Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Urban Acrobatics Chicago Edition: Schedule

We are thrilled to share our schedule for the upcoming week of Urban Acrobatics festivities based in Chicago.

As always, all events are free and open to the public.

Tuesday April 15:
Our first event will be a panel discussion on the history of circus and graffiti in Chicago. Our panelists are Polly Solomon, Gabriel FLASH Carrasquillo, Roy Gomez Cruz, and Caitlin Bruce. The panel begins at 6:30pm and will run to 8:00pm with a reception afterwards. We are grateful for the Evanston Art Center providing space for this event.

Thursday April 17:
From 5:00 pm to 9:00pm we will be hosting back to back tagging and circus workshops, led by Werm Oner and Polly Solomon. We will provide markers, paper, and space to draw and tumble in. This event is being held at Alternatives, Inc.

Friday April 18th:
From 5:00 to 9:00 pm our artists will brainstorm and prepare for Saturday's performance, which will offer a fusion of graffiti and circus styles. Our performers will include Polly Solomon, Werm Oner, Natalie Zombie, and Melon James, among others. This will take place at Alternatives, Inc.

Saturday April 19th:
From 4:00 to 6:00pm we will present the result of our week of discussion and collaboration in the form of a performance, a Spectacular. This will take place at Alernatives, Inc.

Some background on participants:

Polly Solomon:

Polly Solomon has been working in theater for fourteen years in NYC's biggest venues and throughout the NY tri-state area. While pursuing her degree Polly started training as an aerial acrobat and incorporating circus into dance and theater pieces. She performs and teaches circus in school, after-school, camp, studio, and theatrical and circus productions settings. Polly has directed several shows for the American Youth Circus Organization, most recently at the 2014 Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival this January.

Biography: I grew up in all the slums of chitown. Grew up in a bad environment. We were always broke and moving from house to house. Grew up in all the slums of the south side of Chicago. I always heard "NO" when asking for toys as a kid ,so at a young age started stealing.I found if i wanted something I had to take it. By the age of 12, i started doing graffiti. Cab 312 TFO was the best crew out (and still is). I wanted to be down for years, and finally in 1994 my dream came true. Ever since then I've taken all-city several times,an counting.....Graffiti took me all over the city , and made me feel a part of something bigger though my past was rough I wouldn't change a thing about it. It made me the man I am today. Its not where you been that matters, it's where your going that counts. I have three wonderful lil girls who are my heart. They love me unconditionally an MAKE ME BETTER. They're the reason I hustle hard an don't settle for less,an strive for more. My next goal is to go on a world wide tour and paint every city I go to. Music and art are my passion, also my way of expression and my therapy. I use music to say whats on my mind and get it out. Graffiti is like an adrenaline rush, it makes me feel alive and lets the world know I'm here too, but at the end of the day my ultimate goal is to make a better life for my kids and give them the life I never had. I thank God for life and all the opportunities he gives. To all my fans I love you and appreciate you all, for all the love and support. peace WERM ONE
Epresskit for Your Artistic Name Here

Melon James:

Melon has been writing graffiti since the early 1990’s specifically in Chicago for the Renegades (RGS crew). Later he joined the military and like himself “graffiti will travel”. His pieces not only have cluttered the slums of Chicago but also Hawaii. Melon has never feared the use of color and it can be seen in all of his work as he fearlessly uses color. Melon’s achievements do not only include permission wall pieces. This guy also wrecked shop on street level. Known as one of the top most skilled in Chicago and Hawaii because of his notorious hand skills and elaborate graffiti pieces, this guy can go toe to toe with the best. His bombing style was as fearless as his color usage.
Melon is a Chicago icon and will continue to be so long as Chicago is on the map. He has not only helped to push the art form in Chicago, but he is also renowned respected and up in Hawaii to. So keep on getting up because every production he does is eye candy. Follow him at: https://melonjams.squarespace.com.

Gabriel FLASH Carrasquillo:

Flash is an artist, an educator, and a graffiti historian. Growing up in Logan Square, he and his friends began writing after "Style Wars" came out in 1983. After a brief retirement from graffiti, Flash returned in 2003 and since then has been writing, teaching, and helping to get legal spaces for writers. He has given presentations at SILO Art Space, has exhibited at the 2013 Paint, Sticker, Paste show at the Chicago Cultural Center, as well as at Zhou B. Studios, among many other shows.

Roy Gomez-Cruz:

Roy is a PhD student at Northwestern University in the Department of Performance Studies.
His research engages contemporary circus as a multidimensional performance space where varied forms of circus tradition and popular culture are being reinterpreted for global audience’s consumption; the politics of labor practices in the itinerant circus; and aesthetic in circus and the connotations of transgression, grotesquery and bestiality historically associated with traditional circuses.

Caitlin Frances Bruce:

Caitlin is a PhD in Communication Studies, and is part of the Rhetoric and Public Culture Program at Northwestern University. Her research explores public art, urban space, and critical theory. She has worked with graffiti artists and muralists since 2010 in Chicago; New York; Mexico City; Ciudad Neza; León Guanajuato; and Paris, conducting interviews and writing about shows. She has published in Invisible Culture, Advances in the History of Rhetoric, Inopinatum, Sixty Inches From Center, Art Threat, Art Nerd, and on her blog Kinesthetic Urban Rhetoric.

Natalie Zombie: 

Natalie is Chicago based artist who does multimedia work as well as face painting (largely in monster/zombie genres). You can see some of her most recent work at Silo Art Space's Spring Fever show.

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