Top 5 Logan events of the year

We honor the Center that launched a thousand openings.

By Qianyi Xu

Preview Period Starting from March

Although only a preview of the Reva and David Logan Center’s official opening in October 2012, the very first opening of Logan in March unveiled the true foundation of this grand arts center. This preview period witnessed a variety of student-centric exhibitions and showcases, speeches and conversations by artists and scholars, as well as open houses for community members. Particularly, Arts Apocalypse involved exhibits of work created independently by UChicago students. University Theater also performed all of its spring quarter shows at Logan. Of course, those seven months were merely a transitional period in Logan’s artistic life, but they shed light on the future of Logan and what people will get out of it.

Logan Launch Festival

On a breezy autumn day full of Mexican-style guitars, drums, and rock, the Logan Launch Festival marked the official opening of the new Logan Center. More than 50 artistic events of a wide variety took place over the weekend of Oct. 12-14. Tears were shed during Sean Graney’s public reading of “All Our Tragic,” cheers rang out for UChicago’s Jazz X-Tet, and breath was held in awe for the Muntu Dance Drummers.

Opening of Logan Café

Want to take a sip of wine or craft beer after immersing yourself in the artistic world? Now the café at Logan gives you that option. Officially opened on Tuesday, Nov. 27th, the Logan Center café also offers a diverse range of all-time favorite wraps, sandwiches, salads and small plates. Fine ingredients, coffee and espresso from Counter Culture are available. Inspired by C-Shop’s Wednesday shake days, Logan Café now expects Thursday sangrias and sangria iced-tea specials. Grab a coffee in the morning for the start of a day, a sandwich for lunch, and a beer after work. With food and art like this, life cannot possibly get any other! Also, don’t forget to try the specials on performance evenings!

Conversation With Architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien 

Transparency, podium, silo, plains…Yes, those are probably the words that popped up in your mind when you observe Logan, but further inspiration and implications are hidden behind the design of this 184,000 square foot and 170-foot-tall giant. Architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien explained their intentions at the Logan Launch Festival. “We thought of this being a dense masonry building, poured-in-place concrete with a stone cladding, that would refer to the Gothic towers of campus, the towers of Chicago, the silos of the Midwest,” Williams said. “I think the University liked the idea of a tower. The tower was strong, and they wanted to make a signal to the other side of the campus that a visual and performing arts building existed. We talked about the tower as a beacon, and I think that was important to them, to make students feel that they wanted to come to the other side of the Plaisance” Tsien said. (Quote from The Reveal: Tod Williams and Billie Tsien’s Reva and David Logan Center for the University of Chicago, by Lynn Becker)

Ricardo Basbaum’s project: “Would you like to participate in an artistic experience?” 

If there’s anything that transcends the simple physicality of one object, that would be the essence of art. Called “New Base for Personality” (NBP), the Brazilian artist Basbaum’s central object is nothing too complicated: a simple basin-like chunk of metal with a spout at the center. Yet Basbaum’s ambition was to uncover the relationship between this object and audience through an experience. A unique and symbiotic relationship is what he tries to convey. Resembling an active biological being that interacts with humans, the NBP object itself is now endowed with a life.