Stories by Marc Vitali

Blair Kamin on Northerly Island Park, Obama Library Status

| Sean Keenehan

It has been a busy season in the world of architecture, from new libraries to new landscapes. Chicago Tribune's Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic Blair Kamin joins us to discuss the opening of Northerly Island’s new nature park and the cutting-edge design of the new Chinatown library. He'll also update us on the status of a global search for architects competing to work on the Obama Presidential Center.

George Wendt, Tim Kazurinsky in World Premiere at Northlight Theatre

| Kristen Thometz
Tim Kazurinsky and George Wendt

Comic actors George Wendt and Tim Kazurinsky appear together in Bruce Graham's new play Funnyman, opening this week at Northlight Theatre in Skokie. The duo joins Chicago Tonight to talk about the world premiere play, recall their days at Second City, and fact-check a couple of Internet rumors about their long careers.

Julius Rosenwald Documentary Explores Life of 'Unsung Hero'

| Rebecca Palmore
Julius Rosenwald

Chicago businessman Julius Rosenwald was also a courageous philathropist and his work resonates to this day. The new documentary Rosenwald opens this Friday in Chicago and Highland Park. Chicago Tonight discusses the film–and the man at the center of it–with filmmaker Aviva Kempner, and Peter Ascoli, a faculty member of the Spertus Institute who is Julius Rosenwald's grandson.

Growing a Movement: Green City Market's Impact on Chicago

Shoppers at Green City Market. (Photo by Cindy Kurman / Kurman Communications)

It is a farmers market with a mission. Green City Market in Lincoln Park bills itself as Chicago’s only truly “green” farmers market, linking farmers to chefs and the Chicago community. And even when the seasons are changing, this year-round sustainable market offers a bounty of locally grown foods.

Hedy Weiss Theater Reviews

‘Kurios,’ ‘October Sky,’ ‘Assassination Theater,’ and More

Chicago Sun-Times theater critic Hedy Weiss reviews Kurios – the latest from Cirque du Soleil – and the world premiere musical October Sky, directed by Rachel Rockwell at Marriott Lincolnshire.

A Look at Rare Paintings from Indiana Dunes Artist Frank Dudley

| Chloe Riley
Frank Dudley

Struggling artist Frank Dudley visited the Indiana Dunes 100 years ago and discovered his life's work – painting the fragile and constantly evolving landscape and promoting and preserving the dunes. Chicago Tonight looks at the enduring impact of Dudley's dramatic oil paintings, and talks with local experts such as James Dabbert, an IIT professor who co-wrote the book The Indiana Dunes Revealed: The Art of Frank V. Dudley.

Field Museum Conservation Expert Discusses the Rise in Extinctions

This unknown frog species is one of 11 discovered during a Field Museum inventory. (Giuseppe Gagliardi-Urrutia / The Field Museum)

Recent reports in science journals point to a mass extinction currently underway. Field Museum senior conservation ecologist Doug Stotz joins us to discuss the phenomenon and his work in South America with the museum's Science Action Center. He'll also share specimens of extinct birds from the Field collection, including the passenger pigeon and the Carolina parakeet.

The Evocative Paintings of Chicago's Jazz Age Modernist

| Linda Qiu

A rare survey of the painter Archibald Motley draws to a close later this month at the Cultural Center. Chicago Tonight revisits the brilliantly colorful canvases of this often-overlooked African-American painter, whose variety of subjects and captured the Jazz Age like no one else.

Chicago's Artistic Voices of the 1950s and '60s Focus of New Exhibition

Richard Hunt, 'Thru the Branching,' 1987. (Courtesy of the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art / Flickr.)

After World War II, many artists broke with traditional methods of creative exploration. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago was one place where independent-minded American artists honed their skills. A new exhibition at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art considers some of the artistic voices that rose in Chicago in the 1950s and '60s. Join us for a closer look.

The State of the Art of Architecture in Chicago

| Rebecca Palmore
Winning kiosk design 'Chicago Horizon' by Team Ultramoderne.

This fall, the Chicago Architecture Biennial will assess architectural projects and experiments from around the world. We'll get a preview of what to expect and find out the results of a competition to add kiosks to the city's lakefront.

MCA's 'Freedom Principle' Highlights Experimentation in 1960s Chicago

Installation view, 'The Freedom Principle' at MCA Chicago. (Photo: Nathan Keay; courtesy of MCA)
A distinctly American arts movement was born in Chicago in the 1960s and remains influential to this day. We take a closer look at revolutionary experiments in art and music highlighted in "The Freedom Principle,"  a new summer show at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

The Future of Landmark Status for Chicago Buildings

Blair Kamin

What is the landmark status of Marina City and other Chicago buildings? And is the Trump sign "classy" or in the words of Chicago Tribune critic Blair Kamin, is it "urban acne"? Kamin joins us on Chicago Tonight for the latest on Chicago architecture.

Changing Electric Bills Shouldn't Induce Sticker Shock

The watchdog group Citizens Utility Board on Wednesday alerted Chicago customers to upcoming changes to their power bills and offered tips for avoiding bad deals.

Art Institute Exhibition Draws Attention to 'Underappreciated' Artist

'Whistler and Roussel' at the Art Institute of Chicago
The American-born artist James McNeil Whistler had a profound impact on his 19th century European contemporaries. An exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago looks at Whistler's artistic vision – and his influence on a little-known French artist held in high regard by curators and collectors.

‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Revisited

Harper Lee’s ‘Go Set a Watchman’ Released This Week

Harper's Lee's hugely anticipated sequel Go Set a Watchman stirs debate about its plot and its value as a successor to the Pulitzer Prize winning novel of 1960. Chicago writer Marja Mills became close friends with Harper Lee and her sister and wrote a book about the experience. She joins us to share her thoughts on the new book.

Local School of Comic Art Has Italian Roots

In April, Chicago Tonight got a behind-the-scenes look at a school of comic book and sequential art that started in Italy in 1979. When Italy's International School of Comics opened its first North American location, they chose a quiet block of Hubbard Street on the near West Side.  We revisit that story.

The Life and Times of a Female Rock Critic

Credit: David Sampson

Chicago-based rock critic Jessica Hopper has earned a reputation as a sharp observer and a fearless firebrand of the form. She joins us to discuss her newest book, The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic.

Eliza Fournier Shares Gardening Tips for Summertime Greens

The Chicago Botanic Garden's Eliza Fournier joins Chicago Tonight with tips and demonstrations on how to make the most of your garden in July.

A New Impression of Degas

| Steffie Drucker
Edgar Degas. Scene from the Steeplechase: The Fallen Jockey, 1866, reworked 1880–1881 and c. 1897. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, 1999.79.10.

The Art Institute of Chicago offers a fresh perspective on French Impressionist painter Edgar Degas in Degas: At the Track, On the Stage, an exhibition focusing on works that feature movement or performance.

Grateful Dead Post-Mortem

In the wake of the Grateful Dead's final shows, we reflect on the weekend with a music industry professional and a dedicated Deadhead.

“Whistler and Roussel: Linked Visions”

Art Institute Links Work of American Artist James McNeil Whistler and His European Contemporaries

James McNeil Whistler and Theodore Roussel had linked artistic visions. Their decade of professional collaboration gets a fresh perspective in this look at the creative output of the American mentor and his European student.

Hall of China Opens at the Field

| Charles Jefferson

The Field Museum of Natural History unveils its newest permanent exhibition, the Cyrus Tang Hall of China.

The Artist Behind Playboy

| Steffie Drucker

The 90 year-old-artist, Art Paul, is perhaps best known as the original art director at Playboy and a champion of young artists. Now his own work is in the spotlight for a new show at a Ukrainian Village gallery.

Native American Fashion Sense

An exhibition at the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian in Evanston looks at the "haute couture" that has long existed in Native American communities. We revisit that story.