Mess Hall Events

Mess Hall is a place for visual culture, creative urbanism, sustainable ecology, food democracy, radical politics, and cultural experimentation. We are networked with other intiatives like ours in Chicago, the U.S. and abroad.
1. Friday, December 11, 6 – 9p: “Gifted”

Twelve Chicago artists explore the concept of a gift economy in “gifted,” an exhibition of free distribution. The December 11th experience at Mess Hall in Rogers Park presents various forms of sustainable art through community-driven works, educational scenarios, patterns, and handmade objects. Artists Jerico Prater, Cori Williams and Elspeth Vance engage the community through on-site projects: Prater provides a method to communally craft wallpaper, Williams supplies context and materials for community castle-building, and Vance collects and disperses secrets. Experiential workshops by Etta Sandry and Camila Rosas invite participants to cook and eat; Sandry offers solutions for the public to preserve local food while Rosas shares her heritage through pancakes. Richard Chiang demonstrates recycled origami-folding techniques and Abbie Wilson facilitates the playful use of public spaces through the distribution of “guerilla swings”. Christina McClelland, Bridges Black and Felisa Prieto present patterns: McClelland through commuting schedules, Black in the form handmade emergency ponchos, and Prieto through assembled fabric scraps. Melissa Leandro engages participants by sharing accessories that comment on social trends, and Josie Gluck offers agricultural beads for temporary adornment and future growth. United by their common goal to distribute sustainable art, these twelve artists come together for one night at Mess Hall. Come to participate, leave “gifted.”

2. Saturday, December 12, 6-9p: Celebrate! Celebrate? The Politics and Tactics of Visualizing a People’s History

Curated by Aay Preston-Myint and Nicolas Lampert

“Celebrate! Celebrate?” features four different poster series that visualize various people’s history and invites the viewer to contemplate the politics and the tactics of graphically celebrating people and events from the past. Significantly, how do these images operate? Do the images affirm our struggles, inspire, teach, and critique? Do they simplify history and rob struggles of their complexities? Do they accomplish both? The show invites these questions, varied opinions, historical context, and more.

Featured work:

“Summoning A New Queer Reality” is a collection of prints featuring queer revolutionaries, tricksters, activists, and troublemakers from the contemporary era and the recent past, all of whom have helped make the world a weirder, more beautiful, and safer place. The series was conceptualized and edited by the organizers of Chances Dances, an LGBTQ DJ crew, artist/activist platform, and microgrant foundation, and was drawn and printed by Aay Preston-Myint at the No Coast Collective studio in Chicago, IL.

“Celebrate People’s History” is an on-going poster series curated by the Brooklyn-based artist/activist Josh MacPhee. The Celebrate People’s History poster project began in 1998 and has produced over 50 two-color posters by different artists that each highlights an historical example of popular struggle and resistance. The posters have been put up in the streets around the world, appeared as postcards, and have been displayed in homes and classrooms as a teaching tool. The series is distributed by the Justseeds Artist’s Cooperative.

“Whacked Ladies: Female Victims of Political Assassination” is a print series by Milwaukee-based artist Makeal Flammini. The 21 woodcuts and papercuts focus on women from around the world who have been assassinated or murdered for various political, social, and religious reasons.

“Firebrands: Portraits from the Americas” are images from an upcoming 2010 book on Microcosm Press by the Justseeds Artist’s Cooperative. The book is aimed at a high school audience and features black-and-white illustrations and short text celebrating various individuals from the Americas who worked for social justice.

Mess Hall
6932 North Glenwood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60608


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