Hyde Park-University of Chicago Arts Fest 2004

A service of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference and its website, www.hydepark.org. Help support our program: Join the Conference!

The program has been discontinued, but this page retains valuable information about cultural and arts venues to visit in the area and consideration of how to showcase them. See especially the alpha run of links and addresses with brief descriptions.

Headquarters: next to the parking structure (free) at 55th and Ellis, utilizing Smart Museum (5550 S. Greenwood), Court Theater (5535 S. Ellis), and Cochrane-Woods Art Center (5540 S. Greenwood). See the events there at Headquarters schedule. Main table is in Smart Museum. Pick up a map of the fest at hq, the Art Fairs, or any venue. 57th and Community art fairs also have their own site maps and listing of displayers. 57th Fair has 250 displayers.

Below find the schedule. You may want to browse the websites of the individual institutions and organizations given in our Cultural Organizations page or the Cultural Calendar. Especially of note are the 57th Street Art Fair, Community Art Fair, Hyde Park Art Center, Hyde Park Neighborhood Club (main host and headquarters). And just because listings are small and equal-sized doesn't mean many of venues don't in themselves merit a day or more attention!!

And please note the list of sponsors, including the University of Chicago, our local aldermen, and the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce. This neighborhood-University event is planned by a large committee that draws representation from all the groups scheduled and the non-arts community organizations of Hyde Park-Kenwood and surrounding neighborhoods. It's a great "taste of Hyde Park"--and that's only the neighborhood arts. P.S.--come back in late October for the University of Chicago Humanities Open House and for the Compton science lectures for lay folks. For brief assessment of arts in the neighborhood, see our Tracking Community Trends page.

The Hyde Park Herald wrote in 2004 of the 57th Street Art Fair, in its 57th year the longest-running juried art fair in the Midwest--that began as an idea at the Little Gallery in 1948: "It is good to see that the fair has never moved from its tiny niche. 57th Street has always been its home and continues to maintain its neighborhood-like appeal. Next to 53rd Street, 57th Street is the neighborhood's most popular strip, stringing together man and pa restaurants, barbershops, bookstores and a host of independent entrepreneurs. Anyone associated with Hyde Park knows the street.

"The fair has been the stomping grounds of a handful of artists, like Richard Hunt, who went on to national and international fame. And other artists, like Vi Fogle [Uretz], who have been loyal supporters and participants from the beginning... [an] event that attracts artists, intellectuals and serious art collectors."

The 57th St. Fair has a Board of Directors, who live or work in Hyde Park. Visit their website for information or to find out how to become involved.

Trivia. The Community Art Fair was formed by and a committee of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference at the request of local artists and entrepreneurs who felt squeezed out by the increasingly large and professional/regional main fair. Due to community and arts fair dynamics, it later spun off and is now under the umbrella of the Harper Court Foundation's Arts Council. The Fair is also part of the City's Neighborhood Festivals Program.

A showcase of Hyde Park's diverse cultural offerings with

Parking--especially if your interests center around the University and the art fairs on 57th, or if you have plenty of time to take the trolleys, is the University Garage at 55th and Greenwood (free all weekend) or south of the Midway. Museum of Science and Industry's underground garage has a hefty fee.

Note that there will be even more going on that day, such as:

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Participants and venues

57th Street Art Fair. Stop 3. Sat 11-6, Sun 11-5. Free. At Kimbark Trolley. 773 493-3247. See info above.

Augustana Lutheran Church. Stop 1. Open house and tour of the Edward Dart church with art by Egon Weiner. Sat 10-2. 773 493-6451.

Calvert House. Stop 8. Sat 5 guitar mass AT BOND CHAPEL 1050 E. 59th in quads.; Sun 11 Gregorian chant AT BOND CHAPEL; Sun 5 pm Contemporary Ensemble performs at Calvert House, 5735 S. University.

Chicago Storytelling Guild. Stop 6. See Court Theatre below. Sun 1-4 Anecdotes of the Ancients at Oriental Institute, 1155 E. 58th St. 773 288-4217.

Community Art Fair. Stop 3. 11 to dusk east of the 57th St. Art Fair. 773 363-8282 (Harper Court Foundation).

Department of Music UC- Mandel Hall. Stop 7. University Orchestra and Choirs "Russian Splendors." $8, $5.1131 E. 57th. Sat 4 pm. 773 702-9075.

Doc Films- Max Palevsky Cinema Ida Noyes. Stop 5. Sat 6:15, 9, 11:30 pm. The Passion of Christ. 1212 E. 59th St.

DuSable Museum of African-American History. Stop 10. 10-5. Sat $3, $2, Sun free. 740 E. 56th Pl. 773 947-0600.

Feasting at the 57th Street Art Fair. Stop 3. Ray School PTA fundraiser. east of the school towards Kenwood.

First Unitarian Church of Chicago. Stop 8. Sat 9-6, Sun 12-2 used book/music sale. 5650 S. Woodlawn.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House. Stop 4. Sat and Sun tours every half hour 11-3:30. $9, $7. 5757 S. Woodlawn. 773 834-1847.

Hyde Park Art Center. Not near trolley stop. Sat 12-5. 5307 S. Hyde Park Blvd. Also booth at Ray School with crafts both days. 773 324-5520.

Hyde Park Historical Society. Stop 14. Sat and Sun 10-5. Tim Black will at var times be present to discuss his oral history of Bronzeville and greater South Side, Bridges of Memory. Sun 2-4 reception and giving prizes for the Student History Fair. 5529 S. Lake Park Ave. 773 493-1893.

Hyde Park and Kenwood Interfaith Council. Stop 8. Table at First Unitarian. 773 752-1911.

Hyde Park Union Church. Stop 2. Sat and Sun 1-4 docent-led tours of 19 Tiffany, Zeitleer and Connick stained glass windows. Refreshments for sale. 5600 S. Woodlawn. 773 363-6063.

Oriental Institute Museum. Stop 6. Sat 10-4, Sunday 12-4. Ongoing guided tours. Sun family festival including tours, movies, treasure hunt and storytelling. 1155 E. 58th St. 773 702-9507.

Lorado Taft Lecture and Walk. Stop 11. Sun 3pm, lecture in Midway studios by Herbert George, sculptor, who will also lead tour of Fountain of Time in Washington Park. 6016 E. 60th St.

Renaissance Society/Bergman Gallery. Stop 7. Sat and Sun 12-5. Focuses beyond contemporary to forefront. Guided tours of the Joan Jonas exhibition. 5811 S. Ellis. 7733 702-8670.

Rockefeller Memorial Chapel. Stop 5. Sun 11 Ecumenical service with homily by UC President Randel and Javanese gamelan music for gamelan and choir by I.M. Harjito.
2 pm Rockefeller Bronze: the gamelan and the carillon (James Fackenthal) unite in an outdoor concert including world-premier music. 5850 S. Woodlawn. 773 702-7059.

Silk Road Theatre Project's Precious Stones. Stop 6. Sat. 5 pm. Play by Jamil Khory. deals with Arab-Isaeli conflict and lesbian love. Campus departments and orgs. Breasted Hall Oriental Institute, 1155 E. 58th St. 312 236-6681.

Special Collections Research Center, U of C Regenstein Library. Stop 9. Sat 9-3 guided viewing of 75th anniv. exhibit on Rockefeller Chapel, "Life of the Spirit, Life of the Mind." 1100 E. 57th St. 773 702-8705.

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Headquarters venue events

Events at David and Alfred Smart Museum 5550 S. Greenwood. 11-5 pm. 773 702-0200

June 5, Saturday, 1 pm. Smart Museum's Senior Curator Richard Born discusses exchange between eastern and western designers in the early twentieth century--including Frank Lloyd Wright. In conjunction with the exhibit Taisho Chic.
Follow up program: 2:45, F.L. Wright's Robie House presents a related tour, "Japanese influence ont he architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. Call-unclear from description where this tour is.

June 6, Sunday, 1:30 pm. Tour of exhibition The Uses of Art in Renaissance Italy with curator Anne Leonard.

June 5, Saturday, 2-4 pm. Chinese Calligraphy Club. Many styles, and materials. With hands on instruction.

June 6, Sunday, 11 am-2 pm. Hyde Park Art Center presents arts and crafts activities in the lobby. 773 324-5520.

Saturday and Sunday. The Life and Work of Lorado Taft by Basin Restoration Committee. Exhibit with work and craft activities and free guide to sculpture on the Midway.

June 5, Saturday, 3:30 pm. Mariachi Fenix. Free performance in Courtyard or inside. 773 834-6788.

June 6, Sunday, 2:30-4 pm. Neighborhood Writing Alliance. Writers read their poetry and prose reflecting on life and change in Chicago Neighborhoods published in Journal of Ordinary Thought. 773 684-2742.

Events at Court Theatre 5535 S. Ellis. Saturday, June 5 only.

12 pm. Chicago Storytelling Guild. Judith Heineman and the Guild present storytelling for children of all ages. 773 288-7217.

1 pm forward. Hyde Park School of Ballet performances of ballet variations, flamenco, folk dances, student choreography. 773 493-8498.

2:30 pm. Joan's Studio for the Performing Arts. Belly dancing choreographed by Djaalaal. 773 493-9288.

4:15 and 4:45 pm. Muntu Dance Theater of Chicago. Authentic and progressive interpretations of contemporary and ancient African and African-American dance, music, folklore. 773 602-1135.


Events at Cochrane-Woods Art Center lawn. 5540 s. Greenwood. Sunday, June 6 only.

12 pm. The Shire of Grey Gargoyles of the Society for Creative Anachronism. Medieval fencing, sword fighting, singing, dancing.

1:30 pm. Le Vorris and Vox Circus. Taste of the UC student circus: juggling, acrobats, clowns, unicycle, trapeze. 773 752-5480.

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Viewpoints

Should the 57th/Community Art Fairs grow; do they need to change in other ways?

The June 2 Herald said: "It is good to see that the fair has never moved from its tiny niche. 57th Street has always been its home and continues to maintain its neighborhood-like appeal. Next to 53rd Street, 57th Street is the neighborhood's most popular strip, stringing together man and pa restaurants, barbershops, bookstores and a host of independent entrepreneurs. Anyone associated with Hyde Park knows the street.

"The fair has been the stomping grounds of a handful of artists, like Richard Hunt, who went on to national and international fame. And other artists, like Vi Fogle [Uretz], who have been loyal supporters and participants from the beginning... [an] event that attracts artists, intellectuals and serious art collectors."

[Others think it has slipped in quality and significance, or become too much of an outsiders' venue (although there are far fewer artists in the immediate community than their used to be--priced out?), or in order to revitalize should become a regional draw (it's already cramped--grow where? Northeast? surely not to Woodlawn or beyond).] The Herald continues in an article by new editor Bruce Wellner:

Preserving an old canvas or historic facade sometimes requires a fresh coat of paint. And while th successful 57th Street Art Fair may not be out of fresh ideas, Hyde Park resident Ronda Brown Saffold [also chair of the Spruce Park Advisory Council] has a few more to add.

At 34, Saffold stands as the youngest member of the 57th Street Art Fair Board of Directors, which comprises of people who either live or work in Hyde Park.

Wishing to expand the scope of the fair, she uses the Taste of Chicago and the Old Town Art Fair as models. "It can grow to being a Chicago-based event, like the Taste and Old Town," she said. "It's always been a community-oriented neighborhood fair. That's nice, but I'd love to see it grow."

Saffold acknowledged a few of her "new ideas" to a room full of fair organizers, some of whom have been associated with the event for several years, during the recent kick-off party at La Petite Folie, 1504 E. 55th St.

Straddling the line between promoting 57th as a neighborhood fair or as a full-blown city event is a dilemma Saffold described as a "delicate balance." While the fair is open to everyone and attracts huge crowds of more than 100,000 people, publicity, she said is most generated among South Siders via word of mouth and especially Hyde Parkers who grew up with the event. Spreading the word to the rest of the Chicago area is the board's next challenge, she said.

While board member Melanie Scarlata, also the event co-chairman, agrees that the fair could attract more visitors for the sake of the artists, she is not sure if Saffold's idea of promoting the fair on the level of the Taste of Chicago represents the rest of the board's ambitions. "We like to think of ourselves as one of [the] premier events on [the] South Side and [to] maintain its neighborhood feel," Scarlata said.

The fair has no problem attracting quality artists from around the country," she said. Some well-known sculptors and painters got their start at the 57th Street Art Fair, which is now celebrating its 57th year.

"Our goal has always been to provide a setting for artists to exhibit their work and for collectors to see them," said Scarlata, who has helped organize the fair over the last four years.

With about 250 entries, this year's fair is at its maximum capacity. In order to accept more artists in the future, Scarlata said the board will have to expand the size of the fair beyond the few blocks of 57th Street, Kimbark Avenue, and 56th Street. Currently, there is no talk of that happening, she said. "Our primary issue is to maintain the high standards established over the years," she said.

Both Scarlata and Saffold said organizing an event like this requires hundreds of hours of preparation. "It's a full time job," Scarlata said of the weeks before the fair, which is the pillar to the broader, University of Chicago-sponsored Hyde Park Arts Fest.

The Fair, which Saffold described as a place where "the community, art and intellectuals meet," is free and open to the public...

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