Saint Urho

Finland has been an item in the news lately as one of the blow-back consequences of Putin’s ill-considered adventure in Ukraine. But that’s not what this is about: We need to smile, at least. Voila! This video.

I stumbled upon this video about Saint Urho while visiting the blog of science fiction author Walter Jon Williams: “Here we have a history of Finland’s totally genuine fake hero, St. Urho. Who was born in a Minnesota town called Virginia.”

Totally true. Originally broadcast on PBS stations WDSE / WRPT.

Artists of the Wall, Year 2009

The “Artists of the Wall” is an annual event held in Chicago’s Loyola Park, usually in June, whereat members of the Rogers Park community decorate a 600 foot concrete retaining wall / park bench. While I’ve missed about half the years of this century so far, I’ve habitually taken photos of the work I like. The gallery below contains the photos that I like from the year 2009.

Click on any image to enlarge it.

If you want to see other images from other Artists of the Wall years, click on the AotW tag.

Two Upcoming Events

Haymarket Martyrs’ monument, the old Waldheim Cemetery. Photo by Roman.

May Day, the international Labor Day, is very much my holiday. Here are two upcoming events for those of you in the Chicago area. I would be very inclined to do both if I had my way. I would then also say: “See you there!” But alas I am a geezerly male and so that makes making such commitments a chancy thing. Maybe, then.

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Chicago’s Haymarket Free Speech memorial. Photo by Roman.

Haymarket Square May Day Commemoration

Sunday, May 1, 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
DesPlaines St between Randolph and Lake, Chicago

“Italian unionists from the Federation of Metallurgical and Office Workers (FiOM) will join the ILHS at 12:30 p.m. on May Day, Sunday, May 1, to unveil their commemorative plaque on the Haymarket’s Square statue’s base. The base features plaques from labor movements around the globe, marking May 1 as International Workers’ Day.”

For more information, visit the Illinois Labor History Society’s calendar entry.

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DSAer Dave Rathke tends to the Mother Jones balloon. Photo by Roman.

Mother Jones’ Birthday Party

Sunday, May 1, 4 PM to 6 PM
Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox, Chicago

Guest will include Flight Attendants President Sara Nelson, Irish General Consul Kevin Byrne, artist Lindsay Hand, musicians Paddy Homan, Kathy Cowen and the SAG-AFTRA singers, with emcee Chicago Federation of Labor Secretary-Treasurer Don Villar.

Admission is free but RSVP please at the Mother Jones Museum calendar where there is also more information.

Artists of the Wall, Year 2007

Since the early 1990s, there has been an annual Artists of the Wall event in Chicago’s Loyola Park wherein folks from the Rogers Park community sign up to decorate a portion of a concrete retaining wall / bench that runs along the Lake Michigan shore. Since the turn of the century, I’ve often taken photos of the parts that I like. To see all that I have posted of them, click on the AotW tag.

The photos below are the photos from 2007 that I like, sometimes of an entire panel and sometimes of just a detail. These were also not taken with a digital camera but with a largely automatic Pentax. The prints were scanned about a decade later.

This article is being posted on April 23, 2022. The 2022 Artists of the Wall event will be held on the weekend of June 18 and 19. Registration to paint one of the 150 spaces available will be online and take place over three days: May 1, May 3 and May 5, 50 spaces each day. For more information, visit the Loyola Park Advisory Council’s website.

Click on any photo below to enlarge it.

Artists of the Wall, Year 2003

This is another series of images captured from the annual “Artists of the Wall” event in Chicago’s Loyola Park. These are from the year 2003 and they are the images that I liked the best. Like the earlier “Artists of the Wall” posts this year, these were taken with a largely automated Pentax film camera. The prints were scanned a few years ago. A regular visitor to this blog might have been wondering if I had skipped 2003. So was I, but I found the files eventually.

2003 was the 10th Artists of the Wall event. Each year the organizers suggest two topics or themes for the artwork. Generally, people end up doing whatever they please, including sometimes addressing one or the other theme. My impression of 2003 is that people may have paid closer attention to the suggested themes than in most previous years but maybe not by much. But people here in the States do have a fascination with the odometer’s rolling zero.

Click on any image to enlarge it.

“Zeppelins”

April is National Poetry Month, and for the occasion Frank Hudson’s Parlando Project has been producing a series of “Lyric Videos” based on audio recordings of the poems done previously. The month is not even half over, but (so far) Hudson’s performance of “Zeppelins” by F.S. Flint is my favorite, though “Dunbar” is not far behind.

And of course, the poem is also so very appropriate to what is once again happening in Europe these days, not to mention elsewhere in the world none of which I’m not going to mention as I’m sure to shamefully leave somewhere or two off the list…

The term “lyric video” is also new to me though the practice is… not new. As a concept, though, it wraps up and gathers together poetry as oral interpretation and poetry as literature. As a bonus, one can throw in ancillary aspects like music, musicality, concrete poetry just to name-drop a few. Is pretty cool concept, methinks.

Artists of the Wall, Year 2006

Every June (with a COVID break) since the early 1990s, folks from the Rogers Park neighborhood decorate a 600 foot concrete retaining wall / park bench. What I do, not every year but frequently, is wander along the wall some weeks later and photograph whatever I happen to like. Or in the case of actual film photography, whatever I could afford.

These 2006 photos were done using film and a largely automatic Pentax camera. The prints were scanned several years ago. The photos below are the images I like. It was a pretty good year, but judge for yourself.

For more artwork from the Artists of the Wall program, click on the AotW tag.

Click on any image to enlarge it.

Artists of the Wall, Year 2004

“Artists of the Wall” is an annual event in Loyola Park where various folks from Rogers Park decorate a stretch of wall / bench; unfortunately I know none of the artists though a few are professional. These are some photos I took of the artwork in 2004. They were taken with a very automatic Pentax camera. The prints were scanned several years ago.

Did I not take photos of the 2003 artwork? I don’t know. I’ll keep looking. For photos of artwork from other years, click on the “AotW” tag.

Click on any photo to enlarge it.

Artists of the Wall, Year 2002

Here are my selected photos from the 2002 Artists of the Wall event that is held annually in Chicago’s Loyola Park. These are scanned film prints once again and, once again, I know nothing about the artists except that there are a set of regulars over the years. 2002 was, I think, a pretty good year. Judge for yourself:

Click on any image to enlarge it.

Artists of the Wall, Year 2001

These are scanned photos of the annual Artists of the Wall event that is held in the Chicago Park District’s Loyola Park. I have no knowledge of any of the artists so this is hardly represents “documentation” of the event, but the artwork posted here is all the stuff that I thought was worth sharing. Some times it’s a full panel. Other times it is but a detail.

Click any photo to enlarge it.