Chicago Gallery Snack Report: Friday, March 19th

by Jeriah Hildwine


Steph was out of town this weekend, partying with our friends at a cabin in Wisconsin, but Jeriah fulfilled his duties of looking at art and getting obnoxiously drunk.

While the cat's away, the mice will play, and by "play" I mean get really drunk, look at some art, and embarrass themselves with their incoherent speech and by putting their jackets on upside down.  (In case you haven't deciphered my incredibly subtle and cryptic metaphor, I'm the mice.)  Steph was out of town and, without her moderating influence on my baser instincts, all hell broke loose.

I started down my road to ruin at ThreeWalls, where I filled out a form as part of Irena Knezevic's Gesture Guild.  I saw some people with cups of the much-touted Absinthe (actually wormwood-free Pernod), but didn't yet venture into the back room to find the bar.  All in good time...I was told the performance was starting at 8:00.  [Correction:  I have been informed that Pernod is a genuine absinthe which does
contain wormwood, although the thujone levels are regulated by the FDA. 
Look forward to an article on this subject in the near future.  Thanks
to Mandy Kalajian at Mirrorball, Pernod's marketing agency, for
correcting this misconception.  The Snack Report regrets the error.]


Snacks at G.R. N'Namdi: lots of assorted cheeses, crackers, and grapes, plus one solitary surviving strawberry.

First I went across the street to G.R. N'Namdi, who had a pretty classy setup:  red or white wine (I had red), numerous types of cheese, crackers, and grapes, plus strawberries which were huge and therefore, I suspected, kind of bland.  I like small fruit!  But the stuff I did have was good.  Thanks for the wine and snacks, G.R. N'Namdi!  Plus it was cool to see works by Romare Bearden and Jacob Lawrence, both of whom are pretty well known.

G.R. N'Namdi - 110 N. Peoria.
Romare Bearden and Jacob Lawrence. Reception 6-9pm. 3/19-4/30.


The wine table at Andrew Rafacz.

Next I headed down to Andrew Rafacz, who was having a design show of furniture by Jonathan Nesci.  They had red and white wine.


White wine, chilling in its tub, at Andrew Rafacz.

As is proper, they had the red wine sitting out at room temperature, but the white wine on ice.  (This, by the way, is why you hold a red wine glass by the bowl, but a white wine glass by the stem:  it's okay to warm the red a little, with your body heat, but not the white.  Or so I've pieced together, I don't really know much about wine, for all of it that I drink.)


The red wine was Bulletin Place Shiraz, from Southeastern Australia.

I don't usually try to get all descriptive about the wine I drink; usually it just tastes like wine and then I drink a bunch of it and feel great and then wake up with a headache.  And sometimes I fall down.  But this wine, Bulletin Place Shiraz, was pretty distinctive.  It was really strong in oak/tannin flavor.  It tasted almost wooden!  But not bad, I actually liked it quite a bit.  Definitely not nearly as sweet as, for example, a Merlot.  Anyway, I'm really pushing my ability to talk about wine here.  If you want some more info on wine and how to talk about it, I really enjoyed John Cleese's Wine For The Confused.


"Wow, that's quite a glass of wine, Jeriah." Wouldn't be the first time I've heard that. Can you really expect the person drinking the wine to pour himself the same meager finger of wine the person buying it would pour? Yeah, no.

Thanks for the wine, Andrew Rafacz!  I don't usually seek out design shows, but this stuff was pretty cool.

Andrew Rafacz Gallery - 835
W. Washington Blvd. THE NEW, work by Jonathan Nesci. Reception 6-8pm.


The bucket o' beer at EbersMoore: Pabst, Tecate, and a third beer I can't identify by its gold-and-white can.

After finishing up at Rafacz, I still had time to make it over to EbersMoore before the event at ThreeWalls.  They had their classic galvanized tub of beers:  Pabst Blue Ribbon, Tecate, and one other one I couldn't quite make out.  (I piece all this stuff together from the photos I take, after the fact.  They're not as good this week because Steph usually takes 'em, but this time I was on my own.)  Ebersmoore is having a group show curated by William Staples.  This stuff was pretty fun to look at.  I especially liked the big chunk of purpleheart; I'm a sucker for a nice piece of wood.  (That's what she said!)  Thanks for the Pabst!

Ebersmoore - 213 N. Morgan, #3C.
Around, work by Dianna Frid, Deva Graf, Anne Simon, Brian Taylor and
Scott Wolniak. Reception 6-9pm. 3/19-4/17.


Jeriah heads back to G.R. N'Namdi for a second round of snacks.

Thanks to my long legs, I was done at EbersMoore and back over to 119 Peoria and it still wasn't time for the performance, so I headed back over to G.R. N'Namdi for some more snacks and wine.  I ran into some friends of mine and Steph's, Mike and Kate, and we all headed over to ThreeWalls together.


The beginning of the end: Jeriah with his first Pernod "Absinthe Cocktail" from ThreeWalls.

Somewhere along the way I ran into my frequent ad hoc snacking buddies, Patrick Bobilin and Erin Nixon.  We were in line for Pernod "Absinthe Cocktails," and Patrick warned me that the last time he was here, he'd had three of them and had, I think he said something like, "a demon night." 


Foreground: Jeriah. Background: ThreeWalls' bartender. I didn't get this guy's name, but he was very friendly and helpful, and patient with all my Pernod questions. Thanks, man!

ThreeWalls was asking a $3 donation for a drink, which seemed reasonable to me, and more to the point, I actually had some cash.  So, I pitched in and got my cocktail.


Patrick Bobilin (of Noble and Superior Projects) warned me about these Pernod "Absinthe Cocktails." I can't remember his exact words but it was something like, "Last time I drank three of them and had a demon night." This was the first of the three I drank, and while I wouldn't quite call it a demon night, I definitely got my drunk on, and probably annoyed the hell out of a few people.

The performance was really, really fun, with Irena Knezevic leading a sort of marching band of sailors (okay, people in striped shirts) in, and two of them sat down at drum sets and started playing a march, and then Irena started singing, and these people with flags signaled some participants when it was their turn to sing.  I don't remember much but the chorus, which alternated between, "I'll kill myself over your dead body if you fuck anybody but me," and "I'll kill myself over your dead body if you fuck anybody like me."  And then there was another memorable line near the end, where she sang, "You won't die in your sleep, horses will fuck you in the eyes."  (I'm pretty sure she said "eyes".  It might have been "ass."  I like the visual of horses, plural, fucking someone in the eyes, like both eyes at the same time, so I'm going to stick with that.)

Well, you know what they say:  "One drink is enough, two is too many, and three is too few."  Since I'd already had three glasses of wine and a PBR, the Absinthe Cocktail made my fifth drink and there was really nowhere to go but onward.  I put a couple of bucks in the jar, asked the bartender for another, but then he got distracted by a coworker, and then he says to me, "I'm sorry, did you say two more?"

I've never been very good at saying no.

ThreeWalls - 119 N. Peoria St.
Gesture Guild, work by Irena Knezevic. Reception 6-9pm. 3/19-4/17.

Well, thanks for all the absinthe, ThreeWalls!  And your bartender was
really nice!  So, the performance was over, people were drinking (as per
Irena's command) and partying, and we all decided we had to head over
to Heaven and Johalla.  Well, I did; the others were undecided.  But
that's where we ended up, at Heaven first.  I pounded half of one of my
cocktails, used what was left to top off the other, and then headed out,
spilling absinthe all over myself in the process.

By the time we got to the Blue Line, I'd wrestled with my jacket for
about 5 minutes before I figured out that I'd put it on UPSIDE DOWN,
like the collar at my lower back, and started text messaging Steph to
tell her about it. 


The bartender at Heaven, serving white wine. They were out of cups so I had to re-use someone's. Somehow I imagine that's what the real heaven is like, too.

Heaven was serving white wine, and while a snob might have pointed out that it really shouldn't be served at room temperature, I'm no snob.  A snob might have also given them a hard time about the fact that they were out of cups, but again, I'm no snob.  I had no problem re-using someone else's old cup.

I had a look around at the work, but by this point, was in no condition to give anything like an intelligent evaluation of the work.  Thanks for the wine, Heaven!

Heaven Gallery - 1550 N.
Milwaukee Ave., 2nd Fl. The Invisible City. Reception 7-10pm.

Next stop was Johalla Projects, right across the street.  One of my colleagues from LillStreet Art Center, Aaron Delahanty, was in this show, and told me about it, and what's more, he told me that there'd be beer!  Well, there's two things I wasn't about to miss.


"Is this the line for the beer, or the line for the tickets to get the beer?" These ladies were at the door to Johalla Projects, checking ID's and slapping on wristbands.

The project at Johalla is 50 Aldermen/50 Artists, curated by Lauri Apple and Jeremy Scheuch, with substantial curatorial help from Anna Cerniglia and Caitlin Arnold from Johalla.  It was really well-attended, and I guess a lot of the depicted Aldermen and their associates were here, so all in all it was a high-profile event.  This meant that they had to have some greeters, who were really nice and friendly, to check ID's and put wristbands on the of-age drinkers-to-be.  Thanks for the wristband, ladies!


Not that I was particularly in need of further intoxication, but when I arrived, there wasn't any beer "right now." I suspected (rightly, it turns out) that meant that more beer was on the way.

When I first entered the space, wading through the sea of human flesh, I overhead the announcement from the bar, that there as no more beer "right now."  Between beer runs, I suspected (rightly, it turned out).


Painter Aaron Delehanty, posing with his work and a beer. When I told him they were out of beer, he pulled one out of his pocket and handed it to me! What a guy!

I looked around a bit, ran into Aaron (who handed me a beer!), and then went around to check out the work and socialize with the artists.  I was in pretty rare form, I think, but doing my best to communicate a sincere interest in the artists and their work, taking pictures and business cards.  I had some nice conversations that I only remember bits and pieces of.  Talked with the curator, Lauri Apple, for a bit, who seemed not in the least bit amused.  She was terribly concerned about being misquoted.  So, I won't quote her.  I did notice her after-action report on Johalla Projects' blog, though, that they counted 834 attendees!  Nice.  Lauri mentioned that there were "drunk people" and "reporters" present...I'm honored!

Johalla Projects -
1561 N. Milwaukee Ave. 50 Aldermen/50 Artists. Reception 7-11pm.

Check out the slideshow for lots and lots of my crappy pictures of my rambling, drunken adventures, and images of the work in the shows.

Jeriah is an artist,
educator, writer, and snack enthusiast.  You can see his work at, and read his columns at Art Talk Chicago and Chicago
Art Magazine
.  Jeriah lives
and works in Chicago, with his wife


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  • Damn, those Johalla ladies are real cuties!

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