Chicago Gallery Snack Report: Friday, July 23rd and beyond!

by Jeriah Hildwine
Photos by Stephanie Burke

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Stephanie had made some plans for Friday night, but what she didn't know was that Ken Saunders was serving dirty martinis!  I can't say no to a dirty martini, and so we were lured into River North.

Dirty Martinis courtesy of Ken Saunders Gallery!

I got a very nice and classy email invitation from Ken Saunders to this opening of Jay Musler's glass works, along with the promise of summer wines, seasonal appetizers, and dirty martinis.  This is exactly the kind of behavior that the Snack Report was designed to encourage!  Right on, man!

On our arrival, the martinis were still in process (waiting for ice, I think?) so we had wine and snacks.  There was a nice, basic cheese and crackers setup, some fruit, and red wine.  (There might have also been white, but we tend to prefer red.)  The wine was Signal Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, and I liked it.  As I think is clear to any long-time readers of the Snack Report, I'm no wine snob, nor am I well versed in the fancy language of wines; all I know about wine is what I learned from John Cleese in Wine For The Confused.  At any rate, Signal Mountain is good stuff.  Because it's wine.

The martinis were vokda, not gin, by the way.  This is of course one of the major distinctions in the Martini world, and Stephanie and I are divided on it.  I'm a gin man, while Stephanie prefers vodka.  Despite my prejudices, these vodkatinis were quite good, and were just the way I like 'em:  nice and dirty.  Thanks for the Dirty Martinis, Ken!  A pleasant change from the usual run of beer and wine, a fine example to be followed, and certainly the highlight of this week's Snack Report!

A pleasant surprise, the people from Argo Tea were out in force, handing out samples.  They'd set up in several of the galleries (the first was just outside Ken Saunders' door) and the tea was quite good.  Thanks, guys!

Ken Saunders Gallery - 230 W. Superior. Jay Musler. Reception 5-8pm. 7/23-8/31.

Note:  If you weren't able to make it to Ken Saunders for the opening of this show, it's not too late!  According to the website, they'll be serving dirty martinis again tomorrow night, during First Thursdays, from 5pm to 7pm.  Numerous other galleries will also be open in River North (5 to 7) and the West Loop (6 to 9).  I plan on checking it out, drinking a dirty martini, and looking at these shows again plus any I've missed.

Jeriah with wine courtesy of Roy Boyd, and work by Manfred Muller.

Next we headed over to Roy Boyd, which despite being one of the older galleries in River North, I don't think I'd ever been to before tonight!  Roy was serving white wine, and there was also another Argo representative there.  As is to be expected, we went with the wine.  (The samples of Argo tea we had were really good, though.  But they don't get you drunk.)

Roy Boyd Gallery - 739 N. Wells. Manfred Muller: Selected works since the 90's. Reception 5-8pm. 7/23-9/4.

Jeriah with wine courtesy of Zg, and work by Dan Gamble.

Zg was serving white wine, as usual.  A classic, reliable, old standby.  Thanks for the wine, Zg!

Zg Gallery - 300 W. Superior St. Phenomena, work by Dan Gamble. Reception 5:30-7:30pm. 7/23-9/4.

The crew at David Weinberg serves up the wine.

Our friends at David Weinberg Gallery were serving Gnarly Head Pinot Noir.  Again, I don't know much about wine, but this was a good one.

David Weinberg Gallery - 300 W. Superior St., #203. Friedman & Miss Aniela. Reception 5-8pm. 7/23-9/4.

Jeriah with wine and snacks courtesy of Judy Saslow.

Judy Saslow was serving wine and mini pretzels.  We also noticed that there was a lot of very reasonably-priced work in this show, some very good pieces for under $100.  See our Monday Morning Quarterback for details.

Judy A Saslow Gallery - 300 W. Superior St. ART FROM THE ESTATE OF JOHN STERN & BACKROOM INVENTORY EXPOSED. Reception 5-8pm.

Gallery KH was serving white wine, we enjoyed a glass while chatting with one of the artists.

Gallery KH - 311 W. Superior St. Deborah T. Colter and Charlotte Foust. Reception 5-8pm. 7/23-8/31.

Jeriah tries to clean coal at Spoke. He enjoyed several PBRs.

There were a few others shows we wanted to see, in Bridgeport, Pilsen, and in the (far) West Loop at The Hills Esthetic Center.  Unfortunately, Steph and I were a bit worse for wear, having eaten little but drunk much.  We did manage to make it over to Spoke, though, for work by Grant W. Ray.  He gave us Pabst Blue Ribbon and indulged us in a long and engaging conversation.  Thanks, Grant!

Spoke - 119 N Peoria St, 3D. If Nature Could Talk, work by Grant W. Ray. Reception 6-9pm. 7/23-7/25.

And now, a special shoutout from the Snack Report:  On Tuesday, July 27th, I attended an artists talk at Linda Warren Gallery.  Speaking were artists Lora Fosberg and Chris Cosnowski.  They also had a ton of beer, and sandwiches!  Man, it was great!  Steph and I both drank a ton of beer and stuffed our faces shamelessly, and yet when the event concluded, there was still plenty left over.  I've been to artist talks at galleries before, and they're always worthwhile:  whether I liked the work or not (I did like the work in this show, both Lora's and Chris's), once I've met the artist and heard them talk about their work, I always appreciate it with much more depth afterward.  And sometimes there's sandwiches.

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

Stephanie Burke was born in Nevada City, CA in 1984. She received her BA in Studio Art and Anthropology from Humboldt State University in 2007, and her MFA in Photography from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009. Currently she lives in Chicago with her husband Jeriah, makes work, teaches, writes for Bad at Sports, is Editor-in-Chief of Art Talk Chicago, works as Managing Editor and Director of Operations at Chicago Art Magazine, as well as maintaining her own blog, The Gallery Crawl and So Much More. When not making, teaching, looking at, or writing about art, she enjoys running around in the woods, drinking beer by bonfires, crazy quilting and target shooting.

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