Category Archives: Chicago Art Photography

Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras

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Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras has been offering music education for more than 60 years. The CYSO consists of five orchestras and a chamber music program, plus it offers classes and international touring. Since I’m not between 7 and 18, I can’t enroll, but I did have an opportunity to photograph the orchestra during a rehearsal before a performance at Symphony Hall. It was inspirational to see so much talent and dedication in people so young, though it did cause me to wonder: Don’t kids spend their teen years perfecting their Frisbee skills anymore?

Chicago Christkindlmarket, a Holiday Tradition

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For those who rarely venture into the Loop during the holiday season, these photos are for you.  Since 1997, the city has been sponsoring Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza.  This outdoor market which features German crafts, jewelry, clothing, toys and lots of food attracts over a half million people from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve.  Inspired by the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany, which began in 1545, the Chicago version stays true to its European roots.  In fact, most of the vendors actually travel from Germany to work the booths, or at least are German-speaking.  Appropriate winter food is also available, including wurst, sauerkraut, potato pancakes, lots of pastries, and German beer and traditional “Glühwein”, a hot spiced wine that is served around the holidays.  The market closes on Christmas eve, so there is still time to investigate this Chicago and European tradition.

 

In memory of Terry Callier

I just learned of the death of Terry Callier, 67, a blues-folk-jazz musician whose career spanned 50 years.  While he was relatively unknown in this country, he had a thriving career in the UK.  He may not have gained wide commercial fame, but among musicians he was greatly influential and respected.   Ten years ago I had the privilege of photographing Mr Callier for a Canadian jazz magazine, and we went straight to one of his favorite local venues, the historic Green Mill Lounge in Uptown.  He struck me as being soft-spoken, polite, and eager to please, not the persona of a performer with a long-career and huge following around the world.  In the early 80s he put his music career on hold to raise his daughter, and became a computer programmer at the University of Chicago; ten years later his music was rediscovered and he began performing and recording again. Callier was born in Chicago and grew up in the Cabrini-Green housing project, becoming friends with Curtis Mayfield and Jerry Butler. Here are some photos that offer a glimpse of the man I met in spring 2002.

Terry Callier jazz, blues, folk musician in UptownTerry Callier jazz, blues, folk musician at The Green MillTerry Callier jazz, blues, folk musicianTerry Callier jazz, blues, folk musicianTerry Callier jazz, blues, folk musician at The Riviera TheaterTerry Callier jazz, blues, folk musicianTerry Callier jazz, blues, folk musicianTerry Callier jazz, blues, folk musician in UptownTerry Callier jazz, blues, folk musicianTerry Callier jazz, blues, folk musician

Photo of the Day: Fulton Market

Fulton Market in Chicago West Loop
Just west of the downtown Loop area is Fulton Market.  For decades, this area was home to countless meat processors and warehouses, and several still operate today.  Come in the pre-dawn and early morning hours and the streets are clogged with trucks picking up provisions for local restaurants.  In recent years, Fulton Market has seen upscale shops, galleries and several cutting edge restaurants open.  Just a few blocks away on west Randolph is the more established Restaurant Row–with the addition of Fulton Market eateries, Chicagoans have countless gourmet options just minutes from the Loop.

 

Photo of the Day: Autumn Leaves

This photo was taken a few years ago in Hyde Park.  As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so anything I say now would be superfluous.

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Photo of the Day: GAR Rotunda

The Chicago Cultural Center (previously the main branch of the Chicago Public Library) houses two eye-popping domes.  This one is the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) Rotunda, and the other was designed by Louis Tiffany.  This room is a memorial to the Union soldiers who gave their lives in the Civil War; it’s one of the most beautiful and peaceful rooms in Chicago.

Cultural Center GAR Rotunda

 

Photo of the Day: Art Institute Modern Wing

The Modern Wing of the venerable Art Institute of Chicago opened three years ago and has been an unqualified hit among art lovers and tourists alike–not that these two groups are mutually exclusive, but…   This museum is home to 20th and 21th-century art plus the world-renowned collections of modern European painting and sculpture, contemporary art, architecture and design, and photography.  In this photo we see the museum’s popular “Yoga and Picasso” class held on Tuesday mornings. Most people are not aware that Pablo was a yoga enthusiast, often cited as the inspiration for his Blue Period. Next month the museum will feature “Cooking with Matisse”–sure to be a big hit.

Picasso at the Modern Wing of Art Institute

Photo of the Day: Hyde Park

The Midway Plaisance is a mile-long green belt bisecting the University of Chicago campus. This area was adjacent to the World’s Colombian Exposition of 1893–if you read “Devil in the White City” you know all about this area. The original Ferris Wheel might have been located exactly where this photo was taken.  Today, this is the world’s best place for people watching of Nobel Prize winners. Hyde Park is the part of Chicago where I live as well as my friend Barack Obama.

Midway Plaisance at the University of Chicago

Photo of the Day: Special Effects

This is a test photo for a client, they needed something different and creative. The end product would be a print in a hotel.  So many possibilities with Photoshop–maybe I got a little carried away, but it was fun.

Chicago Skyline and River

Photo of the Day: Crown Fountain

Crown Fountain is a fun place to hang out. Where else can you be drenched by a powerful stream of water bursting from a giant pair of video lips while admiring the stunning architecture along south Michigan Avenue? These teens weren’t admiring the historic architecture, they were just chillin (literally) on a hot summer day.  Now we know where all the students were during the recent public school strike.

Crown Fountain at Millennium Park