Andrea Jablonski's balloons at Pitchfork
Andrea Jablonski's balloon installation, presented in the VIP area at Pitchfork

While the music is the main attraction at Pitchfork, the festival has a long tradition of inviting other vendors to share in the indie-fan wealth. Here are two finds we loved:

When Anna Cerniglia founded the artist collective Johalla Projects in 2009, the group was focused on Chicago’s emerging arts community. Cerniglia, a photographer and curator, wanted to create a multifarious place that fostered creativity both inside the gallery and out, so she began partnering with local politicians to bring public art projects to Chicago neighborhoods. Today, Johalla has installed public murals at the California Blue Line stop as well as the Damen stop, the Wicker Park Walgreens, and Tocco Restaurant. And if you encountered the two silver deer sculptures along Milwaukee Avenue last summer, that was Johalla, too.

Johalla Projects
From left: Matthew Hoffman, Andrea Jablonski, and Anna Cerniglia of Johalla Projects
This past weekend Johalla added a new success to their resume, displaying two Chicago-based artists' pieces at Pitchfork. Painter Andrea Jablonski scattered balloons and beach balls throughout the tree canopy that draped over the VIP section, explaining that the work was a simple gesture meant to enhance the festival’s environment. And it did—the balloons and beach balls added color and life to an otherwise dark, shaded area.

Matthew Hoffman had a similar goal. His 80-by-16-foot wooden installation read “These Moments” and towered over crowds at the festival’s blue stage. The structure was meant to ignite memories tied to music—like a soundtrack reminiscent of a summer romance. If it didn’t ignite old romances, it might’ve started new ones: we saw countless couples photographing themselves in front of the sculpture.

The festival has come and gone, but there’s plenty going on at Johalla, including the exhibition C____ OF THE EYE/ C____OF THE HAND at their gallery space, 1821 W. Hubbard St., and a new working project at Roberto Clemente Community Academy on Division and Western.


Dan McAdam of Crosshair Studios
Crosshair Studio's Dan MacAdam
Flatstock, the annual poster show series, has no shortage of great local printmakers, but this year we fell particularly in love with Crosshair Studio. Founder Dan MacAdam finds beauty in gritty, run-down Americana. MacAdam’s work features images of Chicago’s landscape, capturing everything from industrial Bridgeport bridges to abandoned three flats in Humboldt Park. This year, his booth featured both art prints and band posters (MacAdam has worked with bands like Wilco, The Black Keys, Tortoise, and Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros, to name a few). Our faves? The Codeine poster and 415 N. Kedzie art print.



Photography: (Installation) Zachary James Johnston; (Johalla) Elly Fishman; (MacAdam) Esther Kang