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Chicago Artists Coalition’s annual benefit “Work In Progress”

This year, Chicago Artists Coalition presented its annual benefit, “Work In Progress,” at Venue One — a premium multi-level venue in the Chicago West Loop. The event started with a VIP reception at CAC’s gallery space, where guests witnessed and participated in interactive art, as well as in live performances by selected Chicago’s up-and-coming emerging artists. Silent auction was held for a number of the pieces, as in the past years.

Among the items on display, we were duly impressed by the centerpiece of an intricate  3D-printing contraption by artist Andrew Barco. It sure appeared as though he was trying to print no less than a new planet, to the cheers of the fascinated art supporters. He also builds other large-scale kinetic sculptures/installations, including Androne — «Semi-Autonomous Flying Hurdy-Gurdy»…

We were further surprised to learn that among Andrew Barco’s inspirations, as it turned out, there is yet another historical art object called Letatlin, by the famous Russian artist Vladimir Tatlin. (Together with Kazimir Malevich, Tatlin was one of the central figures of Russian Avant-Garde and Constructivism. Letatlin, a human-powered utopian flight sculpture (or «ornitopther»), was built hundred years ago in the early days of real aviation, conveying «a feeling that something entirely new was possible». It is on display at Central Air Force Museum in Monino, outside of Moscow.) Andrew Barco is also a fan of a Russian philosopher of Leo Tolstoy era — Nikolai Fedorov, who was known for the development of «Russian cosmism». The artist’s web site gives further idea about his many conceptualized projects and interdisciplinary research practice —  www.andrewbarco.com

Meanwhile, during the evening, a tradition was also upheld by the visiting Environmental Encroachment band, complete with many wind pipes, marching through the space. The festivities continued at Venue One, where attendees surveyed the art, mingled, while enjoying delicious bites from Chicago’s top restaurants.

Organizers note that about 500 artists and supporters were in attendance this year. Co-chaired by photographer and former CAC BOLT resident Suzette Bross and Founder & Managing Partner of Dom Capital Jay Owen, all proceeds from “WORK IN PROGRESS,” CAC’s largest fundraiser of the year, directly support CAC’s year-round residencies, professional development workshops, ground-breaking exhibitions and the online platform CAR (Chicago Artists Resource). The mission of the Chicago Artists Coalition is to build a sustainable marketplace for entrepreneurial artists and creatives. CAC is committed to cultivating groundbreaking exhibitions and educational opportunities, and building a diverse community of artistic leaders that defines the place of art and artists in our culture and economy. For more information visit chicagoartistscoalition.org.

S Telis, L Mogul for Kontinent Media Group

Photos by S.T.

Antony Barco’s Androne Semi-Autonomous Flying Hurd-Gurdy
Muscle-Powered Early Airplane
Vladimir Tatlin’s Letatlin

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