Purchase Prizes

Northern Trust Purchase Prize

Each year EXPO CHICAGO and Presenting Sponsor Northern Trust select artworks from the fair’s EXPOSURE section– featuring galleries ten years and younger– to be purchased for an institution’s permanent collection. Since 2013, the award was gifted to one institution, but in 2022 it expanded to three U.S. institutions located in East, West and Midwest regions. Previous institution recipients include The Art Institute of Chicago; The Arts Club of Chicago; Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University; DePaul Art Museum, DePaul University; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg; Pérez Art Museum; Portland Art Museum; Saint Louis Art Museum; Seattle Art Museum; Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago; Speed Art Museum; Walker Art Center. 

The 2024 Northern Trust Purchase Prize has been awarded to three national institutions: High Museum of Art; the Milwaukee Art Museum; and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

“Northern Trust is committed to fostering culture and art within our communities, and nowhere is this more evident than in our Purchase Prize gifts. We are proud of our support for emerging contemporary artists, and are thrilled to be able to share these works with such notable museums.”
— John Fumagalli | President, Central Region, Northern Trust Wealth Management

Macerich’s Fashion Outlets of Chicago Purchase Prize

Anila Quayyum Agha Shimmering Mirage (Red), Descent into Light, 2020 Image by Jim Prinz

As part of its ongoing sponsorship of EXPO CHICAGO, Macerich’s Fashion Outlets of Chicago will present its inaugural Purchase Prize for THE COLLECTION: Where Art Meets Fashion, the shopping center’s multifaceted contemporary art program featuring a collection of curated site-specific artwork. Located throughout Fashion Outlets’ common areas, THE COLLECTION includes 22 large-scale public art pieces by several renowned national and international artists living today, including Derrick Adams, Candida Alvarez, Daniel Arsham, Carlos Rolón/Dzine and more. At the 2024 edition of the exposition, leadership from Fashion Outlets of Chicago, alongside representatives from EXPO CHICAGO, will select an artist and work to join THE COLLECTION.

21c Museum Hotels Civic Acquisition Prize

Ebony G. Patterson when the land is in plumage…, 2020 Credit: 21c Museum Hotel

The inaugural 21c Museum Hotels Civic Acquisition Prize at EXPO CHICAGO will build upon the strong partnership of the two organizations since a 21c Museum Hotel opened in Chicago in 2020, while highlighting how 21c’s exhibitions present thought-provoking contemporary art to a public audience. For the prize in April 2024, founders Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, alongside 21c’s Chief Curator Alice Gray Stites, will select up to two works that highlight the power of art to foster civic and community engagement for 21c’s permanent collection. The initiative continues the mission of 21c, North America’s only collecting museum dedicated solely to art of the 21st century, to emphasize accessibility and engagement with art of this century throughout the country

Barbara Nessim Acquisition Prize and Curatorial Travel Award

Curatorial Initiatives, Barbara Nessim Award at EXPO CHICAGO 2023, photo by Mario Gallucci. From left to right: Selva Aparicio, Mary Dinaberg, Ionit Behr, Barbara Nessim, Anna Demchick, Stephanie Seidel, Renaud Proch

EXPO CHICAGO will present the sophomore Barbara Nessim Acquisition Prize and the Barbara Nessim Curatorial Travel Award with Independent Curators International (ICI), both of which are fully funded by Barbara Nessim, an artist recognized for her longstanding support of women in the arts. The acquisition prize will see an artwork at EXPO CHICAGO, created by a woman artist and valued up to $10,000, donated to the DePaul Art Museum. Awarded annually through at least 2025, the prize is selected by a committee composed of Barbara Nessim, Mary Dinaburg, and DePaul Art Museum Director Laura-Caroline de Lara. The curatorial award is an annual travel grant of $3,000 which will be awarded each year to support the practice of one woman curator attending the Curatorial Forum. The selection will be made by a committee composed of Barbara Nessim and Mary Dinaburg.