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Art & Life with Gerald Bailey

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gerald Bailey.

Gerald, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
My father was killed in a car accident a few months before my birth. He was hit by a drunk driver early in the morning on his route as a paperboy. Shortly thereafter, my teenage mother moved in with his family. We were living in a poor neighborhood in Indianapolis in the early eighties. Rustbelt, forgotten Midwest; an inner-city ruin, covered in vines. Large four-foot tall weeds would take root in the cracks of the brick street in front of my grandmother’s house where we lived.

Extracurricular activities became an important part of my childcare, with band and Boy Scouts being the two things that I enjoyed most. My troop made a point to schedule a camping trip once a month. In five years or so, that comes to 60 outings. Those frequent weekends in the woods had a lifelong impact.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
After moving to Chicago for grad school, nature has continued to influence my art. As the world expands and changes, the value of environmental preservation is on the rise. With the growth of the internet, the demand for commercial space is decreasing.

Mother Nature is reclaiming abandoned factories, strip malls and parking lots. A marriage of old industrial architecture and natural preservation.

City dwellers dream of dense forests, endless hills, and picturesque landscapes. My music and kinetic sculptures are built from this energy and provide that escape. The work is a combination of electricity and natural acoustics.

What responsibility, if any, do you think artists have to use their art to help alleviate problems faced by others? Has your art been affected by issues you’ve concerned about?
Audiences value popularity over content. This movement is rotting our culture from the inside out.

In terms of the environment, we all hold responsibility.  Even if it isn’t in sight, the struggles of our neighbors effect us all.  My work is directly effected by these issues.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Woodland Drum, Charles Mantis, Macrame Brass and Faraway Plants are projects of mine that combine acoustic instruments, jazz and music technology.  I have also released a handful of songs under my name.

Upcoming Dates:

March 9: Macrame Brass at Dorian’s, Chicago

March 21: Faraway Plants at Hungry Brain, Chicago

April 3: Gerald Bailey/Clif Wallace at California Clipper, Chicago

April 21: Gerald Bailey at Transmissions; Ace Hotel Waydown Bar, Chicago

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Gerald Bailey, Sara Kay

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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