CGN Virtual Gallery Tour: West Town Part 1 – The Industrial Corridor
By GINNY VAN ALYEA
For being stuck at home, time seems to be flying, or maybe it's just that the world seems to change at a pace I would not have believed just two or three weeks ago. As we continue to try to keep up with the many updates from around the world, about art as well as many other topics, we recognize the calm that comes with focus. We have been tempted to try to do everything for everyone (we'll throw a benefit, we'll lobby congress!) but we come back to CGN's core purpose since 1983: cheerleading galleries, artists and the visual arts. Realizing that our long-held purpose still has meaning, even now, we have been energized to consider our content in new ways, ie: how do we get people to look at OUR art spaces during this lockdown? Nothing against scrolling virtual Google tours of international museums, but there is much to see here at home.
So, here is number two in our new "necessity-is-the-mother-of-invention" virtual gallery tour series, which of course isn't really using any special technology other than screenshots and cut and paste, but we're working with what we've got.
This tour takes you to a part of West Town where a cluster of varied and notable spaces live. Four out of these five have moved to the area within the past 3 years. So, as I just wrote in my recent letter about continuing to support galleries and artists virtually while we all hunker down at home for the time being, find some time between Zoom calls and FaceTiming to view art on that home screen.
I will always emphasize that in-person is far superior to virtual, but right now, virtual is much better than not at all!
And don't forget if you really like something you see online, chances are you and a dealer or artist can figure out how to physically get it to you despite the current climate. Hey, maybe gallery curbside pick-up will be the next big thing!
For our second Virtual Gallery Tour, we take you to five spaces along Carroll and Fulton Streets in the industrial corridor in West Town.
2130 W Fulton
The 45-year old nonprofit CAC supports contemporary Chicago artists and curators by offering residency programs, exhibitions, professional development and resources that enable them to live, work and thrive in the city. Collector groups like Collectors Circle provide social opportunities to access galleries and private collections, which the Chicago Artists Resource now housed on CAC's website offers a central hub for arts jobs postings as well as available art spaces. CAC hosts many exhibitions and events all year. Their spring benefit, Work in Progress, was planned for April but has been postponed.
2156 W Fulton St
Opened in 2004 on N. Ashland, Corbett vs Dempsey moved to this part of the city just a couple years ago. Representing an internationally known group of established artists, many of whom are women, as well as several who are Chicago-based, including Josiah McElheny, Albert Oehlen, Christina Ramberg, Barbara Rossi, Diane Simpson, Cauleen Smith, Karl Wirsum, Christopher Wool, Molly Zuckerman-Hartung.
2010 W Carroll
Circle Contemporary, an extension of the Arts of Life studios, showcases a diverse range of creative practices from individuals of all talents and abilities, aiming to strengthen the local creative community by providing a space and outlet for artistic inspiration and exploration. Circle Contemporary hosts year-round exhibitions with guest curators and artists from inside and outside the studio. Arts of Life was one of the earlier art spaces to move to West Town, in 2008, and marks 20 years in 2020.
2041 W Carroll
After 20 years in River North the gallery recently relocated to West Town. The new space is located inside the Make City Incubator and features soaring 25 foot ceilings and 9 foot windows facing north. The gallery, known for exhibiting glass artists and others who work in 3-dimensional art, is directly across the street from the Gray Warehouse and one block east of Corbett v. Dempsey.
2044 W Carroll
Founded in 1963 as Richard Gray Gallery, this contemporary gallery has two locations in Chicago and one in New York City and is active in both the primary and secondary markets. The Warehouse, an extension to the gallery location at 875 N. Michigan Ave., opened in spring 2017 with an exhibition of paintings by Jim Dine. Since then several exhibitions of large scale works by artists such as Alex Katz, Jaume Plensa, Theaster Gates and David Hockney, and others, have taken place. This spring an exhibition of art by McArthur Binion is planned.