Chicago kicks off fall art season with Grolsch and tats

It’s that time of year. The temperature drops, the leaves quietly change colors, and no one can decide if they should wear white. Amidst all of this, the Chicago visual art community ramps up for its annual fall season kick-off.

More than 50 galleries across the city open their doors–and their Grolsch beer bottles–to welcome in everyone from the casual gallery goer to the die-hard, uber-pretentious recent MFA graduate. Not to mention everyone in between who is eager to enjoy an evening strolling through galleries, catching glimpses of art and snippets of conversation.
Every year, I go into the new season with questions in mind.

This year I’m wondering who will be Chicago’s next big art star? Certainly Aspen Mays is up-and-coming; I recently reviewed her work for the forthcoming issue of Art Papers.


The Future of the Future, 2009. Artist: Aspen Mays

What sorts of changes will we see in the Chicago art gallery landscape? For one, Monique Meloche Gallery–a
West Loop stronghold–recently moved to Bucktown. The West Loop gallery district won’t be the same without Monique and the gallery’s dynamic director, Whitney Tassie.

I’m also wondering if, this year, I’ll finally start warming up to Paul Nudd‘s over-the-top, decidedly gross art work.

Before I leave the Tribune Towers to head to the West Loop, where I’ll
meet Newcity Art Editor Jason Foumberg for margaritas, I’m checking out
the gallery guides, including ChicagoNow’s own Art Talk Chicago.
Kathryn Born has created a super-duper tricked-out Google gallery map. Rumor has it she’s got a Friday Night Army out on the streets, tweeting all the goings-on. Ginny Berg‘s comprehensive guide in the Chicago Gallery News is also an
extremely helpful resource for gallery hoppers everywhere, as is
Chicago Tribune‘s extensive coverage by staff writer Lauren Viera and freelance art critic Lori Waxman, Paul Klein’s indispensable Art Letter, The Chicago Reader’s guide to shows,
Newcity’s fall arts preview, and Time Out Chicago‘s shows to see citywide.

There’s one show I want to see more than any, however, and it’s at The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art.
Call me a sucker for anything tattoo-related these days, because that’s what I am. See my recent post about my latest tattoo, and my quest for a tattoo
blogger. Intuit’s show Freaks and Flash
(September 11- January 9, 2010) takes a look at the history of modern
Western tattooing by curating a collection of tattoo flash drawings (the drawings
that the tattoo artist bases the actual tattoo on) next to circus
banners of tattoo-covered performers. I’m anxious to meet curators Anna
Friedman Herlihy and Jan Petry.

Tattooed Wonder.jpg

Tattooed Wonder, courtesy of Intuit

While I’m out, I’ll be doing quick video interviews with interesting
folks I meet while out and about. You’ll have to check back for those,

Leave a comment