Blog

Gregg Blasdel Makes Huge Contribution to SPACES Archive

SPACES is thrilled to announce the acquisition of artist, curator, and educator Gregg Blasdel’s photography collection and archive resulting from his longstanding commitment to the study of art environments.  

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Interview with Lisa Stone: SPACES Board Emerita

Almost everyone who knows art environments knows Lisa Stone. Whether through her (and for a long time, Jim Zanzi's) unparalleled class Better Homes & Gardens at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago or her steadfast commitment to the preservation and interpretation of art environments around the world, many who know Lisa have been swiftly convinced that this is the place to be. You will typically find her juggling a million projects–from curating exhibitions to hands-on conservation work, but she always makes time to generously share the vast knowledge she's collected throughout the years, including playing a large role in the creation of the original SPACES website during her tenure on the board. We're so grateful for her continued support of SPACES, and we're thrilled to share this interview with you in hopes of recognizing her extensive contributions to the field of art environments.  

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Summer 2020 "Audi-tour-y" Road Trip

The open road, windows down, face mask in your pocket (2020, right?) - you're going on a road trip! But where are you headed? No matter where you are in the world, there are art environments to visit and discover. We've picked a few around the United States for you to add to your list and paired some regionally-related podcasts to enjoy while you're on your way, even if it's only to the grocery store for your essentials and not an art environment.  

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Interview with Narrow Larry Harris: SPACES Contributor

Larry Harris — perhaps better known as Narrow Larry of Narrow Larry's World of the Outstanding — has been a champion of art environments since his discovery of his hometown Houston's The Orange Show in the late 1980s. The website (described as "a very narrow guide to art environments, modern architecture, and travel) that has come out of his many adventures, is well-known and highly regarded by folks traversing the United States seeking the magic of artist-built environments. His actively-maintained website contains documentation of hundreds of sites — both extant and non-extant — and his growing Flickr has more than 12,000 photos featuring architectural wonders and vernacular art from coast to coast. 

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Interview with Jo Farb Hernández: SPACES Director and Chief Curator Emerita

With the redesigned website officially launched and a new SPACES Archives era underway at the Kohler Foundation, we were inspired to take a deeper look into our history by interviewing the SPACES Board Emeriti to recognize and share their tremendously important work.  

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Out of Office: Wisconsin to Iowa Road Trip

Though the SPACES team is safely working from home during the current Covid-19 pandemic, when we are able to travel, we often use SPACES to find art environments at or around our destinations. (See the map here!) We'll be sharing highlights of these trips in this new ongoing blog series: Out of Office. For our first installment, our archivist Ann Gappmayer traveled from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, to Iowa City, Iowa:  

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Amazing Art Environments Built by Women

For International Women's Day, we wanted to highlight some of the women artists that are part of the SPACES Archives! From ceramics to fibers, concrete to paint, enjoy these amazing and immersive works of art these women created using the resources available, transforming the environments they inhabited. Though all of these artists have vastly different experiences, they all have one thing in common: they took their dreams and made the time to make them reality. 

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A Conversation with Alex Gartelmann, Artist and Site Steward at Mary Nohl House

SPACES recently participated in a panel called Life/Site Specific: The Creation, Collection, and Care of Art Environments at the 108th College Art Association Annual Conference held February 12-15 in Chicago. To our knowledge, this is the first ever panel dedicated to art environments presented at a CAA conference. (Please let us know if you're aware of other similar panels!) This panel was co-chaired by Annalise Flynn, principal of Vernacular Art Services LLC, and Lisa Stone, curator at the Roger Brown Study Collection in Chicago, and panelists included: Valerie Balint, Program Manager of Historic Artists' Homes and Studios; Laura Bickford, Associate Curator at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (JMKAC); and Alex Gartelmann, Programming Director and Site Steward of Mary Nohl Art Environment, JMKAC. 

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‘Harry Heads West’ California Vernacular Art Road Trip

Harry Warnarr at Bottle Tree Ranch

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Public Urged to Save the Skin of the Bride!

The Board of the Painted Bride has agreed to sell its building at 230 Vine Street to a developer who plans to demolish it in order to build a 14-unit residential structure.

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