Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Sunday, August 7

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Funny Club Show @ Rotofugi

Straight from the mouths of Rotofugi, a monster show! --

Rotofugi Designer Toy Store & Gallery is pleased to announce they will host the first full showing of The Funny Club Show 2005, a traveling art exhibition of customized toy figures. The show will be open for viewing at the gallery, located at 1953 W. Chicago Avenue, beginning March 4, 2005. An opening reception will be held from 7 pm until 11 pm on Friday, March 4, 2005.

The show includes approximately 140 artists from several countries and features the "Funny Club" figure by Taiwan toy designer B.B. Birdy. The figures are customized by a diverse group of artists from toy designers to rock poster artists to graffiti writers and traditional fine artists. Among those participating are Gary Baseman, Frank Kozik, Jermaine Rogers, MAD, Damon Soule and UrbanMedium. Also participating in the traveling show are Chicago-based artists Shawn Smith (Shawnimals), James Liu (Fizziefuzzie), Grace Montemar (Spasmodica), Eric Broers (Phoneticontrol), James Kern and Tom Sinnamond (No Hope No Fear Tattoo Studio) and others.

The various artists were all provided a blank Funny Club figure to alter however they saw fit and the results are a wide range of customizations varying from simple painted figures to elaborate constructions. The figures that are part of the traveling exhibit, which will travel to galleries in Los Angeles and Taiwan after showing at Rotofugi, are not for sale.

However, at the Rotofugi showing there will be an approximately 50 additional hand-customized figures commissioned by the toy store that will be available for purchase. These 50 figures, primarily by Chicago-based artists such as Jay Ryan, Mat Daly, Dianna Sudd (all three of Birdmachine), eThos, Revize CMW, Justin Goh, Paul Nudd, JoJo, Vaugnda Johnson, Jeremiah Ketner, Joey Potts & Krista Peel can be purchased and will be available to the buyers at the end of the Rotofugi exhibit in early April.

The opening reception for the Funny Club Show at Rotofugi will be held from 7 pm to 11 pm on Friday, March 4. Funny Club designer and artist B.B. Birdy will be in attendance to sign figures. Also attending will be artist Tony Shiau (aka Nakanari), who has designed several of the Funny Club toys that are currently in production, and other participating artists. Complimentary beer and wine will be served and Tobias (, will handle music duties and is sure to have the store bumping!

Jeff Tweedy @ The Vic

Jeff Tweedy at the Vic! Of course it's already sold out, but maybe if you hang out in front of the Vic, Jeff will come out of his tour bus and play you a song or two. Hey, it never hurts to dream! The Vic: 3145 N. Sheffield. (773) 472-0449.

EU Film Festival @ Film Center

The Siskel Film Center presents its 8th annual European Union Film Festival, which starts tonight with the film Gilles' Wife from Luxembourg (the country which currently holds the EU presidency). The festival runs through March 24, and features films from all over the EU. See the Film Center's site for full details and schedule. Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Tragic Beauty

With the support of Bucket Rider Gallery and Chicago Public Art Group, four leading Chicago artists have embarked on a collaboration of unprecedented scale and scope. Tragic Beauty, as envisioned by Juan Chavez, Mike Genovese, Cody Hudson, and Chris Silva, will transform Open End Space into an engaging and innovative environment of found materials, natural elements, and multi-media constructions. Tragic Beauty will then be reassembled on the street where installations will take on added dimension and new meaning. Drawing from past collaborations together as well as individual artistic pursuits, Juan Chavez, Mike Genovese, Cody Hudson, and Chris Silva will host Tragic Beauty at Open End Space in March, 2005.

Tragic Beauty will be a site-specific installation at Open End Space. Selected for its high ceilings and large open areas, Open End gives the artists the freedom to create work on greater scales without limitations. The flexibility at Open End allows the artists to create an alternative space rather than fill a given space. The artists will have the ability to produce an art installation that uniquely co-functions as a set, a stage, and a venue.

Through innovative use of found material, the space will examine the dichotomies that exist in everyday living—revealing creation within destruction, hope within despair, and beauty within tragedy. An assembled shipwreck will provide a platform for bands to perform and add a musical component to the month long show. Bands and artists scheduled to perform during the tragic beauty music series are Ulrich Schnauss (City Centre Office, Domino) [Germany], Montag (Carpark) [Canada], Kate Simko, Panthers (Vice), Zombi (Relapse), Pit er Pat (Overcoat Recordings, Thrill Jockey), Icy Demons (Cloud) & Babyteeth. Also at the opening reception, Tony Janda, Qualls, Ben Fasman, John Herndon will be djing.

Juan Chavez, Mike Genovese, Cody Hudson, and Chris Silva share a belief in the intersection of art and life and the potential for art and experience. They have established themselves as individual artists both in their studio work and their public work. Each artist pursues an individual career while maintaining strong ties and interests in collaborative work. Together, the artists of Tragic Beauty have backgrounds in street collaborations, graffiti, public art, graphic design, painting, and gallery installations. Their work reflects a unique urban consciousness and understanding. For them, this project provides an opportunity to expand the scope of their work and the scope of their audiences. Juan, Mike, Cody, and Chris are eager to see the realization of Tragic Beauty’s potential as an art object and as a community venue.

Tragic Beauty Music Series schedule:

Friday, March 4th : opening reception with dj’s:
Tony Janda
Ben Fasmen
John Herndon

Friday, March 18th
Ulrich Schnauss (City Centre Office, Domino) [Germany]
Montag (Carpark) [Canada]
Kate Simko

Tuesday, March 22nd
Panthers (Vice)
Zombi (Relapse)

Friday, March 25th
Pit er Pat (Overcoat Recordings, Thrill Jockey)
Icy Demons (Cloud)

Newberry Mystery Book Fair

Today and tomorrow, the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton, holds its 13th annual Mystery & More Book Fair, offering mystery lovers all of the books can handle, including true-crime, whodunits, mystery classics, mysteries of the heart (aka "romances") and science fiction. Today 12-6pm and tomorrow 9am-2pm. Admission is free. For more information, call 312/255-3510.

Gettin' It All Together: Ming + FS

Sonotheque and Silver Wrapper are proud to present the fourth installment of our monthly residency titled, "Gettin' It All Together - Music For Hips & Heads." Showcasing the undiscovered gems from the last 40 plus years "Gettin' It All Together" hopes to unearth those seemingly lost treasures of soul, funk, roots, reggae, hip hop and breakbeats.

New York City drum'n'bass duo Ming + FS pioneered their own self-described "junkyard" sound, deftly mixing and matching elements of old school hip-hop, jungle, electro, turntablism, and live instrumentation.

At Sonotheque on Friday, March 4th; doors open at 9 pm. Tickets available on the web.

The Dollar Store @ The Hideout

The show keeps getting better and weirder, which are two ways of saying one thing. This edition should be no different, as they feature: Neo-Futurist Diana Slickman, Annoyance Theatre's Susan Messing and The Banana King's Amber Drea. As always the show is co-hosted by Jonathan Messinger, editor of and stand-up behemoth Sean Gardner. The Dollar Store Reading Series takes place at The Hideout located at 1354 W. Wabansia, Chicago. The hilarity starts at 7pm, there's an appropriate $1 suggested donation.

Midnight Yoga @ Bloom Yoga Studio

Once again, the first friday of the month brings Bloom Yoga Studio's Midnight Yoga class toinght from 10:30pm – Midnight. Midnight Yoga is an invigorating candlelit yoga class taught by Kerry Maiorca and accompanied by live music by local DJ Jesse Hozeny. The late-night mood, fun and challenging flow, and ambient beats combine to make a yoga class unlike any other. Following the class, Midnight Yogis relax in Bloom’s reception area for wine, light snacks, dessert, and good conversation. The workshop costs $20 and pre-registration is recommended. For more information or to register, visit Bloom. The studio is located at 4663 N. Rockwell St., Chicago, (773) 463-YOGA.

Gerber/Hart Library Sale

Gerber/Hart Library, at 1127 W. Granville Ave., is having their first book sale of the year. The sale promises to offer thousands of LBGT related titles as well as ones of general interest, all at awesome prices. Call 773-381-8030 or e-mail info[at] for more information. Today's hours are 12pm-6pm.



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