All of us here at Bad at Sports have loved working on our twice-monthly column for this blog, Center Field: Art in the Middle with Bad at Sports. It gives us a chance to “slow-blog” a bit, to dig deeper into areas and issues pertaining to Chicago and Midwest-area art that daily blogging doesn’t always allow. But we’ve been feeling the need to add a bit more of that unique Bad at Sports…um… flavor that can only come from live, off-the-cuff conversations. And so…voila! A new monthly segment that we’re adding to our ongoing column called “Fielding Practice.” Each month, Bad at Sports’ Duncan MacKenzie and I, along with Chicago artist and art writer Dan Gunn, will sit ourselves down and talk about what’s happening in the Chicago art world, with Richard Holland (who co-founded the original podcast with Duncan) providing an introduction to the show and putting his own inimitable (that means awesome) stamp on the music soundtrack. We’ll be discussing hot-button issues, reviewing shows, talking about events in Chicago that we’re excited about, and generally hanging out and shooting the proverbial shoe-shine. (Since this is Art21 though, we’ll try to keep those expletives under control). In future episodes, we’ll also corral other folks from our immediate art-environs as guest panelists.
This week, Dan, Duncan and I talk about the implications of Americans for the Arts’ newly issued National Art Index, an attempt to report on the health of the arts sector in a manner not unlike the Gross Domestic Product’s tracking of the Global National Economy. We also discuss Los Angeles’ desire to host a major art fair, perhaps under the auspices of Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. (MMPI), the group that runs the Armory Show and Art Chicago; and we consider two painting shows by Michelle Grabner (at Shane Campbell Gallery) and Pamela Fraser (at the Gahlberg Gallery, College of DuPage) that are currently on view. We end the segment with brief plugs for upcoming (or just-opened) Chicago exhibitions that we’re especially looking forward to seeing. We hope you enjoy our first podcast produced especially for Art21 — and that you’ll join us again in March for our next round!
Listen to or download the podcast here:
Fielding Practice Episode #1
Below you’ll find some relevant links to the topics and works of art discussed during the podcast.
An example of a PSA ad produced by Americans for the Arts:
Works by Pamela Fraser:
Works by Michelle Grabner: