What could be better for die-hard Cubs fans than to have a memento of Wrigley Field in their own friendly confines? A local contractor who has worked on the interior of the ballpark has amassed quite a selection of historic seats, and is selling them at his warehouse-office located at 4251 N. Lincoln Avenue (by appointment only, call 773-404-7975 to score a viewing) and online at StadiumSeats.com. Eat your peanuts, Cracker Jacks, and hot dogs while you watch the game at home perched on one of the mid-1960s single or double models, or outfit a porch with a couple of these folding chairs from 1914—they have the look of classic French bistro chairs, and sell for $375 each. All come with certificates of authenticity and have been fitted with custom metal legs to ensure that they’re functional, and some even have seating charts to show original locations. The company also sells inexpensive mementos such as bricks, seat bottoms, and ornaments made from recycled, non-salvageable seating.
Let’s face it—the term crafts sometimes gets a bad rap, conjuring up images of amateurish loving-hands-at-home-made items such as scarves made from dryer lint and pinch-pots only a parent could love. Check your knickknack prejudices at the door and check out this weekend’s American Craft Exposition, held at the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion on the Evanston Campus of Northwestern. This juried, prestigious indoor fair, now in its 25th year, showcases about 150 of America’s next top modelers working in disciplines like ceramics, furniture, jewelry, basketry, metal, and glass (including Wisconsin woodworker Richard Judd’s undulating Ribbon Chair, pictured here). I look forward to this show every year, and the level of artistry and skill on display will knock your Crocs off, I promise. Tickets are $15 for three-day entry (or $100 for the high-rolling benefit preview party tomorrow), and all proceeds support breast and ovarian cancer research at NorthShore University HealthSystem. In honor of the quartocentennial, ACE published a weighty tome to celebrate the artists who have been a part of the event’s history, These Hands Tell a Story: 25 Years of Handcrafted Art, which is available at the show or online. Twenty-five participating artists have also donated works for an online auction, closing September 8. At a lunch on Friday, Agust 28, Chicago Home + Garden editor Jan Parr will speak on the subject of Artful Arranging. What’s the point of collecting objects if you can’t display them pleasingly?
I’m saddened to report that the Prairie Avenue Bookshop is closing at the end of this month, after 38 years in the business of dealing hard-to-find new and used books and specialized, scholarly journals on architecture, design, art, and interiors. This was a rarefied, welcoming three-level shop with comfortable furniture and a great selection that I have fond memories of browsing, especially back in the pre-Internet days when people were more wont to wander booksellers’ aisles for a couple of hours at a time. Through August, the store is offering a whopping 70 percent off all in-stock merchandise. Visit at 418 S. Wabash or shop the website. It will be missed by many in the design industry.
There’s no excuse for a boring bathroom anymore, especially since Antonio Lupi splashed into town this spring. The Italian showroom is flush with fantastic fixtures and accents, and I am especially lathered up about the Orné line of etched glass shower doors, designed by Riccardo Fattori. In the store, a steamy squiggle pattern caught my eye, and it’s exciting to see that there are lots of other options in the line. Monogram-aholics will heart the Alfabeto line of letters (available in positive or negatively etched alternatives); there are romantic arabesques and high-tech barcode patterns; and who wouldn’t get an early-morning lift from the self-affirming model pictured here?
The Chicago O’Hare Antiques Show has a new attitude this year—for starters, it’s not at O’Hare anymore. After 30 years in Rosemont, the organizers have decided to urban things up and move the fair to 1422 N. Kingsbury St. (where the Modernism Show is held), and it’s now called the Chicago Summer Antiques Show & Sale. About 75 dealers have signed up for booths, including mid-century maven Lawrence Converso. Admission is $10, the show runs Friday to Sunday, and free parking is available. The Bucktown Arts Fest is also vying for viewers this weekend, with more than 180 artists showing off, as well as theatre, dance, and film events centered around the Senior Citizens’ Memorial Park at 2300 N. Oakley Ave. (and Lyndale St.). This is always a fun and funky way to close down August in the city. I even love the Dolan Geiman collage poster he made for the event.
There are only a few more days to take advantage of Fair Oak Workshops’ Mica Lamp sale, where the River Forest online retailer has knocked an additional 20 percent off the already-discounted line of Arts and Crafts–style lighting fixtures. Mica Lamps are handcrafted by the same California company that has been making them since 1910, using the same exacting methods: Solid copper framework is hand-riveted together, and the translucent shades are created by mixing ground minerals with organic shellac. The sale ends at midnight on August 31, and shipping is included in the prices.