Art & Design

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The Many Murals of Pilsen

I recently had the opportunity to take part in a walking tour of the Chicago neighborhood known as Pilsen under the fantastic guidance of  Joyce from Joyce Walks Chicago. Named for the Bohemian city of Plzeň in the Czech Republic by the immigrants who began settling in the 1840’s, Pilsen is now considered to be the heart of Chicago’s Mexican-American community. Inspired by the Mexican Muralist Movement of the 1930’s when artists like Diego Rivera, Jose Orozco, and David Siquieros...

Favorite Things: The National Museum of Mexican Art

One of my favorite things to do in Chicago is visit the National Museum of Mexican Art, although admittedly, I don’t get there as often as I’d like. In general, Chicago is a very good value when it comes to cultural museums; in addition to the Museum of Mexican Art there is the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, National Hellenic Museum, Chinese-American Museum of Chicago, and the DuSable Museum of African American History, just to name a few. ...

Sleeping and Showering With Ganesh???

I know that its kind of kitschy, but I can’t help but adore this whimsical shower curtain featuring the artwork of Venezuelan born-Miami artist Valentina Ramos.  This mixed media artist uses paints and Rapidograph pens to create works that are both unique and inspirational. Happily for us, the home furnishings company, DENY Designs offers innovative bedding, shower curtains, wall prints  and wall clocks featuring the designs of Ramos as well as over 100 other independent artists. Throw pillows start at $39 and shower curtains can be ordered from...

Fanciful Map Art To Flip Over!

London graphic artist Michael Tompsett recently traded in the grey skies of Britain for the sunny shores of the south of Spain in order to focus on creating fine art full-time. If that’s not enough reason to be envious of this ex-desk jockey, wait to untill you get a load to amazing creative genius that resulted from the change in venue. Zulily.com is currently offering prints of Tompsett’s colorful and imaginative maps featuring locales such as Germany, France, the UK, NYC and the African continent all at...

NOVICA: Gift shopping that gives back

Novica is a shopping site created in association with National Geographic that is dedicated to offering hard to find goods by artists and artisans from around the globe. Not only can you find jewelry, home decor, artwork and accessories from places like Bali, Brazil, Thailand and West Africa, but Novica also includes a blurb about the artist who created each item, giving you a better insight on the life of the person you are supporting with your purchases. For you savvy shoppers, the website...

Tuesday Tunes: Megitza

  Megitza is Małgorzata Babiarz, a Polish born singer, composer and double bass player who moved to Chicago, Illinois in 2001. She is a self-taught musician who creates infectious tunes with her band mates, acoustic guitarist Andreas Kapsalis , accordion player Marek Lichota, and percussionist Jamie Gallagher. Megitza’s music is influenced by Polish, Romani and Balkan folk music and is infused with gypsy and mediterranean rhythms. Best of all, her songs make you want to engage in staccato hand clapping and foot stomping while twirling your shawl by a good gypsy fire. When life...