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Added Jun 17 2014

Artist of the wall just happened, and I started thinking about the artists of our neighborhood. I doubt there is a building without one. Some are easily pointed out, thanks to our neighborhood galleries and studios, but I know for a fact that we are just scratching the surface. Several actors that frequent the Lifeline stage live in the RP, and we have several dance studios. So who all is out there?

I firmly believe that we should be supporting each other's work, and I mean beyond the Glenwood Ave Arts Fest. I would love to see what you do, and tell you what I think, and I'm sure the other neighbors would too.

My husband is one such unseen artist. He writes and performs in a comedy podcast. It's a fake children's show, and I think he does a remarkable job. He gets more and more discouraged as he is receives less and less support and feedback, and that's just messed up. We're a community, right?

So what do you do? Give us a link. Let's talk about it.

  • Patti Rogers Park Resident

    There is a poetry reading in Rogers Park this Sunday at Towhead. A Rogers Park resident, Sarah Carson, will be reading from her new book. Here's the Facebook invite:

    I would love to see more readings in RP. :)

  • My husband is a Shakespearean actor, and I'm a puppeteer. I'm also an artist, painting sets & scenery & sculpting/building puppets. Sadly though after 3 years we're moving out of Rogers Park. But on the bright side we're moving to England, near where Shakespeare was born :)

  • Erin,

    My husband, Martin McCormack, is another 'unseen' artist. At least in Rogers Park for sure and in Chicago generally.

    He's half of the band Switchback, who have been performing nationally and internationally for over 20 years.

    It is weird how artists can gain recognition everywhere but at home!! Let's strengthen our RP artists ranks and support each other. NO artist should be discouraged from making their contribution.

    I do believe there is a RP Arts Alliance that meet once a week (month?). My husband attended at least one meeting until our lives became ruled by our new baby!


  • Kevin O'Neil Long-time Rogers Park resident and activist

    Erin, where's the link to your husband's podcast. Sounds cool!

  • Could you reply with the time of the poetry reading on Sunday?

  • Oh no, Dafford! You'll be missed. See? This is why we need to find out what we have in our own back yard before what we have moves to England! :)

    Anne - I'm very excited to check him out! Do they ever perform around here?

  • THey've performed a couple of big shows at the MayneStage but I think the venue is going in another direction.

    I wish we had a building dedicated to arts in RP -- where we could do shows and exhibits of all sorts. Music, visual art, theatre, puppets, sculpture, etc etc. Something with a supportive community vibe rather than a club mentality.

    I second Kevin's request!

  • Herbisoris, I can't agree more! Having an arts-focused community center would be amazing. Someone needs to write up that grant ;)

  • I haven't heard any more about what's happening with the old firehouse on Greenleaf near Clark. I was a little disappointed by the options proposed at the community meeting because I think it would make a fabulous arts and community event space to showcase and support our local artists. Has anyone heard anything on the status? Is it too late to rally some investors and energetic creatives to build something awesome there? Imagine affordable studios and gallery space, a shared commercial kitchen for promising entrepreneurial chefs, an intimate performance venue -- exactly the kind of space that would further support the local arts scene and provide some much-needed economic development for that stretch of Clark.

  • That's a great idea! Whoever finds out details, let us know! I can volunteer to help out if it might be possible (until September when we move).

  • Percussionists over 30 years
    I lived at artist in residence 6161 n Winthrop( over 15 yrs ago) before coming to Rogers Park. I have played at The Note( with Von freeman ) the Green Mill Green, Dolphin street, Morseland and i also played with the Music Conservatory as a child from morgan park / beverly hills. That idea of using the abandoned firehouse sounds plausible.With little remodeling it could be used for art space performance space and you could hold street fairsright infront of it .Maybe you could incorperate it into the clark street fair as a prelude to it .I would love drum circles to be held inside of it or outside of it, that would be fun and neighborhood interactive.

  • Kevin - Of course my internet went down as soon as you asked about my husband's podcast.

    Stephen's podcast is The Children's Hour of Knowledge (but each episode is 10 about minutes, and definitely not for kids). There is an overarching story (though it might not seem that way at first), so it's best to start at the beginning. I think the entire series only amounts to about 3.5 hours thus far.
    Here is the site:
    And here is the Facebook page:

    The whole thing is written, voiced and edited by just Stephen and his friend, Brendan. Stephen does the voice of Bongo and all of the guest puppets until season 2, when they start having some internet-celebrity guests.

  • Dafford - Oh my gosh! It just occurred to me! How soon are you moving? I was going to get a hold of a puppet maker for my husband's podcast! It's fake puppet show (it's supposed to be a radio show, so there aren't any actual puppets). He was hoping to get an actual puppet for Bongo, the main character, so that they could use him at their booth at Cons. Are you too soon to talk to me about that?

  • Double-Artist Household here!!

    My boyfriend is a classically-trained realist oil painter (think DaVinci, Rembrandt, etc) who is currently building a body of work and will be doing a solo show in the next year. In our living room / studio right now are 4 life-size figurative paintings, several nudes as well as many many landscapes and still lifes. He's CRAZY talented.

    I am a fourth-generation floral designer and sculptor. I work full-time at the Anna Held Floral Studio in the Edgewater Beach Apartments. (the big pink castle) We primarily do weddings, special events and corporate work, but also love doing custom everyday designs as well as making FLOWER DRESSES as we did this past week for Fleurotica, a benefit for the Garfield Park Conservatory.

  • Erin, we're moving in September, so there's possibly time, when is the event? Does he have character concepts already in place, or a style of puppet (shadow puppet, rod puppet like many Muppets, marionette, etc).

    Send me a message :)

  • He doesn't have anything scheduled as of yet, but they are going to get into the con circuit in the winter and spring. His birthday is in July, and it would be killer to surprise him with it, but I know that that's probably too soon. I can totally show you some drawings of Bongo. He's a Muppet-style puppet. This is so potentially exciting!

  • Kevin O'Neil Long-time Rogers Park resident and activist

    Erin, I love this: "Not for children. Not an hour. Contains 0% knowledge."


  • larry from Been trying to get away from here for too long now

    I make pictures of old vehicle and put them on my website

  • John Warner 14 year resident - Rogers Park Positive Loitering

    Erin - tomorrow night there is a community meeting at the Field School for an Artist Community Building or something like that. It's a "grass roots" type of meeting at 6:30. You might be interested in going and have the other folks to go to. I would be going, but I have CAPS at 7 so I won't be able to. Here's the link for the article from RPBA -

  • Timjz Optimistic Rogers Parker

    My partner is an artist and did quite well until the economy tanked. He would still love to paint, but we have become too busy with our job that actually pays. It is a shame that, we, as artists are supposed to just be happy painting/creating art because we love it and have a passion for it. Wouldn't it be nice to make a living doing it? Nice job Erin for starting the conversation, thank you!

  • Thanks John! I'll see if we can make it! Perfect timing with this conversation, right?

    Kevin - Oh yea! I'm glad you are checking it out! I re-listened to season 1 today, and I started feeling super proud during episodes 14 and 15.

  • Tim, it is in part a cultural thing, I think. The US doesn't value its artists like, say, Canada values theirs. I started out believing art was the road for me and got it beaten out of me as a young adult -- not necessarily by my parents, just from societal messages in general. I still ended up picking totally non-lucrative careers anyway (writing, herbalism), heh. But art SHOULD be something you can make a living doing! I'm proud of my husband for being able to be a full-time musician all these years.

    I think it is up to us to make time to keep doing our art, humble or grandiose as it may be, because it grows our souls. I mean, geez, it's what makes us human, right?

  • My God, you guys. I'm completely blown away.

    Herbisorbis - I'm listening to Switchback right now, and they are phenomenal. I'm passing the link along to some friends that will LOVE them. Mayne Stage needs to get their act together and re-book them so I can see them.

    Laura - Both of those websites were just mind blowing. Both you and your husband's art is amazing. "The Forsaken King" is amazing. I love the story it tells. I just can't say enough about either of your work. Just wow.

    Bigchibro - Any YouTube videos of you playing? Any upcoming shows?

  • John Warner 14 year resident - Rogers Park Positive Loitering

    Timjz - What type of painting does your partner do?

  • Timjz Optimistic Rogers Parker

    He works with oils, acrylic, pencil on paper...basically he works with any medium except watercolor. As far as styles, he is very talented in abstract, nudes, landscapes and pet portraits. All of his work sold well so he had trouble zoning in on one style. We have a storage space full of finished work that is framed and also works in day we'll get back into it, hopefully sooner than later.

  • Timjz Optimistic Rogers Parker

    Erin, we just subscribed to your husband's podcast through i-tunes...looking forward to hearing them. We also saw some of the reviews and it sounds like our kind of humor.

    Anne, Derek and I really enjoyed meeting you and we're also looking forward to hearing Marty's music.

  • Timjz - Has your partner thought about showing his work at the Glenwood Ave Arts Fest? In an alternate universe where Stephen and I have money, we would be very interested. We are also interested in this universe, but only in a looking sort of way.

  • Hello! I just moved to Chicago (and Rogers Park) in the fall...I moved here BECAUSE I am an artist, and am hoping for more opportunities. :) I make wearable sculpture...sort of avant garde fashion made out of unusual materials like metals and plastics. Some have a sort of machine like quality, or reference medical devices, or are purely fashion out of unconventional materials. I'm not really sure where this will take me, as of right now I work as a stylist for photographers, and do fashion shows. If anyone has any imput, I'd gladly love to hear any! Thanks!

  • robin in WRP I support a 28th Amendment 4Free & Fair Elections!

    My buddy Gus Kim isn't on Everyblock, but he is incredibly talented, and was featured in the Reader's comic issue

  • Is it possible to save all these posts? It would be great if we could compile a directory of rp artists, their web pages, and where to see their work

  • RaleighsMa Not fauxraged but may contain typos.

    What about doing something through Rogers Park Arts Alliance? Maybe they could or already do compile a list or directory of some sort?

    "Rogers Park Arts Alliance's mission is to advance artistic engagement within our diverse community & to promote RP as a destination for art in Chicago."

    PS: this is really a neat post.

  • ^5 RaleighsMa
    Cool not to be bickering huh?
    I love the abandoned firehouse idea .That could be up and running before winter w/ little $ to rehab it for artist space, kinda like a loft.

  • Timjz Optimistic Rogers Parker

    Erin, yes we have thought about setting up a booth for the Glenwood Arts Fest, and we have done others as well, unfortunately, most people just want to eat and drink (which is great for the food and beer vendors), but not so much for the artists. We often purchase art for our own home at art fests because we like all, or most, art. But unfortunately, like you said, most people just want to look and in the past it barely covered the cost of the tent/space. But, it is a nice fest and we do enjoy it.

  • So much talent & inspired ideas in this thread! :)

    We've both been bogged down by our day jobs for a few years. My husband had been working only as an actor until the economy tanked and paid theatre jobs became very scarce. Hence his decision to get his MFA and start his own company. When we come back we'll be starting a Shakespearean theatre company in Rogers Park--hopefully with performances in the parks and beaches every summer.

  • LOVE this thread. It's so nice to see positivity on this site. A few thoughts-

    Yes, do check out the RP Arts Alliance. It started up very much like this thread did with people asking "why don't we..." and running with it. The Arts Alliance is helping with the community meeting John mentioned above on Thursday evening at Eugene Field School. Please try to attend and invite your friends and neighbors.

    Also, I would like to extend an invitation to each of you to attend a Focus Group as part of the overall process of getting an artist live/work space or community center or whatever- off the ground. We have a consultant here for a series of meetings. If you have time tomorrow afternoon we would love your input. PM me or email me at for more info or to RSVP.

  • Timjz Optimistic Rogers Parker

    Dafford, that sounds great! Derek, my Partner, went to London to train as a Butler. He always says that was the time of his life. We plan on going together one day. We hope to see your theatre company prosper here in RP. Best of luck!

  • Dee On Newgard '92

    Tim, I would have never pegged Derek for a Butler after seeing him work in the front garden. Though I will say that he delivered in style!

  • Carl Good

    It would be nice to hear more about what is going on at the Greenleaf Arts Center. Looks like a great space.

  • Timjz Optimistic Rogers Parker

    That's so nice of you Dee! ;)

  • Timjz Optimistic Rogers Parker

    Greenleaf Arts Center is a great space run by wonderful people. I'm pretty sure they have shows twice per year.

  • John Warner 14 year resident - Rogers Park Positive Loitering

    Bigchibro - VERY nice jewelry pieces!! Great ideas!

  • Helen NoH North of Howard for 55 + years

    I'm surprised not to see any photographers here touting their art.

  • Touting Sounds belittling,who has been doing that.She asked what we do, we are telling her along with ideas for art space.It has/ was a posotive thread other wise?

  • Rogers Parkplace

    I don't think she ^ does positive.

  • Dee On Newgard '92

    BigChi, don't rush to judgment. Helen can explain herself, but I'm sure the comment was well intended. BTW, digging your jewelry ;) You've found my weakness.

    Rogers Parkplace, I'm sorry but apparently I forgot to mark my calendar that this is your assigned snarky day.

  • I personally feel that "touting" is a neutral word and I don't think any offense was meant. I used to be a baker and I joked about "hawking my wares" but I didn't mean anything pejorative.

  • Rogers Parkplace

    And your year, hon. Thank god for mute.

  • RaleighsMa Not fauxraged but may contain typos.

    It means "promote," especially in this context -- nothing negative. Let's keep this awesomely positive thread on-track!

    If anyone else is going to be at a Fest this summer (I saw that at least one of you do), please post. I'd love to see some of your work in-person.

  • look I don't do or have beefs with anybody on every block even though people try to I. always avoid it I don't even answer to some people but I will take a hiatus.

  • Helen NoH North of Howard for 55 + years

    Bigchi, may I suggest that next time you look up words you may not understand before accusing someone of sounding belittling. From Merriam-Webster's:

    "1tout - verb \ˈtau̇t, in sense 4 also ˈtüt\
    : to talk about (something or someone) as being very good, effective, skillful, etc."

    I happen to live with a photographer though he doesn't do art photography. I have framed photographs I consider art. BTW, you were touting your nice jewelry above.

  • Rogers Parkplace

    Man does she never stop?

  • Timjz Optimistic Rogers Parker


  • Ok. This is easy. We're going to drop it on the count of three, and move on completely. Anyone continuing it is a spoil sport.

    1... 2... 3... DROPPED!

  • John Warner 14 year resident - Rogers Park Positive Loitering

    Anyway - does anyone have any good ideas on how to get paint stains off of some fabric??? I think they are water color paints.....

  • I heard back from Alderman Moore's office that they've made a decision on the firehouse but haven't made it public yet. As I recall the proposals were for the new Hare Krishna temple, a single family home, and headquarters for a community development nonprofit. It will be interesting to see which option he chose.

  • Bruce_ Comment by Live From Rogers Park, whom you've mute

    House won.

  • Dee On Newgard '92

    ArtSpace in Rogers Park, today at 1:00, Field School Elementary, hosted by RPBA

  • Hey guys! I'm new to Rogers Park, but was happy to see this subject come up. I'm a life caster, sculptor, and fantasy artist. I've spent the last 10 years in Denver, but now I'm here. For those of you who don't know what life casting is, its the process of taking the impression of a person's face, or body and creating a sculpture from it. A picture would probably do better at explaining it, so feel free to check out my website:
    One of the main things I do is Maternity (Belly) Casting.

    My other work can be seen here:

    And on my Facebook page:

    I'd love to meet other fantasy, low brow, and SFX artists in the area, and get some projects going. So if you know any, send them my way!

  • Chef Roux Small Business Owner

    Although I have a much higher profile in NYC, I do live here in RP and you can eat my art, as a Culinary Artist.

  • ROMAN SUSAN (art space) Gallery and Venue for Arts in Rogers Park

    We don't want anyone to be hidden:

    If you are an artist who we don't have on here yet, let us know. Will scour the thread here for +++s and will probably create a thread of our own shortly looking for additions!

  • Timjz Optimistic Rogers Parker

    Erin, I listened to several of the podcasts by Stephen. I started at the beginning and listened up to the one where Katie announces she's you do the voice of Katie? Funny stuff!! I really enjoyed them, the irreverence is very clever, well written and just laugh out loud funny from the first words spoken. Thanks for sharing the info. I hope everyone gives it a listen. I know I plan on listening to more.

  • Timjz Optimistic Rogers Parker

    Laura, WOW, you're right, Brian is crazy talented!! You are as well, beautiful flower arrangements.

  • Timjz - Yea! I'll tell him you said that! No, I can't take credit for the voice of Catherine. Whenever there is a voice that's not Stephen or Brendan, it's an internet- celebrity guest. Catherine is comic artist Erika Moen. She was great, want she?

  • Timjz Optimistic Rogers Parker

    She was, all 3 of them are.

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