Year-Round Programs

Regional /Dialogues and Partner Programs

The /Dialogues panel series features provocative artistic discourse with leading artists, curators, designers, and arts professionals on the current issues that engage them. Additionally, throughout the year and beyond the exposition, EXPO CHICAGO proudly collaborates with exhibitors and partners that comprise our network of leading galleries, local, national and international institutions, museums, and non-profits.

Healing the Divide | Visualizing a Lead-Free Environment: How Art Intersects with Community Activism

Thursday, November 11, 2021 | 5:30PM

Virtual Program 

Multi-disciplinary artist Mel Chin (S.O.U.R.C.E. Studio) joins Cheryl Johnson (People for Community Recovery) and Devon VanHouten-Maldonado (SkyART) for a conversation on how art and process-based learning intersect with community activism in Chicago. The one-hour program will take a look at Mel Chin’s ongoing Fundred Dollar Bill Project, a creative campaign that raises awareness about the invisible threats posed by lead contamination in soil, water, and housing while also exploring Johnson’s over three decades of environmental justice work in Chicago and the many visual art programs VanHouten-Maldonado oversees with youth on the South and West sides. 

This panel is funded by the Eisenhower Foundation who seeks to explore how art can be an integral part of creating the new will critical to implementing the change we need to heal our nation and better amplify, visualize, and reinforce the policy priorities recommended by the Kerner Commission to end racial and economic inequality. Moderated by Eisenhower Foundation’s Vice President of Communications Leila McDowell, the panel will explore the practices of each participant, while observing how they overlap to address concerns of lead pollution, community activism, and the possibilities of being empowered through art.

Presented by the Eisenhower Foundation in partnership with EXPO Chicago, the Mellon Foundation, and S.O.U.R.C.E. Studio.

This program is generously supported by the Eisenhower Foundation and Mellon Foundation. 

Panel Discussion: On Repatriation

Monday, March 1, 2021 | 1:00PM

Virtual Program 

This panel “On Repatriation” is in conjunction with Claudia Peña Salinas’ Quetzalli, a site-specific installation at DePaul Art Museum that centers on the Aztec headdress, Penacho de Moctezuma, an object that has become a symbol of national identity for both Mexico and Austria. Quetzalli highlights the issues around the provenance of ancient artifacts and the role museums play in formulating cultural identities. Peña Salinas is joined by artist Gala Porras-Kim, who is featured in DPAM’s current LatinXAmerican exhibition and has treated “symbolic repatriations” through deep research in various museums. Prof. Patty Gerstenblith is a Professor of Law at DePaul University and Director of its Center for Art, Museum & Cultural Heritage Law, and Prof. Morag Kersel is an Archaeologist and DePaul’s director of the Museum Studies Minor. Both Gerstenblith and Kersel have lectured widely on the protection of antiquities and cultural heritage.

Presented by DePaul Art Museum in partnership with EXPO Chicago. This program is generously supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Panel Discussion: Claudia Wieser in Conversation

Thursday, November 19, 2020 | 12:00PM

Virtual Program 

During this live-streamed discussion, Claudia Wieser reflects on the myriad influences that inform her work—from the democratic stage of ancient Roman forums to the esoteric principles of Bauhaus craftsmanship—to produce immersive spatial installations. In conversation with Wieser are Jennifer Carty, Associate Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art at the Smart Museum, and Rachel Adams, Chief Curator and Director of Programs at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. The program is moderated by Christine Mehring, Adjunct Curator at the Smart Museum and Mary L. Block Professor of Art History and the College at the University of Chicago. This discussion is presented in conjunction with Claudia Wieser: Generations on view at the Smart Museum of Art through December 13, 2020. 

Raqs Media Collective, video still from Why do they call the answer to a question, a solution? (12 mins, video, spoken word), 2020.

Panel Discussion: Raqs Media Collective in Conversation

December 3, 2020 | 10:00AM CDT

Virtual Program 

Panelists | Raqs Media Collective (Artists), Gunalan Nadarajan (Curator and Dean of Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design), and Srimoyee Mitra (Director, Stamps Gallery).

Following the world premiere of two new videos commissioned by Stamps Gallery, twentyfourbyseven (7 mins, video, calligraphy, text, animation), 2020 and Why do they call the answer to a question, a solution? (12 mins, video, spoken word), 2020, Raqs Media Collective will reflect on the process of creating The Pandemic Circle after the predicament of quarantine and seclusion caused by the COVID–19 pandemic gripped contemporary life across the globe. The Pandemic Circle includes 31 Days (18 minutes, video, calligraphy, text), 2020, the first video in the series that was released in the summer of 2020. The renowned collective will be in conversation with Gunalan Nadarajan, curator and Dean of Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design. Introduction by Srimoyee Mitra, Director, Stamps Gallery.

This program is co-presented with Stamps Gallery. This program is supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Film Screening: The Pandemic Circle by Raqs Media Collective

December 1, 2020 | 12:00AM

Virtual Program 

Raqs Media Collective. Commissioned by Stamps Gallery, Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, and in partnership with EXPO CHICAGO on December 1, 2020. Curated by Srimoyee Mitra.

Raqs Media Collective’s two new films twentyfourbyseven (7 mins, video, calligraphy, text, animation), 2020 and Why do they call the answer to a question, a solution? (12 minutes, video, spoken word), 2020 complete the Pandemic Circle that they embarked upon with their recent video 31 Days. Together, this suite of poignant and poetic videos grapple with the pervasive and dispersed impact on daily routines and relationships with one another, and beyond, in the age of the Coronavirus. In the summer of 2020, Raqs Media Collective released 31 Days (18 minutes, video, calligraphy, text) three months after the predicament of quarantine and seclusion caused by the Covid-19 pandemic gripped contemporary life across the globe. Offering a meditation on a restless world in a quiet time, 31 Days explored the weight and ambivalence of loss through haunting repetition, things gleaned from the corner of one’s eye, and fragments seen, heard and sensed between the three members of Raqs. The new works deepen their inquiry into the tensions of time and place. 31 Days embodied a sense of timelessness, as well as making place ambiguous; a new non-place (in cyberspace) emerges as if the geographical location is irrelevant.

Both time and place remain key as they inform world views, IP addresses, and perspectives beyond 31 Days. It has been nine months and counting since “work from home” has become status quo. While the third wave of Covid-19 spreads throughout the world, Raqs continues the conversation and lucid dreaming with two new highly anticipated works: twentyfourbyseven (6 minutes) and Why do they call the answer to a question, a solution? (12 minutes).

Nate Young, 2020.

Panel Discussion | 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.