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Open House At The Handsome Squid Cafe, This Sunday 1/25 Noon To 10 PM

by Leon Sarantos in New Exhibit

Gargoyle At Cobb Gate, UChicago


Open House at The Handsome Squid Cafe

You’re invited: Art, music, literary readings, food and coffee at the Handsome Squid Cafe in Chicago.  All proceeds go to Jakmel Ekspresyon Community Art Center to support a space of non-discrimination and diversity for Haitian artists.  I will be displaying my digital art.  

When:  Open House is this Sunday, 1/25, from noon to 10 PM. The reception is free and open to the public.   

What:   The Handsome Squid Café is a monthly “pop-up” open-house hosted in the heart of Chicago’s South Loop. Visitors will enjoy coffee, soup, and sweet treats while they shop and mingle with exhibiting artists and friends.  Anthony Stagg and I are featured artists this month.  I will be displaying digital art from my Digital Gothic series, including Gargoyle At Cobb Gate, UChicago, and also from my series on Steel Giants of the Heartland, including:

Lift Bridges At Calumet River

Infrastructure Madness

Where:   The Handsome Squid Café is in the South Loop area of Chicago.  RSVP on Facebook for directions:  Facebook Event Invite


About The Handsome Squid

The Handsome Squid Café is a monthly “pop-up” open-house hosted in the heart of Chicago’s South Loop. Sponsored by proprietor, Sue Frame, The Squid promotes a spirit of community and openness otherwise lacking in today’s urban internet coffee houses. The Squid is a place to chill and meet new people, enjoy a game of scrabble, and listen to live musicians, all while indulging in Sue’s choice of premium brewed coffee, wholesome food, baked goods and sweets. The Squid’s inviting multi-level loft space features ample seating, free wifi, and a cozy atmosphere found nowhere else in town. Hours of operation are 12:00p to 10:00p on the last Sunday of each month.  The Handsome Squid made the top 5 Alternate/DIY art spaces in New City News for 2014.

About My Digital Art


Digital Gothic:  Scenes from the University of Chicago campus, featuring details from its Gothic Revival architecture.  These artworks were also featured in the “Art Takes Times Square” exhibit.  Blue Flowers At Botany Pond was selected by the editorial committee for an art book, Art Takes Times Square, 2013.  My photographs, in the form of digital art, explore the interplay of representational photography with digital transformations that present a more abstract view.

Steel Giants of the Heartland:  Driving between my studio in Hyde Park and galleries where I show in Indiana, I pass through the industrial area at 95th Street and the Calumet River.  This area strikes me two ways; it’s severely depressing and it’s completely fascinating!  During my early drives, I only saw the rusting, forgotten, half-abandoned buildings and bridges and electrical towers and train tracks…..a reflection of the diminished industrial might of the American Heartland. To my surprise, I eventually developed a sense of awe — pride even — for these powerful icons of a bygone era, an era of boundless dynamic energy.  These staggering icons loom here in this gigantic, eerie, outdoor museum.

In photographing the area, I was continually drawn to the strong shapes of three lift bridges that are side by side and that once serviced three active parallel train tracks. These bridges are prominent in most of the photographs.   The steel laced Skyway provides a unifying background presence running throughout the series.  The electrical lines draped across the top of many photos give a light and dynamic counterbalance to the heavy steel and concrete masses below. The waterway lends a feeling of the eternal and acts as an added unifying element.

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