The Special Exhibitions program features select regional, national, and international non-profit institutions, museums, and organizations to be included on the main floor of the exposition. EXPO CHICAGO’s Special Exhibitions offer unique, high-quality installations, joining 135 leading galleries from around the world featured throughout Navy Pier’s iconic Festival Hall. Complementing the surrounding elements of the fair, this program illustrates and preserves the important relationship between contemporary and modern art and non-profit organizations.
Aperture, a not-for-profit foundation, connects the photo community and its audiences with the most inspiring work, the sharpest ideas, and with each other—in print, in person, and online. Aperture presents a special series of limited-edition prints and portfolios of work featured in the latest issues of Aperture magazine, all relating to the themes of “American Destiny,” “Platform Africa,” and “Elements of Style.” Artists include Gregory Halpern, Carolyn Drake, Eric Gyamfi, Malala Andrialavidrazana, and Musa N. Nxumalo. New limited editions related to recently released Aperture titles are also on view, including prints by John Chiara, Zanele Muholi, and Stephen Shore. The newest publications from Aperture, including artist-signed copies, is available.
Artadia exhibits artwork by the newly-named 2017 Chicago Artadia Awardees: Rashayla Marie Brown and Claire Pentecost. The Awardees, each receiving $10,000 in unrestricted funds, selected through Artadia’s rigorous, two-tier jury review process. Awardees are chosen from a group of five finalists which included Rashayla Marie Brown, Alex Chitty, Cameron Clayborn, Faheem Majeed, and Claire Pentecost by a jury was composed of a distinguished group of leaders in the arts: Rashid Johnson, artist; Omar Kholeif, Manilow Senior Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Megha Ralapati, Residency and Special Projects Manager, Hyde Park Art Center; and Susan Thompson, Assistant Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The Awardees join a prestigious group of more than 300 artists working in cities throughout the United States. Artadia currently holds annual Awardscycles in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.
In anticipation of Michigan Stories: Jim Shaw and Mike Kelley, opening at the MSU Broad in November 2017, The Bells Angels (Simon Bernheim and Julien Sirjacq) have produced original silkscreen prints for EXPO CHICAGO. The Bells Angels are the designers of The Hidden World, the book based on a traveling exhibition of Shaw’s fascinating didactic art collection. Michigan Stories will explore the shared background of Jim Shaw and Mike Kelley and their upbringing and early education in the state of Michigan. Growing up in Midland, Michigan and the Detroit area, respectively, Shaw and Kelley met in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan and moved to Los Angeles in 1976 to pursue graduate school at California Institute of the Arts. Michigan Stories is the first exhibition to place these artists’ practice alongside each other in their historical context, approaching their work as parallel visual meditations on Midwestern subculture.
The Chicago Artists Coalition’s (CAC) BOLT Residency is a highly competitive, juried, one-year artist studio program. CAC presents the BOLT Artist-in-Residence Yvette Mayorga, whose work is informed by the politics of the U.S./Mexico border, the events that happen on it, and the transnational narratives that arise after crossing it. In her installation-based work, Mayorga tackles issues of race, identity, gender, and Latin stereotypes using visual tropes of celebration. CAC's exhibiting artist, Yvette Mayorga was selected by Janine Mileaf, Director of The Arts Club of Chicago.
As the region’s community foundation, The Chicago Community Trust is dedicated to improving the region through strategic grant making, civic engagement and inspiring philanthropy. Serving nonprofit organizations, the generous donors, and the thoughtful residents who strive to make a difference, the Trust helps their bold vision create lasting community change. For EXPO CHICAGO, the Trust presents Faheem Majeed’s Planting and Maintaining a Perennial Garden, an installation both visually striking and a platform for engagement, discourse, and promotion of the cultural organizations that both the Trust and his practice are invested in. In addition to the installation, curated artworks, performances, and activations by the following cultural organizations will take place in the booth by Project Onward, SkyART, Gwendolyn Brooks Centennial Celebration and Hyde Park Jazz Festival.
The Conservation Center is once again proud to be the official art conservation and custom-framing provider for EXPO CHICAGO. In addition to maintaining their sponsorship of the annual fair, The Center’s Special Exhibitions booth showcases completed projects of various art conservation disciplines—ranging from paintings to antique furniture, works on paper and more. Acting as an educational resource for EXPO CHICAGO guests, viewers can learn about approaches to preserving the integrity of artworks—from method and application, to science and techniques.
Almost 800 million people around the world are suffering from hunger and over 600 million are obese. Food Chain Project stems from Itamar Gilboa's will to raise awareness to global issues of hunger, obesity, overconsumption and waste by means of examining his own consumption choices. For one year, Gilboa kept a diary of everything that he ate and drank. Tamar Dresdner Art Projects presents the outcome—an installation which is a visual manifestation of everything that he consumed during twelve months and consists of numerous crystacast and chrome sculptures, each representing a food item that Gilboa had consumed. Proceeds from the sales of the sculptures will be donated to Food Tank, an NGO which supports environmentally, socially and economically sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity and poverty.
Human Rights Watch defends the rights of people worldwide. Returning to EXPO CHICAGO, HRW hosts The Tea Project by Aaron Hughes and Amber Ginsburg, an interactive installation and performance that reflects human rights violations from the “global war on terror.” During the last fifteen years, the United States imprisoned at least 780 Muslim men, nearly all without charge, at Guantanamo Bay in violation of international law. The Tea Project translates the numbers in a compelling manner: an archive of 780 porcelain cast Styrofoam teacups, one for each man detained at Guantanamo. The archive is inspired by Styrofoam cups used at Guantanamo, decorated with flowers by detainees—and when decorated, confiscated by guards. Tea will be served daily in the booth—a shared moment that transcends cultural divides and systems of oppression, an opportunity for interaction and reflection on protecting human dignity wherever it is threatened.
In 2016, Hyde Park Art Center launched Resilient Images, an international residency exchange in collaboration with the Centre Régional de la Photographie Nord—Pas-de-Calais (CRP). Featuring artists David Schalliol and Justine Pluvinage, Resilient Images is the result of two eight week residencies that will culminate in a two-part exhibition in both Chicago and France. They are exhibited here together for the first time in anticipation of their exhibition opening at the Hyde Park Art Center in January 2018. Developing site-specific, research-based projects, engage the artists with new communities to investigate current social and political conditions in each area. With the notion of human resilience at the center of both projects, Schalliol and Pluvinage mine the ways in which individuals cope with and adapt to a rapidly transforming reality, due to financial, political or social change.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is pleased to present White Wanderer, an intervention of sound and light by Luftwerk, the artistic collaboration of Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero. Drawing from actual recordings of Larsen C—the fourth largest ice shelf in Antarctica, which is rapidly melting—the artists create a haunting, contemplative soundtrack and immersive installation that reminds viewers of the threat of sea level rise and climate change. The installation on view is part of a satellite location at 2 N Riverside Plaza in Chicago. Founded in 1970, NRDC is a non-profit environmental advocacy group with more than 2.4 million members and online activists. The organization engages in a variety of interdisciplinary partnerships with artists, architects, and designers to engage the public on critical environmental issues.
The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago is a contemporary art museum committed to supporting ambitious artistic expression. For the 2017 program, the booth presents a pop-up shop featuring publications and editions. New and recent titles include: Ben Rivers, Ways of Worldmaking; Sadie Benning, Shared Eye; Robert Grosvenor, and Mathias Poledna: Substance; as well as the catalogue for group exhibition Between the Ticks of the Watch, which featured contributions from Kevin Beasley, Peter Downsbrough, Goutam Ghosh, Falke Pisano, and Martha Wilson. Available editions include works by artists Rodney Graham, Arturo Herrera, and others. All sales will directly benefit the Renaissance Society’s exhibitions, events, and publishing programs.
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leading institution in educating artists, designers and scholars since 1866. Located in downtown Chicago, SAIC has an educational philosophy built upon an interdisciplinary approach to art and design, giving students unparalleled opportunities to develop their creative and critical abilities while working with renowned faculty who include many of the leading practitioners in their fields. For this year’s presentation, SAIC alumna and artist Sadie Woods (MFA 2016) continues her curatorial practice to organize this exhibition of artists from SAIC’s recent graduating classes, with backgrounds spanning SAIC's Painting and Drawing, Sculpture, Fiber, Art and Technology, Film, Video, New Media, Photography, and Performance departments, among others.
ShopColumbia at Averill and Bernard Leviton Gallery serves the Columbia College Chicago community by fostering the representation and sale of professional work and talent from multiple creative fields. As an extension of the classroom, the Shop supports students by providing a professional environment to hone the process of presenting, marketing, and selling work to the public. Through community partnerships, ancillary programming and representation of alumni, faculty and staff, ShopColumbia bridges professional practice with the student learning experience. ShopColumbia presents a diverse selection of fine art, photography, printmaking, film and interdisciplinary work by Columbia College Chicago students and alumni, including Ricardo Bouyett, Hale Ekinci, Kyra Peterson, Henry Voellmecke, and Aobo Wang.
Fostering contemporary art practices that respond to lived experiences, Threewalls encourages a greater awareness of Chicago's rich history and community resources by inviting artists to work across the city. As part of the 2017 program, Threewalls presents Balas & Wax’s Construction/Demolition/Salad. This project invites the public to consider shelter and sustenance by making connections between hotel construction and demolition and food service. The work’s central elements include a multimedia installation, performed readings, and live dialogues.
3Arts and 6018North present VIP: Very Important Platforms
Presented as a democratic lounge—on the floor above the Fair—the VIP program is a communal art making space to come together, speak up, and resist. Aram Han Sifuentes’s Protest Banners Talking Back provides the material, as well as skills, to create protest banners encouraging solidarity. Onye Ozuzu’s Project Tool is a dance performance and installation in which a sprung wood dance floor is built. Viewers are invited to watch and/or learn woodworking to reconnect body, task, and tool. These gestures shape the ongoing performance. With the current insecurity in the arts, these VIP: Very Important Platforms inspire us to stand strong, connect through work, and literally build our own platforms.