Publisher's Letter: Summer's Fresh Take on Art

While the new year officially begins in January, for many in Chicago, things do not truly get started until the weather turns warm. At CGN we are thrilled to greet this season of activity that beckons us outside to wander and soak up what’s fresh and new. 

This is the season to be outdoors, where we may appreciate Chicago’s unparalleled collection of public art while strolling city streets. Jaume Plensa’s Crown Fountain in Millennium Park has just refreshed its screens in time for summer time splashing, and the Picasso, the one that started it all, turns 50 in August. Grant Park’s Agora is all the more poignant with the April passing of artist Magdalena Abakanowicz. Other area highlights and history are detailed in CGN writer Franck Mercurio’s online series about public art.

In our fall 2016 issue, I urged readers to be present to experience art and to step back from the digital overload. The art collectors we interviewed for this issue also emphasized that same message and shared their own stories of discovering art in many places throughout the years. 

In area museums and arts institutions, major shows open in time for tourist season. The Art Institute’s summer blockbuster showcases more than 240 works by Paul Gauguin, while Japanese megastar Takashi Murakami’s exhibition at the MCA sheds light on the role that pop culture can play in art, as well as explore how an artist can offer a lens through which to view current events. 

The current political landscape inspires artist Aram Han Sifuentes, who is currently an artist-in-residence at the Chicago Cultural Center. The public is invited to sew protest banners for free with the artist until May 18. 

These warmer months are reasons to road trip throughout the Midwest. In Milwaukee, large-scale works by Rashid Johnson are on view. Architecture fans can celebrate Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th birthday in Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. 

There is much to see out in the art world right now. Go, enjoy and experience. 

–Ginny Van Alyea, Publisher, Chicago Gallery News

Below, you will find links to features, interviews and seasonal highlights included in CGN's summer issue: