Frank's Weekend Faves, Nov. 11, 2018

Frank's Weekend Faves, Nov. 11, 2018

Here's something for local shutterbugs to focus on — the 2018 State of the Art: Photography Invitational opens Monday at Parkland College's Giertz Gallery in west Champaign.

Curated by modern-day Renaissance man Christopher Schneberger (whom you'll hear more about — and from — here in just a bit), the invitational show will feature images by Christine Carr, Antone Dolezal and Lara Shipley, Jon Horvath, Dave Jordano, Jason Reblando, and Samantha Vandeman.

Scheduled to run through Feb. 2, 2019, State of the Art will kick off with a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, which will include a gallery talk by Schneberger at 6:30 p.m. as well as music by the Cobra Lounge Trio. Additional artist lectures are also slated at the gallery, featuring exhibiting photographers Reblando at 6:15 p.m. Nov. 27, and Horvath at 1:15 p.m. Feb. 5.

Photography isn't all that brings exhibition curator, photographer and educator Chris Schneberger back to Champaign this week. He's also planning an anniversary Moon trip to C-U — or rather, a trip here with the Chicago-based rock trio Moon, that is. Yes, he's a music man, too!

Schneberger is the drummer for Moon, alongside David Azizinamini on guitars and vocals and Chris Shen on bass, and they're celebrating 10 years as a band this December with a few regional shows. On Saturday at Cowboy Monkey in Champaign, they'll be sharing a bill with Grand Ambassador and Bristle (who will be hosting a CD release party of their own). The show starts at 9:30 p.m. and has a $7 cover charge.

Having read one web media outlet liken Moon's sound on their third and latest full-length studio album, "Extinction," to Mogwai and Rush, among others, I had to check out the music video for the album's first single, "There's Light Here," for myself, and I have to say, the comparison is apt.

I also felt compelled to pass that compliment on to Schneberger personally and to ask him how he balances all his varied interests professionally. He was kind enough to respond via email, and here's how that chat went:

You have two very different events scheduled in Champaign this week highlighting two very different interests of yours — photography and music. You seem to have worked out a way to pursue both professionally — while also serving as adjunct professor at Columbia College Chicago and the College of DuPage. How is this balancing act working out for you? Do you have other interests you're itching to scratch as well?

I'm a busy guy, for sure. I've been a photo educator for 20 years now, since grad school. Photography and teaching have always been my life since college — it's just what I do. But I also love music, it's my passion. I've played drums since I was 12 or so, and have been in bands on and off since high school. I'm not sure how I make it work, but it's a pretty packed schedule between four courses (so much grading to do!) and band practice.

Did I mention I help run Perspective Gallery in Evanston? I have tons of interests. I love to travel whenever I can, too.

I noticed you helped direct Moon's music video for "There's Light Here." Have you found other similar ways to utilize your musical and photographic talents simultaneously? Do you have any plans to do more of this in the future?

Moon has allowed me to bring some of my visual art and design into what I do musically. I usually design our posters, and the last two albums have featured my photography. This latest record, "Extinction," uses an image I shot just north of Champaign in the farmland near Paxton. I've also been getting into video work. The video for "There's Light Here" features some time-lapse video I shot from both static and driving points of view. We also feature video projection at our shows, most of which I edit together from found footage. As for the reverse, sometimes in my art I've created multimedia shows where I edit still images, music and narration together.

I really enjoyed "There's Light Here." (I definitely hear shades of Geddy Lee in David Azizinamini's vocals!) I'm curious who does the songwriting in Moon. Is it a three-way collaboration, meaning do all three of you write music and lyrics, or how does that work? Any new material in the works, and what will you be playing at Cowboy Monkey next Saturday?

With Moon, the songwriting happens all kinds of ways. Sometimes it's just a spontaneous jam during practice that develops into a song. Sometimes David will come in with a fully-fledged composition. A number of songs have developed out of Shen (bass) and I jamming on our own, then presenting what we come up with to David so he can figure out his parts. "There's Light Here" was one of those. It began with this hyper 3 / 4 bass line I wrote one day (yes, drummers can play other instruments, too!) and showed to Shen. You hear it clearly at the start of the song. He took that and ran with it, and I played a more straight 6/4 time across the top of it. Then David came in and added his magic. It's always amazing to me to hear what he comes up with. "TLH" is definitely one of our more full-bore rockers and seemed an obvious choice to open the album. "Extinction" is our newest album, released in June, and we'll be playing four or five songs from that album, plus a few from the older records.

How did you come to curate the Photography Invitational? Are you also still actively pursuing photography as an art form? Do you have any shows involving your photos coming up soon?

A couple years ago, I was invited to have a solo show at Parkland, and I got to know Lisa Costello, the director of Giertz Gallery. She reached out a couple months back to see if I'd like to curate this show of photography, and I was thrilled. I've been doing more curatorial projects in the past five to 10 years and really enjoy it. I'm still working on my own photography, too, and I plan on continuing my work in the farmlands north of Champaign, possibly delving deeper into the town of Paxton. Some of that work just showed at Perspective Gallery in Evanston this past September. Hopefully, more shows will follow!

Clearly, there's lots to feast your eyes on at area galleries this week. Here's more:

— The Gilbert Gallery at 102 W. Main St., U, will host the art exhibition "Women With Vision," featuring artists Beth Darling, Phil Strang and Laura Anne Welle, on Friday and Saturday. Friday's opening will feature a live music performance by local folk-rock duo JAM. Strang will be showing seven of his newest paintings on glass. Darling is an oil painter who is currently represented by a gallery in Santa Fe and has a studio in Champaign. Welle is a graphic designer and artist who works with acrylics and pen and ink in an art nouveau style.

— The Vault Art Gallery in Tuscola will host a "Black Saturday" sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, featuring a variety of specially priced items — from woodwork to jewelry to pottery and sculpture to glass art, paintings and photography — all under $40, at a special exhibit in the main lobby. According to Vault manager Kirby Pringle, "Most of the artwork (will be) priced between $10 and $30. As items are sold, they will be restocked throughout the day. There will be no duplicated items, and all will be unique."

Other activities at The Vault that day include two classes — one led by Sara Holmes from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the art of making a personal herb tea blend, mixing an herbal tea for winter health and cooking up a dried herb soup mix for chilly winter nights. The cost is $35, due upon registration, and is limited to six people.

A second class, on using watercolors to paint poinsettias, is set from 1 to 3 p.m. with artist Barbara Hicks. The cost is $20, payable upon registration, and open to all levels. To register for either class, visit The Vault in person, call 217-599-1215 or send an email to

Also going on Saturday is The Vault's free monthly bluegrass jam featuring a group of 10 to 12 regular pickers, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the gallery's main lobby.

— The Art Coop in Urbana's Lincoln Square Village is hosting its ninth annual $50 Art Show to benefit the Champaign County Humane Society, starting with Friday's grand opening and sale from 7 to 9 p.m., and running through Dec. 15. Participating artists have until 7 p.m. Wednesday to donate one or two of their own pieces in any media, so long as it's small, original, two-dimensional and ready to hang. All work will be sold for $50, and 100 percent of proceeds go to the Humane Society. Purchased work may be picked up beginning at 10 a.m. Dec. 15.

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Topics (2):Art, Music