The way of the Creative works through change and transformation,
so that each thing receives its true nature and destiny
and comes into permanent accord with the Great Harmony:
this is what furthers and what perseveres.
The sage learns how best to develop himself so that his influence may endure. He must make himself strong in every way, by consciously casting out all that is inferior and degrading. Thus he attains that tirelessness which depends upon consciously limiting the fields of his activity.
I Ching, 1. The Creative
2009 Special Events - 8th Annual Ravenswood ArtWalk
October 3rd & 4th
Ravenswood ArtWalk (formerly ArtWalk Ravenswood) is two days event dedicated to honoring and celebrating artists and industry in the Ravenswood Corridor. The event included 30 venues highlighting over 100 local artists! For the 8th RAW, the Tai Chi Center of Chicago (TC3) featured several artists in conjunction with various performances made by the instructors and the student body at large.
Demonstrating Master Instructors of the Tai Chi Center of Chicago:
Elizabeth Wenscott - Tai Chi Sword, Tai Chi Knife
Chris Zalek - Tong Bei Chuan, Xing Yi, San Shou.
Sas Stark - Tong Bei Chuan, Xing Yi, San Shou
Don Tomei & Sharon Fierro - Qigong
Tracy Von Kaenel - Yoga
Artist in Residence, Christine Wallers - Projected Video and Installations
Steven Leavitt - Painting
Kipling Swehla - Photography
Stephen C. Walker - Guqin (ancient stringed Chinese instrument)
Sangeet Gupta - Ceramics
This years schedule of events.
11:00am - 3:00pm - School Demonstrations Schedule
11:00am - 12:00pm - Tai Chi Introductory with Chris Zalek - (Participation welcome and FREE)
12:30pm - 1:00pm - Stephen C. Walker - Guqin Musical Performance
1:15pm - 2:00pm - Qigong - Instructor Don Tomei - (Participation welcome and FREE)
2:00pm - 3:00pm - Demonstrations lead by master instructors, along with members of the TC3
3:00pm - 6:00pm - Art Opening
11:00am - 12:00pm - School Open House - Art Viewing
12:00pm - 1:00pm - Yoga Performance with Tracy Von Kaenel - Om Mani Padme Hum
1:00pm - 6:00pm - School Open House - Art Viewing
Christine Wallers (Artist in Residence) First light, last
projected video time 20 min
First light, last is a meditation on the cusps of darkness and light, dreaming and waking, sound and silence, and a hopeful reminder of light in the midst of winter's darkness. The visual component consists of hundreds of digital photo sequences of cloudless sky patches in the moments just before nightfall and dawn. These still images have been strung together as animated video vignettes, allowing the viewer to visibly perceive slow transitional cycles as they move through various shades of rich, saturated blue, from azure, to deep indigo, to nearly black; this "blueness" becomes a form or quality of light in and of itself. The result is at once abstract and hyper-real. The sound component is derived from a single 40-minute field recording made on the beach at Kalaloch, Washington while watching night visibly descend. This recording was radically filtered to extract twelve individual frequency bands that fade slowly in and out, hovering on the threshold of audibility, a shimmering presence that suggests a sense of anticipation or becoming. Collaboration with composer/sound artist Steve Peters.
Christine Wallers, received her BFA from Columbia College, Chicago, and also studied
at the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of New Mexico. Wallers is a cross-
disciplinary artist whose work uses formal procedures of minimal and post-minimal art to
craft installations that are site-specific, experientially based, and often fleeting. Wallers
attempts to create an experience of the ephemeral, the just emerging and the barely
visible, from the interplay between object and space. Her work has been shown at the
Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, the Whelan, and Klaudia Marr galleries in Santa Fe,
New Mexico, the Musee Denys Peuch in Rodez, France, and Bellevue Saal in
Wiesbaden, Germany. She has curated a number of exhibitions including "Organizing
the World: Sculptural Interventions" (Museum of Fine Arts Santa Fe, 2002) and
"Broadening the Definition of Land-based Art"(The Land/an Art Site, Mountainair, New
Mexico, 1999). She has been a Visiting Artist at Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA, the
Chinati Foundation, Marfa, TX, and a recipient of a Friends of Contemporary Art
Monetary Award. Wallers received an Artist Trust Gap Grant in 2005 for
her installation Sea Level at Suyama Space in Seattle WA. In 2006 Wallers completed
first light, last (video and multi-channel sound installation with sound artist Steve Peters)
a meditation on the cusps of darkness and light, sound and silence. First light, last projected at Caro d'Offay gallery in Chicago April 08. Wallers lives and works in Chicago.
My work involves listening. When my mind is quiet and still, listening
becomes more profound. I exercise everyday before I begin to work.
Tai Chi and Yoga help me to clear and quiet my mind.
Because the execution of tasks is not necessarily a physically
therapeutic act, it is absolutely necessary to carefully care for my
body and mind. Some tasks may take several months to complete. If I
did not take proper care of myself, it would be impossible to complete
these tasks. Warming up and proper conditioning are an integral part
of my process.
Since the mid 1980's Steven's work has been non-representational. His work has been developed both in miniature drawing and oil painting. His work has been strongly influenced by ethnic art and crafts from around
the world both past and present.
Steven's art education started in grammar school, by the fourth grade he could identify all the impressionists and create Mondrian design. Steven received a BFA from the school of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1981.
Kipling Swehla Sorry
Pigment ink on photo rag paper
Game Show is a collection of photographs of board games and toys I played with as a child in the 60's and 70's which are part of an upcoming book title, Playbook. Some of the classic games included in this series consist of Aggravation, Battleship, Battling Tops, Clue, Connect Four, Electic, Football (the vibrating board as well as the mattel hand held), Gnip Gnop, Hungry Hippo, Kerplunk, Life, Merlin, Mousetrap, Spirograph, Stratego,Trouble and many many more.
Although the entire collection is mostly in color for this exhibit I have chosen three white images that śrepresent the innocence of the child playing games that are often using archetype symbols from the adult world.
Kipling Swehla is a Chicago-based commercial photographer specializing in shooting food and product. His work can be seen in popular magazines, cookbooks, and websites for celebrity chefs such as Charlie Trotter and Art Smith, long time personal chef to Oprah Winfrey.
After studying Tai Chi for 14 years, Kipling incorporates into shooting what he has learned from this martial art. "Photography isn't just about seeing. It is about listening, feeling, and responding." From the moment you are born, you are bombarded by visual stimuli. It is only through quiet breath and stillness of mind that you become aware of subtle beauty. While most are dazzled by brightness, there is also wonder in the depths of shadows.
Stephen C. Walker
Performs on the Guqin (one time only!)
Saturday October 3rd. 2009
12:30pm - 1:00pm
About the Guqin
The guqin, a seven-stringed zither, is China's oldest stringed instrument, with a history of some 3000 years. Chinese music has a long history, and its essence is best expressed on the guqin. In Imperial China, a well educated scholar was expected to be skilled in four arts:
Qin (the guqin),
Qi (the game of Go),
Shu (calligraphy) and
Historically, the guqin has been viewed as a symbol of Chinese high culture and the instrument most expressive of the essence of Chinese music. More than 100 harmonics can be played on the guqin, which probably is the largest number of harmonics of any instrument. The guqin has its own notation, which itself has a history of at least 1500 years. There are over 150 guqin handbooks in existence, which contain in excess of 3,000 pieces of music as well as essays on the theoretical aspects of the guqin and its music.
The Guqin is a part of our world's heritage, but today fewer than two thousand people can play it, and it is rarely seen in China . Music that was written over a period of many centuries is unknown to most people. In recognition of its supreme importance to Chinese culture, UNESCO in 2003 declared the art of the guqin a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The purpose of this UNESCO programme is to ensure that the best of every country's traditions is preserved, developed and made known to the outside world.
In Chinese, "gu" means old and qin means "musical instrument". Historically, guqin was rendered as "Qin" in most ancient texts. Because its long history, it has during the last 100 years been widely called guqin.
There is much symbology surrounding the instrument. For example, it measures 3' 6.5" (Chinese feet and inches), to symbolise the 365 days of the year; the upper surface is rounded, representing the sky, the bottom is flat and represents the earth. The five strings of the earliest qins symbolise the five elements: Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth. When Bo Yikao, son of King Wen, first ruler of the Zhou Dynasty around the 11th century BC, died the Emperor added a sixth string to mourn his son; the sound of the sixth string is sorrowful. The seventh string was added by the second Zhou ruler, King Wu to inspire his soldiers when his country went to war; the sound of this string is very strong. Finally, the 13 mother-of-pearl inlays along the outer edge represent the 13 months of the lunar year.
About Stephen C. Walker
Was born in a coastal Connecticut town in 1984; my family soon moved to suburban Chicago where I spent the next 17 years. My parents are both highly educated, inquisitive, and creative people, and raised me with a love of learning and exploration. While this site is about music, in reality I can't separate my musical interests from my intellectual and cultural passions, which are wide-ranging and a little difficult to encapsulate. Perhaps this can be said of any qin player, as no musical tradition is more about the "music beyond the strings".
From fall 2001 to fall 2006 I lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, attending Harvard among other things. I then spent 2006-2007 in New York, completing an MA at Columbia; as of fall 2007 I'm a PhD student in Philosophy of Religion at the University of Chicago. So far I've been proceeding under the disciplinary heading of "East Asian Languages and Civilizations", but I'm trying to refocus my work along the lines of "Study of Religion". My research negotiates the interface between intellectual history (Chinese and comparative) and philosophy, or between what one might call descriptive and theoretical goals. Lately my work has focused on epistemology and philosophy of mind in early Chinese thought; I hope eventually to make contributions to the contemporary philosophical landscape, which has long been a shared (and elusive) goal for specialists in Asian philosophy.
I turned to the guqin in 2003 after many years of musical experimentation. I started learning Western classical violin at age 6, switched to more folkloric genres sometime in middle school, and went very far out on the limb of medieval music in high school. By the time I started college, I had a room-full of exotic reconstructed instruments, including three gut-strung fiddles that I played in several concerts and radio performances. However, I had already begun to feel that living traditions offered much more than a reconstructed dead one ever could, and I was actively dabbling in South Asian and West Asian styles of improvisation. One jam session with a Carnatic violinist convinced me that this path was leading me nowhere, and that I needed systematic grounding in a system that deeply gripped me, rather than ambling through the "musical marketplace" as I had been. From that point it was only a matter of time before I dropped years of bowed string experience and made the momentous switch to guqin. In this instrument and its tradition I feel like I have finally found my "musical destiny", and while I now look to renovate the qin tradition from within and to cross-pollinate it with other systems, it has given me a grounding I will never lose.
I have many people to thank for their help, guidance, and inspiration in shaping my musical life. I dedicate this page firstly to my musical friends and companions: Jamey, Richard, Vivek, Russ, Bridget, Momin, Ivan, Peiyou, Ananya, and doubtless more waiting to work their own magic. And also to mentors: Shin-yi, Ravikiran, Todd McComb, John Thompson, Stephen Dydo, and others too numerous to mention. Your contributions shine on every page of this website; without you I would be nothing and nowhere.
More on Steven C. Walker can be found: http://www.scwguqin.com
About Sangeet Gupta
Sangeet Gupta was born in 1976 in New York City. At the age of two his family moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas, where he resided until moving to Champaign, Illinois to attend the University of Illinois to study mechanical engineering.
In 2000, Sangeet moved to Chicago (where he currently lives) and not feeling he was able to express himself creatively through his work as an engineer, he began studying photography at Truman College.
Although Sangeet still has a great love for photography, he felt the need to be able to work more with his hands in a three-dimensional medium. He has been studying ceramics at Lincoln Square Pottery Studio and Learning Center since 2003. Sangeet creates both functional and non-functional ceramic pieces using raku firing, electric firing and pit firing techniques. For the last several years he has focused on wood firing and salt firing techniques, which comprise the majority of his work current work.