Letter from the Publisher | Here We Are: Changed but Reopening
By GINNY VAN ALYEA
CGN has always been, and will continue to be, here for our community. Our mission is to make the arts accessible to all and to be an available and evolving resource. We are committed to make a conscious effort to spotlight voices that are marginalized and to give artists the platform to say what they need. Right now we understand the need to make sure black voices are heard and that the art of black artists is seen. CGN stands against racism, all forms of discrimination and abuse. We have said before that art can save lives, but we understand now, more than ever, that art serves as an essential tool to show the world how cultural narratives matter. We see our local art community, once again, joining together to ensure this truth and hope that more people will be willing to see it. We will always support our partners making these critical efforts.
An artist’s view of the world will be seen and experienced through a constructed object, a performance or a concept. This can serve as a powerful resource educating audiences today and in the future . A work of art can connect with the past be it to memorialize tragedy, preserve beauty, or provide a vehicle for participation in a community. It can build a bridge. We know that art can be positively transformative, and we need it now more than ever to raise people up, bring them together and have impactful personal experiences and conversations.
It seems like ages ago already (April 9 to be exact) that I asked in a late night semi-panic what would be left when we get out from under lockdown? I wanted to find the ever-elusive crystal ball that could tell me what was next, of course I was hoping for a more or less happy ending, a bright light at the end of the tunnel.
Almost three months on, there are a few more turns to navigate before we emerge from the events 2020 has unveiled thus far. As we can now tell the landscape we originally knew in early March is now dramatically different. One constant is that I miss my art colleagues. CGN is a tiny office of two, just Emily and me. Our wider network consists of dealers, artists, curators, freelance writers, nonprofit administrators, and many more. I've been home all this time with my two young, yet highly energetic "interns" (read the CGN masthead), and we've all stayed sane. We have had a lot of fun. Now every day is 'take your kids to work day,' and my 6 year old let me know she has to work on a vaccine to fight the virus. There will be a day soon where I will miss being with these two new 'colleagues' all the time.
Phase 3 in Chicago means that businesses may reopen. Many galleries are cautiously and safely doing just that – they are making sure their spaces are safe to enter (masks, sanitizer, all that) so you may once again engage with art in person to support artists and the culture that is so vital to furthering our appreciation of and understanding of the present times. Galleries are also being mindful and considerate of the events of the past several days, with many abstaining from celebrations to ensure the focus is on protesting and coming together throughout the city.
As we have learned so well these past months, art is still available for viewing online 24/7. Virtual shows are not going anywhere as of right now. Choosing to view them and purchase art on your own time and from the safety of home continues to be an excellent option. Spend some time on CGN viewing the full range of in-person as well as virtual programming taking place now and throughout the summer. We will be updating individual hours as we can, but most spaces are beginning to open in some capacity now.
We miss being with you and want everyone to stay safe and to feel supported during this time. It is important to know that galleries will always be a space for connecting and reflection.
The power of art knows no limits.
We will see you again very soon.