Chicago Art Review @ MDW Fair

This weekend is the Midway / MDW Fair, a popularly explosive art event organized by Ed Marszewski and threewalls, Roots and Culture and the Public Media Institute, happening this weekend, April 26-27th @ the The Geolofts, 3636 S. Iron Street, Chicago. Included in the list of participants are two projects of mine: the Chicago Art Review booth, featuring a project by Philip von Zweck, and the publisher’s table, featuring an interactive demo of my developing social art criticism project of the same name.

Also, on Sunday at 4PM, I’ll be speaking on the New Chicago Visual Arts Advocacy panel along with Elizabeth Chodos, Associate Director of Ox-bow, Laura A. Fox, marketing professional, arts writer and Intuit Board member, Barbara Koenen, Artist and Director of Chicago Artists Resource, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and Abraham Ritchie, independent art critic and Senior Editor for ArtSlant: Chicago. This panel will be chaired be Britton Bertran.

Here’s more information on the fair’s and its participants:

Press Release:

CHICAGO: threewalls, Roots and Culture and Public Media Institute announce The MDW Fair, a gathering of independent art initiatives, spaces, galleries and artist groups from the Chicago metropolitan area. Held April 23-24, 2011 at The Geolofts, 3636 S. Iron Street, Chicago. The MDW Fair will demonstrate the diversity, strength and vision of the people/places making it happen in the art ecology of our region.

The fair features for-profit, 501(c)3, and commercial and unincorporated galleries, independent curatorial projects and publishers and media groups in over 25,000 square feet of exhibition space that includes a 8,000 square foot sculpture garden with work by local artists. The MDW Fair is a manifestation of the collective spirit behind the region’s most innovative visual cultural organizers, focusing on the breadth of work done here by artists and arts-facilitators alike.

Spaces/Curatorial Projects:

Adds Donna
Alderman Exhibitions
Packer Schopf Gallery
Bad At Sports
Blackpoint Editions
Chicago Art Review
Chicago Urban Arts Society
Columbia College A&D Department
Devening Projects + Editions
Department of Visual Art  U of C
Flat 9 Prelude
Green Gallery
Heaven Gallery
Harold Arts
Hornswaggler Arts
Hyde Park Art Center
Iceberg Projects
Johalla Projects
Linda Warren
Lloyd Dobler
Monument 2
No Coast
Pentagon Gallery
Oskar Friedl Gallery
Portage ARTspace
Rebuild Foundation (Dorchester Project)
Regional Relationships
Reuben Kincaid/ Co-Prosperity Sphere
Roots and Culture
Tag Team
The Hills
The JNL Graphic Design
The Post Family
Sidecar Gallery
The Stockyard Institute
The Storefront / Silver Galleon
The Suburban
Twelve Galleries Project
Western Exhibitions
What it is
ZG Gallery


Alternative Press Center
Soberscove Press
Golden Age
Half Letter Press
Neoteric Art
Area Magazine
Post Press
Fill In the Blank Gallery
Fine Line Magazine
Spudnik Press
Readymade Magazine

In the Sculpture Garden:

Mike Andrews, Dayton Castleman, Jacob C. Hammes, Jesse Harrod, Cody Hudson, Daniel Lavitt, Heather Mekkelson, Brian Murer, The Mt. Baldy Expedition: James Barry and Hui-min Tsen, Ben Stone, and Patrick Willi.



2:30-3:30 PM: Tom Burtonwood will be leading On the Road, a conversation about artist run / dealer led art fairs + expos, creating new markets, and inviting attendees to discuss the pros and cons of producing a similar satellite event outside of Chicago. Tom Burtonwood is an artist and co-founder of What It Is an exhibition space in Oak Park, IL. In a previous life he organized art fairs in Berlin, Chicago, London, Miami & New York.

4-5 PM: Making it work
These spaces are rethinking and re-imagining how to distribute, exhibit, and position the artists they support, whether it be in producing public art projects, creating multi-use venues, adapting space within universities, or developing new exhibition possibilities. This panel will discuss models that are making it happen.
Featuring: The Chicago Urban Art Society, Johalla Projects, Packer Schopf Gallery, Slow Gallery, and DoVA Temporary

5-6 PM: Outside/Inside
These exhibition venues fill a much-needed gap in the Chicago and regional art-world, providing space and opportunities for artists experimentation and career growth. The panelists will discuss their approach to working with artists, how they sit in relationship to more mainstream, commercial or institutional exhibition sites, and how they decide their curatorial program.
Featuring: Pentagon Gallery, PEREGRINEPROGRAM, Lloyd Dobler Gallery, Iceberg Projects, SideCar, LVL3

6-7 PM: The artists’ perspective
Giving control over to artists to produce and disseminate their own work or forming communities of mutual support through exhibitions, residency opportunities and one-night events, these spaces and projects actively interrogate how to provide new forums for artists’ voices to be heard.
Featuring: The Post Family, Regional Relationships, ACRE, Floor Length and Tux, The Suburban


The Better Together panels will explore collective selection and organization by examining the nature of collaboration. Each of the panelists employ unique models that facilitate experimentation while still engaging vast and varied publics through multiple disciplines and perspectives, and it is the goal of these discussions to find out why such group efforts are so important to audience and community building.

2 PM: Better Together—Part One

The first panel discussion focuses on curatorial collaboration and negotiation between partners within a fixed space. Featuring panelists Garry Alderman and Ellen Hartwell Alderman of Alderman Exhibitions/Method Bicycle Company, a project space that aims to provide emerging artists, architects and designers with a place to collaborate across disciplines, and Tom Burtonwood and Holly Holmes of What It Is, a domestic space and venue for installations,happenings, dinners, garden parties, screenings and so forth.

3 PM: Better Together—Part Two

The second panel centers its attention to collective organizing and the collaboration intrinsic to planning multi-person events and projects. Panelists include Jason Dunda and Teena McClelland of the Alliance of Pentaphilic Curators, a coalition of sorts that puts together a series of solemn celebrations that will memorialize five cultural ideas, and the ladies of Quite Strong, a design and events collaborative made up of five female Chicago-based creatives: Elaine Chernov, Jana Kinsman, Victoria Pater, Jennifer Sisson and Katherine Walker.

4 PM: A New Chicago Visual Arts Advocacy

This discussion will be framed around the context of a specified advocacy specifically for the visual arts in Chicago.  A sample of topics and questions to be pursued include: what arts advocacy means specifically in 2011 and with the visual arts in particular; how “regime change” with a new mayor and the loss of Lois Weisburg can help propel Chicago visual arts into the 21st century; the effectiveness of the City when it comes to promoting artists from within; what non-governmental support and concepts exist, and; soliciting ideas from the audience for further components to making things work for artists and the individuals that support them.

Participants include: Steve Ruiz of Chodos, Associate Director of Ox-bow, Laura A. Fox, marketing professional, arts writer and Intuit Board member, Barbara Koenen, Artist and Director of Chicago Artists Resource, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and Abraham Ritchie, independent art critic and Senior Editor for ArtSlant: Chicago. This panel will be chaired be Britton Bertran, Program Manager at Urban Gateways and Independent Curator.

Hope to see you there!

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