Review: Ray Yoshida’s Museum Of Extraordinary Values

Ray Yoshida’s Museum Of Extraordinary Values by Karen Patterson My rating: 5 of 5 stars I’ve had the privilege of seeing Ray Yoshida’s art collection only twice, the first time in 1994 when I was co-curating a show of bottle-cap art for Chicago’s Intuit. Ray was gracious and loaned some pieces. His collection was spectacular, […]

Southeast Sider Art

Railroad bridges over the Calumet River, with the Chicago Skyway in the background.

Chicago’s Southeast Side easily looks like a wasteland to drivers taking the Chicago Skyway as the shortest, though most expensive, path to get from the city to Michigan. But of course there are glimpses of a more interesting reality. The most obvious are the dramatic railroad bridges you see as you cross the Calumet River […]

Tour the Lakefront Stone Carvings: Oct. 11

Chicago is home to the greatest collection of outdoor stone carvings in urban America. Generations of beach-going carvers whiling away the hours left their marks on huge limestone blocks installed during the Depression to improve and protect the city’s park-lined lakefront. Many of these anonymous carvings have been destroyed as part of more recent anti-erosion projects. […]

Food Truck Visions: A Street Food Environment

The vibrant visual environment created by food trucks on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is a longtime favorite at Interesting Ideas. These photos of this vernacular art experience are from our third session there, in August 2015. You can also see some glorious details at Food Truck Visions: Art of Street Food, D.C. . See our […]

Short Review: David Plowden’s A Handful of Dust: Disappearing America

David Plowden’s photos in A Handful of Dust: Disappearing America are marvelously evocative as always. His introductory text moves them to a dimension beyond ruin porn. Usually when you see pictures of rural decay you respond to that evocativeness and to the formal beauty of the scenes. Plowdwn connects you to the stories behind these […]

Stanley Szwarc’s Visionary Cross Purposes

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Stanley Szwarc, a Polish book keeper turned metal worker and then artist after arriving in the United States, gave no indiction of being particularly religious, but he did like making crosses. A prolific creator of objects from scrap stainless steel, always demonstrating over-the-top imagination, Szwarc made hundreds of crosses, if not thousands. He produced jewelry, he made crosses to be hung on the […]