Fresh Eyes as Galleries and Art Spaces Re-Open
By GINNY VAN ALYEA
A couple months ago, we began highlighting all the virtual offerings that area galleries and museums were introducing in order to bring art to all of us while we stayed at home. Last week, June 3 marked the first official day that area art spaces and businesses could re-open under the Governor and Mayor's Phase 3 re-opening plan for the city and state.
As expected, many spaces are happy to be able to welcome the public back to engage with art in person. While so much of our world has gone virtual these past couple of months, we may be craving connection and presence just as much as we wish to remain safe and healthy. Each gallery and space has their own plan for resuming in-person business right now and for taking care of their clients, visitors and artists.
Each space part of a larger, vital and creative (essential!) community. Now, instead of focusing just on the latest digital offerings, CGN will be spotlighting the galleries and organizations that are opening their doors again, and we will make the effort to update hours and information online as best we can. Following are offerings from galleries, studios, sculpture parks and architecture sites throughout the area.
People are getting creative about how to be safe as well as welcoming. We are excited to see our friends again and encourage you to visit and support these spaces as you are able. Updates are coming to us daily, so visit chicagogallerynews.com to see what is happening.
CEG opened to the public for regular hours again on June 3, with social distancing guidelines in place. The gallery is also planning its first exhibition opening since the shutdown for July 10. Titled Photography & _____, the statement about the show explains that most art making is a solitary process, void of outside voices, as a blank piece of paper or canvas is transformed into a work of art. But there has always been a rich history of artists who collaborate to create work. In the spirit of these collectives, CEG presents an exhibition that brings together photographers and other creatives to create one-of-a-kind pieces. CEG invited each participant to reach out to a fellow artist to create a collaborative piece. There were no limitations placed on the work, except that photography must be incorporated into each piece.
The concept for Photography & _____ started late last year, before anyone had heard of Covid-19. It now seems prophetic that after being closed for ten weeks, the gallery's first exhibition post stay-at-home is about collaboration. With everyone isolated at home, most of the participating artists relied on Zoom, Skype, and phone calls to create works of art. 40+ artists will show their work.
The River North gallery reopened last week with limited hours: 10 am – 2 pm. They are also open anytime by appointment. This Friday afternoon, they are holding a meet-the-artist event with Lee Grantham, June 12, 2-6 pm. In a sign of what may be the future of openings for the foreseeable future, they will welcome socially distant groups (ten guests in the gallery at a time, with masks or face covering) and request that you contact them (312-440-0770) to reserve a time.
Zolla/Lieberman has mounted an exhibition that may be seen in person in the gallery, or through the gallery windows on Huron Street, 24/7. The show, FACE to FACE, features self-portraits by more than 75 artists and will be on view until October 2020.
GT has reopened with new business hours, 10–5 Monday through Saturday, and shared they are excited to be able to receive customers again and have new pieces and interesting vignettes to show off. Staff is available to help you design interior spaces that blend the best of ancient and modern elements.
They are continuously disinfecting the store, wearing masks and limiting the number of people that can be in the store at any one time. In a sign of times, a sanitizing station has been placed at the store entrance and disposable masks are available for customer use.
The public reopening of Wright's Home and Studio and Robie House takes place Thursday, June 11.
Tickets for outdoor and interior tours may be purchased in advance online or on site in Oak Park and Hyde Park. Outdoor neighborhood audio walking tours will be available for purchase on site only. Additionally, Pedal Oak Park biking tours through Oak Park's historic neighborhoods have resumed.
theNate began reopening to the GSU community on June 1. They shared advice on how to visit while respecting fellow visitors. And for your time at home, they came up with a Young Artist Sculpture Projects downloadable PDF – a cool resource for making your own sculptures (noting that we are all young at heart when it comes to making art.) You're invited to post pictures of your results and tag theNate on Instagram. New public hours are 7am to 7pm Monday through Friday. The only building you may enter is a restroom at the “A North” entrance designated for use by visitors to theNate.
Founder Betsy Nathan shared in an email to clients, "In art, we see the resilience of the human spirit. During these challenging times, we’re doing our best to respond to the needs of our clients, team and community. Like everyone, we are making decisions one day at a time while adhering to CDC recommendations." PAGODA RED has re-opened its Bucktown gallery and warehouse, noting that their 15,000 sf lofty space is conducive to the city guidelines for social distancing. They also continue their robust online presence to serve locals as well as clients around the country and have been scheduling time for staff to show objects in the gallery via FaceTime or Zoom. In April they began offering virtual backgrounds to use on Zoom, etc.
Spudnik has been working on the best practices for welcoming the community back to the studio. They are sharing all that they have worked hard to put in place to ensure they are able to maintain a healthy environment for everyone who visits and are asking everyone to Please Review All New Rules & Procedures Before Your Next Visit
In addition to Covid-19 related modifications, they have re-envisioned our Open Studio program to allow for a better experience and to better support your artistic endeavors, be they professional or for pleasure. To facilitate BOTH social distancing AND new expanded Open Studio hours, everyone must now make reservations, selecting in advance what part of the studio they will use. To make this happened they just unveiled a brand new automated reservation system They are also continuing many of their popular virtual offerings via Zoom for the time being.