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Weekend Arts Blotter

By Staff in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 19, 2010 9:20PM

"The Winter Tiger" by Tony Fitzpatrick
By: Sam Booker

Are you young? Do you have cool friends who enjoy art and receiving gifts, but are bothered by the exorbitant prices? There's got to be a better way! And now there is! The School of the Art Institute's Holiday Sale is maddeningly suited to young person consumption in pricing and style, with posters, prints, delicate hand-drawn cards, handmade jewelry and tons of weird tiny stuff that defies categorization.

A lot of the big-ticket items go the first night, so if you're shopping around for mural sized oil-paintings you're looking at a smaller pool this weekend. That doesn't mean there isn't a lot (and we do mean a lot, there are 122 student in the show) to look at. The Art Institute has a mandatory workshop on presentation and pricing before the event, which is pretty apparent. The two floor ballroom is filled floor to ceiling with art and fresh-faced (i.e. sales hungry) young artists valiantly repping their own work. Our only complaint is that some of the work gets subsumed into the Urban Outfitter derived precious/oddball aesthetic, which isn't too bad as it's still well done, but gets a wee bit cloying at times.

So, bottom line is you should go. It's free, there's engaging conversation with the next generation of underemployed art school graduates, and it may be the best place in the city to buy art in what's left of 2010.

The sale runs Friday, November 21, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In the MacLean Center Ballroom at 112 S. Michigan Ave.

If you're looking at the established gallery scene this weekend, or just to “buy with your eyes” as Chicagoist does, there are other spots to hit this weekend...

Tony Fitzpatrick: Night Parade
FireCat Projects, 2124 N. Damen

Chicago's own Tony Fitzpatrick has converted his (huge) studio into a commercial gallery, and tonight is the opening exhibition, of Fitzpatrick's work from the last year. This is cool, local, beautiful idiosyncratic work, which can't be recommended highly enough. Fitzpatrick is a worthy inheritor of a time honored Chicago arts dynamic; wonderfully imagined work about ugly weirdness. See it.

Reception is Friday, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., exhibition runs through December 15.

Ken Fandell: Sex, Death and God
Tony Wright Gallery, 845 W. Washington Blvd.

Ok, so a weighty title, that's okay, we can get past that. The photographs (which aren't really photographs at all but photo-manipulations) are lush and incredible- but look, we're just gonna say it, tackling sex, death and god in a series of just eight works is kind of a tall order. For the mathematically minded among you that's just slightly less than three pieces per existential puzzle. The work on hand looks to be impressive, and in a few cases incredible, try not to let the title waylay you too much.

Reception is Friday, from 5p.m. to 8p.m., exhibition runs through December 31.

8th Annual Winter Arts + Crafts Expo

Evanston Arts Center 2603 Sheridan Rd. (In Evanston)

Yeah, this'll be along the lines of the Art Institute's Holiday Sale, but a significantly older crowd, both artists and visitors -extrapolate that however you like. It's probably worth stopping into, but the hike north makes it a bit of a pain, especially as the Purple Line Express doesn't run on weekends, so the trip will eat up significant time.

Reception/Preview is Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Exhibition runs through December 19.