Rich wooden floors, bricks and beige-painted drywall crowned by white molding round out the interior of this gallery space, a muted décor that serves as a perfect backdrop for curator/gallery owner Robert Wayner's black walnut wood masterpieces. Located on Wicker Park's hipster version of the Mag Mile, where most storefronts hawk kitschy retro, mid-century design pieces, Black Walnut Gallery features furniture that celebrates the natural imperfections of knotty wood spots and the elegant topography of rich wood grain. Derived from recycled wood or cut from trees that have fallen naturally, Wayner's benches, desks and shelves are ecologically friendly as well.
Black Walnut represents other artists, such as metal sculpturist Mike Mahoney and photographers like Paul Rung and Ron Seymour. If there's a common thread among them, it's the celebration of natural landscapes and organic forms from a modern perspective.
The gallery, which can accommodate up to 125 standing guests or seat up to 55, also doubles as an event space for baby showers, fundraisers, non-profit events and art openings. Rental Rates are $375 per night for non-profit groups or $475 per night for other private events.
Centerstage Reviewer: Michael Nagrant