Thinking Inside the Box
The Guerrilla Truck Show is always a people-watching, beer-swilling blast every year during NeoCon, so I was excited to hear about another art and design event with the same vibe, taking place this weekend in Wicker Park at 1767 North Milwaukee Avenue. The Built Festival is an ambitious new project from Tristan Hummel, a young Chicago artist who masterminded the headline-grabbing Art on Track exhibitions that showcase design, fashion, and art on rented CTA cars. For Built he’s creating a creative “city” by plopping 12 roomy shipping containers down in the middle of an Aldi parking lot and inviting artists and designers to strut their stuff in those friendly confines. For ten bucks you’ll get to climb in and out of popped-up galleries and showrooms, listen to an impressive lineup of live music, and enjoy one of these last summer city weekends. The table pictured is by Ray Doeksen, who will be displaying furniture and other fine-finished objects of functionality.
Once a year, the Golden Triangle throws a big end-of-season sidewalk sale, and you can preview (but not purchase) the items online beginning tomorrow. The actual sale starts next Thursday, August 18 and continues through August 27. Smart idea, planning your shopping strategy in advance (even if no one’s going to wake you up and drag you to Mood Fabrics on Project Runway, with only half an hour to make up your mind). The goods skew terrace/outdoor/garden this time, with lots of Chinese stone benches, sturdy tables and chairs, Thai architectural fragments, and other items suited for the life alfresco. Not all inventory is of the Asian persuasion, by the way—the sale includes modern furniture prototypes, industrial lamps, and hefty chunks of salvaged wood of which I’m sure you’ll come up with something to make. This hammered-iron bird flew over from India, and is reduced from $150 to $42.
It tarnished my stainless steel heart a bit to hear that we’re losing our flagship Alessi store. Sure, you can still find selections of the shiny-silly-sexy Italian kitchen and houseware products at retailers such as Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, the MCA gift shop, and the Chicago Architecture Foundation, and you can also browse more than 3,000 products at the company’s online store, but there was something special about seeing all the collections displayed together in that charming Tree Studios storefront, with the sunny courtyard garden in the rear. Alessi Chicago evidently hopes to pack lightly; it has discounted merchandise by up to 75 percent, now through September 3. This Stefano Giovannoni Fruitscape bowl was $210; it’s yours now for $105. Hurry on over to 611 North State Street.
Lincoln Park is getting a smidge lovelier next week, when Nancy Krause opens her eponymous flower, gift, and antique shop on Monday at 1101 W. Webster at Seminary. Krause shifted her tassel at Chicago’s Art Institute and went on to become a fashion photographer, who then panned her lens to buds, blooms, and beyond when she opened two flower shops in downtown Chicago in the 1990s. She closed those, but continued to craft custom floral projects while working in the restaurant industry as part of the team that opened the House of Blues and various Rosebud restaurants. Four years ago, the hankering to have a retail shop sprouted anew; she found a swell spot last month in a fertile neighborhood; and, voilà, welcome Nancy Krause Floral Design & Garden Antiques. The shop will specialize in design and arrangements for homes, restaurants, hotels, and other businesses, but it also carries gifts like Dayna Decker soy candles, vintage vases, and wire racks, and has a large cooler full of walk-in pick-me-up options. Delivery can be arranged in the city and suburbs, and she’s open every day of the week.
Dis, Dat, and Dose
This Sunday, the well-connected and well-heeled women behind the monthly Dose Market at the River East Art Center are at it again, and from the looks of the roster, this third time promises to be very charming. This is an upscale market with a stylish fashion bent, and a $10 admission fee ($8 if you preorder), think odd, arty houseplants from Sprout, curated vintage and consignment clothing from LuLu’s and Luxury Garage Sale, sculptural jewelry by Gillion Carrara, and these Gentleman’s Boomboxes by Floyd A. Davis (old-fangled luggage that he kits out with functioning speakers). Food has been amped this go-round as well: Lillie’s Q, Marion Street Cheese, Quince + Apple, Spices of Lezzet, and Cheap Tart (hey, watch it, buddy!) are among the comestible vendors.
Last year’s inaugural art fair was a success, so this Andersonville garden center is having another one this weekend, Saturday from 10–5 and Sunday from 10–4. Statuary, outdoor furniture, trees, and bushes have been rearranged to accommodate more than 60 artist booths, spread throughout the Gethsemane realm. (Dagnabbit, that’s a lot of work for a weekend!) WXRT will be broadcasting live from the event, there will be giveaways and live music performances, and (limited) free parking is offered off-site, with shuttle service.