Art and Food Combine for Unique Experience at Starland 

By Brian Marchetti 

A new art gallery recently opened its doors to offer the community an opportunity to experience the talents of local artists combined with the tastes of authentic Italian cuisine.  

Starland, 9913 S. Walden Pkwy, is the brainchild of Theodore Gilbert, a South Side artist and chef.  

 “It’s not a typical business,” Gilbert said. “It’s essentially an art gallery with fun food events. I like food and I like art. Starland is an interesting and low stress way to combine those things.”  

Gilbert plans to feature art and cuisine in unique combinations that will reflect specific themes where fine art, sculpture, and food come together to create a unique multi-sensory experience.  

For February, Gilbert has chosen to feature food that aligns with the season. Winter comfort foods from both Italian and French fare include Parisian gnocchi with shrimp and sformato, a savory Italian custard, will be on the menu.  

Each month, Starland will feature three to four local artists. Pieces may include paintings, sculpture, and textiles along with everything in between. While Gilbert wishes to have an organic approach to artist recruitment, he plans to keep similar themes throughout a given month’s display.  

“We want this to be a little less formal than a typical gallery,” Gilbert said. “We want it to be more approachable and accessible to the community.”    

The name Starland, taken from a vintage book about constellations, reflects Gilbert’s thoughts on nature and the peace and comfort one can find in a natural setting. Even the street, Walden Parkway, evokes images pulled from Thoreau’s writings which ponder the power of nature and individualism.  

“Walden Parkway, in my mind, is an interesting place in a literary and physical sense,” Gilbert said. “I like the idea behind it.” 

Starland plans to have the art gallery portion of their business open to the public three to four days a week.  

“I’m excited. My wife and I are both South Siders and we look forward to doing something fun in the community that hasn’t been done before,” Gilbert said 

Tickets must be purchased for culinary events, which take place monthly. Space is limited to between 12 and 14 guests. Currently, they are sold-out through March. Prices start at $65. Drinks are BYOB. For information go to starlandchicago.com 

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