CADA's night Vision
Chicago Art Dealers Association throws
With the decline of Art Chicago comes a seemingly more vibrant than usual Vision 11—the annual two-week-long summer galleries event organized by the Chicago Art Dealers Association.
“There is more participation,” says Ginny Berg, project director of CADA. There are 25 galleries in River North and ten in the West Loop/Fulton Market area officially throwing open their doors Friday 14. (Last year, 24 galleries signed up.) While we thought this may have something to do with Chicago gallerists stepping up their profile in the wake of the fair debacle, it turns out CADA had everyone lined up by February. “It just reflects the general spirit of galleries to participate in as many things as possible,” Berg says. “This is different than your street-fair environment because it does involve high-end galleries.”Well, that and fancy cars. One of the more puzzling main attractions is, as the Vision brochure puts it, “a special opening-night luxury automobile preview in River North.” If looking at a Bentley holds as much appeal as a Thomas Kinkade retrospective, go in search of off-the-map activities. Not every gallery in the city opts to become a member of CADA, so expect to wander into spaces that are not on the official program. “We are encouraging everyone to be open and be a part of opening night,” Berg says.
One non-CADA member, Aron Packer Gallery, will host an opening of work by the late Chicago artist Joseph Conlon. Conlon, who was HIV-positive for more than 20 years, died in 2005. The series “101 Talismans for a Happy Death” is made up of video and photographic works created in the last five years of his life. Packer programmed the event to coincide with the Gay Games, which also opens this weekend.
What could be better than a bunch of galleries having a party on the same night with lots of free wine? Free transportation. There will be shuttles running continuously between the two districts (at Superior and Franklin in River North and Washington and Peoria in the West Loop), which expect a good deal of foot traffic between the two of them; River North–area galleries are open from 5 to 8pm and West Loop/Fulton Market spots from 6 to 9pm.
As part of Vision, galleries will host special events over the next few weeks, including a puppet show at Gwenda Jay/Addington Gallery on July 27 and a folk concert at Byron Roche Gallery on July 20. There will also be a spate of “how to collect” lectures at various galleries. But we’d like to save you valuable time by offering this advice: If you don’t have the money or you don’t like it, don’t buy it.
If for some reason you feel inclined to delve a little deeper into the mysteries of purchasing art, we suggest checking out our pick of the litter: the “Collecting Art” panel discussion on July 25 at the Metropolitan Capital Bank. This will be the best place for your mind to wander, as it is located in a Chicago landmark building—the 94-year-old annex of Tree Studios. MetCap, a relatively new private bank, hired the architectural firm of OWP/P to convert the former Arts and Crafts–style artist live-in studios to accommodate its office. It’s not only a wonderful example of sensitive adaptive reuse of a historic structure, it also has extraordinary work on display by painter William Conger and textile artist Joan Livingstone. Last year, MetCap contacted Nixon Art Associates, an independent art-advisory business, to help curate an annual exhibition; the first artists to participate were Chicagoans Vera Clement and Ellen Lanyon. The selection of Lanyon seemed particularly appropriate since the artist lived and worked in Tree Studios early in her career.
“We wanted to foster and develop an appreciation of art in the business community,” says Michael Rose, MetCap CEO. This year, MetCap decided to host a public event during Vision. Which just goes to show: You don’t need a bunch of expensive cars to class up real art.
For details on Vision 11, see www.chicagoartdealers.org.