Hey, blogspot readers, it's more fun with art ...and this time, it's wearable with a purpose! SouthSide and her girls attended a unique festival at the American Indian Center (located in Ravenswood) for the 23rd Annual T-shirt Art Harvest Fest. Sponsored by the Uptown Multi-Cultural Art Center, this three-day weekend fest featured an array of t-shirts on display (which could be purchased for ten dollars or less) designed by artists locally and across the nation. Besides art, there was local music performances by acts like General Patton and His Privates and The Flabby Hoffman Trio as well as delicious food.
SouthSide chatted briefly with the founder of this event, Chris Drew - a vocal advocate of The Free Speech Artists' Movement. Many might recognize the name and story from his arrest last year (on Dec 2nd) for selling art in public view in front of the State Street Macy's. Though only charged with a misdemeanor, prosecutors later charged him with a first class felony for audio-recording his own arrest and are seeking to have him serve a four to fifteen year prison sentence simply because he's a "dangerous" art person. Chris' goal during this fest was to educate the public about the artists' full speech right to sell art in public as well as change the current laws (peddler's license and park's policy) which prevents them from selling their art in public. Art, according to him, is covered under the First Amendment of the US Constitution. Blogspot readers can read more about Chris Drew and his case as featured in a recent edition of Chicago Reader online at http://www.chicagoreader.com.
Chris discussed in detail with SouthSide about The Art Patch Project in which UM-CAC (Uptown Multi-Cultural Art Center) teach the basic of screen printing (a free hands-on workshop) to artists as a way to sell their art on t-shirts. According to Chris, it's a community art form and what better way to reach the community than wearing a t-shirt created by local artists. Screening classes happen every Sunday from 3p to 6p at the American Indian Center. Visit http://www.art-teez.org for more information. Expect to see SouthSide sporting a t-shirt created by Irvin Cravatt titled "Peace" at future rock shows/events around town.
SouthSide highly recommends checking out her good friend ...ordinary citizen by day but masked man with a band at night, Flabby Hoffman. His band, The Flabby Hoffman Trio (always never an actual "trio" appearing on stage) made a special appearance at the T-shirt Art Harvest Fest. Saturday's performace featured an energetic grouping of five guitars (two bass guitars, one electric, one electronic, and acoustic), keyboard, therman, percussion, harmonics, female vocalist (known only as Trophy Wife) and Sid Yiddish (on meditation and ram's horn). After opening with a tradional Sid Invocation, each member of the Trio added a distinct piece of themselves into Flabby's eclectic rock sound and style. At times, his music borders on many genres between psychedelia to blues as well as new age/rock. He has most bases covered during his live performances. You might also say, blogspot readers, Flabby's music follows its own beat of a totally different drummer. With many flowing riff/chord and tempo changes in his instrumentals, sometimes SouthSide gets the feeling the masked man is communing with tribal spirits until the last note is played. In between songs, Sid Yiddish treated the audience to his pop culture Haikus ...no subject or person was taboo from this poet master. This reviewer suggests taking a rockin' ride across the Flabby Hoffman universe at his next live performance. For more information, visit http://www.flabbyhoffman.com or http://www.myspace.com/flabbyhoffman.
One special note, blogspot readers, SouthSide encourages anyone and everyone who wants to end the wars and occupations ...march for peace - come to Chicago on October 16th and join in a Midwest Regional March for peace and justice. There will be a rally starting at 12:30 at Michigan Avenue & Congress Parkway with a march through downtown starting (approx) 1:30p. SouthSide wishes she could be there herself to joun in this worthy cause however she has other plans happening that same day. For more information about this peace march, contact CCAWR@aol.com or visit http://www.ChicagoMassAction.org.
Until next time, support your local scene,