Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Barton Faist Joins the Club

Lots of people
have been joining
the Palette and Chisel lately.

the number of full-dues
members is at an all-time high
of about 255.

But, I'm signalling out Barton Faist
for mention
because he's one of those artists
who would have qualified for membership
back when qualifications were needed.
(above are some of his portraits)

...and because he has forgotten
more about the history of Chicago artists
than I will ever learn.

Above are the Ric Riccardo murals
he has for sale
(he's something of a dealer)

Barton was active
in the attempt to keep
Tree Studios as an artist colony
and later,
to keep the Three Arts Club
as an artist residence.

So he has many sad tales
to tell of what happens
when an art instititution
is not owned and run by its membership.


Blogger Alice McMahon White said...

Yeah Barton!

March 03, 2010  
Anonymous Sue Basko said...

Barton Faist is without a doubt one of Chicago's heroes.

My name is Sue Basko, and I am part of a group called the Friends of the Three Arts Club.

OUr group has been with the struggle to try to save the Three Arts Club for the past 6 years, and is still actively working to try to find funding to buy it and return it to its proper use as a home and club for women in the arts.

Meanwhile, Esther Grimm, the Executive Director, and the Board of Directors, sit on a big pile of money that is ill-gotten gains from their reneging on the lawful and rightful mission of the Club. They are in their downtown office doing nothing having anything to do with providing a home for women in the arts. Knowing no shame, no decency, no integrity, -- these people have not yet offered to buy back the Three Arts building and return it to those of us who believe in the mission of the Club.

Very early in our struggle, Barton Faist came to help us. Everything Barton told us would come true, did come true. He knew, because many of the same players were involved -- mainly officials and employees from the City of Chicago -- hell-bent on taking yet another property from the arts and turning it over to more lucrative enterprises -- while claiming to be creating something for the arts.

Barton told us "they" would change the history of the Club -- and this completely happened. He said "they" would connive with the Chicago Commission on Landmarks and the buildings department to push through plans that abused the landmark -- and he was right. He said that not another actual artist would ever again reside in the building. While that is what happened, of course, at Tree Studios, it DOES NOT have to be the final fate of the Three Arts Club.

Barton Faist is a true hero to the arts and to Chicago. He is a warrior for justice and for the arts. He has at times been ridiculed by fools and shamed by the shameless. Barton has my highest respect and deepest gratitude.

March 05, 2010  
Blogger chris miller said...

Thank goodness the Palette and Chisel is owned and run by its membership (i.e. those who use it) rather than by a self-renewing board - like almost every other cultural institution in America.

But that autonomy can only be maintained if members take their membership seriously.

And most members, even those on the board, are inclined to see themselves as mere customers -- just like the "members" of the Art Institute.

If the Three Arts Club ever does come back to life, the only way to keep it from being hijacked again is to let the residents elect the board.

March 05, 2010  
Blogger dorian allworthy said...

The story of the Three Arts Club is heartbreaking. I have been at various times put on the board and taken off - I have always asked that they keep things the way they are - no fancy plans - no boys in rooms - Just a safe haven for girls in the arts - a beautiful atmosphere - the company of other artists - 2 delicious meals a day. It is heartbreaking there is no other word for it.

Thank you Barton and Sue Basko and everyone who has tried to keep this going. It is greedy and mean to take this away from the artists. These people think they dont need Art and they are wrong- wrong - wrong.

March 07, 2010  
Anonymous Jeffrey Meehan said...

I am thrilled to see Barton is still fighting the fight. I knew him while he was still at Tree Studios. He gave me great insight about the building's history - including three turn-of-the-20th Century resident artists whom I collect.

Barton is a gem in the Chicago Art Community!

March 13, 2010  

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