We will give you Soft Sensuality: Open Artist Call for politically themed group exhibition in Chicago

Jackson Junge Gallery in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago is currently accepting artists submissions for our next group show in March.

With the current mood of political angst developing around the world, we invite artists to share their own opinions/interpretations/concepts through their artwork.

Please go to the gallery website (J2gallery.com) to submit your artwork: under the “About” tab, go to “Call for Artists”.

We will be releasing a formal artist call on Chicago Artist Resource in a few weeks.



Saturday night’s alright for

Saturday events happening in the city tonight:



a five year anniversary celebration

7PM SAT 23 JAN 2016
$20 general | $10 students
lovely drinks and nibbles


A five year Celebration and Fundraising event marking the end of OPERATION RENOVATION II – our annual crowdsourcing campaign to support facility improvements and renovations at Defibrillator Gallery.


Champagne Retro – The 80′s Dance Party

Come get down with your favorite tunes from the 80s with the Champagne Retro resident DJs

Champagne Retro - The 80s Dance Party

RSVP on Do312.com for NO COVER before 10pm

9pm | $5 | 21+

beauty bar chicago
1444 w. chicago ave
chicago. 60642
312.226.8828 | 21+

#FBF: Tulip Mania



It’s Friday and time to flashback and regale with some fun facts from centuries past.  This weeks topic is Tulip Mania.  Yes, there is an actual historical occurrence formally known as “Tulip Mania”. In 17th century Europe, the flower with the power was the Tulip.  In 1637, a single tulip bulb was heralded as the most expensive object in the world.


It all started with a gift of tulip seeds and bulbs, from the Sultan of Turkey to the Roman Emperor in 1554.  Tulips quickly grew in popularity all over Europe.  They were unlike any flower seen before in the west, with their saturated hues of reds, pinks, purples, oranges and yellows.  They became so highly revered that future markets (similar to track were sold and traded for single bulbs worth a middle class patron’s annual salary.  The economic tulip bubble grew so big in The Netherlands from the demand for the favored flower by 1637, and the bubble finally burst causing the future markets to come tumbling down to where they first started.  It was truly, tulip mania.

Beauty: exhibit opening reception Friday


The Jackson Junge Gallery is excited to present its new season of programming beginning with beauty, a special group exhibition opening on Friday, January 22, 2016 with an artist reception from 6-10PM.

Beauty is often impossible to define because of the subjective nature of judgment and taste.  The idea of “beauty” once seemed synonymous with art, as it was art’s principle goal to be beautiful.  However, after Modernism, beauty became an even greater subject of dispute, contention, and conflict than it was before.  A politics of beauty was introduced—rival tastes ignited a controversy where the traditionalists prefer order and beauty, while the avant-garde prefers disorder and shock.

Last year the gallery challenged artists to depict and critique the perception of beauty in a contemporary context; this exhibition is the culmination of their response. There was an overwhelming reply and the exhibit could have taken many directions.  But most surprisingly, the vast majority of submissions depicted a classical tale of beauty that relied upon traditional references to myth and archetype.

At this point it was evident that a trip was needed to James Mesplé’s studio: a modern day master at incorporating mythology into contemporary art. Born in the Missouri Ozarks, 1948, Mesple developed an interest in classical mythology during summers spent with his half-Osage grandfather, who shared with him many Native American tales of nature and animals.  The common theme of the battle between good and evil, the “battle of the Cosmos,” inspires many of Mesple’s paintings.  His work captures the spirit of Prometheus who, throughout history, has symbolized unyielding strength that resists oppression, and it reflects man’s quest to obtain spiritual enlightenment and creative freedom.

Mesplé’s sets the tone of the exhibition with his luminous narrative paintings.  Employing a mixed technique of oil and egg tempera, his work evokes classical myth and imagery with contemporary flair.  Beauty has never been absolute and it has taken on different aspects depending on the historical period. However, Mesplé’s work alludes to the Golden Age of Greek art, when beauty was associated with values of moderation, harmony, and symmetry.  Just like a myth, his narratives offer guidance by telling tales of the obsession of beauty, the price of beauty, or even the attack on beauty.

Other artists follow suit by utilizing the long tradition of painting and story telling. Bruce Adams reinterprets the love goddess as a powerful force in the robust Mighty Aphrodite. A golden apple hangs suspended above her head, a warning of the discord that beauty can inflict. However, the artist’s model is a real person posing as the mythical figure.  In dressing, undressing, and posing, the subject expresses a veiled aspect of herself and personality.

Lilla Dent explores beauty through a lens of objectification and femininity. The surrealistic concubine portrayed in Maguro asks us to question the aesthetic norms and expectations the women face in our culture.  By reducing a female figure, already symbolic of prized beauty to her lower half with the addition of a beast’s head, the “maidmer,” or backwards mermaid, provokes reflection on the sexual objectification of women in general.  Her work Tlazoteotl, portrays the multifaceted Aztec goddess of fertility, filth (sin and lust) and purification.  By depicting the goddess in a ball gown—an object traditionally designed to makes its wearer as beautiful as possible—made of various kinds of fungi, Dent explores the dual nature of femininity while challenging the traditional definition of “beauty” itself.  The Aztecs recognized that the cycles of rot, death and subsequent rebirth have their unique splendor, which is contrasted by our modern societies infatuation with anti-aging and overly perfect ideals to the point of sterilization.

beauty runs January 22, 2016 – February 28, 2016 and is curated by Gallery Director Chris Jackson, Assistant Director Scott Renfro and artist Laura Junge.

FEATURED ARTISTS: James Mesplé, Robert Tolchin, Bruce Adams, Raymond Thornton, Amalia Kouvalis, LillaDent, Stephanie Karamitsos, Kevin Connaughton, Léon 47, Francine Gourguechon

#FBF English Garden party

Here is a flashback to one of my favorite wedding setups at the historical Chicago Landmark, Germania Place.  Our designer Lauren and her team prepared and executed a refined English Garden themed reception in the ballroom of the Gilded Age edifice.


Picturesque centerpieces composing pink stock, white, mauve and blush roses, white hydrangea, buplerum, pink wax flower, Azalea leaves, Italian Ruscus and eucalyptus sat atop silver antique inspired pedestals.  Orbiting the centerpieces were silver antique inspired candlesticks and candle votives.  The arrangements allude to the regal 18th century landscaping style that reflected a focus towards natural beauty.


The place card table showcasing one of the grandiose arrangements was a perfect compliment to the stained glass portrait which was designed in Heidelberg, Germany, and first exhibited at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.




New year goals: get organized & stay organized

mayi carles, how to keep you creative space inspiring, workspace organization

It’s a new year and time to say goodbye to the mishaps and messes we made in 2015, and make sure they don’t happen ( as much) in 2016.  Today I wanted reflect on the importance of organizing personal space.  Whether it is your desk at work or at home, or an entire office or studio, our production space and how we think about and utilize it effects everything we do.  If you are feeling uninspired or constantly distracted within your space, here are some tips to get you back on track:

  • Find the #1 distraction and get rid of it.  This may be as simple as deleting solitaire from your computer.  If your biggest distraction is something a little more complicated like the entirety of the internet, it will be hard but you know what you have to do.  Shut it down!  I mean, don’t through your modem in the bin, but disable it while you are working, or if you don’t need a computer to do your work, then turn off the computer and take it out of your space.  Out of sight, out of mind.


  • Give your space a makeover.  Now is the time to simplify, and revamp.  If nothing around you is sparking your creative side, then give it some new life.  Throw out anything you don’t need or don’t use.  Keep some inspiring reading materials nearby.  Sometimes when you are stalling to start work on a project, taking a short reading break does well to inspire and get you going again.

 A fab mid-century inspired home in Berlin. Herz & Blut. My Scandinavian Home.:


  • Now that it is so fresh and so clean, KEEP IT THAT WAY!  When we are on a productive roll, it is too easy to lose our space to small fits of disorganization.  Then the problem becomes that too many small fits turn into one giant scary mess.  Don’t let it happen to you.  A small mess will take you a few minutes to work out.  Take some time at least once a week to make sure your space is in check.

Let’s make something!

Winter has finally arrived to Chicago, and so has my annual urge to stay inside and order lots of Thai food.  It can be hard to stay inspired during hibernation season, and Orange is the New Black season 4 has not yet been unleashed on Netflix.  So, it’s time for us to DIY!  Get ready to relax and be productive while never having to take off your slippers.

Here are some fun ideas to start with:

  1. Emoji Balloons

DIY Emoji Balloons

2. Letter Balloon Pillows

DIY Letter Balloon Pillows | studiodiy.com

3. Lipstick Piñata

DIY Lipstick Piñata

4. Coconut Coffee Body Scrub

scrub pic1

5. Master your favorite chick flick dance scene (Mine is from the dance battle in White Chicks)

6. Snack on this! (and more in this link)


7. Build your own butt with this 30 day challenge.

This is a basic squat gif

8. Learn how to give great face like Courtney Act

9. Lip balm

10. Spice up your spirits

Ginger Lime Infused Vodka - an easy last-minute gift.