Year-Round Series

Upcoming Programs

2017 /Dialogues, Curatorial Forum Presents: Without a Body — Black Identity in Abstraction, featuring Naomi Beckwith, Valerie Cassel Oliver, and Romi Crawford. Presented in partnership with Independent Curators International (ICI).

Alternate Assembly 2020: Environmental Impact in the Era of Pandemic

Thursday, October 15–Sunday, October 18, 2020

Virtual Program 

As a continuation of EXPO CHICAGO's year-round programming curated in response to contemporary issues, Alternate Assembly 2020 will engage the fair’s local and global audience through film screenings and live-streamed panel discussions featuring leading curators, artists, and scholars that will be open to the public. Building upon Chicago’s long legacy of supporting alternative models to exhibitions and engagement with contemporary art, the virtual symposium will address the ways in which contemporary art can contribute to rethinking our environment within the era of pandemic. Additional details to be announced at a later date.

Past Programs

EXPO CHICAGO 2019. Image courtesy of Justin Barbin. 


Friday, September 25–Sunday, September 27, 2020

Virtual Initiative

Highlighting Chicago-based exhibitions, curatorial projects, and artist programs from leading artists, galleries, and institutions, EXHIBITION Weekend is a digital initiative that will activate Chicago's creative communities andprovide international audiences the opportunity to engage directly through virtual tours, conversations, and an online viewing experience, developed in collaboration with Hook. Chicago audiences will also have select opportunities to view exhibitions in-person (by appointment) aligning with EXHIBITION Weekend. Safety precautions will include limited capacities, social distancing, mask requirements, and non-invasive temperature checks. See more details here.

Art Funders Forum: Remake the Model—Leadership and Ethics in the Arts

Friday, September 25, 2020 | 2:00PM CDT 

Virtual Program

Panelists | Deborah Fisher (A Blade of Grass), Frederick Janka (Carolyn Glasoe Bailey Foundation), and Lori Fogarty (Oakland Museum of California). Moderated by Melissa Cowley Wolf (Art Funders Forum, MCW Projects).

Presented in partnership with EXPO CHICAGO, the Arts Funders Forum (AFF) hosts this interactive virtual conversation as part of the Remake the Model series, examining how art funders can advance ethical leadership throughout the cultural sector and beyond. As the industry continues to evaluate its commitment to social justice, broaden its audiences, and develop new funding models to survive through the crises of 2020, how can art funders drive positive change at the board level and beyond?

Facility, Nick Cave and Bob Faust. 2019 Limited-Edition Print.Limited Edition of 200. 9 color lithograph. 30 in x 21 in, 76.2 x 53.3 cm. Signed by the artist.

EXHIBITION WEEKEND KICK-OFF: Nick Cave & Art for Justice

Thursday, September 24, 2020 | 1:00PM CDT 

Virtual Program

Nick Cave and Bob Faust join Quintin Williams of Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights and Gabrielle Lyon of Illinois Humanities for a conversation exploring concepts addressed in the limited-edition print designed by Nick Cave and Bob Faust, a Facility Art/Work collaboration. With an introduction by philanthropist Agnes Gund, the conversation is co-hosted with EXPO CHICAGO Marketplace Partner Artsy and presented with media partner Ocula. Proceeds from the sale of the limited-edition print will benefit the Art for Justice Fund, Nick Cave and Bob Faust’s Facility Foundation, and directly support EXPO CHICAGO’s Curatorial Initiatives 2020 fall programming, presented in partnership with Independent Curators International (ICI). The limited-edition print can be purchased here


In Conversation | Nate Young on Narrative & Voids

Friday, April 24, 2020 | 4:00 PM

Online webinar

Nate Young (Artist, Monique Meloche) and Stephanie Cristello (Artistic Director, EXPO CHICAGO | Editor-in-Chief, THE SEEN). 

Through his new body of work presented at moniquemeloche, the conceptual artist Nate Young mines his own family archives to explore and question the nature of identification, history, and the significance of ritual as a means to instill authority. Stephanie Cristello will join Young as he talks through the process behind his recently-mounted solo exhibition Transcendence of Time and presents a preview of the pieces to be included in his upcoming two-person exhibition A Tale of Today at the Driehaus Museum. Young and Cristello will discuss how Young’s narrative-based sculpture investigates the illusion of time, and how its nature seems more malleable than ever in the current climate.

Melissa Ann Pinney, Untitled. 2018. Photography.

Identity and Youth | CPS Lives

Wednesday, September 11, 2019 | 6:00 PM

Ogden Elementary School | 24 W Walton St, Chicago, IL

Cecil McDonald Jr. (Artist, CPS Lives) and Melissa Ann Pinney (Artist, CPS Lives). Moderated by Jacqueline Terrassa (Woman's Board Endowed Chair of Learning and Public Engagement, Art Institute of Chicago)

EXPO CHICAGO and CPS Lives present a discussion featuring artists Cecil McDonald Jr. and Melissa Ann Pinney, two residents within the CPS Lives program whose work explores intersections of representation as part of their ongoing projects. CPS Lives, a non-profit founded in 2018, pairs a Chicago-based artists with a Chicago Public School during an academic school year to produce a collaborative project between resident and students. The two artists will discuss their residencies and their results—images that explore identity and youth—that blur the lines between the artistic and the academic.

Paul Mpagi Sepuya. Photo: Chris Bauer.

/Dialogues: Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Thursday, June 27, 2019 | 6:30 PM

Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) St. Louis  | 3750 Washington Blvd, St. Louis, MO

Los Angeles-based artist Paul Mpagi Sepuya discusses his practice and the work on view in his first major museum survey, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, on view at CAM through August 18. Through his portraiture, Sepuya challenges the history of photography and deconstructs traditional portraiture by way of layering, fragmentation, mirror imagery, and the perspective of the black, queer gaze.

This Regional /Dialogues panel is presented in partnership with EXPO CHICAGO and CAM St. Louis. Art in America is the program Media Sponsor.


Learn more.

Install view, Unfurled: Supports/Surfaces, 1966-1976 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, 2019. Courtesy of MOCAD. Photo: Tim Johnson.


Thursday, April 4, 2019 | 6:00pm

MOCAD Detroit | 4454 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI

Wallace Whitney (Artist | Ceysson & Bénétière), curator of Unfurled: Supports/Surfaces 1966–1976, in conversation with Rachel Stella and Raphael Rubinstein. Stella is an independent scholar based in Paris, France and a contributor to Supports/Surfaces, the first-ever English publication about the most under-recognized French art movement of the 20th century. Raphael Rubinstein is a New York-based poet and art critic whose numerous books include Polychrome Profusion: Selected Art Criticism 1990–2002The Afterglow of Minor Pop Masterpieces and The Miraculous. He edited the anthology Critical Mess: Art Critics on the State of their Practice and is widely known for his articles on provisional painting. Rubinstein has lectured and written extensively on the Supports/Surfaces movement. 

This /Dialogues panel is presented in partnership with EXPO CHICAGO, in alignment with the exhibition Supports/Surfaces 1966-1976, on view from February 1–April 21, 2019. Art in America is the program Media Sponsor.

Courtesy Snarkitecture.

Talk: Snarkitecture — The Beach Chicago

Thursday, January 17, 2019 | 6:00pm

Graham Foundation | 4 W Burton Pl, Chicago, IL

Join the Graham Foundation, in partnership with EXPO CHICAGO and Navy Pier, for a talk by Alex Mustonen and Benjamin Porto of the New York-based collaborative design practice Snarkitecture. This event will take place in advance of the unveiling of The Beach, a large-scale interactive installation that will open to the public on Saturday, January 19 in the Aon Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier. Snarkitecture’s work focuses on the reinterpretation of everyday materials within a conceptual approach to create unexpected engagements with our surroundings — centered on the importance of experience, this premise extends to The Beach, an all-white ocean of over one million recyclable, antimicrobial plastic balls.

Following this event, the Graham Foundation Bookshop will host a book signing of Snarkitecture’s recent catalogue, published by Phaidon.

Image courtesy Shani Crowe and the Dimmensions of Citizenship organizers.

Biennale Architettura 2018 – U.S. Pavilion

Sunday, May 27, 2018 | 10:00–11:30am

U.S. Pavilion at the 16. International Architecture Exhibition

10:45–11:30am | /Dialogues: Dimensions of Citizenship
Panelists | Amanda Williams (Chicago-based Artist and Architect, participant in the U.S. Pavilion), Andres L. Hernandez (Chicago-based Artist and Architect, participant in the U.S. Pavilion) and Shani Crowe (Chicago-based Artist). Moderated by EXPO CHICAGO Director of Programming and Editor-in-Chief of THE SEEN, Stephanie Cristello

Tackling questions of citizenship status, gender and race at the intersection of history, theory and practice of art and architecture, this panel will explore the unique ways in which black women have historically navigated and shaped space to advance their position in American society. Highlighting the historical figures of Harriet Jacobs and Harriet Tubman as muses, this conversation will trace the impact of American history on Williams and Hernandez’s practice, complemented by a performative element by Shani Crowe, preceding the conversation. Addressing the fraught social-spatial conditions of the African-American experience, this panel will take place in proximity to a new commission by Williams and Hernandez in the courtyard of the U.S. Pavilion, entitled Thrival Geographies (In My Mind I See a Line). Weaving up the portico of the main entrance, and stretching beyond the rear terrain of the Pavilion building, the piece evokes the clandestine routes charted and navigated by African-Americans seeking both temporary escape and permanent freedom from the institution of slavery.

Presented in partnership with the commissioners of the U.S. Pavilion, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago.

Alejandro Cesarco, Vanitas (From Remorse to Regret) (Detail), 2017. 
Courtesy of the Artist and Tanya Leighton, Berlin.

THE SEEN | Stephanie Cristello in Conversation with Alejandro Cesarco

Thursday, January 18, 2018 | 6:30–8:00pm

ICI Curatorial Hub | 401 Broadway, Suite 1620, New York, NY

Join Editor-in-Chief of THE SEEN Stephanie Cristello as part of this interview with New York-based artist Alejandro Cesarco, in advance of their text being published in Issue 06 (Spring / Summer 2018). 

This conversation will align with Cesarco’s most recent exhibition, entitled Song, which is on view at The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago through January 28, 2018. This discussion will explore the artist’s relationship to different narrative strategies and their relationship to form, affect, and memory. Presented in partnernship with Independent Curators International. 

Images: Judy Chicago, 6 AM: Cat Alarm Clocks from Kitty City (detail), 2000, watercolor on Arches, 22 x 30 in. © Judy Chicago. Photo: Donald Woodman. Image courtesy of Jessica Silverman Gallery. 

In Conversation: Judy Chicago and Jayna Zweiman

Saturday, November 4, 2017 | 6:00–8:00pm

Gordon Parks Arts Hall | 5815 S Kimbark Ave, Chicago, IL

Judy Chicago (Artist, Jessica Silverman Gallery) in conversation with Jayna Zweiman (Co-Founder of Pussyhat Project) and Alison Gass (Dana Feitler Director of Smart Museum of Art).

The two artists will explore how to political activism is manifested in various forms, particularly in community-based projects like Welcome Blanket that confront contemporary social and political issues. The talk is moderated by Alison Gass, Dana Feitler Director of the Smart Museum. Presented by the Smart Museum of Art in partnership with EXPO CHICAGO.

Obama Presidential Center, designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners and Interactive Design Architects. 

Obama Presidential Center Panel 

Saturday, October 14, 2017 | 2:00–3:00pm

DuSable Museum of African American History | 740 E 56th Pl, Chicago, IL

Dr. Louise Bernard (Director, Museum of the Obama Presidential Center), Amanda Williams, and Andres Luis Hernandez (Artists and Members of the Exhibition Design Team, Obama Presidential Center). Moderated by Monica Chadha (Founder, Civic Projects; Member of the Exhibition Design Team, Obama Presidential Center).

Join newly appointed Director of the Museum of the Obama Presidential Center, Dr. Louise Bernard, along with interdisciplinary members of the Exhibition Design Team, for this conversation about the work of the Obama Presidential Center and the Museum's role as an innovative social and cultural institution.