Noon Solar


My friend and co-founded of Noon Solar, Jane Palmer will be speaking with her business partner, Marianne Fairbanks on Monday, April 6 at the Hyde Park Art Center about their amazing work.

Talking Point: Jane Palmer and Marianne Fairbanks
Monday, April 6, 2009
Hyde Park Art Center
5020 S. Cornell Avenue

An Evening with JAM and Noon Solar: Jane Palmer and Marianne Fairbanks

Let’s talk about art, business, and sustainable design.

The two founders of Noon Solar, Jane Palmer and Marianne Fairbanks, have backgrounds in fibers and textiles. They met in the graduate MFA program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Their company began as an art project in early spring of 2002 as a response to the impending war in Iraq. They were feeling powerless in the country’s decision making process and felt the US was largely going to war for oil. They came up with a solution to give people not only personal power, but to integrate renewable solar power into daily life.

Jane Palmer grew up in rural southern Appalachia. Her father is an inventor and scientist and her mother is a social worker, both of which have informed the way she lives and thinks. She attended Appalachian State University where she learned community based sustainable agriculture and other permaculture methods such as collecting rain water for bathing. She moved to Chicago in 1999 to attend the Art Institute for graduate school in the Fibers program. Since graduating she has collaborated on art projects and in business with Marianne Faribanks.

Marianne Fairbanks earned her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from the University of Michigan School of Art and Design. She teaches Fibers and Material Studies at SAIC. She has been a Visiting Artist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, presented at CAA in 2004 on the Contemporary Art and Sustainability panel. She has taken part in many exhibtions, including at the Museum of Sustainable Style, Chicago; the Museum of Art and Design, New York; Smart Museum of Art, Chicago; Puerto Rico 04, San Juan; C33 Columbia College Gallery, Chicago. She is a co-founder of the experimental art space Mess Hall in Chicago.

TalkingPoint is a monthly discussion group for artists, and others who appreciate art. The program is generously sponsored by a donation from Anstiss and Ronald Krueck. Beer and pizza provided by the Hyde Park Art Center, conversation provided by participants, like you. Bring a friend.

-via Hyde Park Art Center





Jennifer Montgomery, my professor in graduate school and a great film maker, is screening her latest film, Deliver, 2008 at the University of Chicago’s Film Studies Center on Saturday, April 11th. There will be a Q&A after the screening, with the amazingly incisive Lauren Berlant.

In this all-female video remake of DELIVERANCE, a cast of experimental filmmakers/academics (Peggy Ahwesh, Su Friedrich, Jacqueline Goss, Meredith Root and Montgomery) play mirages of themselves—urban artists looking to unplug in the unspoiled wilderness. The filmmakers follow John Boorman’s original closely as the gender inversion complicates hegemonic notions of nature, power, and sexual violence, all on a stretch of river coincidentally called Beaverkill.

– via BAM

Saturday April 11th
Film Studies Center
5811 South Ellis Ave. Cobb Hall 307

I just finished my first artist book with a little (ok a lot) of help from my friends at Plural Design. It was a lot of work and I have a whole new appreciation for book making but I cannot wait to start the next book project…Westhope: Above and Below.

Valentino The Last Emperor, the award-winning feature film by Matt Tyrnauer, about the legendary Italian designer, Valentino Garavani was released this month in U.S. theaters, starting with an exclusive engagement at the Film Forum in NYC. It has now become the highest-grossing documentary debut of 2009, with a completely sold-out weekend.

I was fortunate to have seen this film at the Chicago Film Festival last October. I personally am no fashionista but loved this beautiful film for its portrayal of Valentino, the man and the legend. In a random act of chance, I ended up hosting the Co-Producer/Co-Editor of this film, Frederic Tcheng while he was in town for the screening of the film and I was also able to meet the director, Matt Tyrnauer. Both are great men and I am happy to see their work being recognized for what it is, a great documentary.

Below is a list of premier dates in select cities across the country:

NEW YORK CITY – March 18 to 31
Film Forum – West Houston Street (W of 6th Ave)
Buy Tickets online!

CHICAGO – March 27 to April 9
Landmark Century Center Cinema – 2828 North Clark Street (at Diversey)
Buy Tickets online!

SAN FRANCISCO – April 3 to 16
Opera Plaza Theater – 601 Van Ness Avenue
Buy Tickets online!

LOS ANGELES – April 3 to 16
Laemmle Sunset 5 – 8000 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood
Buy Tickets online!


Rick Gribenas


“Humanity is existing as an emotive being.

Humanity is imperfection, blips, forgetfulness, fullness,
and unexpected reaction.

Humanity is existing through the senses and understanding
our environment with those senses.

Where is a safe place for everything we think and feel?

This book posits hope for finding and creating those safe places.

We must be lofty and emotional; there must be risk if systems are to be shifted and rearranged.

It is necessary to transmit and receive.”

– Rick Gribenas, Excerpt from Participatory Autonomy, A Call to Participate, 2006

Today I learned the sad news that a great friend and artists, Rick Gribenas passed away. Rick changed everyone who met him and showed us all how to live our lives to the fullest. I will miss him greatly.

Thanks to Mathew Paul Jinks for posting this ballad by Todd Mattei + Rick Gribenas, Suite No. 2 Ballad, from The Margin Suites.

March 21, 2009, 8pm
Co-Prosperity Sphere
3219 S Morgan St,
$10 Suggested Donation

Matériel Magazine and Pr Launch Party and fundraiser for Version Festival Please come and help us raise funds to pay for Version>09 Immodest Proposals. We will be giving to everyone who attends a complementary copy of our new publishing projects, Matériel and the new Pr poster/newsletter. We will be hosting an evening of performances and displaying pages from Matériel on the gallery walls. Musical performances by Casual Encounter , Caw! Caw! (not cawcaw) and a few secret super special guest stars. Matériel is an oversized broadside newsprint publication that’s a collection of the best/brightest designers/illustrators/photographers work we can find – creating a showcase for their submitted work. It’s a sister magazine to Proximity providing a ‘design’ counterpoint to Prox’s ‘art’ focus. Pr is Proximty’s in-between issues newsletter and art poster featuring articles interviews reviews a calendar and more.”

-via Proximity

Oer the Land


A great artist, influence and my professor in graduate school, Deborah Stratman is screening her latest experimental documentary Oer the Land, 2008, which recently played at the Sundance 2009 film festival, and is also scheduled to play at the True/False film fest. I have been looking forward to seeing her latest work and now I have two chances!

Friday March 13th at 6pm, Film Studies Center at the University of Chicago, Cobb Hall, Rm. 307 as part of the “Cinema, Nature, Ecology Series”

Wed. April 15th at Viva Doc, in association w/ the Michael Rabiger Center for Documentary Film at Collumbia College Chicago