Sunday, July 13, 2008

Famous artist, flying saucers and July hot stuff

Think about this. More than half the year is gone. It's now history, disappeared into wherever days of yore wind up.
Fortunately, the summer isn't over and this blog issue (blissue) is packed with odds 'n ends stuff to do.
But first ... You have not seen Chicago until you've viewed this world-class city through the eyes and via the incredible talent of nationally acclaimed artist Michael Cheney (
Two images of oils in his soon-to-be-opened show, "Urban Impression," greet you at the top of this blog; 151 Sheridan and The Deli.
You cannot begin to imagine the mesmerizing quality of Cheney's oils until you've actually seen one, as in the real thing.
"Urban Imprssion" brings the artist's combined Chicago series collection to a whopping 200 separate oils.
Oh yes, Mike does more than Chicago works but this is his most voluminous body of masterpieces.
I met Mike via telephone years ago when I was first working in arts and entertainment. His work absolutely wowed me, and I have been in touch with and writing about Mike since my first contact with him in 2001.
On top of being truly gifted, Mike is warm, thrilled to meet new people, fascinating to listen to and simply a really neat person.
And guess what? You can meet him.
On Aug.1, from 6 to 8 p.m., the "Urban Impression" show officially opens at Atlas Galleries, 535 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago. If you are going to be anywhere in the metro area, do yourself a favor and hit the event. It is open to the public.
It's a free gala in a magnficient city on the Mag Mile and you'll get to meet Mike whose work appears worldwide. You can sip wine and munch appetizers as you walk around and look at Mike's paintings, drawings and specially created prints.
Everyone who attends the opening will get a free limited edition show poster. These are huge treasures, trust me.
We'll be there, and I hope to see you, too.

Two more Chicagoland items before moving on.
First, a fun read and mega chances for interaction are easy to access at Jessi Virtusio's "Elaborating on Entertainment" blog in the SouthtownStar.
Jessi, arts and entertainment editor for the newspapers, always offers interesting observations and loves to hear from readers. Check out Jessi's blog at .
if you've never been to the legendary Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St., this is the time to go. "Superior Donuts," a provocative new comedy by award-winner Tracy Letts, continues through Aug. 24.
OK. So what awards did Letts win, you ask.
Well, he won the 2008 Pulitzer for drama for his blockbuster, "August: Osage County," which took several Tony awards this year after moving to New York following its sold-out performances at Steppenwolf.
Tickets to "Superior Donuts" are at (312) 335-1650 and are mega reasonable at $20 to $68.
We saw this show, and in addition to a phenomenal script, the cast, no surprise, is extraordinary.

Flying Saucers? No, haven't seen any, at least not this year.
But a real flying saucer is in the works. According to a fun and fascinating article in Scientific American, a University of Florida researcher has plans for a prototype flying saucer on the drawing board.
No, it does not use petro-fuel of any kind.
Rather this real life sci-fi come to life possibility turns air into fuel.
Sci-Am writes "The concept sounds far-fetched but the UF mechanical and aerospace engineering associate professor plans to have a mini model ready to demonstrate his theory within the next year." The short article should be a cinch to find at

Looking for a totally awesome summer read? A unisex adventure and romance?
Well, you've heard of Shangri-La, but if you've never read the 1933 novel, "Lost Horizon," by Brit novelist James Hilton, it's definitely time to check it out at the library or find a paperback copy somewhere.
Always one of my favorite books, "Lost Horizon," the novel, soars above both movies based on the mystical adventure.
In fact, I am about to track down a copy and re-read it myself.
Have a great week, and I'd love to hear from you at

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photo by sarah gross

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About Me

Tinley Park, Illinois
As a longtime newspaperwoman who left the business to freelance, I want to keep in touch with the world. This is my place to reach out with words.