Friday, August 8, 2008

Chicago Connection: The 5 Artists Project Opening Reception

Tonight's the night for the opening reception for The 5 Artists Project. We spent hours in the Ossia gallery on Wednesday measuring the walls and art, hanging the art, and then re-arranging, adjusting, and trying to perfect the design, layout, and lighting. I think Iris has done an exemplary job with her museum-inspired hanging. And Karen, while wearing black embroidered house slippers and trying to balance on top of a 10-foot-high ladder to put hooks up on the groove near the ceiling, seemed almost acrobatic.

Since Olga will be singing with Kristijan accompanying her on the piano, we've had to think about where to put the baby grand -- not in a corner but near the windows and facing the door. The floor-to-ceiling windows on the east side of the gallery, located on the 5th floor, bring in natural sunlight during the day. Looking out the windows, you see the circular architecture hovering over a small courtyard below. In the evening, light reflected from the white walls of the neighboring studios bounce joyfully into the Ossia space.

One of the most interesting aspect of the Fine Arts Building, built about 1885, is the operator-assisted elevator. A man sits on a stool in the elevator, and he manually operates the elevator: He opens and closes the metal-gate over-glass doors, pushes the buttons, and adusts the elevator to meet the floor people want to get on or off. Traveling from the ground floor to the 5th floor to Ossia, you can see each floor go by and sometimes catch glimpses of people waiting for the elevator. It's as though you're on an amusement park ride and see life go by fleetingly.

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