Teesee’s Town

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Music, mischief, mayhem and more are promised when the South Side Community Art Center stages its Legendary Artists & Models Ball on Oct. 27, 7 p.m.-midnight, at the historic Parkway Ballroom, 45th and King Dr. Initially produced at the once-popular Savoy Ballroom at 47th and South Parkway in Oct. 1938, the event raised enough funds to put a down payment on the Center’s new home in Bronzeville, located at 3831 S. Michigan.

The Ball was an artistic and creative event attended by Chicago’s elite in government, political, civic engagement and community outreach. The Artists & Models Ball was held annually through the 1990s to help fund the Center’s art programs and outreach within the community.

Event chairs are Craig Gilmore, director of multicultural marketing for State Farm Insurance, and Earl Jones, president and marketing manager at Clear Channel; co-chairs, Barbara Bates of Bates Designs, and Carter J. Russell, executive director of Clara’s House; sponsors, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Clear Channel, State Farm and Walgreens. True to the original concept, the evening will honor an artist, Dayo Laoye, and a SSCAC supporter, Tyronne Stoudemire. Tickets: $50; $35 for artists.

Also working on the success of the event: Heather Ireland Robinson, Sammie Dortch, Jennifer Hale, Arcilla Stahll, Diane Dinkins Carr, Debara Jennings Johnson and Elaine Moragne. For more info, call (773) 373-1026.

New Business – Author Jeana Rand and designer Shawnte Patton have joined together as co-founders of a new business initiative, JS Creative Minds, which will serve as a channel to promote their creative retail products and serve as an avenue for entrepreneurs to showcase their original creations. The fall Vendor Showcase was held Saturday at The Edge Gallery, 6318 N. Clark. Visit JS Creative Minds on Facebook to learn more.

Excellence Awards – Atty. Cheryl Blackwell-Bryson will be honored posthumously with a distinguished Award of Excellence from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund on Nov. 1 in the Offices of Sidley Ausin LLP, 1 S. Dearborn. Before her death earlier this year Atty. Blackwell-Bryson, 61, was a Chicago labor attorney, political consultant and partner in the firm of Duane Morris LLP who breathed new life into the DuSable Museum of African American History in her role as board chairman. Also to be honored: Atty. Dorothy Brown, clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, and Atty. Marc S. Firestone, senior vice president and general counsel of Philip Morris International, Inc.
The evening will begin with a Strolling Buffet Reception from 6-7:15 p.m., followed by the awards program from 7:15-8:30 p.m.

Newsy Names – Chitown’s talented jazz vocalist Tracey Smith celebrates the release of her brand new debut CD, Love’s Journey, this Thursday, 6-9 p.m., during an elegant evening @ Square One, Chicago’s newest hot spot in the South Loop, 1400 S. Michigan Ave., hosted by Hollywood Casino Joliet with guest celebrity hostess and sistah-vocalist, Terisa Griffith, of “The Voice” fame. It’s a Bella Marc Studio event … Happy b’day to Dori Wilson, Jasmine Allgood, Cleo Staples, E. Dolores Register, Lillie Cox, Janice Jones, Mary Brown, Kennedy Chaney, Ova Carter … Deborah Rountree, prexey of the Chicago Chapter of The Drifters Inc. and her chapter sisters are readying for their Annual Founders’ Day Celebration this Saturday noon in the Park Shore Library Party Room at 195 N. Harbor Dr., featuring live entertainment, great food and special guest speakers.

Popular song-and-dance man, Morris Gearring, celebrates his 25th anniversary in “the business” this Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., at The Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth, with his production of “Something About Oscar Brown Jr.” with special guest, Maggie Brown,” Oscar’s award-winning, jazz-singing daughter. Tickets: $15; director, noted Chuck Smith … Friends of Ald. JoAnn Thompson (16th) host a fundraising reception for her on Thursday, 5 p.m., at the Polo Café, 3322 S. Morgan.

Amore! Amour! Love! – The South Shore Opera Co. of Chicago presents “Love at the Opera: Romeo & Juliet … A Love Story” on Oct. 27, 5:30 p.m., at the South Shore Cultural Center, 71st and South Shore Dr. Romeo and Juliet’s forbidden love as told in operas by Bellini, in Italian and Gounod in French and in Bernstein’s “West Side Story.” It stars Chicago artists including Dana Campbell, Kimberly Jones, Joelle Lamarre, Bernard Holcomb and Cornelius Johnson, with piano and orchestra conducted by Francesco Milioto.
Concert-only tickets are $30 for seniors and students with IDs; $20 and $80 for concert and dinner packages at 7:30 p.m. Package order deadline is Oct. 22; buy concert or package tickets online at http://www.southshoreopera.org or by phone at (773) 723-4627. Tickets will be held at the door; concert-only tickets can be purchased at the door.

Congrats – to Christine Houston and Hattie Burton, a couple of “Teesee” pals who are both alums of Chicago State University and will be recognized by their alma mater – Chicago Teachers College/Chicago State University Alumni Association — at the 11th Annual Alumni Celebration on Oct. 26 at the Oak Lawn Hilton. Christine, writer, producer, director and instructor who wrote “227” which ran on NBC-TV for several years is being honored “for lifetime achievement,” she received a B.A. in 2006; Hattie, “golden alumna,” is a retired public school teacher who received a B.S. degree in 1951 and an M.S.Ed. in 1978 (she’s ABC7’s Cheryl Burton’s mom).

Other alumni honorees: State Rep. Karen Yarbrough (D-7th); Lydia Cook Nantwi, administrator, Chicago Public Schools; Dr. Yvette Woods, associate professor, Baylor University; Dr. Corpia Keyes, internist, Dryer Medical Clinic; Dr. Will Horton, entrepreneur, W. Horton Enterprises; Felicia Grant Preston, artist and retired teacher; Dr. Leslie Roundtree, chair, Dept. of Occupational Therapy, College of Health Sciences; Ray Kujawa, retired lab technician, Dept. of Chemistry & Physics, College of Arts & Sciences.

Fall Kick-Off – The Alliance for Women in Media (the Chicago Chapter is headed by Adrienne Jones) holds its Fall Kick-Off on Tuesday, 5:30-8:30 p.m., at M Lounge, 1520 S. Wabash, for a free and fun evening full of networking, musical performances and raffle prizes. Come out and receive a $10 discount on membership and appetizers. Special guest vocalist: Sarah Marie Young.

Art Auction – An extraordinary selection of African American Fine Art by Chicago-based artists will be offered at Swann Auction Galleries on Oct. 18. For the first time ever, Swann Auction Galleries will be offering not one, but two very rare Eldzier Cortor paintings from important periods for the figurative artist. Cortor’s Tête-à-Tête [estimate: $80,000 - $120,000], oil on canvas, 1934, is one of the artist’s earlier known works, and depicts a man and woman’s street conversation created during his days as an art student living in Chicago’s Bronzeville.

Classical Composition No. 4 [estimate: $200,000 - $250,000], circa 1973, is the top offering of this sale, and is a large, impressive oil by the artist. This later painting depicts a very mature departure from Cortor’s earlier works. He is best known for elegant, elongated depictions of women that show the influences of his study of African sculpture, 19th-century French painting, and his travels to the Sea Islands and West Indies.

Charles White’s Songs of Life [estimate: $150,000 – $200,000] is a tour-de-force in pen and ink, and a recently rediscovered large and important drawing. The five men and women singing from the “Songs of Life” display his mastery of foreshortening with compressed figures, and an expression of spirituality. The Chicago-born artist used this drawing in his application for his Whitney Fellowship in 1954, and it has not been exhibited since.

Also offered during this sale is an exciting selection of museum-quality paintings, sculptures and works by other major Chicago artists, such as William Edouard Scott and Richard Hunt, among others.

Swann Auction Galleries is the only major auction house to conduct regular sales of African American Fine Art, frequently setting benchmarks for works by important and lesser-known artists. For more about the October 18 sale, images or to arrange an interview with Swann Galleries’ Director of African American Fine Art, Nigel Freeman, call (212) 871-3020 ext. 100.

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