Friends of the Arts
1800 W. Cornelia Avenue
Chicago, IL

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New Photos by Daniel Baudanza on February 15

FOTA is proud to co-sponser a reception for photographer Daniel Baudanza at the Heartland Cafe, located at 7000 North Glenwood, Chicago (773-465-8005) on Tuesday, February 15, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Daniel moved here last year from New York City and is excited to have his first show in Chicago. His collection of fine photography will be on display from January 17 to February 29. Be sure to stop by and see his unique works.

Review by Korey Karnes. Library, Fine Arts and Culture Beat, February 17, 2000, Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism

  • The Heartland Café, located at 7000 N. Glenwood, is best known for its vegetarian cuisine, but original photography became the main course at an art exhibit Tuesday night.

  • The popular Rogers Park eatery hosted a reception from 5-7 p.m. for local artist Daniel Baudanza, a 29-year-old New York City native who moved to the Rogers Park area last year.

  • Baudanza, a waiter at Heartland, displayed two dozen black-and-white photos capturing local residents in day-to-day situations in their eclectic Rogers Park neighborhood.

  • "My images are everyday things," Baudanza said. "They are images that people overlook. I want to get people aware of things they do not usually pay attention to."

  • Baudanza's wide-range of exciting and invigorating photographs include everything from pictures of young girls wearing their Sunday best outside a Rogers Park church to participants in the local lesbian community's Dyke Day to dogs traveling on the Red Line.

  • Baudanza said his exhibit would not have been possible without the help of a local nonprofit arts association called Friends of The Arts, created in 1987 and led by Chicagoans Richard Lange and Thomas Frerk.

  • The purpose of FOTA is to assist beginning artists in getting their work shown to the public. The FOTA headquarters are located at 1800 W. Cornelia Ave. in a building where more than 75 artists live and work.
  • "Our main goal is to assist emerging artists," Lange said. "We help put together first-time shows. We also help with things like resumes and framing."

  • Lange, a full-time elementary school teacher, said that Baudanza contacted him in December after seeing a FOTA ad in the Chicago Reader. Ironically, they met for coffee at the Heartland Café, where two months later Lange would help Baudanza with his very own exhibit.

  • "Friends of the Arts is a really good organization," Baudanza said. "They are very serious about what they are doing. They really fulfill their promises."

  • Baudanza said his favorite photograph displayed at Heartland is "Caroline at Buffalo Bar" featuring a local woman who is a patient at the Trilogy House, a hospital for people suffering from mental disorders.

  • "I am really proud to have a picture of her," he said. "Caroline is a great person. She comes into the restaurant almost every day. I am lucky to know her."

  • The close-knit local art community gathered at the Café to view Baundanza's work.

  • Photographer Doug Birkenheuer, 32, said he attended the exhibit to support his friend Baundanza.

  • "I love [his pictures]," Birkenheuer said. "They are so glamorous. Maybe it is the composition. He can even make street people look glamorous. It is such good documentary work."

  • Lange said that FOTA supports all the arts, not only photography. According to Lange, FOTA receives no special funding and exists mainly on donations. It also takes no sales commission, which allows both artist and patron greater rewards in their commitment to the fine arts.

  • According to artist Jennifer Kimbrough, sales of pictures are not as important as the exposure and publicity. She said that Lange and Frerk realize the need to educate the masses through the arts.

  • "We are trying to get young artists the necessary exposure," Lange said.

  • On Tuesday night, the Heartland Cafe provided the interest Baudanza was searching for. People of all ages and races walked slowly around the room, admiring the photos that captured the simple pleasures in life.