Thursday, November 14, 2019

Miami Revs Up for Art Basel! (Miami, FL.)

Miami Revs Up for Art Basel!
Zachary Balber: Tamim
Nov. 20th through March of 2020
Photo of artwork
The artist Zachary Balber. Self-portrait. Zack (Ginger). Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper.
The opening reception is Nov. 20 at 7:00 p.m.
at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU in South Beach
Goose Knuckles, God’s Will, by Zachary Balber. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper.
Zachary Balber uses portrait photography to uncover the camouflaged identity of some of Judaism’s most unconventional Jews, in his series Tamim.

The photographer, a rising star in Miami's art scene who is fast gaining national acclaim, is Jewish himself and connected strongly with the men he photographed. Through this series, he re-connected with his own heritage.
This is the first time these photographs have been exhibited in full color, some are new and have never been shown.

Some of the monumental images were printed as large as possible, to show the subjects at two or three times their human scale.

Since many of these men have serious tattoos, this creates the effect of transforming a portrait into a landscape experience for the viewer ‒ the markings across their flesh forge an explicit landscape
Photo of artwork
Devon, by Zachary Balber. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper.
Tamim roughly translates from Hebrew as “perfect."

The artist asked each of the men to wear his kippah (the head covering that Balber was Bar Mitzvahed in), however they saw fit.
Joshua, by Zachary Balber. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper.
"Our museum wanted to explore the subject of tattoos, because our many of our younger audiences were sharing their stories about how they were deliberating whether or not they should ink or not ink," said the museum's Executive Director, Susan Gladstone.

"We wanted to identify a young, Florida Jewish artist who has a strong following among young art lovers, so that we could explore this subject through his art. We found Zachary Balber, his work is already in the permanent collections of prominent institutions and major collectors, and his series Tamim featured many young Jews with tattoos."
Photo of artwork
Tony, by Zachary Balber. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper.
Many of these men have serious tattoos, this creates the effect of transforming a portrait into a landscape experience. The markings across their flesh forge an explicit landscape. 
In Balber's photographs, the men reveal themselves. They expose their problems, heritage, insecurities, fears and humanity.

What followed was a mutual odyssey of reconnecting to their culture, for both the subjects and the photographer

Many of the subjects felt like outsiders, sharing common life challenges such as incarceration, addiction, recovery and rehab. Like Balber, they also felt estranged from their culture and their families.
Photo of artwork
Pimpy Pat, by Zachary Balber. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper.
Despite their rough "Rambo-Jew" exteriors (as Balber calls them), through their gaze into his camera lens they reveal a surprising boyish innocence. The viewer cannot escape the humanity in these images. 
In these photographs they each stand proud for the camera and unashamed to be themselves - the meaning of Tamim. These portraits cut through uncharted terrain.

“These guys can, and do, belong,” says Balber. "No one seems to be talking about these types of outsiders in this way.” Balber describes them as his very own “lost tribe of outsider Jewish men.”  This series includes a portrait of the artist Typoe (below).
Typoe, by Zachary Balber. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper.
Despite their rough "Rambo-Jew" exteriors (as Balber calls them), through their gaze into his camera lens they reveal a surprising boyish innocence. The viewer cannot escape the humanity in these images. 

Balber and the men in these photographs shared their experiences of being disconnected from the world. He used portrait photography to uncover the camouflaged identity of some of Judaism’s most unconventional Jews.  
Efraim, by Zachary Balber. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper.
He connected with the men he photographed, and this helped him rediscover his own heritage, in new ways that were different from his childhood exposure to organized religion. Through the course of his own similar life challenges, Balber met and helped these men, who also took him under their wing, as they worked together on bettering their lives. 

“I want to emphasize the tenderness of their gaze by enlarging the subjects beyond the size of traditional portraiture,” says Balber.  
"These photos are like my smoke-signals to the rest of my Jews out there who also feel like outsiders ‒ where are you?" says Balber.
“I hope others who also feel estranged from their culture come to see this series, including other Jews who haven’t been inside a Temple in a long time because they feel like they don’t belong." My hope is that they feel more comfortable coming to an art exhibition, at this historic, beautiful Synagogue that means so much to the community and is now a gathering place for art."  
As a child, his father took him to Israel and they visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem. This is where Balber was impacted by the power of photography.

There, he witnessed how photographers captured these stark, horrific realities and this life-changing moment inspired Balber to become a photographer.
These portraits cut through uncharted terrain.
Zachary Balber was born in Pittsburgh in 1983 and moved to Miami at the age of thirteen, where he received his first camera. Years later, while attending New World School of the Arts, he was hired to assist the fashion photographer Bruce Webber, assisting Webber in his campaigns for Abercrombie and Fitch, Vera Wang, and Vanity Fair Magazine.

He attended New World School of the Arts, graduating Summa Cum Laude, majoring in creative photography. His work has been exhibited at: Art Basel, The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art; The American Jewish University (LA); The Frost Art Museum FIU; MOCA NOMI; FAU Museum OCCA; (CIFO) Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation; Locust Projects; Spinello Gallery; Fredric Snitzer Gallery; The Armory; Art Hong Kong; Primary Projects, and Center for Fine Art Photography (CO); Hinge Gallery (Chicago); among many others.


Boca Museum of Art
The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU is located in the heart of Miami Beach’s Art Deco District, at 301 Washington Avenue on South Beach. The museum serves as a major cultural attraction and source of information for a wide audience of residents, tourists, students and scholars of all ages and backgrounds from throughout the state, nation, and the world. 

Located in a former synagogue that housed Miami Beach's first Jewish congregation, the museum's restored 1936 Art Deco building and 1929 original synagogue are both on the National Register of Historic Places. The 301 building features nearly 80 stained glass windows, a copper dome, marble bimah and many Art Deco features including chandeliers and sconces.

The Jewish Museum of Florida is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed on Mondays and holidays. Admission: Adults $12; Seniors $8; Families $24; Members and children under 6 always free; Saturdays-Free. For more information, please call 305-786-972-3175 or visit  

Chicago Humanities Festival >> Experience more humanities magic: become a member today!




Fall Festival 2019: 16 days. 74 programs. 170 presenters.

It's been a wonderful whirlwind, and one that wouldn't have been possible without our members.

If you enjoy the work we do, we hope you'll consider becoming a CHF member. Besides paying a crucial role in fulfilling CHF's mission of bringing important conversations to all, CHF members also receive early access and discounted tickets to our events.

For a limited time, we're offering $15 off of a CHF Friends level membership. We can't wait to welcome you into our member community!
Use code FRIENDS15 and receive $15 off a CHF Friends level membership. Must add Friends level membership to basket and enter code at check out. Offer not valid for renewals, first-time members only.



Even though the Fall Festival's done, that doesn't mean there isn't more humanities goodness to experience:

— Read the Week 3 recap.

— Revisit some of your favorite programs, or catch one you missed, at our online video archive.

— Join Michael Eric Dyson on December 4th for a conversation on JAY-Z.

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Copyright © 2019 Chicago Humanities Festival, All rights reserved.

Millennium Park Ice Rink Opens Tomorrow - Friday, November 15 - Ice Skating at Millennium Park presented by Hilton (Chicago, IL.)


Opening Day Program to Showcase Skating Performances at 11 a.m.
Other Programming Includes Free Ice Skating Lessons and DJ Nights

Ice Skating at Millennium Park presented by Hilton opens for the season (weather permitting) at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink on Friday, November 15. At 11 a.m., a special program will feature performances by the professional skating group American Ice Theatre Chicago as well as the celebrated Starlights Synchronized Skating Teams, who are part of the current TEAM USA and current World Junior Competitors. Open skating and free lessons will follow the program and performance.

“Millennium Park Campus is a magical place to be during the holidays and throughout the winter months,” said Commissioner Mark Kelly, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. “Visitors and residents are invited to make memories with family and friends while ice skating, celebrating, singing and experiencing the heart of Chicago’s cultural scene.”

The Winter Workouts program will again offer free skating lessons for all ages and skill levels, one hour before the rink opens. The lessons take place on Fridays (usually 11 a.m.), Saturdays and Sundays (usually 9 a.m.), during School Winter Break (December 21–January 5, daily at 9 a.m., except December 25 and January 1), Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 20, at 9 a.m.) and President’s Day (February 17, at 9 a.m.). Grant support for Winter Workouts ice skating lessons is provided by the McDonald’s Active Lifestyles Endowment, managed by the Millennium Park Foundation.

Additionally, each first and third Thursday starting in December will feature DJs spinning music for everyone spinning on the rink from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday DJ Nights are made possible by the Millennium Park Foundation.

The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink is located in Millennium Park on Michigan Avenue between Washington and Madison Streets. Skating is FREE and open to the public, with skate rentals available for $13 from Monday to Thursday and $15 on Friday to Sunday and holidays. The rink is open from November 15 through March 8.

Ice skating in Millennium Park is presented by Hilton.  Hilton Guests will receive up to two pairs of complimentary ice skates per room reservation.  Claim yours by showing a current room reservation confirmation email for any of Hilton’s 17 brands to the skate rental desk.  Learn more at

“Ice skating in Millennium Park is synonymous with Chicago’s holiday season,” said Andrew Flack, Vice President, Regional Marketing & eCommerce Americas at Hilton. “Collaborating with Chicago’s iconic attractions and experiences is part of our commitment to Chicago’s tourism industry. It is a pleasure to work in partnership with the city of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events to provide Hilton guests an opportunity to create memorable holiday experiences.”

Millennium Park will be the epicenter of holiday cheer for the City including, Chicago’s official Christmas Tree, ice skating, music, exhibitions, an art market and other free family fun. The 106th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place on Friday, November 22, at 6 p.m., featuring music performances, Santa Claus and more.

The Millennium Park Campus will be home to family fun and holiday traditions for the entire season. From the Skating Ribbon in Maggie Daley Park to the Wreathing of the Lions at the Art Institute of Chicago on November 29 and others, information on events at Maggie Daley Park, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Lurie Garden, the Harris Theater for Music and Dance and the Park Grill can be found by visiting

Millennium Park holiday events are produced by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and made possible by the Millennium Park Foundation, with support from the Chicago Transit Authority and Millennium Park Garages. Admission to all events is free.

Millennium Park is located on Michigan Avenue, bordered by Randolph St. to the north, Columbus Dr. to the east and Monroe St. to the south. The Park is open from 6 a.m.–11 p.m. daily. For the latest news and events, download the Millennium Park app, visit, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @Millennium_Park.

2019 Millennium Park Holiday Programs
For the complete schedule of events, visit

106th Annual Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Friday, November 22, 6 p.m.
Millennium Park, Wrigley Square, Michigan Ave. & Randolph St.
FREE Admission
Enjoy the glittering tree set among Chicago’s sparkling skyline and the iconic art and architecture of Millennium Park. The ceremony will feature music by Grammy® Award-winning artist Jonathan Butler, Cielito Lindo, a modern Latinx mariachi made up of the nine-member Lucero family, cast members from Eleanor’s Very Merry Christmas Wish - The Musical and independent music artist and songwriter Skylar Stecker.

Millennium Park Art Market with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College Chicago
November 22–23, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.
November 24, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Millennium Park, Chase Promenade North
FREE Admission
Start your holiday shopping with one-of-a-kind items, including jewelry, fashion, painting, sculpture, prints, drawings and more on sale by student artists.
The Art Market is supported by the Millennium Park Foundation.

Caroling at Cloud Gate
Fridays, November 29, December 6, 13 and 20, 6 p.m.
Millennium Park, Cloud Gate Plaza
FREE Admission
Bundle up and belt out some holiday classics as local Chicago choral groups lead hundreds of celebrants in song.
November 29: Sounds Good! Choir
December 6: Mark Hubbard and The Voices
December 13: Chicago Children’s Choir
December 20: Wicker Park Choral Singers

Ice Rink DJ Nights
1st & 3rd Thursdays, December 6 & 20, January 3 & 17, February 7 & 21, March 6, 6–8 p.m.
Millennium Park, McCormick Tribune Ice Rink
FREE Admission; Skate rentals available
Take a spin on the ice rink while local DJs spin music.
DJ Nights are supported by the Millennium Park Foundation.

Dance-Along Nutcracker®
Sunday, December 8
Dance Lessons–9 a.m. and Noon
Performances–10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.
FREE Admission
Sugarplum fairies and mouse kings of all ages and dance skills are invited to point their toes to the familiar music of Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic. Optional dance lessons precede the hour-long participatory performances.
The Dance-Along Nutcracker®, created in 1985, is the property of the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, the world’s first openly gay musical organization.

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.

Millennium Park Foundation
The Millennium Park Foundation, a private philanthropic nonprofit partner, was created in 1998 to support the City of Chicago’s efforts in the design, construction, and curation of Millennium Park. It is the curator of Millennium Park’s internationally-recognized icons and public features. These include the prestigious Jay Pritzker Pavilion and dramatic BP Pedestrian Bridge, world-renowned Cloud Gate and Lurie Garden, iconic Crown Fountain, and exquisite Boeing Galleries for public art exhibitions. Through its ongoing development initiatives, the Millennium Park Foundation is dedicated to keeping Millennium Park a free, accessible and equitable venue for all Chicagoans today, and for generations to come.