Chicago Architecture

The kindly introduced me as the Illinois Artist Laureate. In the row in front (the man with the regal white hair) is acclaimed Chicago architect, Dirk Lohan.

They kindly introduced me as the Illinois Artist Laureate. In the row in front (the man with the regal white hair) is acclaimed Chicago architect, Dirk Lohan. My niece Linda, seated next to me, attended with me.

At the invitation of Karen Burnett, a long time friend and a member of Team Kay,  I attended SOAR’s (Streeterville Organization of Active Residents) 40th Anniversary at the Museum of Contemporary Art on Friday, September 25th. This annual benefit, called BLUEPRINTs, helps to raise money for the Streeterville neighborhood association in Chicago and honors those who aid in bettering communities.

Nearly 200 residents and other Streeterville neighborhood stakeholders came to celebrate with honorary co-chairs Alderman Brian Hopkins (Ward 2) and Alderman Brendan Reilly (Ward 42) lending their congratulations to the crowd. A program featured Emcee Felicia Dechter (Skyline newspapers), President Gail Spreen, Benefit Chair Karen Burnett, MCA Chief Operating Officer Teresa de Guzman, Past President Betty Eaton—and award winners Helen Dunbeck (Betty G. Eaton Spirit) and Dirk Lohan, architect (Vision Into Reality.)

A nice photo of myself on the right and my friend Karen on the far left.

A nice photo of myself on the far right, the night’s honoree Helen Dunbeck, and my friend Karen on the far left.

I donated my painting,”Old Main” as an auction item. This group was honoring architects (among others) who help to shape the city and neighborhood. And this painting shows some of the best of old Chicago architecture.

Me with the painting I donated,

Me with the painting I donated, “Old Main”.

This painting was a study of the old Armour Mission, and it (like me) has quite a history. It was founded by meat packing czar, Philip Armour, who then took his mission and made it into one of the first technical schools at the turn of the century, called the Armour Institute. This school featured architecture as a course of study and produced many of our great architects. It would eventually morph into the Illinois Institute of Technology and this building is still present on one of the campuses.  And to round this whole story out, one of my old art students, John Holabird’s father was one of those great architects that husbanded the nascent beginnings of ITT.

My student, John Holabird's painting he donated, painted in my class.

My student, John Holabird’s painting he donated, painted in my class.

Just talking about architecture conjures so many stories of the great architects of the last century. Who were the great architects of the day ??? …grab your hats, their identity will blow you away.

The year is 1895. Among the great architects involved in the school were Daniel Burnham, John Root , Louis J. Millet, Alfred Alschuler, Louis Skidmore, and John Holabird.

This is enough for today.  Follow me as we are headed for stories on John Holabird, Mees Van der Rohe, his grandson Dirk Lohan, and Streeterville, all springing from the SOAR event. Stay tuned.

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“Painting for Myself” Art Exhibit Sunday, September 13, 2015, at the Old Town Triangle Association Gallery in Chicago

Hi, Hello, Greetings —

I am meeting old friends, special faithful friends that can be put away and wait patiently for their recognition anytime one chooses—personal paintings from stored portfolios. Come, follow along with me.

Here are my friends. I am sorting, deciding about which images I will use selected from my personal portfolios.

Lovely scenes painted in my neighbor's garden.

Lovely scenes painted in my neighbor’s garden.

Dressing them up in mats and frames for their public debut on Sept 13 at the Old Town Triangle Show. Each painting has its own story to tell and in my memories they are so loud that I don’t know which one I will listen to first.

This picture was painted while enjoying my neighbor and her garden on spring evenings.

This picture was painted while enjoying my neighbor and her garden on spring evenings.

This one—my next door neighbor’s garden with the Stone Pig (image size 19” X 14”, framed size 27” X 20”). She was also my student. My neighbor liked her cocktails and invited me over two or three times a week to have an early evening drink. She hated living alone and when she became too in the “dumps” for a good time we would sit in her “Garden with the Stone Pig” and paint together. It is a pleasant memory of my old friend who was one of our country’s first aviatrix. She is long gone. I thought she would leave the stone pig for me but she didn’t

Well I can’t listen to all but let me tell you another quite different story so you can fully enjoy it and I can share a special memory of painting, “Elk in High Pasture” with the Tetons their backdrop, size 27”Lx21”H.

Migrating elk while high in the mountains of Wyoming.

Migrating elk while high in the mountains of Wyoming.

My brother, Paul Dean, lived in Dubois, Wyoming. Every summer, I went out to stay a month with his family. His two daughters and I had free range to ride horseback anywhere we chose. If we got lost he advised, “simply give the horses their heads and they will bring you back to the barn.” It only happened once. The painting was sketched and began in this beautiful meadow in the High Country in its full summer bloom–and as if that was not a gift big enough, as I was swinging my brush happily and purposely on the scene, several elk came into view and stopped to graze. They stood in magnificently majestic poses as if staged then bent to crop the sweet grass as gracefully as dancers in performance. My cup runneth over with gratitude.

More later mates……………

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