A Better View of the WPB People Spot

Jack Wangelin - Wednesday, July 31, 2013

If you were having some trouble visualizing what the WPB People Spot at the 6 Corners interection will look like, Curbed Chicago has a lovely isometric drawing that will shed some light on how the final construction may appear. 

Principle architect, Matt Nardella, describes part of the inspiration for the Spot's shape as a slice of pizza pie, hence the drawing's title, "Pie Slice."

The full article can be read at Curbed Chicago.

This is part of the ongoing Kickstarter Campaign to bring the illustrated People Spot to the 6 Corners intersection. Learn more about the WPB People Spot and show your support by Donating to the Project.

If you're still abhorred that we continue to call the Milwaukee/Damen/North intersection "6 Corners," let us know what you think it should be called @WPBCC. 

WPB People Spot Sketch
Matt Nardella's Pie Slice Sketch on Curbed Chicago

KickStart the WPB People Spot

Jack Wangelin - Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Wicker Park Bucktown SSA#33 is helping to sponsor, in conjunction with Dimo's Pizza, a People Spot at the WPB Hub: Milwaukee/Damen/North avenues' intersection. They need your help in creating this green oasis in the asphalt desert.


The project has so far won the approval of the Mayor, & World Business Chicago, through Seed Chicago, and has just launched their KickStarter Project.

If you have not heard of a People Spot, they are: 

"temporary platforms adjacent to sidewalks, typically within existing parking lanes. As a placemaking tool, they also contribute to an increase of pedestrian volumes and help promote economic development in retail corridors."

For those of us that don't speak in City-code , People Spots bring a bit of greenery to an otherwise concrete jungle. They want for people to relax and gather; fostering a sense of community, relaxation, and relief from the hustle and bustle of everyday city life. People Spots may take up some parking, but in turn bring a greater amout of foot traffic to the area, which is often a great boon for business.,

People Spot Blue Prints

The design of the proposed People Spot

If you would like to support the People Spot in WPB, head over to the KickStarter Page, and Donate to make it happen. This is your chance to have a direct impact on the space in which you live, work, and share with others, so share this project to get the ball rolling.

Watch the video to learn more about the creation of this fantastic project!

Member Spotlight:Park Schreck Gallery

Jack Wangelin - Thursday, June 13, 2013

John Park and Dan Schreck are both artists and art collectors who enjoy discovering new gifted artists.

They share a distinct passion for abstract art, minimalist design, and architecture. John and Dan come together in a sophisticated and forward-looking partnership, as Park Schreck Gallery.

Park Schreck Gallery finds talented artists and connects them with buyers who are looking for original artwork. Amazing art, great value.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a business owner?

John Park: The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to trust my gut.

Dan Schreck: I realized that every sale truly matters for small businesses. Every sale helps keeps our doors open longer and gives us the opportunity to do what we do.

What advice would you give to someone looking to start a business in Chicago?

JP: Starting any business can be complicated. The best advice I can give is to talk to as many successful people as you can. Also, know your audience/potential clientele.

DS: Take a risk, think big.

What product or service of yours are you the most excited about offering?

JP: We are on an encaustic kick right now... love the iridescence!

DS: Totally agree. Encaustic painting has been a lot of fun.

What do you like the most about being located in Wicker Park Bucktown?

DS: Wicker Park Bucktown is great. The creative history of this part of the city is amazing. We’re thrilled to be located where both art buyers and art makers live. That is unusual.

What are the places in Wicker Park Bucktown that you cannot live without?

JP: Lucia’s.

What can people expect when they walk in your front door?

DS: People can expect to see emerging talent from Chicago and beyond.

Do you have any stories of successful cross-promotions that you have done with other local businesses?

JP: Our neighbors have been really supportive. We have artwork hanging next door at Milano. Their clientele has responded extremely well to our work and we have made several sales to their customers.

Artists, Mad Dogs and Englishmen in the Midday Sun

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Friday, July 13, 2012

This blog entry was contributed by: Charlie Rees of the Flat Iron Artists' Association, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave.

As I am writing this blog, it is raining, providing some relief from the horrid heat that has plagued Chicago.

But if you think it has been hot and humid this summer, step into the Flat Iron Arts Building to discover the true meaning of hot and humid, the “Flat Iron Heat Index”.

My studio is a perfect example. In this heat, with an air conditioner, ceiling and floor fans running 24/7, the “Flat Iron Heat Index” always reaches the insufferable stage. The studio is on the third floor, has high ceilings to trap the heat and poor ventilation and is blessed with a skylight (visitors feel that it posses some romantic appeal), but I can assure you the damn thing functions as a broiler, making the studio into a sauna. Pieces of paper cling to your arms and a wet bandana, wrapped around your neck, is required.

[The noonday broiler.]

Yes, despite the “Flat Iron heat Index”, the artists in the Flat Iron are still working. This requires me to alter the phrase “ Mad dogs and Englishmen in the Noon Day Sun” to “Artists, Mad Dogs and Englishmen in the Noon Day Sun”. My dog, Jack, the Boxer, wants you to know that he is not a Mad Dog, nor Artist, nor Englishmen and follows a sane policy of being prostrate, not moving in the heat.

[Jack, prostrate and sane.]

The rain will stop, the heat and humidity will return and I will adjourn to a neighborhood bar, blessed with air conditioning, to enjoy several cold beers. 

Art Has An Impact

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Monday, June 11, 2012

This blog entry was contributed by: Charlie Rees of the Flat Iron Artists' Association, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Economic times are tough. In many neighborhoods, empty storefronts sit next to bustling businesses. Blank walls face the street, covered with spray paint graffiti. And here, art can be a scene changer, making an impact.

In recent days, blessed with fine weather, as I walk around the neighborhood, I am reminded about the impact and change that art can make. One small anecdote serves as an example.

Early mornings, I take my dog, Jack the Boxer, for a long walk. First, we make the usual stops at Wicker Park, taking care of business. Then, we head down Damen Avenue to Division. A year ago, on the southwest corner of Damen and Division, 2001 W. Division, there was a boarded up, scarred storefront. You couldn’t miss it. It was an eyesore on an attractive street, bustling with restaurants and shops. Today, the image of that storefront underwent a metamorphic change, ugly to attractive. 



This change was made possible by a public mural program sponsored by WPB SSA and administered by the WPB Chamber of Commerce. In cooperation with landlords, artists and WPB SSA, six murals were completed during the fall of 2011. (For the complete list of mural locations, click here.) 

Art, a scene changer, makes an impact. 

[Artist: Bernard Williams]

Now You See It, Now You Don’t at the Flat Iron

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Friday, May 11, 2012

This blog entry was contributed by: Charlie Rees of the Flat Iron Artists' Association, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave.

A vibrant and interesting art scene exists in Wicker Park Bucktown.

An example of this vibrancy was the Now You See It, Now You Don’t mural show recently held at the Flat Iron Arts Building. 60 Chicago artists spent over a month painting murals on the interior, white walls of the Flat Iron. The result was 500 feet of a flowing canvas, lively and colorful. Thanks to these 60 artists, The Now You See It, Now You Don’t mural show was a success with more than 1,000 people in attendance.

The paint over of the murals, the Now You Don’t See It part, has started. Tarps, rollers, brushes and white paint have made their debut. The murals are disappearing, covered by coats of white paint. The white hallways of the Flat Iron will have to wait for next year’s Now You See It, Now You Don’t show. 

One swipe, two swipes, many swipes of paint, then the mural is gone.

Wicker Park Bucktown News - May 2 2012

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Thursday, May 03, 2012

Only a Few More Days Left to Enter to Win a Beautiful Bucktown Poster

Answer questions on what kinds of businesses you'd like to see in Wicker Park Bucktown and where you'd like to spend your dollars and you're entered to win this beautiful screen-printed Bucktown poster by StudioChris. Make sure to include your email address for a chance to win! Take our survey now

May Chamber Mixer at The Anthem

When: Wed, May 16th, 6-8pm
Where: The Anthem, 1725 W. Division
Cost: Free for Chamber Members, $5 for Non-Members
Grow your network or just casually meet your neighbors at the Chamber's May Networking Event at The Anthem! Click here for more information and to RSVP. 

Summer Sidewalk Sales

When: Jul 21st-22nd & Aug 25th-26th, 2012
Where: Wicker Park Bucktown
Our two signature summer sidewalk sales exclusively for Wicker Park Bucktown merchants are back again this summer! Participation in both weekends' sales are free to WPB Chamber Members and $100 for non-members. For more information and to sign your business up to participate, click here.

Wicker Park Fest 2012

When: Sat & Sun, July 28th-29th, 2012
Where: Milwaukee Avenue between North & Paulina
Cost: $5 donation
Described as Chicago's "best street festival of the summer" by the Chicago Tribune, Wicker Park Fest 2012 is sure to top what was an amazing slate of performances, food and vendors at Wicker Park Fest '11. Check our website to find out more about the upcoming line-up and apply as a vendor! Also, "LIKE" the official fan page on Facebook!

Artist’s Notes by Flat Iron Artist, Charlie Rees

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Friday, April 20, 2012

This blog entry was contributed by: Charlie Rees of the Flat Iron Artists' Association, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave.

It was that type of day, late this morning, Friday, April 13th, when I had to escape the studio, go for a walk, breathe in the spring air and enjoy the sun. No need to be superstitious.

I headed out of the studio, across Milwaukee Avenue, down Damen, straight to Wicker Park and there, by chance, discovered some delightful works of art. They were not pretentious or insulting. They contained no political messages. They were not the work of vandals. The art was perfect for a spring morning, colorful, expressive and playful, the work of children.

Many people walking through the park, earplugs firmly in place, playing with their smart phones, missed these beautiful extemporaneous pieces of art. This is sad; because, with spring showers, winds, foot traffic, this art will vanish. Hopefully, these artists will come back to continue their delightful work. 

Art is all around us. All we have to do is stop, take a moment, look and enjoy.


Wicker Park Bucktown News-April 11 2012

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Thursday, April 12, 2012

Summer Event Vendor Applications

We are NOW accepting vendor applications for the following exciting upcoming Chamber events and festivals. 

For artists, retail, restaurants and non-profits:
Wicker Park Fest 
July 28-29

Polish Triangle Marketplace
June 7-Sept. 27 

For Wicker Park Bucktown Businesses:
Summer Sidewalk Sales
July 21-22 and/or Aug. 25-26 

Space is limited, so please send in your application today!


Your Input Needed!

The Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce and WPB SSA #33, 1414 N. Ashland, need your input! We have hired Business Districts, Inc, to conduct a market study to identify our neighborhood's unique strengths and opportunities. Please take the survey now and pass it on to your customers, partners, neighbors, and fellow business owners. Your help completing and circulating the survey will be invaluable to the market study results and help our local economy thrive. Thank you!


A Conversation with Whitney Tassie, Director of Monique Meloche Gallery

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Friday, March 16, 2012

Can you tell us a little bit about your background as an artist, curator and/or resident of Chicago?

Sure. I did my undergraduate work at Cornell University where I studied Art History and Archaeology and minored in Visual Studies. After graduating, I worked as the Exhibitions Assistant at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell before moving to Chicago to pursue my Master’s degree in Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Currently, I am the Director of Monique Meloche Gallery, where I have worked for over six years. I also curate an exhibition program at the Belgian-inspired restaurant Leopold in West Town and am the Managing Director of Gallery Weekend Chicago.

What excites you the most about running a gallery?

Working with the artists and being able to introduce their work to the community. Each artist that we work with has a different voice, a different conceptual project that I am specifically interested in and proud to promote. We change shows every 6-8 weeks and I enjoy that constant change/stimulation. 

How did you get your start in the Chicago art world? 

I met Monique Meloche, the owner of the gallery, while I was at SAIC. After a semester of school work, I was missing the working world and wanted to insert myself into Chicago's contemporary art world to augment my education and build my Chicago-based network. So, I set up "informational" meetings with a few art world people that I admired and it turned out that Monique was looking for help at the same time. 

Why did you choose Wicker Park for Monique Meloche? 

The gallery opened on Fulton Market in the West Loop in 2001 and moved to Peoria Street in the West Loop in 2004. By 2009, when we moved to Wicker Park, our program had grown quite a bit. About 70% of our clients are not from Chicago, but when they do visit, they'll make the trip to see us anywhere, so being outside the West Loop contemporary art gallery district doesn't really matter. Plus, Monique and I both live south of the gallery in the Ukrainian Village, within walking distance to the gallery. We love the community around Division Street. We've found great support from the small local businesses as well as the Chamber of Commerce. We've very happy with our new location, which we were able to build out to our specs with the help of Dirk Denision Associates. 

How does your space engage with the culture of this area?

Being on the corner of Division and Leavitt (2154 W. Division) with floor to ceiling windows makes us very noticeable. Plus, our "on the wall" window project is lit and visible from the street 24/7. Being near a bus stop, a high school, and a hospital also brings a number of new people into that gallery on a daily basis. While the majority of our clients aren't from the neighborhood, we welcome visitors and are free and open to the public Tues-Sat, 11am-6pm. Check our website for news about upcoming opening receptions, tours, and artist talks.

What interests you about today’s art scene in Chicago? 

I'm always inspired by the DIY culture in Chicago. Whether it's apartment galleries, pop-up shows, or performance art, there is a lot of 'can do' attitude. Lots of this energy has to do with the city's great art schools. We've got a ton of smart artists and arts administrators teaching a strong crop of students. These kids get great educations and are hungry to make it so they start writing, curating, and showing where ever they can. I try to make it to these events and spaces as much as possible, and I know other curators do to. It's a great way to keep your finger on the pulse.

On The Wall at Monique Meloche

Feb 4 - May 12, 2012
Kerry James Marshall
Black Night Falling:  Black holes and constellations, 2012 
Vinyl and screen prints on iridescent cellophane mounted to Plexiglas
Installation view at Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago
Photography by James Prinz

Copyright 2012. Interview by Clover Morell, Administrative Assistant at Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce. 

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