Monday, February 21, 2011

Western Avenue Series

Mile 1: 119th Street-114th Street
This painting is a part of my Western Avenue Series, through which I'll be making 24 watercolor paintings, one to document each mile of Western Avenue, in Chicago.  I started this project because while it is not considered to be among the most “beautiful” of Chicago’s streets, Western Avenue is a perfect place to document the humanness of Chicago, the positive and the negative. In the words of Stuart Dybek, "Western, with apologies to State Street, is a great street,  Unlike State, it is a street that goes to the interior, the heart of the city, as it glides and glows through a United Nations of neighborhoods."  Check back next Monday to see a post about the next mile of Western.
The painting to represent the first mile in our northerly journey up Western will feature the Beverly Records a classic Chicago record store in operation since 1967.  It strikes me a reasonable representation of this portion of Beverly.  It's a part of the city that feels slow to change.  Much of the architecture and business that survives today seems to have had its start about a half century ago.

The Beverly Record store was started by John and Christine Dreznes.  It was Christine who expanded the business to what was at one time four stores (they have since consolidated to one store).  The store is still in operation selling hard to find 45s and LPs.  Not only that, you can rent a karaoke machine for $99!

Click here to purchase this painting.

What is your favorite record store?
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  1. Great painting!!! Would love to give to my dad for Christmas to hang in his shop. Do you ever sell your paintings?

  2. Thanks! The painting is part of a series of paintings of Western Avenue, which are going to completed in February or March of next year. I'm hoping to exhibit all the paintings collectively, so I'm not ready to sell the painting yet. I could certainly sell a print made of the painting-- if you are interested, just let me know!