Sunday, November 29, 2009

"Snapshots" ...Surrounded by art

Last night, I went downtown to a book release celebration. The book, titled “snapshots”, is the work of my friend, Jan Baiden. The book is comprised of a series of wonderfully written short stories—with beautiful imagery—exploring insights and observations of select encounters of her life. And it’s not the typical life. The book begins with a series of accounts from a period of time, while living in Iran.

I spent a couple of hours—on this rainy morning in Chicago—lost in the first sixty pages of Jan’s book… reading each segment and then gazing at the accompanying photographs. The stories not only transport the reader to another place in time, but they invoke a moment of reflection of one’s own life. It’s a wonderful read… I look forward to exploring the coming pages.

You may ask, “What does this have to do with fine art in Chicago?” The answer is twofold. ...As we walked into the party last evening, I was reminded of the wonderful collection of art, which adorns the walls of the Jan’s home. Her husband, Shelly Kirshner, is a serious collector with major pieces by—among others—Ed Paschke, Robert Lostutter, and William Conger. I found myself so drawn to the collection of modern masters, that it was difficult to focus on causal conversation. The collection is stunning.

And as for the book... If you're interested in acquiring "snapshots"—and meeting Ms Baiden in person—a public book signing party is being planned. It should take place this summer at Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago. The event will be held in conjunction with a national juried exhibition titled “Narrative… the art of story telling”. I will elaborate on both events in future posts.

Images from Kirshner's collection were not available, so as a reference, I'm presenting a Lostutter piece from my own collection.
Image: Robert Lostutter, “Lepanthes Velifera”, 1998.
10-color lithograph. Edition of 50. Image: 6" x 7-1/2". Sheet: 14" x 15-1/2".
See Printworks Gallery for details.


  1. Sounds like a fascinating book, and right up my alley. Very neat image, too. My husband is a Chicago boy and we're actually planning on visiting Chicago this coming summer. A book signing would definitely be an interesting adventure. Thank you for sharing this info.