Brothers Shan Zhuo and DaHuang Zhou
Zhou B Dooby Do

There’s a big, arty party in Bridgeport tomorrow night, when the Zhou B Art Center hosts a launch party for the latest issue of Chicago Gallery News, the locally published, comprehensive guide to everything that’s happening on the Illinois arts scene. Brothers Shan Zhuo (left) and DaHuang Zhou started the 87,000-square-foot center in 2003, and it’s since become a popular hub of working artist studios, galleries, and shops, and venue for performances, weddings, and parties. There’s even a small, smartly appointed café with a bar, serving sandwiches and salads. The siblings are established, respected artists in their own right—in January, President Obama gifted visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao with one of their mixed media paintings. (It measured 86 by 68 inches because six and eight are considered lucky numbers in China and 86 is the country code, so let’s hope Barack also popped for crating and shipping.) Tomorrow’s fete, which happens to fall on one of the Zhou B Center’s monthly third-Friday events, will have free food and drinks and live music and art performances. It’s all going down from 6–10 p.m., at 1029 West 35th Street. B there or B square.

A crystal piggy bank

Pig Style

Industrial designer Harry Allen evidently has a thing for swine design, because he’s just followed up the baconic corked piggy bank he created for Areaware (you’ve seen it in museum shops and funky boutiques, I’m sure, along with other cheeky products he’s designed for them such as banana bowls, roller-skate bookends, and beckoning c’mere hand hooks) with another oinker, this time in partnership with the Steuben fine crystal company. You can bring home the bacon and shove it in the removable snout of this hungry little fella, provided you’ve already saved up the $1,900 you’ll need to buy him. He’s locally available by special order through Elements, the River North retailer that has carried Steuben’s products for years.

A Design Studio modern furniture showroom

Designer Downscaling

Owner Howard Galler has decided to close up shop at the Northbook location (307 Skokie Boulevard) of his Design Studio modern furniture showrooms, and starting tomorrow, the entire inventory will be slashed in price (and clearly marked) for immediate liquidation. Furniture, accessories, storage units, area rugs—nothing will be held back from the floor sale, and discounts will also be offered on custom orders. Following the sale, items will be consolidated to the downtown location of DSF, at 225 West Hubbard Street, and marked down even more to clear out and restock with the newest collections from manufacturers such as Thayer-Coggin, American Leather, DIA, and Bernhardt. In total, more than $2 million of merchandise is involved. All business and services (interior design and space planning, e.g.) will be operated out of the sunny, multi-level River North locale.

Items on display at the Antiques & Garden Fair

Fair Warning

Tulips are shooting out of the ground like gangbusters, which happens every year at about the same time all the garden expos and antique shows start getting their gravel on. This weekend there’s a whopper at the Chicago Botanic Garden up in Glencoe: the matter-of-factly monikered Antiques & Garden Fair (hey, they calls it like they sees it), running April 15–17, with a $15 admission. There’s a fine-feathered preview party tonight, with tickets starting at $200, if you’re feeling fancy. For this, the 11th annual event, organizers have focused on a theme of modern landscaping, so expect groovy green acres from such local firms as William Heffernan, Schmechtig, Craig Bergmann, and Manfredini. As for antiques, they’ve lined up close to 100 dealers, including Branca, Architectural Anarchy, Maze, and Griffins & Gargoyles.

A sign for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's annual spring art sale

Class Action

2000 was a solid year for coming up with annual traditions, considering this weekend’s School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s annual spring art show is also in its 11th year. Pick up original artwork, fashion, ceramics, and jewelry created by more than 100 students (it’s not a juried show, but that’s what makes the browsing fun, and prices are great). Students keep 85 percent of the purchase prices, there’s free admission, and it’s going on Friday and Saturday in the SAIC Ballroom at 112 South Michigan Avenue.