whatever it is, I'm bidding it, and wishing the talented ladies of Meble good wishes in the future, and will truly miss walking through their store at 1462 N. Milwaukee, which feels like a gallery. It looks like I'm not alone, either, check out the Five Star Yelper raves.

Photos from Plein Aire

Plen Aire will close at the end of next month (Sept.) after nearly five years on Division Street. It will continue to operate virtually, with new merchandise arriving each week, like this top with sheer sleeves that just came in. Blue jeans will not be sold online. Pictured here are the last of Plein Aire's jeans, with very reduced price tags.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hollywood Coupon, $5 off of $25

Don't believe everything you read on the Internet! This coupon's expiration date is now good through November 16th despite what it says about Sept. 28th. It is being revised as soon as I figure out how to change it, or just call my mom who designed it.


A (Local) Hollywood Story

Though Hollywood movie stars have popped into Hollywood Cleaners over the years, some visits documented, others existing in anecdote, the neighborhood fixture pays homage to Hollywood for the simple reason that approx. 62 years ago, its owners were trying to think of a name for their new business. Across the street, a barber shop with Hollywood in its name closed, and creative inspiration proved to be only a glance out the window for Nuzio "Bud" Raimondi, and his wife, Marie, whom purchased the barber's sign to save money, and after a few successful years created a new, custom built sign deserving of a Hollywood marquee that still stands, and was recently refurbished to look exactly as it did in 1947. The fact that actor Josh Hartnett once rolled around the floor with Hollywood's resident canine, Sammy, during a movie shoot break, is just icing on the cleaner's long history.

Despite all the real Hollywood stories, if a recent visit to Hollywood Cleaner's at 1438 N. Milwaukee is any indication, the second, and third generation of workers at this family owned, and operated business treats each of its customers like celebrities in their own right. Even if all they do is drop off their dirty laundry.

At the helm of the Hollywood ship is Phil Luparello, whom recently asked his mother-in-law, now 89, about the origin of the Hollywood name, and then passed the story onto me while chatting in Phil's office, which is pleasantly cluttered, full of sports memorabilia, autographed pictures, family portraits, saint figurines, Little League plaques, a poster of Italian movie, and television stars given to him as a gift by his sons that hangs over his desk, and dozens of other small things I didn't take notice of, but I'm sure are important to Phil. He joked that his wife isphil in office threatening to clean the entire office, perhaps streamlining to a final tchotke or two, yet it sounds like one of those arguments that's been going on for decades.

Phil was fresh from his native Italy when he arrived to Chicago around the age of 22. Formerly a butcher in Sicily, he soon met Marie through mutual friends. Marie was spending her summer breaks from school working behind Hollywood's counter at the time, and so eventually was Phil, too, after a stint working at Brach's Candy. Flash forward to 1997: Bud retires, and Phil, and Marie purchase the business. The Luparellos have two sons, Frankie, and Tony, both owners. Frankie is pictured in today's masthead with Phil. Tony helps with designing the Hollywood web site, and other materials. Frankie works full-time at Hollywood, and shares his father's penchant for extroversion, though he admittedly has differing views on whether or not Kevin Bacon whom popped in during a late 1990s shooting for Stir of Echos, was "super friendly." (Phil insists there was hugs all around, adding a panto-mined hug for extra emphasis. Frankie gave his dad an eye roll, and me a shrug)

Ever wonder why some cleaners say it'll take a few days to get your duds back? Most likely they outsource. Hollywood maintains a plant on its premises, thus enabling same day service (in by 11 a.m. out by 4 p.m.) on most items depending on what you need cleaned. An on-site seamstress can hem a pant leg, take in a waistline, repair the lining on your winter coat so you don't jingle, or stab your calve with a pen that might have slipped through the lining. Also on-site 24/7 is Sammy. With nary a prompt from Phil, Sammy will put his paws up, and lean against the counter like his owners, and coworkers.

A chamber of commerce member, Hollywood will participate in this weekend's Sizzling Summer Sidewalk Sale. Marie, whom has corresponded with me via email, and works as a realtor along with handling many behind-the-scenes tasks, would like to encourage readers to stop by during the sidewalk sale, and say 'hello.' A coupon at the bottom of this eNewsletter, offers $5 off of $25, and can be viewed/ printed via Streets of Wicker. **

**story originally appeared in the Pipeline weekly eNewsletter. If you'd like to sign up for the Pipeline, please email

Yoga, Jazzercise, and More inside Wicker Park

*****Note - the Yoga in the Park and Gardening in the Park will continue thru December.

Jazzercise-On-Going -- Wicker Park Field House-1425 N. Damen (800) FIT- IS-IT
Monday & Wednesday 6:30pm; Saturday 9:30am
For More Information - Class Description, Pricing, etc
Contact Megan Murphy
(312) -505-0045 -
CLASS ALSO OFFERED on Park District Website Fall Registration

Park District Classes in Wicker Park Field House
Classes for All Ages
On-line registration - Click on Fall Registration and then Wicker Park
www.chicagoparkdistrict .com
Walk-in Registration 8-22-2009-9am.
Questions - John Davidson, Wicker Park Supervisor (312) 742-7553

Doug Wood
Chairman - WPAC Education Committee


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cardinal Fitness Health Fair, Aug. 22nd

Too many flyers cause storage snafus on the e-Newsletter, so here is poster for an upcoming health fair, hosted by chamber member Cardinal Fitness.

Note: The $8 joiner fee, valid only on Aug. 22nd, is only for the North Logan Square location, so if you do live in Wicker Park Bucktown, be prepared for a pre-workout hike!

Thursday, August 6, 2009