Mrs. McDaniel and the Vintage Circle
The Bucktown furniture and accessories dealer An Orange Moon has launched a salon-style series of public events that are designed to segue from lectures, demos, and Q&As by industry experts to cocktails, musical and spoken-word performances, and dance parties. The happenings, as the store, are geared to mid-century-modern fans in particular, and the first kicks off next Friday, February 24, at six p.m., with guest speaker David Arevelo from Comfort Upholstery. I’ve often angsted over whether or not a piece of furniture is worth the money and time it takes to recover it, and even explored the topic a few years ago for the magazine. Bring in photos to show Arevelo for his on-the-spot opinions and ideas on recovering fabrics and refinishing woodwork. An Orange Moon owners Lynne and Ty McDaniel recently wrapped an episode of WGN’s Bring It Home, they told us, which is set to air on March 11.
Like it or not, the term man cave is here to stay. It isn’t in the dictionary yet, but, like pop-up shops, sexting, and Taraji P. Henson, the words have entered our vernacular. But what about the ladies’ equivalent? What should we call spaces designed as feminine retreats—places in the home where women can relax and regroup, meditate a bit, and enjoy an International Blends coffee? The Chicago design team Divas N’ Design suggests mom caves, and is having a contest to find the woman most in need of just such a personalized space. So if you’re a harried mama sick of locking herself in a bathroom for some “me” time, enter the Most Outrageous Mom Cave contest by submitting your story (and photos and videos, if you’re so inclined) of the lengths you’ve gone to to get some private time and create a makeshift oasis. The winner will get materials and interior design services worth $20,000, entries will be accepted until May 6, and the lucky lady will be announced on May 13 (Mother’s Day, natch!).
I can’t think of any people more qualified to instruct art collectors in a no-nonsense, insider manner than Chicago dealer Paul Klein, who has been in the business for more than 30 years. When his River North gallery burned down in a hellish 1989 inferno that crippled many galleries, he pioneered the River West scene by setting up shop there, and in the years since he has remained an active curator, gallerist, writer, and advisor to both artists and art appreciators. Klein’s ArtLetter news blasts are refreshingly void of puzzling “art speak,” à la New York magazine’s Jerry Saltz, and are one of my go-to guides to discover what’s going on in the scene each week. He has developed an online course that promises to demystify the practices of buying, selling, installing, and caring for art, and you can sign up for a free hour-long introductory session next Tuesday night, February 21 at seven. The ten-week course begins Feb. 28 and costs $750 ($1,000 for two people), and there’s an optional $250 Chicago-centric supplement of live gallery and collector visits.
White Box, Red Carpet
It’s a not so well-kept secret that a lot of artists, designers, and creative types like living in Oak Park, all the way back to Papa Hemingway and F.Lo Wright. The upscale resale furniture shop Divine Consign intends to celebrate some of them next Wednesday, Feb. 22 by having a party to screen a locally produced short film by Oak Parker Michael Bassett, The White Box. The White Box is a story of self-fulfillment, involving a man who travels around with a mysterious white box that causes people to react “with unbridled joy and surprise.” (I thought only Tiffany-blue boxes caused that, but what do I know?) The premiere is from 7–9 p.m. at 810 North Boulevard, with the 15-minute film showing at 8:30. Owner Kellie Scott will be serving food from Maya del Sol and Wells Street Popcorn, and you should RSVP to email@example.com to reserve a spot.
I spotted some aggressive signs in the windows of the Andersonville Equinox gift shop while waiting for my caffeine fix at the Coffee Studio last weekend, so obviously had to go see what’s up. It turns out that they are closing the 5621 North Clark Street location (the flagship store at 3401 North Broadway will remain open), and have marked down inventory dramatically. Hey, the less tchotchkes to pack up, the better, right? (I tend to find this place a little sparkly for my taste, but there are some nice simple pieces to be found if you calm down and focus.) The store plans to stay open through March, and has cut business hours to Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.