The Boston Globe has described David Amram as "the Renaissance man of American music." He has composed over 100 orchestral and chamber works, written two operas, and early in his career, wrote many scores for theater and films, including Splendor in the Grass and The Manchurian Candidate. He plays French horn, piano, guitar, numerous flutes and whistles, percussion, and a variety of folkloric instruments from 25 countries.
He has conducted and performed as a soloist with symphony orchestras around the world, participated in major music festivals, and traveled from Brazil to Cuba and from Kenya to Egypt. While actively assimilating the musical cultures of the countries he has visited, he has kept up a remarkable pace of composing, incorporating his experiences in the worlds of jazz, folk and ethnic music as inspiration and basic material for his formal compositions.
He has collaborated with such notables as Leonard Bernstein, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Charles Mingus, Dustin Hoffman, Thelonious Monk, Willie Nelson, Jack Kerouac, Betty Carter, Odetta, Elia Kazan, Arthur Miller, and Tito Puente.
He lives in New York City and travels widely and often.
James Beckman is an artist, curator, and cultural critic based in Chicago. He co-founded the Ante: art collective, a not-for-profit gallery, magazine, and web design project dedicated to providing an outlet for emerging artists. He currently splits his time between the River North gallery where he works, and his Ukranian Village studio. When presenting a body of work, his artist statement reads "art is work, art".
Mark Staff Brandl, an artist of the venticento was born mid-novecento near Chicago, where he lived for many years. He has lived primarily in Switzerland since 1988. He studied art, art history, literature and literary theory at the University of Illinois, Illinois State University, Col. P. University, and is currently working on a Ph.D. at the University of Zurich. Brandl is active internationally as an artist since 1980. His shows include galleries and museums in the US, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Egypt, the Caribbean; specific cities include Paris, Moscow, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. As a critic, he is a frequent contributor to London ?s The Art Book and is a Contributing Editor for New York ?s Art in America. He is also the curator of The Collapsible Kunsthalle. Works of his have been acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, The Whitney Museum in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the St. Gallen Art Museum, The Thurgau Museum of Fine Art, The E.T.H. Graphic Collection in Zurich, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the National Museum of Cartoon Art in New York, the Art Museum Olten and others.
Visit Mark's Web Site HERE
Kim Christoff: poet, ex-silent film actress.
KC (Kenneth) Clarke is the Chicago based Director of Development for The Ohio State University, serving Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Clarke has served as Executive Director of The Poetry Center of Chicago, a Development Officer at the Ohio Historical Society, and the coordinator for the Greater Columbus Arts Council's Columbus Arts Festival. In 2003, Clarke was awarded Columbia College Chicago's Paul Berger Arts Entrepreneurship Award for outstanding not-for-profit management. In 2004, he was appointed by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley to the Advisory Board of the Department of Cultural Affairs. In 2004, New City Chicago placed Clarke at #13 in their annual Lit50 list, for producing readings by Billy Corgan and Lucinda and Miller Williams. In 2005, he was place at #23 for securing The Poetry Center's archive at The University of Chicago Library. Among other things, Clarke was the curator of The Poetry Center's Reading Series, The Poetry Center's broadsides from 2001-2005. Clarke also curated the Poetry Center and Lightology Poetry Billboard Series at the corner of Chicago and Wells in Chicago, featuring short (but very large) poems by Mark Strand, Li-Young Lee and Lisel Mueller. He also published the work of thousands of inner city Chicago public school students in four substantial anthologies. Clarke is the director of reVerse, a sound, music and poetry experiment, he serves on The Poetry Board of Three Oaks, Michigan and is a poet, photographer and a ceramic artist.
Visit Ken's Web Site HERE
Marilyn Cvitanic is an American artist of Croatian descent living in New York City. She has been painting, showing and selling her work in a variety of galleries and public spaces for nearly ten years. Cvitanic creates abstract landscapes that blur the spiritual and physical realms. Although the perspective seems oddly familiar, we might not recognize it on a daily basis, except in the world of dreams. Her latest body of work, ?Biological Architecture ? combines shapes inspired by urban landscapes, from Manhattan to Split (where she spends her summers) with microscopic forms from the natural world. Marilyn ?s intuitive process draws on images from her environment as well as her life-long interest in the natural sciences. She currently teaches studio art and art history at Mount Saint Vincent College and Manhattan College.
Her paintings can be seen HERE.
Vincent Dermody is a recovering Catholic with x-ray eyes who holds the power to communicate with dead modernist poets. A veteran of such venerable local institutions as Lucky Pierre and LAW OFFICE, he grew up on Chicago’s north side where all his first generation friends smelt like their kitchens. He witnessed the birth of House Music on an St.Scholastica dance floor in borrowed hot pink polo and girls K-Swiss in 1979.
Texas songwriter Richard Dobson financed his first recordings with money saved working on boats and offshore drilling rigs. He has released nineteen self-produced LPs and CDs, ten for the Swiss label Brambus Records. His song Baby Ride Easy has been covered by Carlene Carter and Dave Edmunds, The Carter Family, and was performed by Johnny and June Carter Cash on national television. (Christmas on the Road, Montreux, 1984). Other artists covering Richard Dobson songs include Guy Clark, David Allan Coe, Lacy J. Dalton, and Nanci Griffith. His book The Gulf Coast Boys - tales from the road and high seas adventure was awarded a four-star review in the German edition of Rolling Stone. Rescued from the cutting-room floor you can find a brief early appearance in the dvd edition of the music documentary Heartworn Highways. Richard lives in Switzerland.
For nearly 40 years, Joel Dorn has been one of music's most eclectic, prolific and successful record producers. His discography stretches from the multi-platinum soul music of Roberta Flack to the afro-futuristic jazz of Yusef Lateef. There's the diva swing of Bette Midler and funky New Orleans R &B via The Neville Brothers. In between, we find legendary albums by Les McCann and Eddie Harris, Mose Allison, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Leon Redbone, Peter Allen, Don Mclean, The Allman Brothers Band, David Fathead Newman, Donny Hathaway and Mongo Santamaria, to name but a few.
He lives in New York City, where he takes these wonderful pictures. These photographs have never been exhibited before - a SHARKFORUM exclusive feature.
Since graduating with an MFA in painting from UCLA in 1994, Doug Harvey has written extensively about the Los Angeles and International art scenes and other aspects of popular culture, primarily as the art critic for LA WEEKLY, the largest circulation free weekly newspaper in America, and Art issues, the highly respected LA-based journal of art and contemporary culture, which ceased publication in 2002. His writing has also appeared in Art in America, The New York Times, Modern Painter, ArtReview, and numerous other publications. He has written museum and gallery catalogue essays for Jim Shaw, Jeffrey Vallance, Camille Rose Garcia, Tim Hawkinson, Don Suggs, Lari Pittman, Georganne Deen, Rick Griffin, Margaret Keane, Big Daddy Roth, Thomas Kinkade and many others.
Harvey’s curatorial projects have ranged from many traditional gallery exhibitions (including the First (2005) and Third (2007) Annual LA Weekly Biennials at Track 16 Gallery in Los Angeles, Don Suggs: One Man Group Show at OTIS (2007 - co-curated with Meg Linton), Heart and Torch: Rick Griffin’s Transcendence at Laguna Art Museum (2007 - co-curated with Greg Escalante) and the forthcoming Aspects of Mel’s Hole at Santa Ana’s Grand Central Art Center) to CD compilations of sound art, programs of found and experimental films, performance events, experimental radio, artist’s comic books and zines (including Less Art which continues to be published sporadically, and is currently being transformed into a cable access television series), and an LA solo gallery exhibit determined by raffle. He has also been part of the curatorial collective creating the exhibition content and design at the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City, CA. Mr. Harvey also continues to maintain an active art career, exhibiting his visual art (painting-based multimedia) locally and internationally, and participating in international experimental sound, radio, and filmmaking communities. He lives and works in Los Angeles.
His website can be found here.
John Haber is an editor and writer living in New York. He grew up (so to speak) just three blocks from the Guggenheim and half a mile from the Met, but he never entered either voluntarily. His native language is rumored to be artspeak, if you can believe his own dictionary, and he still writes with an accent.
His Web site can be found at haberarts.com
Steve Hamann is a graduate of Illinois State University with a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. He lives in Evanston and works as an elementary school art teacher where he steals ideas from his students with impunity.
He sometimes makes comics for Sharkforum
Gary Justis was born in Wichita Kansas, April 4, 1953. He was raised in Maize, Kansas, a small farming community of around 600 people. In 1977 he moved to Chicago where he earned His Master of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1979. He has developed his work professionally in the area of sculpture for the last 30 years. He has exhibited work at the Whitney Museum of American Art at Phillip Morris, NY, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, NY, The Chicago Cultural Center, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. His work is included in various collections throughout the country; most notably: The Museum of Modern Art Library, The New York City Library (special collections), The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Artist’s Books Collection, The Alexandria Museum of Art, Alexandria, LA, Illinois State Museum, Springfield, IL, Chicago and U.S. Equities Corporation, Chicago.
Paul K is a writer and musician living in Louisville, Kentucky. His band The Weathermen have released over a dozen CD's. Paul is an avid reader of both history and fiction, as well as being a fearless consumer of film and television. He lives with his girlfriend and several cats in Louisville, Kentucky where he writes for the Louisville Eccentric Observer.
From Trouser Press:
"Paul K is one of the post-punk generation's first bona fide bluesmen, a guy whose tales from the darkside are drawn from his own experiences as a reformed junkie and small-time criminal with the jailhouse record to prove it. Throughout the mid-'80s, the Louisville, Kentucky native (né Kopasz) released dozens of home-recorded cassette albums, but the onetime winner of a debating scholarship hamstrung his own progress by living a lifestyle sufficiently shadowy that he ended up a New York squatter pulling small-time stickups to make ends meet. That was then."
"About the Shark, phlegmatical one,
Pale sot of the Maldive sea,"
...................the Shark (aka Wesley Kimler) was born to the Great White Shark Mrs. Clean, a seven ton behemoth at Maintop Bay Farrallon Islands any number of years ago: today, Wesley is a painter/provocateur, and personal chef to any number of demanding, difficult birds, making somewhat disturbing painterly behemoths, working out of a studio that consists of two massive bays of the Goodman Theatre's scenic shop in the western Fulton Market industrial corridor here in Chicago.
The Shark - 'Le Grand Requin du' Blanc,' is co-founder and creative director of SHARKFORUM, an environment both exotic and, by incident; the detritus that eddies and pools, stirred by the straw that is a five foot dorsal fin.
To define John Kruth's creative spirit as far ranging is only fair. Alongside an ongoing string of albums, he's written books on jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk and a yet-to-be published biography on singer songwriter Townes Van Zandt and has long been noted as a poet. He's also co-produced albums with the legendary Joel Dorn and presented concerts in New York City with Hal Willner. Musically he has collaborated with everyone from the Violent Femmes, John Prine, Camper Van Beethoven, Allen Ginsberg and the Meat Puppets to Bosnian Gypsies. As a songwriter Kruth's nearest allies may be the likes of Robyn Hitchcock and They Might Be Giants -- all sharing an observational gift for the everyday absurd. Kruth plays an assortment of stringed instruments, including mandolins of many sizes, guitars and banjo, as well as wind instruments flute, recorders, pennywhistle, harmonica and the ghaita, a Moroccan folk oboe. His website, surprisingly enough is www.johnkruth.com.
Norbert Marszalek is a painter with a day job. He was born, raised and still works and resides, with his beautiful wife, in the great city of Chicago.
Visit Norbert's website HERE and his day job website HERE.
Simone Muench is a poet, editor, assistant professor, and horror film fan. She is the author of *The Air Lost in Breathing* (2000) and *Lampblack & Ash* (2005) recently released from Sarabande Books.
Visit Simone's Web Site HERE
Ray Pride has been in the dark for over twenty years, writing about movies for, among others, Chicago's Newcity and Reader, as well as stints as a columnist at indieWIRE and Nerve. He's also written for Salon, the BBC, Time Out New York, Playboy, Rough Cut, Soma and written reviews, interviews and festival reports for indieWIRE. He is a contributing editor of Filmmaker and Cinema Scope. He was a guest critic on Siskel & Ebert in 1999. He writes the weekly Pride, Unprejudiced column at Movie City News as well as the daily Movie City Indie blog. His other writing interests include food, books, comics, cities and photography. His photography is here and at Ray Pride Dot Com. Ray also makes films, and you can see the five most recent shorts he collaborated on here.
Rick Rizzo is a founding member of Chicago band Eleventh Dream Day and a middle school teacher. Rarely do you see both in the same room. For band info go HERE.
David Roth is a Chicago area sculptor, songwriter, and graphic designer. He's the co-founding editor for SHARKFORUM, is also gifted with a toilet plunger, and can provide a fool-proof method for getting rid of the hiccups.
Nicholas Tremulis: Chicago musician.
Visit Nick's music web site HERE.
Lynne Warren is Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Besides authoring over 30 MCA exhibition catalogues, including Art in Chicago, 1945-1995, she is a contributor to the Encyclopedia of Chicago; the Groves Dictionaries Dictionary of Art; and is the editor of the forthcoming three-volume reference book The Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century Photography published by Taylor and Francis. She has taught courses at the University of Chicago, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Northwestern University, and The University of Illinois at Chicago, and has lectured throughout the United States.