There is a lot to say, especially about I Space. Claudine Ise did a good job of explaining it when she spoke with Mary Antonakos about it http://badatsports.com/2009/uiucs-i-space-gallery-to-close/ back in late October.
Now it's official, December 31 will be the end.
I'm biased, I really loved I Space., but what's troubling is the continuing issue of the survival of experimental art in Chicago - we currently have no collector base for experimental work, so the commercial model doesn't work, but now we can see that the institutional-support model holds all the cards and can cut and close at whim.
The not-for-profit model has advantages, but funding can be pulled (see also Loyola-supported gallery) with little warning, or in the
case of I Space, because they had support from UIUC, they didn't really have the green light to get fuding from other sources, like a non-affiliated 501c3 could do.
And I'll also add that being a not-for-profit doesn't mean agencies line up to hand you checks either. I spent a year on the board of Refuge, a not-for-profit gallery and we closed because we couldn't get enough grants to stay afloat.
So I'll sign off with a question - when the art isn't sellable - what is the model? What can the public do to encourage institutions to give support?
I'm up for ideas, because this loss really stings.
11/20 is the final shindig for I Space, so let's make it a good one and show some support.