Sunday, July 1, 2012

Brett Manning Interview

Brett Manning Interview

I sat down with Brett Manning last week to have a quick talk about her art practice and work in general.  Her show “Warmness” opens Friday, July 6th  at One Strange Bird (2515 W. North Ave Chicago, Il)  Her work, technically awe inspiring and contemporary at the same time, address themes of universality, the relationship between humans and animals, and pattern and decoration. 

Brett originally went to school to study fashion at The Illinois Institute of Art.  She started to focus more on drawing and illustration after becoming slightly disillusioned by the fashion world.  This original fascination with fashion still shows through in her portraits.

This interview starts after a quick discussion about our similar upbringings in Southern Illinois.  Both coming from small towns and being slightly artistic, I wondered if she was as angry as I was as a teen:

Were you an angry teenager?
No… I was always very passive didn’t really care about anything and always kind of did my own thing.

How old were you when you finally left Springfield?

Were you drawing constantly when you were really little too?
Yes. I’ve always drawn lots of animals. Lots of animals when I was younger then I started doing more self-portrait-y type things in college. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Thad Kellstadt Interview

Thad Kellstadt

Lady Bird and I sat down with Thad, our featured artist for the month of June. Below is a piece of our conversation.  We were interested in Thad's work in general and also what he is up to for his Solo show here on June 1st (

Growing up near a charming rustic town in Ohio, Thad Kellstadt jokes that his simple
farm upbringing has no impact on himself or his work today (but he digresses.) An
Ohio boy indulging in comics and skate boarding, he later went on to get his BFA in Pittsburgh
at the Art Institute. As of 2007, he now finds himself in Chicago with his wife Jesse
McLean, a video artist in Chicago.  (

TK:  I took a break from painting last June. I was just needed to take a break from
painting. I stopped because it was just getting muddy. Everything I was making
So I stopped. And I thought about it, and honestly while my wife and I were traveling
between Ohio and Pittsburg we had conversations about it. With those rides, it started
to change the way I made work. Those conversations with her were really helpful for looking at my process and changing it, making it more economical and easier. Cause who wants to waste paint
you know?

And that was really helpful. So when Nicole asked me to be in the show, I was ready
to make a new body of work. I agreed so it was inevitable that I needed to start
painting again. With taking a break and coming back I definitely use more of a plan
and thinking about it a lot more. Which sounds silly, because why wouldn’t you? But
in the past I would do a lot of things more....

AB: Off the cuff?

TK: Yeah and more working things out on canvas, which I do sometimes now too.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cory Sever opening: "Top of the Most"

Cory Sever's "Top of the Most" opened on March 2nd.  It will be in the gallery at One Strange Bird until the end of the month.  Come check it out!

Check out our new window letters!

Cory Sever's "Top of the Most" installation with mural painted just for us!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Art Classes in Chicago at One Strange Bird

 Screen printing workshop at One Strange Bird
 Silkscreen class (Chicago) with work by Nicole Norhtway

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Anna Todaro opening at One Strange Bird

Our very first art opening at One Strange Bird!  Anna Todaro's "Pop Intuit", opened on Jan. the 6th and was a huge success!

You can still come by to see Anna's mural and original paintings.  They are affordable and fun!  She also has stocked us up with her digital prints, for those of us less endowed in the wallet.  she also has a unique and quirky line of jewelry and headbands.  Come by before the show comes down.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Winter Pics!

 Lots of changes in the New Year at One Strange Bird!  We had a very successful holiday season and have used the extra holiday cheer to bulk up around here!  We painted the front wall purple, the outside a bright teal, and launched our Fine Arts program with Anna Todaro being our first show!  Check out some pics of the store below and check back for news coming soon.


Kevin Lucius's Chi town pride on the new purple wall