Spring 2023 Publisher's Letter: It's Great to Be Alive
By GINNY VAN ALYEA
Every morning Lin Brehmer proclaimed on the radio, “It’s great to be alive.”
We each understand that life is short, but we feel it acutely when we lose someone or when time seems to move too fast. In January Brehmer, DJ here in Chicago at WXRT for decades, died. His death from cancer was one of too many recent reminders that what he said on air every day is indeed worth remembering. I listened to him on the radio for half my life. Lin was known for staying out late at concerts until the wee hours and then waking up practically in the middle of the night to go back on the air at 6am. He loved music, art, literature, the Cubs, and Chicago. He had lots of friends. I admired him so much. His time was too short, but he made it count.
So what can we recommit to doing while we’re here for such a short time? Looking through past issues of CGN, I came across a 2016 interview with designer, artist, collector and all-around art lover Jason Pickleman, who said then that art is a kind of memory device. Art can remind us of the past, and it can outlast our short time on earth. He admitted then to buying almost everything for his collection at first sight. If it piques his interest, he buys it immediately. He does not hem, haw, think, or research. He abides by a sort of “seize the art” motto. His words are also a reminder to enjoy art as well as life. Life is short. Art lasts longer.
In this spring issue, we record how fast time flies. EXPO is 10. ARC Gallery is 50. Richard Hunt is 87. We aim to capture stories about working to make a difference through art. Each person we interviewed expressed a gratitude for being part of this community as well as a wish to creatively give back to it, either by creating, celebrating or collecting art every precious day.
William Lieberman is both a dealer and a collector committed to supporting living artists. Artist Anna Kunz talks about depicting relationships through color and her pride of being from Chicago all her life. MCA Director Madeleine Grynstezjn makes the case for Chicago’s gift to the art world right now. We also share insights from five art world leaders who are each making new things happen in 2023 and beyond.
Through the end of the summer there are anniversaries to celebrate, road trips to take and exhibitions to explore, hopefully with someone you’re close to. Maybe you will stay up a little later and wake up a little earlier to do it all. Through art we have the opportunity to glimpse the past, make new memories and make each day count.
Happy spring. It’s great to be alive.
This letter is from the Spring 2023 issue of CGN. More stories from the print magazine will be posted online in the coming weeks. To subscribe to the print edition please click here.
Note: the Spring cover features art by Anna Kunz: The Tide, 2021, 66” x 60”, Acrylic on canvas. photo: Dario Lisagne NYC