Old Town Art Center: The Legendary Chicago Society of Artists “A 135-Year Legacy Continues” Old Town Triangle Association Chicago 6/28-8/5 2022


“From Jarlshof Pasture” manipulated photo infused on metal 24″ X 30 ” C. 2021 David Bechtol
“Broken Wings” digitalpaint/photo on infused metal plate framed 16″x16″ c.2022 Nancy Bechtol
“Renascence for Edna ” (detail) color laser print on paper with edges hand colored.10″x8″ c. 2022 James McNeill Mesple’


~ David Bechtol ~ James McNeill Mesple’

~ Nancy Bechtol

The Leslie Wolfe Gallery

1763 N North Park Ave 60614
proudly presents the legendary CSA

Exhibition | June 28 through August 5, 2022 Gallery Hours | Tuesday – Friday 10 AM – 5 PM | Saturday 10 AM – 1 PM

The Chicago Society of Artists is a non-profit organization established in 1887. Now well into its second century, CSA is the oldest continuing artist association in the United States. Early members of the Chicago Society of Artists including John Vanderpoel, Ivan Albright, Frances Badger, and LeRoy Neiman, established and maintained high standards for membership that continue today. Much of CSA’s renown is due to member versatility which includes painters, graphic artists, printmakers, photographers, sculptors, art critics, gallery owners, and art educators. After 135 years, CSA continues to play a significant role in the arts by providing opportunities for artists to share their art production and experiences through a continuing series of exhibitions and educational programming.

All Invited to view this historic group show. Artists in exhibition:

Jose Agustin Andreu, Jon W. Balke, Norman Baugher, David Bechtol, Nancy Bechtol, Shel Howard Beugen, Kathryn A. Budd, Catherine Cajandig, Barbara Eberhard, Anne Farley Gaines, Kathryn Gauthier, Corrie-Lou Livingston Glass, Sandra Holubow, Nikkole Huss, Patricia Coffman Huss, Robert J. Johnson, Gregorio Mejia, James McNeill Mesple’, BettyAnn Mocek, Jacqueline Moses, Donna Nevels, Didier Nolet, Deanna Withers Rallins, Sandra Reibscheid, Gloria Rigoni, Robert Schiltz, Jack Siegel, Jane Stevens, Michael Veltman, John Pitman Weber, Richard Werle, William F. Whiteside, Pat Wright


David Bechtol Artist Statement


Photography is an integral part of my life. Each image captured attempts to take the viewer on a journey, to transport them to that place of wonder and grandeur as I experienced it, to feel the sense of awe, beauty and peacefulness.
As a boy growing up in rural Michigan, I had many chances to take long, slow walks in the forest, soaking in all the beauty a child sees in nature. Now I use photography to slow down life and try to take in all that nature has to offer as I once did those many years ago.
I am a self-taught photographer and have studied the photographic process for over 40 years. My interests include the digital realm where my technical background lets me exploit all that the camera can capture.
Throughout my travels, I try to bring back and share a vision of some of the awe-inspiring vistas I encounter. No matter where you are in the world, nature’s extraordinary beauty is around every corner.
I believe that great images are always around us. They are ours to capture with our vision and share with the world.


James Mesple’ Artist Statement

This painting was inspired by the poem “Renascence” by Edna St. Vincent Millay. Ancient Myths, Poetry, and Music inspire my visionary, narrative paintings. As a child, my maternal grandfather told me stories drawn from his Osage (Native American) heritage, creating a bridge to the Classical world, since both cultures are animistic seeing Spirits in everything.


Nancy Bechtol Artist Statement

Chicago woman artist whose work spans several media, decades and styles. This work has natural formations but you also get the sense of the urban. They contain their own universe. You see an intensity .
Earlier in her career, she studied painting with Don Baum, artist and curator, and was influenced by the Hairy Who, and the Chicago Imagists. With an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she was inspired and mentored by pioneering video artist Phil Morton, founder of the Video Area. “My art is really a mixed bag. I adapt to whatever works for the concept. I work in digital media, photography and video, both experimental and documentary style. As an artist I often reinvent myself.”


All Welcome to Visit the Exhibition!

PRESS RELEASE:: “The Last Hippie Freak: By the Beard of LEE GROBAN” the 25 year-in-the-making – indie film TBR 2019!


15 August 2019  –

For Immediate Release

The filmmaker, Nancy Bechtol, gives us a 43 minute romp of an indie film, and full engagement with the artist, the happening, the time. 

Film To Be Released FALL 2019.

Nancy Bechtol, creator, on IMDb

“The Last Hippie FREAK: By the Beard of Lee Groban”  is an aural and visual experience and the essential story of the poet and artist whose mind, body and spirit exploded on the stages, galleries, and underground locations in Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Vancouver, Canada and reaching many beyond.

lee be art

LEE GROBAN in a multi-sensory approach is synonymous with the 60s and 70s. Lee elevated the divine status of “Hippie”. His art was his life. Original and really capturing the time in this artistic film.


On this 50th Anniversary of Woodstock, it is fitting to reflect on an age of innocence and a time when the artist and the lifestyle was the definition of Freedom!  Hear Lee speak about Woodstock in this film with his colorful oratory. Hear Lee powerfully recite sections from the “Cure for Insomnia” AT 87 HOURS, LISTED IN THE GUINNESS BOOK OF FACTS AND FEATS BEATING OUT ANDY WARHOL’s Film. Additionally, LEE’S POEM IS OVER 5,700 PAGES.

Film Trailer 2019 HERE


Who are—dare we say—not just viewers, but actual fans and participants?

Over 4 decades, Lee Groban elevated the experience as his book states “Higher than the Ground” generating his playful words and art, music, vocals/performances, poetry .

Lee Groban Images available on SAATCHI

This film is in cooperation with Frank Garvey, OmniCircus, S.F. Omnicircus on wiki,and includes excerpts from his masterful film, “Leviathan”.  Frank Garvey – OmniCircus bio

frankgarvey CU

Vittorio Carli, Vittorio Carli – art interview.com is the Narrator and storyteller, Vito Carli – some info he knew Lee for quite some time as a friend and poet, and gives personal  insight into a man not many really knew.

vitowith colorblockd

David Bechtol,  David Bechtol fine art photo portfolio is the Tech Guru and Production Supervisor of Shadow Bechtol Studio, who produced this film, and wrangled the original footage and photography which was shot on archaic formats in a collection of 100s of hours.


It took Nancy Bechtol  Nancy Bechtol Art Portfolio the artist/filmmaker, a while, 25 years to create the film,  and now she crystallized it to a 43 min gem. An artistic film based on true life and events surrounding Lee Groban.

Contact: Nancy Bechtol



Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness & Cannabis|MOCA| Modern Cannabis

“Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness & Cannabis: on the Opening of MOCA| Modern Cannabis in Chicago, Illinois” 2/22/2016 article and photography by Nancy Bechtol, ©2016 American Press Association, photojournalist, /Assoc. Bureau Chief -Chicago, Illinois. www.americanpressassociation.com

A long long time ago, life liberty and..

©2016  Illustration by Nancy Bechtol based on a public domain poster from NARA


  1. How do you see the future of the Cannabis Industry?
  2. “Just getting more open and free – once people see that this helps people– isn’t harmful, is good for society, is good for the economy. It seemed like an incredibly exciting opportunity to be on the ground floor of something that will help a ton of people and change our country for the better”                                    -Danny Marks, Co-Owner of MOCA & Emporium Arcade/Bar

“Long before other nations came to this continent, native peoples had knowledge of this sacred plant, this sacred medicine. We understood that it could help one breathe better; it could help one see better; it could help people attune themselves to the harmonies and vibrations of Creation…. When one smoked the sacred plants, one came closer to the natural powers of Creation. Those who understand the power of this plant and the uses of this plant have become potential victims upon the sacrificial altar of multinational corporations… that have vested interests in products that make you sicker, and against a natural plant that will bring you back to health.”                            – Splitting-the-Sky Hill (Native Activist| Dacajeweiah, /John Boncore                    (RIP 2013) (1) (2)

Spiritual History tells us in the land of the First Nation (now known as the United States of America) people lived in harmony with nature.

“Drugs — when taken as prescribed — kill more than 106,000 Americans each year,1 and the death toll from overdosing on painkillers is now greater than both car accidents and death from illegal drug use.”                                                                                                  – Dr. Mercola (3)



2/22/2016 (MOCA| Modern Cannabis “Chicago’s Finest Dispensary” is the newest (4) (there are 2 total in Chicago now) marijuana dispensary, in Chicago – opened in Logan Square. under the Illinois Medical Marijuana is now legal, sanctioned under the Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. Address: 2847 W. Fullerton Ave/2369 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago. IL (same building) contact info:   website: http://www.moderncann.com   email: patients@moderncann.com @moderncann (FB, TW, IG)

MOCA-Modern Cannabis Opens in Chicago Layout Desk 2x

Photos and Article for APA on the opening of the new Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Chicago. Illinois Piilot program makes it legal for medicinal use since 2015, with most opening downstate in in burbs. this is only the 2nd one in Ill

 Here is the “walk you through” from the open house prior to the official opening: Upon entering MOCA , you will see a clean, secured, well-organized space. Places to sit, brochures, and kiosks/and a large flat-screen in the waiting area, to see the ‘products’ (note: word used professionally for pot) offered. Greeted by The patient advocate, Shea Evans, she welcomes me, gives the overview and introduces me to Co-Owner, Danny Marks. They immediately strike you as people you can easily talk to. One of the roles of Shea Evans is Patient Consultation. She meets clients in the area and provides assistance to fill out the forms and navigate the required steps. Truly you can ask any questions – and answers are given!   Places to sit, brochures, and all the help you need. You can get more info on the site  www.moderncann.com Guidance available on how to get your patient or caregiver card – they aim to “make it easy” which is very good. There are “qualifying conditions” on the website, but you need certification of these by a physician. Ask them how to do this. A few of the “debilitating medical conditions” are: Multiple Sclerosis, Residual limb pain, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Glaucoma, Hepatitis C, Lupus, Cancer and other conditions (there are now about 40 qualifying conditions) (5)

First stop: Meet up with Co-Owner, Danny Marks and Shea Evans, my guide to the facility and patient advisor. First impressions are a lot, and they radiate a welcome and openness coupled with a confident professionalism that will dispel any preconceptions one may have.

Danny Marks MOCA-Modern Cannabis Opens in Chicago

Photos and Article for APA on the opening of the new Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Chicago. Illinois Piilot program makes it legal for medicinal use since 2015, with most opening downstate in in burbs. this is only the 2nd one in Ill

MOCA-Modern Cannabis Opens in Chicago  on Pres Day2016

Photos and Article for APA on the opening of the new Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Chicago. Illinois Piilot program makes it legal for medicinal use since 2015, with most opening downstate in in burbs. this is only the 2nd one in Ill

Now that the long anticipated MOCA|Modern Cannabis, Medical Marijuana Dispensary is open, a few questions/answers:

Q.(NB) What took so long from date you began to now, delays??

A: (Danny Marks): Everything is new for everybody – the state, the city. There are three state departments involved in the program plus in Chicago we have to deal with zoning buildings and neighborhood concerns. Everybody has been very careful to make sure this is very tightly regulated. Plus, politics with the governor change etc…

Q.(NB) What are the prices for the product? (I understand it varies, but just an idea of range)

A: (Danny Marks) $20 / gram of flower is an ok rule of thumb but will vary (6)

Who is the other owners of MOCA?

Danny Marks, Doug Marks, Barry Golin, Matt Engle, Bryan Engel, Michael Chasen

Q.(NB) Is the product all coming from Illinois or out of state too? A.(Danny Marks) All product will be grown in Illinois. There are about 7 active cultivators at this time.

Next, I talked to the Medical Cannabis Alliance of Illinois, Project Director – Victoria MendicinoMOCA opening (1 of 1) whose office is based in Springfield, shared a display of brochures to take with, and was open to any questions. Useful is the handout on “Steps to Apply” They also serve as patient advocates. MCAI can assist patients in educating their doctors about medical cannabis. For more info and online application go to the Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) website http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/prevention-wellness/medical-cannabis. Or you can get a paper application. website: www.mca-il.com Email: info@mca-il.com. Also on FB. You can petition the MCAI for assistance in petitioning to add more conditions to the list, but this list appears to be closed at the time of this article. (7)



MOCA opening (1 of 1)-11MOCA opening (1 of 1)-48

Kevin Sink, Dispensary Relationship Manager, and his associate from Revolution Cannabis Co. is a vendor displaying the “product” (marijuana) and offered a descriptive 2015 Strain Guide. “Advancing Cannabinoid Science” with numerous choices. All strains have listing which detail if Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid. Terpenoid profile, Flavonoid profile, and Mother/Father. For example: “Revolution Blue Cheese “described as a Sativa which is for pain relief, stress relief, mental stimulation, appetite stimulant. The profile is potent, fresh, blueberry and more strains. Of course there are the Edibles with a range such as cannabis infused chocolates, chews, candy and cereal bars, also extracts and tinctures and moon rocks. And, I am sure, more as time goes on. So yes, you do not have to smoke the weed to get the relief/high for your condition. There are many other ways. They also have very cool swag, especially the T-Shirts. The strain names wax poetic: Blue Dream, Island Sweet Skunk, Gorilla Glue#14, Tora Bora, AC/DC, Charlotte’s Web, Revolution Alien Rock Candy, and more. www.RevolutionCannabisCo.com  check out social network sites: FB, TW, IN

Next I visited the display of CRESCOlabs, you can go to the site to learn about medical cannabis. There is lots of useful information on the site, worth a look at www.crescolabs.com #reliefhasarrived also on social network sites :FB, TW, INMOCA opening (1 of 1)-64

Cat Stewart. Senior Director of Outreach & Education along with a colleague, Sean McAlister had informative pamphlets and explained about the marijuana growers in Illinois and about the Law. Best of all among the munchies, Cat pointed me in the right direction – to the treats table and I had some incredible chocolate and other munchies (served with product for clients). Impressive is the choice of award winning


Chef Mindy Segal, of Hot Chocolate. Among her accolades is the prestigious James Beard Foundation award for Outstanding Pastry Chef in the Country, who will be baking the brownies and other edibles. (8)


Tall and stunning is the presentation case from MADE. Which has a store at 1430 W. Chicago. www.madegallerychicago.com MOCA opening (1 of 1)-41MOCA opening (1 of 1)-44MOCA-madegallerychicago.com_photo_Nancy_Bechtolwb@madegallery FB, IG. This is a highlight with all the artistry in a glass display case. An array of fine glass objects utilitarian and also beautiful art pieces on their own. Yes, lots of glass, paraphernalia on display and for sale, some which you may need instructions for use, which is readily available. Artisans created pieces certainly will allow for conversations and enjoyment. They have many pipes and other items, from small to bigger and elegant up to fine art pieces. The “guide” will gladly demonstrate and explain how to pick something to suit.

Historically, Marijuana is an American tradition with a jagged past and evolving future. Over hundreds of years, Cannabis, and even the Hemp plant (non-THC variety -which is used in industry for rope, clothes, food, etc., ) has gone through rebounding stages of legal, illegal, medicinal use, recreational, including full circle legal – depending on your state. The Federal Government has bowed to individual State’s Rights and The majority of Americans, about 58% or higher, think pot should be legal. Period.   According to Newsweek, (9) Bernie Sanders (Progressive/ Socialist, Democratic Candidate for President) said “I suspect I would vote yes” to a measure to legalize recreational marijuana “That averaging 58% of Americans – state it should be legal. Period.

There are critical differences in marijuana laws from one state, county, or city to another. “While 23 states allow medical marijuana, the use of recreational marijuana is legal in only four states, Alaska, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Washington D.C which passed initiatives legalizing the sale and distribution of marijuana for adults 21 and older under state law. Other states may follow soon. For more information, refer to the the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) The White House. Office of National Drug Control Policy (10)

MOCA-Modern Cannabis Layour Victoria_Opens in Chicago

Photos and Article for APA on the opening of the new Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Chicago. Illinois Piilot program makes it legal for medicinal use since 2015, with most opening downstate in in burbs. this is only the 2nd one in Ill

Both George Washington, the First President of the USA and Thomas Jefferson, framer of the Constitution, grew it as a cash crop and both the Constitution and the Bill of Rights was drafted on hemp paper (although transcribed in final version on parchment) In fact, many Presidents have admitted to using Marijuana. Too numerous to mention. Recall the stellar Olympic swimmer/athlete who won major USA Olympic Medals in 2009, who was ‘caught’ smoking pot. Michael Phelps revealed to the world that smoking marijuana did not affect his ability to excel. Millions of Americans are recreational drug users who use drugs responsibly and lead normal lives. (11) and most recently, former Chicago Bear Jim McMahon, now an advocate, who recently came forward on national TV, in a moving interview, tells why he uses medical cannabis, and sharing how he has found relief and better results than the mega dosing of prescribed pain killers which have numerous side often debilitating side effects (12)

MOCA-Modern Cannabis Checkin out

Photos and Article for APA on the opening of the new Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Chicago. Illinois Piilot program makes it legal for medicinal use since 2015, with most opening downstate in in burbs. this is only the 2nd one in Ill

Brief History: “Cannabis was initially grown for industrial reasons, though recreational use spread quickly during the 20th century. Federal Bureau of Narcotics, responded to political pressure to ban marijuana at a nationwide level. The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 created an expensive excise tax, and included penalty provisions and elaborate rules of enforcement to which marijuana, cannabis, or hemp handlers were subject”

Notably the propaganda film came out the year before, Reefer Madness (1936) Original Version (I hr.) https://youtu.be/esfKfTBGadg Reefer Madness (1936) Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbjHOBJzhb0

. Mandatory sentencing and increased punishment were enacted when the United States Congress passed the Boggs Act of 1952 and the Narcotics Control Act of 1956.[4]

During the counterculture of the 1960s, attitudes towards marijuana and drug abuse policy changed as use became widespread …In Leary v. United States (1969), the Supreme Court held the Marihuana Tax Act to be unconstitutional since it violated the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution privilege against self-incrimination.. Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act as Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, which repealed the Marihuana Tax Act.[6] In 1972, the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse concluded that marijuana should be decriminalized… By the end of the decade, several states had decriminalized the drug, while many others weakened their laws against cannabis use.…a wave of conservatism during the 1980s allowed president Ronald Reagan to accelerate the War on Drugs during his presidency, prompting anti-drug campaigns such as the “Just Say No” campaign of First Lady Nancy Reagan. Federal penalties for cultivation, possession, or transfer of marijuana were increased by the Comprehensive Crime Control Act (1984), the Anti-Drug Abuse Act (1986), and the Anti-Drug Abuse Amendment Act (1988).[7] Since California voters passed the Proposition 215 in 1996, which legalized medical cannabis, several states have followed suit. However, United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative (2001) rejected the common-law medical necessity defense to crimes enacted under the Controlled Substances Act because Congress concluded that cannabis has “no currently accepted medical use”, and Gonzales v. Raich (2005) concluded that the Commerce Clause of the Constitution allowed the federal government to ban the use of cannabis, including medical use. Times are changing but, duly noted that Cannabis remains classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, and possession is punishable by up to one year in jail and a minimum fine of $1,000 for a first conviction.”Chicago-7475

Counter culture has gone mainstream with the social, economic, and health benefits increasingly known. Since the Marijuana Legalization 2016: Illinois Posts Over $1M In Legal Medical Sales . This may be one way to balance the Illinois Budget Crisis.

Citing “Marijuana sellers are in the green in Illinois. Patients legally purchasing medical weed spent almost $1.7 million in November and December, the Chicago Tribune reported (13)

Indeed, people from all walks of life, not only the creatives in music, art, and thinkers of all kinds… Including Willie Nelson who has long been the poster boy and now has his own brand “Willie’s Reserve” and the story continues…on and on. (the list seems endlessly growing healthy and green) (14)

“Tommy Chong, the Patron Saint of Stoners, with a new lease on life following his second bout with cancer, as well as a new cannabis line, the marijuana icon and activist isn’t close to burning out. Via focused heavily on their enjoyment of marijuana, as well as the criminalization of the plant and related paranoia, particularly for non-white smokers (Chong is half Chinese, Marin is Mexican American). A beloved outlaw entertainer, Chong has used his platform to promote marijuana’s medical and recreational values and to fight for its decriminalization. In 2003, he became a marijuana martyr when a government sting focused on drug paraphernalia targeted him as the famous face and financier of his son Paris Chong’s glass bong and pipe company. To prevent his son and his wife, comedian and actress Shelby Chong, from being prosecuted, he signed a plea deal and served nine months in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute drug paraphernalia. He was curiously the only first-time offender caught up in “Operation Pipe Dreams” to go to prison (Chong plans to petition President Obama) “The market for recreational weed has expanded in recent years, with legalization … The market for legal marijuana sales is also growing — especially with more states expected to vote to legalize the drug in some form in coming years — and it could reach nearly $11 billion in annual revenue by 2019, according to cannabis industry research firm The ArcView Group. As such, celebrities ranging from Nelson and Snoop Dogg to singer Melissa Etheridge and comedian Tommy Chong (Patron Saint of Stoners) have embarked on business ventures that look to cash in on the growing industry.” (15)

The law state by state continues to evolve in favor of lifting the ban on “Prohibition”. Does this sound familiar? Remember – after all, it happened before, with Alcohol.MOCA opening (1 of 1)-14


MOCA-Modern Cannabis Corridor Turn to

Photos and Article for APA on the opening of the new Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Chicago. Illinois Piilot program makes it legal for medicinal use since 2015, with most opening downstate in in burbs. this is only the 2nd one in IllMOCA opening (1 of 1)-68MOCA opening (1 of 1)-16MOCA opening (1 of 1)-2


(13) International Business Times: O 01/05/16 Pure Economics: Pot is A Cash Crop and makes Good business sense “By Lydia Tomkiw @lydiatomkiw

——————————————————————–First First posted on 2/22/2016: by the  American Press Association posts “MOCA-Modern Cannabis-Chicago-Medical Marijuana Article” . contact author for reprints/publishing requests.both article and photography/illustrations ©Nancy Bechtol

MOCA opening (1 of 1)-61MOCA opening (1 of 1)-55.jpg

The author of this article, “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness & Cannabis: & Opening of MOCA| Modern Cannabis in Chicago” ©2016 Nancy Bechtol, APA photojournalist, Assoc. Bureau Chief -Chicago, www.americanpressassociation.com acknowledges and relied on vast reference of a universal knowledge base, in addition to the cited sources, and decades of information out there ranging from traditional sources to alternative publications. In global thanks for all the input. Especially thanks to MOCA|Modern Cannabis, (a Medical Marijuana Dispensary) the owners, especially Co-Owner, Danny Marks, and staff/vendors who took time for interviews, as listed in the article. Most importantly is their dedication to those in need, who now who can benefit and live their lives more fully without fear.TYE DYE SKY:  unreal landscape series

Code Black Alert: Hard Hit at Illinois State Museums & ISM Chicago


StateIll BuildingTargetbig152seal-1StateIll BuildingTargecount0_out of timeWBX

Illinois now in “Code Black”An emergency situation involving personal threats to safety of one or more persons in a  public place, including assaults, confrontations, hostage situations and  threats of personal injury or attack on Art or Culture of a People.

On 10. 14. 15  I am standing outside the now shuttered Illinois State Museum of Chicago in The State of Illinois Building, the Thompson Center and reflecting on the many times I had visited and even had the opportunity to show my work in several exhibits and screenings, alongside other Illinois Artists. A great number of artists were encouraged by this venue, as well as visitors including school groups engaged this resource with visits, panels, and artist talks. I thought of Jane Stevens, a long-time curator of ISM groundbreaking shows, too many to mention, but the likes of “Electronic Immersions” with groundbreaking visionaries like legendary Dan Sandin, IP (Image Processor Creator-who StateIll BuildingredChair-1brought it to share with iconic Phil Morton (mentor) giving rise to artist/students at SAIC -founder of Video Dept). There are so many artists and shows that would never have had a voice. Jane’s visionary curatorials with the American Indian Center Community has, for years, been intensely important. This includes shows which originated at the ISM-Chicago and traveled to linked museums, including Lockport, and the Illinois State Museum in Springfield. Jane is currently a Scholar at the Newberry Library and active in several projects for arts, history and culture.

 I cannot help but find myself reflecting on the state of art and culture in Illinois. What worth is given to it in Illinois? Evidently very little by the current administration, as I hear Gov. Rauner thinks this Helmut Jahn building is a “tear down”. Think of history. When all else is gone, the culture/art of a people tells the story for lifetimes.

For REFERENCE and more thought provoking topics:

Will Gov Rauner sell the building?http://www.bettergov.org/is_rauner_planning_to_sell_thompson_center/?CategoryId=1

http://www.beloitdailynews.com/rauner-wants-to-sell-downtown-chicago-state-office-building/article_e258e7fc-71d2-11e5-aa4a-e7c27679e317.htmlStateIll BuildingfromthedonotTouch-1StateIll BuildingWeRegret-1StateIll BuildingBaumSIGN-1

Beloit Daily News: Rauner wants to sell downtown Chicago state office

 October 13, 2015 12:45 pm | Updated: 12:51 pm, Tue Oct 13, 2015.

Rauner wants to sell downtown Chicago state office building

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to hold a public auction to sell the James R. Thompson Center, which houses state government offices in downtown Chicago.

Rauner made the announcement Tuesday in the 16-story glass-paneled building’s large atrium, calling the building “ineffective” and a “very wasteful, very inefficient use of space.” He said selling the building and moving state workers elsewhere could save the state between $6 million and $12 million annually. He called it a “good move” for taxpayers.

 As a historical note of interest:

The stunning building also gave rise to suicides, and as I look up I imagine the leap to the target tiles 15 floors down.StateIll BuildingTargetbig15-1StateIll BuildingTargetbig-1

http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2011/10/11/the-fatal-attraction-of-the-james-r-thompson-center Excerpt from an article by Deanna Isaacs, The Chicago Reader. 10.11.11.“The James R. Thompson Center, which houses the Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery, was shut down during a reception for an exhibit …after a woman plunged to her death from the 15th floor of the building’s spectacular atrium.According to Illinois State Police, it was the fifth suicide since the building opened in 1985.At 16 stories the Thompson Center is dwarfed by the city’s real skyscrapers, but architect Helmut Jahn managed to create an interior that gives the impression of startling, vertiginous height. The 54-year-old jumper, who was not a state employee, apparently climbed on a chair in order to get over a protective barrier between the open offices that rise in a dizzying, multistory semicircle around the atrium and the inviting void, with its marble-floor target so far below. A state police spokesperson said the last previous suicide there was in 2001”StateIll Building-1


These actions to shut the Illinois State Museums and destroy the Thompson Center is like State Suicide.

 It says, “just jump”  

 Life in Illinois is in the balance.

INVITE to connect from beyond? CDrew Artist/Activist (RIP 1950-2012)

INVITE to connect from beyond? CDrew,Artist/ Activist (RIP 1950-2012)

Coincidence?? Truth always stranger than “made up stuff”

 LinkedIn sends me an invite to connect with

Chris Drew…

only issue– he passed on 2 years ago.

Do you believe in the power of  the spirit beyond physical death?  

and I shout back to Chris, “your story will be told and have a longtime impact on many!”


..And all this happens On the same day of screening confirmation from Joseph Ravens at DEFIBRILLATOR(a.k.a dfbrL8r or dfb) is a non-profit organization 


Screening is Aug 15th, Sat. 2015. (mark your calendar! )

Chris, artist and defender of the First Amendment, gave his life and dedicated his energies to overturn the Peddler’s Licence. But  this challenge unbelievably ended up facing a Class One Felony Eavesdropping charges with 4-15 years in prison.-(in 2008 for audio recording his own arrest!) if convicted but he won with 2 probono attorneys Weinberg and Kutnick!  THIS is a true story.  Rooted in Chicago – my indie film, “Free Speech & the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist” (99 min) with the soundtrack of “Paper Airplane” by Alton & Mansfield courtesy of Hey Now Records. has very deep/grassroots connections which transcends boundaries!


Here is his LinkedIN profile:

Chris Drew

Executive Director at Uptown Multi-Cultural Art Center

Greater Chicago Area Arts and Crafts

  1. NAES College
  1. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

68connectionsConnectSend Christopher InMailMore optionsRelationshipContact Info

  • Invited 1 year ago



My goal is to establish Uptown Multi-Cultural Art Center as an institution with a paid staff and then go on to establish my own career and web site online. Along side of this I wish to work at long term part-time jobs in the creative and/or non-profit industries to further these aims. My creative, office and management skills make me a valuable and cost effective employee to any small or large business.

Specialties:proposal writing, office management, HTML coding, computer troubleshooting, repair and management, Photoshop, GIMP, Web site development, web site management, photography, screen-printing, layout, design, public relations, press release writing, radio spot writing, office software, letter writing.


Executive Director

Uptown Multi-Cultural Art Center

– Present (28 years 7 months)

Founder and continuous manager of this community arts organization accomplishing over 20 years of steady arts programming with an all volunteer force. Imagine what we could do with a paid staff!

Faculty – Computer Basics

NAES College

– (4 years 8 months)

Taught computer literacy and basic office applications to beginning and intermediate students.

Computer Lab maintenance.


University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

art, journalism, arabic, chemistry

Additional Info


Chicago Artists’ Coalition, ACLUbechtol film_small posterWEB

Zombie Law in Illinois begins claiming Victims (Illinois Eavesdropping Law)

“Zombie”Illinois Eavesdropping Law and Sleeping Cop?


OTL #433: Who is.. Listening?: WGN 720 AM -New Illinois Eavesdropping Law and more..

0utFinImageStephen_INOutside the Loop Radio Interview #433: Listening?:WGN 720 AM


Mike Stephen meets up with Chic-a-Go-Go host Miss Mia Park in honor of the taping the 1000th episode of her wildly successful CAN-TV dance show, talks with local filmmaker Nancy Bechtol about the new Illinois eavesdropping law and her documentary Free Speech &the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist, and checks in with Aldertrack co-creator Mike Fourcher about how the Chicago aldermanic races are shaping up. This week’s local music is provided by Minor Characters.

OTL #433: Chic-a-Go-Go’s 1,000th episode, Illinois’ new eavesdropping law, Aldertrack’s latest local election preview

by Outside the Loop

Mike Stephen meets up with Chic-a-Go-Go host Miss Mia Park in honor of the taping the 1000th episode of her wildly successful CAN-TV dance show, talks with local filmmaker Nancy Bechtol about the new Illinois eavesdropping law and her documentary Free Speech &the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist, and checks in with Aldertrack co-creator Mike Fourcher about how the Chicago aldermanic races are shaping […]

Outside the Loop | February 1, 2015 at 7:22 AM | Tags: Aldertrack, CAN TV, Chic-a-Go-Go, Chris Drew, eavesdropping law, La Pasadita, Mia Park, Mike Fourcher, Minor Characters, Miss Mia, Nancy Bechtol, OTL, Ratso, WGN Radio | Categories: Mike Stephen, Outside the Loop Radio | URL: http://wp.me/p2OIZP-shJ

http://www.outsidetheloopradio.com/2015/02/01/otl-episode-433-chic-a-go-gos-1000th-episode-illinois-new-eavesdropping-law-aldertracks-latest-local-election-bechtol film_small posterWEBCops_and_Citizens_Record_2012_NancyBechtol-Photo

Chris Drew on location Silkscreening at May Day Rally ©nancy bechtol

Chris Drew on location Silkscreening at May Day Rally ©nancy bechtol


“…you say you want a Revolution?” FREE SPEECH permit may be required in Chicago!

“…you want a Revolution?” FREE SPEECH permit required in Chicago

The NYC/Chicago connection on declaration of “Art IS Speech” issue:

Chris Drew, Street Artist (1949-2012) who  for 25 years as an artist and founder of the Uptown Multi-Cultural Arts Center was trying to create a vibrant art scene in Chicago, especially downtown, where selling art is prohibited in the most viable locations without a “FREE SPEECH PERMIT”!

reference, Sam Love, Chris Drew Legacy video:


Yes, the permit is FREE, but restricted to 7 locations downtown, must be pre-approved, and you Still may not get it! In a recent screening of my socio/political documentary (1/24/15) at Revolution Books, Chicago “Free Speech & the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist”(99 min)http://youtu.be/HCD_f32k8RI a deep postfilm discussion which included myself, an engaged audience, and probono attorney, Mark Weinberg,http://youtu.be/-BwV5tadZQ0

(note: team included Joshua Kutnick, http://youtu.be/HCD_f32k8RI

probono attorney for the Criminal Defense, and won vs State Attorney Alvarez, by Judge Sacks ruling as the law was UNCONSTITUTIONAL, 2012)–was engaged on how rights varied with location, profiling, and topics

reference recent article by Deanna Isaacs, Chicago Reader:

http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/illinois-eavesdropping-law-warrantless-surveillance-aclu/Content?oid=16244806 such as…”

Hey, the New Illinois Eavesdropping Law is Back!

In NYC it is OK to tape Cops at all times?” (the answer is YES!)

Verified by the man who was arrested over 40 times..and won!

Robert Lederman,President and founder of A.R.T.I.S.T. NYC (Artists’ Response To Illegal State Tactics) working since 1993 in order to fight the legal and political struggle for full First Amendment protection involving the creation, display and sale of art on NYC streets and in Parks


I recently got an email from Robert who stated:

I’m sure police all over the US see a “need” to restrict the public’s

right to tape them, especially with all the recent videos depicting

violent police overreactions.

Fortunately, here in NY there is no ambiguity. The NYPD’s own

documents describe the public’s right to tape them at all times

so locally this is a non-issue.

– Robert Lederman – Jan 2014.


So you say “..you want a Revolution?” (Beatles lyrics, you can sing loudly now) well, you many want to reconsider, since there is this FREE SPEECH permit required in Chicago—so that may delay or restrict your right or negate your free speech, Well…hope that is not TOO inconvenient—————–

‘NEW’ Illinois Eavesdropping Law -Why is it back? who/what is protected?

Illinois Eavesdropping Law -Why is it back? who/what is protected?

Remember the Old Illinois Eavesdropping Law? It was hotly contested by many in Illinois, major public interest, local and international media and social media all were astounded by the arrests and prosecutions under this law. including the case of Chris Drew, Street Artist’s battle against unexpected charges–Prior to this, hardly anyone even heard of this law, This STILL is a hot topic, since rearing its ugly head to major notice in 2009. .

reference: early posting on APA site, for background on first showing of film:


I saw this first hand. I documented Chris Drew (1949-2012) and his journey stating “Art IS SpeechHe was selling Art for a $1 to protest the Peddler’s Ordinance but was charged with a Class 1 felony faced 4-15 years in prison , for audio recording his own arrest! he Spent 2.5 years in the court system – defended by Mark Weinberg, on Civil Rights, and then Joshua Kutnick, for the Criminal Defense–and he won! vs State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez (“Free Speech & the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist” documentary film, 2014)


and many others in Illinois, including Tiawanda Moore and Michael Allison were brought in on charges and had to challenge their arrests in courtThe media buzzed locally, social, national and international on his case and many others.

The law that was declared unconstitutional by the Illinois Supreme Court in March 2014. Now fast forward, New Illinois Eavesdropping Law approved by majority in the House and Senate and signed into Law by outgoing Gov. Quinn Dec. 2014.

The ACLU of Illinois opposed the new statute

Unfortunately, compared to the last version of the Illinois eavesdropping statute, the new statute significantly expands the circumstances when police and informants may record and intercept private conversations and phone calls without all-party consent or a warrant. We know of no evidence that the prior version of the statute, which required police to seek judicial approval, was any impediment to law enforcement in these instances. We are concerned about the expanded number of cases where no judicial officer will provide a check on police. On this basis, the ACLU of Illinois opposed the new statute.


So in 2015 and we have the New Illinois Eavesdropping Law leaves many in the land of freedom..now in the land of uncertainty-especially in Chicago and Illinois.

Why is this law back? I have been trying to grasp this issue, and reading many articles, including the Law itself. I write this to bring awareness, and may you come to your own conclusions, So, how can the Original Illinois Eavesdropping Law, in March 2014, be thrown out as unconstitutional by the Illinois Supreme Court and now be back ?


My overall perspective is that the new law has ambiguous language, making it easier to have options for confusion, leaning strongly on the side of police and courts for interpretation. You will need a good lawyer, for sure.

When you read this, it may just start you thinking too..Who is being protected? Why is Illinois only one of a few states that keeps a law like this?.

As always, more questions than answers.

YES you still can photograph/videotape/audiotape police in public…but there is text in the new law which makes you wonder– about the definitions of Public VS Private.

a few references- the interpretations vary:





Free Speech it is our constitutional right!

Bring on the bodycams for police? Evidence on both sides is important. Keep videotaping! evidence is important. as you know..

“It is never over when it comes to fighting for your rights” – Chris Drew, Street Artist

Pursue peace through justice.ChrisDrewMayDay_PatchesSDNChris Drew UMCACreads tribune news Ill Law decared unconstitutio

©2012  NATO. first time legal to audio record police in public in Illinois

©2012 NATO. first time legal to audio record police in public in Illinois


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