Monthly Archives: August 2017

Friday art gathering at Bridgeport Art Center


One of the hallways at Bridgeport Art Center: Rahmaan Statik, I.N.I.  

Bridgeport art center, creative home for artists, painters, sculptors, designers, photographers, fashion designers and woodworkers, organized on Friday evening, August 18th, huge artistic gathering.


There are always a lot of people at the Project Onward studio  

Every third Friday in a month this Center makes Open Studios event and artists, who have studios in the building, traditionally open their doors for visitors and art admirers.

5. Jay Stromman work

Mesmerizing Joe Strommen’s tablet pieces on the wall of the huge fifth-floor space

That is a unique possibility for people to meet numerous artists under the same roof, talk to them, see their artworks, buy some of them and eventually see, on the scene, how they create their pieces.


Visitors can participate in art project and make their own pieces  

This third Friday in August l went there again. I wanted to be inspired, energized, moved… I also wanted to see my very good friend and famous glass jewelry artist, Dobrila Pintar. She was in her studio ‘1111’ on the fourth floor and she was, as every Friday, surrounded by her friends and visitors. Her husband Mirko Pintar was there and he helps her and gives her support as always. A lot of food is on the table, people were coming, some of them were buying jewelry, some of them watching.

5. Dobrila Pintar

Always busy – Dobrila Pintar in her studio ‘1111’

Dobrila was showing them her hand-made jewelry and explaining how she made every piece they are interested in. She was also busy fixing a small piece of jewelry with her small pliers. A few years ago a prominent Art Institute Chicago awarded her with the reward ‘The Artist of the Month’ for her sophisticated glass jewelry. 

12. Ashley Jan Gardner (right) in her studio

Ashley Jan Gardner (right) in her studio

Besides Dobrila’s studio, there is Ashley Jan Gardner studio. She was welcoming numerous visitors and talking to them. Many of them were interested in her way of paintings, her technics, themes and she was patiently explained everything and answered their questions…

12a. 12. Ashley Jan Gardner (right) in her studio and her guests

Ashley Jan Gardner (left) in her studio and her guests

Later, reading her portfolio I found these words: “In researching my family history l am able to make better sense of my present and gain clarity for my future… I want to honor the struggle and sacrifice of my ancestors while engaging in the dialogue of what it means to be an American family.”

8. In Joseph W. Turner studio

In Joseph W. Turner studio 

Few doors away from Ashley studio is Joseph W. Turner studio. He was busy painting one of his canvas. Even we, visitors, were being pretty talkative and loud, Joseph didn’t lose his focus. He was standing in front of his paintings on the wall and doing his work.

10b. Tamara Wasserman (right) with her friend Picolina Zoo

Artist Tamara Wasserman (right) with her friend Picolina Zoo in Tamara’s studio

Across his studio is Tamara Wasserman vivid studio. She invited us to come in and see her work. Most of her paintings are paintings on canvas, wood panel or paper with added elements of collage. She is an artist and performer, very friendly and spontaneous.

10. On the left side of the wall is Tamara Wasserman's painting

On the left side of the wall is Tamara Wasserman painting

She was offering us a glass of wine and grapes and telling us that she is originally from Latvia and Israel. She is showing us her of paintings on the walls and l feel like we are friends our entire life. She told us she is from Latvia and she used to live there and in Israel.

11c. Dredske's wall and his paitings

Terence Byas Dredske’s painting in his studio

We also visited Terence Byas Dredske and Ben Javellana mutual studio. They share this place and each of them exhibited his paintings on his ‘own’ wall.

7. Maya Scott in her studio

Young and talented Maya Scott in her studio

One of the younger artists among many in Bridgeport Center is Maya Scott. Her studio is small, bright and filled with her abstract, yet emotional paintings. Maya was talking to visitors interested in her favorite canvas. They are asking her questions and was explaining. “I paint every canvas with yellow before I start painting… The color yellow represents optimism, enlightenment, promise, positive, energy, and creativity. I want to reproduce those meanings for every piece I do…” She has been highly influenced by Joan Mitchell and Jackson Pollacks trying to put her own twist into the fine art chaos that they produced.

15. Set Gozo beside her Dakota Indian statue

Set Gozo beside her statue of Dakota native Indian 

On the fifth floor, an excellent exhibition ‘Clay, Body’ at Jay Strommen’s Chicago Ceramic Center is almost done. I had a pleasure to see again sculptures of Set Gozo, Robin Carlson Dong, Nancy Pirri, Karen Goozner and Nicholas Alexander and mesmerizing Strommen’s tablet pieces on the wall of the huge fifth-floor space.

14c. Nancy Pirri captivating statue 'Tamara's Stain'

Nancy Pirri’s captivating statue ‘Tamara’s Stain’

This third Friday was good and I am looking forward to the next one…

~ Milica Puric ~ 


Spectacular Coldplay concert in Chicago


One of the most popular bands of our time ‘Coldplay’ made a spectacular concert at Soldier Field in Chicago on August 17th. That was a part of his ‘Head Full of Dreams’ worldwide tour, which kicked off in Buenos Aires on 31 March 2016.


Soldier Field at about 7 pm – two hours before spectacular concert 

The audience will remember Coldplay concert by amazing light effects, fireworks, confetti, colorful balloons, but the most amazing moment was at the very beginning when Chris Martin started singing and the stadium just lighted up thanks to flashing wristbands on people’s wrists. The color on wristbands (people got on the Soldier Field entrances) changed during entire concert, matching every song and illuminating the crowds and space. They created the unforgettable and visually stunning show.

2    3

Another phenomenal moment was when Chris Martin and other guys suddenly, after a couple moments of complete darkness, showed up at the other side of Soldier Field on the other, small stage.


Dark clouds surrounded above the stadium, but fortunately, just a few raindrops fell down on the cheerful audience. Chris Martin said that it’s raining every time when he is in Chicago.


The concert ended up with spectacular fireworks.


You can see the atmosphere here.





~ Miica Puric ~


Rotating exhibition at Wicker park neighborhood


Blake Jones illustrations at Jackson Junge Gallery at Wicker Park, Chicago  

Many interesting things are happening this summer in Chicago. Exhibitions, concerts, outdoor movie parties… There are so many events where you can go, meet and talk to people, enjoy different contents. So, the last Friday night I stopped by the Jackson Junge Gallery at vibrant Wicker Park neighborhood in Chicago at the opening exhibition of Blake Jones, Chicago artist.  

This was a third ‘One Wall’ rotating exhibition by this beautiful Gallery and it will be open until August 24th. After that, the fourth exhibition of Phil Hawkins will take a place and with that show on September 7, 2017, Jackson Junge Gallery will close their eight weeks ‘One Wall’ rotating exhibition.


 Jackson Junge Gallery

Blake Jones recently moved with his girlfriend from Houston, TX, to Chicago. ‘I like this city because I can live without a car. I can use excellent Chicago public transportation,’ he was telling me and showing his illustrations exposed on the window wall.

‘I wanted to create a bunch of weird characters and they all interact with environment ….I would like people to be able to look at my drawings and every time find something new. I just want to keep people’s attention. This is also my first time experimenting with colors’, he said.  


Blake Jones beside his comic illustrations at Wicker Park, Chicago  

Jones’s work focuses on the contemporary and comical Illustration. He has a wide range of influences and his work has been used e in many different ways ranging from murals to music posters.

“With a focus on humor, fun, and composition, my work yearns to hold an audience’s attention and keep a smile on their face.”

~ M. Puric ~


A Celebration of Picasso in Chicago

7. Picasso's scultpture

Although he had never visited Chicago, Pablo Picasso, the most famous Spanish artist, donated to the windy city, in 1967, a monumental sculpture, known as Chicago Picasso. It was his “gift to the people of Chicago” and since that year this iconic sculpture placed on Daley Plaza has become the symbol of Chicago and its public art.

Fifty years later, this beautiful city still shows its gratitude to Spanish artist and his untitled sculpture. On Tuesday, August 8th, a birthday ceremony dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the unveiling the sculpture was held at Daley Plaza and led by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.


‘It is called ‘Everyone’s Picasso’ because it belongs to all of us,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. It is interesting that he designated 2017 year as the year of public art and the 50th anniversary of Picasso’s sculpture fits right in it.

‘Imagine the life without art’, said artist Edra Soto and invited audience to cover their eyes for few seconds with pink fans she’d designed for this occasion. 


Edra Soto invited the audience to cover their eyes for few seconds with pink fans 

Nora Brooks Blakely, the daughter of poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Gwendolyn Brooks, recited her mother’s poem dedicated to the sculpture 50 years ago. We also heard Lisa Yun Lee, director of the School of Art & Art History, Jacqueline Terrassa, chair of learning and public engagement at the Art Institute of Chicago, Carlos Tortolero, president & CEO and Founder of National Museum of Mexican Art and Mark Kelly, Chicago’s cultural commissioner. All of them emphasized the importance of Picasso’s sculpture for Chicago and its openness to the public art.


Nora Brooks Blakely, the daughter of poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Gwendolyn Brooks

‘After School Matters Orchestra’, ‘Chicago Children’s Choir’ and other artists performed in front of an audience. In one moment, during the celebration, microphones got silent and kids from ‘Children Choir’ jumped to sing while organizers were fixing the sound. For that intervention, they got huge applause from the audience and greetings from the Mayor.

Participants also recalled the day of unveiling the statue and the words of former Mayor Richard J. Daley: ‘We dedicate this celebrated work this morning with the belief that what is strange to us today will be familiar tomorrow’.


But how Picasso decided to create this unnamed 162-ton piece statue?


In 1963 William E. Hartmann, Chicago architect, and senior partner of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, was assigned the task of procuring an appropriate sculpture for the plaza bordered by Washington, Randolph, Dearborn and Clark Streets. The plaza was in front of the newly-built The Richard J. Daley center – black steel tower. For this grandiose place, Hartmann was interested only in one artist – Pablo Picasso, one of the greatest artist of all time.


Pablo Picasso, William Hartmann and friend

Using his connections in art world Hartmann, the architects of Chicago Civic Center – Charles F. Murphy (of C.F. Murphy Associates), Richard Bennett (of Loebl, Schlossman & Bennett) and administrators of the Art Institute, reached famous artist in 1963. They tried to find a way how to convince him to create a sculpture, so William E. Hartmann traveled to Mougins (southeastern France) to visit an 82 year Spaniard. He wanted to talk in person to him and show him how much he is important for Chicago. He brought many gifts: a Sioux Indian war bonnet, a White Sox hat and blazer, a Bears’ helmet, a Chicago Fire Department helmet and a check for $100,000.

Pablo Picasso and William Hartmann, observed by Jacqueline. Notre-Dame-de-Vie, Mougins, France

Pablo Picasso (in the middle), William Hartmann and Jacqueline Roque, muse and Picasso’s second wife.  Notre-Dame-de-Vie, Mougins, France

The famous painter accepted everything, except the check. He said he will create a sculpture, but this is going to be his gift to people of Chicago. Many people believe that he wanted to show his appreciation to the Art Institute of Chicago, the first museum in America to show the work of the young Picasso back in 1913.

During this interesting visit, Chicagoans showed to Picasso a photo of his paintings exhibited at Art Institute of Chicago. At that moment an 82-year-old artist saw his painting ‘The mother and the child’ from 1921. He went to the other room and came back with the third part of this composition – a painting of Father. He gave it to them saying that Art Institute of Chicago will know what to do with it!

POtvrda da poklanja skulpturu

Pablo Picasso’s letter to the city in the 1960s where he confirmed that he donates the statue to Chicago

After that visit, Picasso started working on the sculpture. He made numerous sketches for the sculpture and remained in constant contact with William Hartmann. Two years later finished maquette came to Chicago. Mayor Daley and the public building commission in a gallery of the Art Institute approved it and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill finalized everything. At the end, American Bridge Company in Gary, Indiana, built the statue from the same rusty steel as the exterior of the Daley center.

Finally, Mayor Richard J. Daley unveiled the sculpture on August 15, 1967, at the Chicago Civic Center. A lot of people gathered at Daley Plaza and Hartmann personally hired and paid Chicago Symphony Orchestra to perform at that event.

9. Picasso is working on the sculpture

Picasso in his studio working on the sculpture (left) and with his second wife – Jacqueline Roque

But, unveiled statue confused Chicagoans. Many of them didn’t know what to think about it and some of them even said that the artist was making a joke with them. Nevertheless, very soon Chicagoans has begun to love an unnamed statue and very soon it has become one of the most famous art pieces of the windy city. Today, Chicagoans are very proud of it, although no one knows for sure what the statue represents. Some people say that the sculpture reminds them of a woman, of the horse, or of the dog… Picasso has never explained what it was intended to represent.

8. Unveiling Picasso sculpture on August 15th 1967

Unveiling Picasso sculpture on August 15th 1967

As well as its creator, who remained mysterious until the end of his life despite the e fact that the whole world was staring at him, this monumental sculpture also remains secretive although it placed right in front of our eyes.

Milica Puric

The power of word ‘YES’


There are a few versions of the story of how John Lennon met Yoko Ono, but the most interesting and probably the only true one is the story that they’ve been connected over the word ‘YES’.

According to this story, they met each other on November 7th in 1966 at the Indica Gallery in London at the exhibition “Unfinished Paintings and Objects,” where Yoko prepared her conceptual art exhibit. At that time she was a pretty famous artist on the art scene and John Dunbar, the gallery co-owner and Lennon’s friend, invited him to come a day before opening the exhibition to see gallery and Yoko’s work.


Lennon was not delighted with the avant-garde exhibition he saw. He said he expected some sort of sexual exhibition and he was very disappointed to see that everything was asexual and quiet.

But then he saw Yoko’s “Hammer a Nail.” He wanted to hammer nails into the plain piece of wood, but she didn’t let him do that before the exhibition was to officially open the next day. She asked him to pay five shillings per nail and he paid with imaginary money to hammer an imaginary nail.

3. 6

Then another Yoko piece caught his attention. That was a ladder and the magnifying glass hanging from the ceiling. He climbed the ladder, took the magnifying glass and saw on the ceiling a tiny word ‘YES’. That positive word made a huge impression on him because most concept art he encountered was “anti” everything.

A few years after that encounter he said to Rolling Stone: “I felt relieved. It’s a great relief when you get up the ladder and you look through the spyglass and it doesn’t say ‘no’ or ‘fuck you’ or something, it said ‘yes.’”

5 4

At the time Yoko Ono met Lennon, she was in her second marriage to American jazz musician Anthony Cox and they had a daughter, Kyoko Chan Cox. Lennon was married to Cynthia Lennon and they had a son, Julian. When Yoko and John Lennon met each other they strongly fall in love and one of the famous love stories has begun. The powerful word YES connected them. The word that means approval, positivity, optimism and faith. 


Poster for Yoko’s exhibition at the Indica Gallery in London at the exhibition “Unfinished Paintings and Objects” 

A few days ago Yoko Ono remembered this story on her Twitter account. “I was not happy with my life so I wanted to say ‘yes’ to me. Yes, Yoko, don’t worry. I wasn’t expecting anything. But it worked, didn’t it?!” she said .

2. Annie Liebovitz - This photo provided by Swann Auction Galleries shows John Lennon and Yoko Ono in December 1980 on the last day of Lennon's life.

Annie Leibovitz’s famous photo shows John Lennon and Yoko Ono in December 1980 on the last day of Lennon’s life.

M. Puric