Lacy Feasts: Suzanne Lacy at the Smart Gallery (University of Chicago)

Way back on July 22, 2006 (a hot Saturday in Bloomington, IL), I was handed a press release from then Lieutenant Governor (& now Governor) Pat Quinn explaining that beginning in 2007, Illinois would celebrate “Jane Addams Day” every year on December 10.

In response, I began planning festivities for that date (12/10/07) with my fellow AAUW-Illinois Board Members, & me being me, I began searching for a suitable film. No one had anything… but someone at Women Make Movies told me she thought I should contact a California artist named Suzanne Lacy… She thought Lacy might have “something” for me… And now we all know that “something” was a very special film called Dinner at Jane’s.

So for all these years, I’ve been in contact with Suzanne Lacy (sometimes by phone but usually by e-mail), but now she is in Chicago for the Smart Gallery’s wonderful new Feast exhibit, & last night I actually met her f2f at Opening Night. To say it was “successful” doesn’t begin to describe it: it was SRO & a guy was counting everyone who left so that he could let in an equal number of people (& only that number of people)… waiting on a long line… in the rain!

So although I had my camera with me, I didn’t try to take a picture… But others did & here we are down in the far right corner. Richard (wearing the blue tie) is chatting with Russell Lewis (of the Chicago History Museum) & anyone who knows me will recognize my gesticulating hand in between them 😉

But about Suzanne’s installation: all I can say is WOW!!! Turns out Dinner at Jane’s was really part of a larger project called The International Dinner Party, and all these years, everything I’ve been doing with International SWAN Day could rightly be described as  The International Dinner Party 2.0.

Brava, Suzanne! And so nice to finally meet you 🙂

The Smart Gallery’s exhibit Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art runs thu June 10th & I strongly recommend a trip down to Hyde Park to see it (hopefully in less crowded circumstances). Click HERE for full details.

Click HERE to read more about Feast in my JUFN interview with curator Stephanie Smith.

Photo Credit: Nicole Gotthelf (2/15/12)

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