Tom is a painter, photographer and film maker who taught art at Daley College for 36 years. He has worked in these media since 1965. His work has been shown extensively in the US and in Europe. Major shows include MOMA, The Whitney in NY and the New wing of the Art Institute and has been featured on channel 11′s IMAGE UNION. The interview below was featured in Lumpen 120 / Cholo Magazine #1 Digital edition.The Tom Palazzolo Retrospective: Film, Photographs, Paintings, Watercolors & Sculpture opens this Friday, July 12 – 7PM – 11PM, continuing through Sunday, July 21 at the Co-Prosperity Sphere,3219-21 South Morgan Street, Chicago Illinois, 60608 .
Joe Bryl: Can you describe the climate of an independent filmmaker during the beginning of your pursuit toward documenting different aspects of social life and the individuals that you were drawn to. How different was it then to what is more common today?
Lots of excitement in the 60′s air, pop art set the stage for a big break from 50′s serious stuff like abstract expressionism. So called Underground films where just starting to make waves, led primarily by west coast filmmakers like Bruce Conner. After working in that vein from the mid 60′s to about 1970 I made the transition to documenting events. The inspiration came from pioneering films by DA Pennabaker and Ricky Leacock who developed the use of light weight handheld cameras and used the new Nagra portable sound recorder. Their work was a big jump from previous documenters that where tied down to a tripod. Unlike the old didactic approach they where a lot more open to wider narrative possibilities of the media. All of this was new and held the prospect of exciting new directions. Lots of good work being done nowadays but back then it was all new and we had the feeling we were pioneers.
Joe: What avenues where available to get your work viewed at a time when the information network of instant communication had not existed yet? How did you go about exposing people to your work and what organizations and people where there in the early years of film culture to offer support and guidance?
Back in the 60 we had plenty of opportunities for exposure thru college film festivals. Most of which, with the exception of Ann Arbor no longer exist. Locally the Aardvark group produced film screenings every Monday night at Second City. Roger Ebert would regularly review them, he was very helpful in promoting my early work, even wrote a feature article in the Sun-Times. He and I appeared with Studs Terkel on his WTTW talk show. Places like Center City Co-Op and Canyon in San Francisco acted as distributor outlets for our films. Major funding was available thru the newly formed Illinois Art Council and later The Center for New Television. My work was featured early in the 60′s and up to the 90′s on public TV’s program Image Union. That program no longer exists.
Joe: How did you decide what subjects to film and describe how you would approach the technical aspects of documentary filmmaking? What were the limitations in place either due to the possible hesitancy of the subjects involved in a time before aggressive exposure of individuals lives and what where the technical considerations in filming your pieces?
I’m always on the lookout for film subjects, some times they come by way of suggestions from friends. Labor Day film was suggested by a student who lived in East Chicago and had witnessed the Labor day celebration at Calumet Park. His description of the beauty pageant, boxing competition and various other events convinced me that it would be right up my alley. I grew up in a working class area of St. Louis much like that part of the city and this subject mater allowed me to revisit a youthful experience.
For that same reason I did a film on the old amusement park Riverview. Other films like “Enjoy yourself it’s later than you think” I just stumbled on to while passing Grant Park one summer day. Some events where just too notorious to miss. Maxwell St., the 68 convention, but generally I’m looking for things that are off the radar. With large complicated events like the Nazi marches in Marquette Park. I like to use myself and another camera man. In that particular case it was a blond blue eyed friend Mark, for obvious reasons he fit right in. When two sync cameras where not available we used a wild camera like a Bolex for cutaway shots. Dealing with public events makes it easy to approach people, they are so tuned into what they are doing that they scarcely notice the camera. I never probe into peoples private lives so that has not presented any problems.
Joe: Who was an influence on your work (other filmmakers, writers, musicians) and where do you draw your inspiration from?
Lots of influences, here’s a short list:
Beat poetry, short films I checked out of the library, non fiction books like George Orwell’s ”Down and Out in London and Paris”, plays that I saw at Goodman theater’s smaller space that was just off their main stage. Students would perform classics and on occasion Pinter, my favorite! Street photography that I looked at in the print room or the Art Institute. The museum was a big inspiration as was the foreign films I saw for 50 cents at the old Clark Theater. Lastly, the city of Chicago and all its mysterious places that were so new to me when I arrived here in 1960 from St. Louis.
Joe: Have you seen a change of interpretation of your work over time? Currently you are focusing your energies on painting and sculpture. Do you still have any interest in the form of documentary filmmaking or is this another aspect of a continuum of your development as an artist?
Hard to say if the interpretation of my films has changed, some have received good reviews others not. No one has done an in depth overview or analyzed my approach or what they perceive to be my Raison d’être. What ever that word means? Right now my plans are to continue amusing myself with painting. Film and still photography are for now on the back burner. My enlarger and film editing table sit rusting in the basement.
The Co-Prosperity School is an Artist-Run School that has met regularly at the Co-Prosperity Sphere since 2010. We run 8 week sessions. Participants find a place where intelligent dialogue on art takes place. Some find new tools to help their career. Others form friendships. The class also offers people a space to discuss what is currently happening art-wise in Chicago. Best of all we think participants are pleased to meet the people that shape the contours of our art ecology.
The 8 week Jam Session is 150 dollars
Start time is 6:30 at the Co-Prosperity Sphere, ends around 930
3219 s. Morgan St.
July 8th- Orientation
July 15th– Jennifer Reeder-
Filmmaker and visual artist. She constructs very personal narratives about landscapes, coincidence and trauma
July 22nd- Abigail Satinsky
Program Director of Threewalls
July 29th– Cream and Co.-
Cream Co. conducts research regarding perpetual time, perennial time and the duration of color. The group researches and records perceived and remembered moments of being in time, analyzes their collective findings and makes paintings that present ephemeral qualities of life, such as the memory of a year or the color of time in a specific location
Aug 5th- Annie Heckman-
Installation artist and all around giver of good advice
Aug 12th- Industry of the Ordinary-
is a two-person conceptual art collaborative, made up of Chicago-based artists and educators Adam Brooks and Mathew Wilson. Their work is usually performative or sculptural, often incorporating audience participation and interaction with the artists
Aug.- 19th- TBA
Aug. – 26th-
Jessica Cochran- Curator, administrator, writer and instructor. She is currently curator of Exhibitions and Programs Center for Book and Paper Arts, Columbia College.
Past guests have included Daniel Tucker, Juan Angel Chavez, Hamza Walker, Paul Klein, Duncan MacKenzie, Stanley Tigerman, Abigail Satinsky, Shannon Stratton, Bill Ayers, Jason Lazarus, Mary Jane Jacobs, Eric Brown and Catie Olson, Mindy Rose Schwartz Cody Hudson, Carolne Picard, Carrie Gundersdorf, Tom Torluemke, Tom Burtonwood, Aron Packer, James Duignan, Nandipha Mntambo, and Barbara Koenen.
A one-night-only exhibition at Floor Length and Tux
Saturday, June 29
7pm – 10pm
4125 W. Melrose St.
(near Belmont & Pulaski)
Blue Line: 10-15 min walk from Belmont, Addison or Irving Park stops
Parking map: http://www.
FLAT 14 will feature work from Aaron Delehanty, Max Garett and Hui-min Tsen, alongside resident FLAT artists Catie Olson and EC Brown.
Refreshments will be served; additional beverages are most welcome!
AARON DELEHANTY will present paintings of varieties of mammals, as actors in a tension between civilized organizational schemes and entropy.
Aaron is a painter whose work focuses on urban settlement and its interaction with nature, often pitting animal species against built environments. He is the co-founder of the Co-Prosperity School. http://www.
MAX GARETT will create a large-scale human isotype.
Max is a sculptor who culls a variety of archeological and anthropological influences, built in varying degrees of humanoid form with deceptive uses of materials, that seek relational tensions with the viewer. http://maxgarett.com/
HUI-MIN TSEN will present photography and a narrated video-tour, telling an episodic story that interweaves the story of the subdivisions with associated facts about Paul Bunyon, Hiroshima, Civil War prisoner camps, the Homestead Act, and nefarious real estate developers.
Hui-min uses photography, storytelling and event-design to examine the act of exploration and the nuances of our relationships with places, wonder and the unknown.http://www.huimintsen.
CATIE OLSON will present kinetic sculpture, taking inspiration from Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee.
Catie is an artist and filmmaker who pushes whimsical notions to extremes through interactive contraptions, kinetics and projection. She organizes the Spiderbug short-film series (http://www.spiderbug.org). She is ½ of Floor Length and Tux. http://catieolson.com
EC BROWN will combine a purge of artist multiples and dubbed music with depictions of women who inhabit a spectrum between PKK militiawomen and the Syrian Lionesses, on the watch for sky forms based loosely on pterosaurs.
EC is a painter who pursues fantasies of niche social orders and revised histories, and also thwarts the hermetic character of the paintings through form and circumstance. He is an exhibition organizer who co-directed the COMA exhibition space from 2006-2008 (http://www.occidentalmuseum.
About the FLAT series:
Catie Olson and EC Brown have conducted Floor Length and Tux exhibitions from their home since February 2009. These single-evening, uthemed events are the culmination of periods of involvement with small selections of artists, and new works are created under mutual gravitational influence. http://www.
The third edition of the Mash Tun Festival takes place June 22th, 2-6pm, 2013 in Bridgeport, the Community of the Future.
The festival features over thirty of the world’s best breweries pouring over sixty six different brews. Flagship and rare beers will be poured alongside one-of-a-kind concoctions at the stunning Bridgeport Art Center at 35th and Racine. The festival will be held in the 19th century atrium and the Center’s lovely sculpture garden. Local chefs and food trucks will be vending. Craft spirits and wineries will also be sampling their wares and you will help decide which brewery will win an award for making the best beer.
We are hosting an awards ceremony this year and will be giving out awards to brewers that make the best liquid in these categories:
Hopped and Confused
The Bold and Beautiful
Every Day is Like Sunday
WTF Is This
Participating Breweries include:
Against the Grain, Ale Syndicate, Artisanal Imports, Breckenridge, Baderbrau, Ballast Point, Begyle, Destihl, Deshutes, Evil Twin, Finch’s, Five Rabbits, Founder’s, Gigantic, Great Lakes, Greenbush, Half Acre, Lagunitas, Lake Effect, Mikkeller, New Belgium, Petrus, Pipeworks, Red Streak, Revolution, Scratch, Solemn Oath, Stone, Summit, Three Floyds, Two Brothers, Tighthead, Vandberg & De Wulf and others.
The festival is a celebration of the release of Mash Tun: A Craft Beer Journal issue #3. The Mash Tun is a publication put out by your buddies at Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar and The Public Media Institute, a non profit arts and culture organization based in Bridgeport. Mash Tun is our paean to craft beer. It follows the pleasures and aesthetics of craft beer and how it intersects with food, culture, and society.
Tickets are on sale now for $45. We have a limited number of tickets available. Click here to purchase. After purchasing via paypal your name will be added to the RSVP list, please present your ID at the entrance. You may also purchase tickets at the entrance to the festival.
Proceeds from the Festival will go towards a Family Fund for our friend, Carissa Hinz, who was killed on June 14, 2013 by a Hit-and-Run driver who is still at large.
The Mash Tun is a private, RSVP only event. By purchasing admission to Mash Tun Festival: The Invitational you will become a member of the Mash Tun Society, a craft beer and food club that presents programming throughout the year. Admission includes a copy of Mash Tun Journal, issue #3, unlimited samples of over 60 amazing ales and a commemorative tasting glass. You must be 21 years and/or older to attend.
Mash Tun Society members receive discounts to our events, which include Art of Beer Exhibitions, Tastings, and our forthcoming Brewers Summit and Conference in 2014.
USE THIS LINK IF YOU LIKE TO PUSH BUTTONS:
THE POUR LIST:::
Against the Grain Bo and Luke
Ale Syndicate Sunday Session
Ale Syndicate Municipal
Allagash WhiteBaderbrau Lager
Ballast Point Fathom India Pale lager
Ballast Point Thai Chile Wahoo Wheat
Begyle Allium Rheum
Breckenridge Agave Wheat
Deshutes Class of ’88
Destihl Clarice Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Destihl Black Angel Stout
Destihl Andronicous Pale Ale
Destihl Vertex IPA
Evil Twin Falco IPA
Evil Twin Lil B
Finch’s Wet Hot American Wheat
Finch’s Secret Stash Stout
Five Rabbits Huitzi
Five Rabbits Missionario
Gigantic Whole in the Head
Great Lakes Wright Pils
Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster
Greenbush Remnant of Dragon
Greenbush Loud Mouth Soup
Greenbush Mr. Hyde
Half Acre Bourbon Barrel-Aged Baumé
Half Acre Akari Shogun
Half Acre Navaja
Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale
Lagunitas Fusion 16
Mikkeller Beer Hop Breakfast
Pipeworks MYstery Beer
Petrus Silly Sour
Petrus Aged Red
Revolution Mother of Exiles Pilsner
Revolution Dictator Blonde Doppelbock
Revolution Coup D’Etat SaisonScratch Carrot-Ginger Saison
Scratch Chambourcin Dark Strong
Solemn Oath Famine
Solemn Oath Ultra High Frequency
Tighthead Irie IPA (India Pale Ale)
Tighthead Chilly Water (American Pale Ale)
Tighthead Guinea Pig Stout
Tighthead Scottish 70
Three Floyds Tiberian Inquisitor
Three Floyds Jinx Proof
Two Brothers French Press
Two Brothers Hopcentric
Vanberg and Dewulf Green Jack Trawlerboys Bitter
Virtue Red Streak
Wednesday June 19 • 2pm – 4pm
Chicago Cultural Center, Michigan Avenue Galleries
78 E. Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602
Version Festival is a participant in the Spontaneous Interventions exhibition, organized by Cathy Lang Ho on behalf of the Institute for Urban Design. Join us for a tour and discussion about tactical urbanism at the Cultural Center and in the pop-up pavilion in Millennium Park.
Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good features 84 urban interventions initiated by architects, designers, planners, artists and everyday citizens that bring positive change to neighborhoods and cities.
Spontaneous Interventions is devoted to the growing movement of architects, designers, artists, and everyday citizens acting on their own initiative to bring improvements to the urban realm, creating new opportunities and amenities for the public. The exhibition received over 178,000 visitors in Venice, and earned a Special Mention from the Golden Lion jury, the first time the United States has been honored in the history of the Venice Architecture Biennale.