02 May 2010


I plan to investigate the alternative gallery spaces of Chicago's contemporary art world. This may take awhile, so you get to follow along, contribute, or criticize.

A phrase I have heard quite a few times, especially recently, states "Chicago comes in third in a race with only two places."  It's a little disheartening, but, while New York and Los Angeles try to run the contemporary art scene in the States, Chicago fills in the gaps and makes alternative venues to compensate.  I am particularly interested in these spaces, over the commercial and traditional gallery spaces, where they are, who runs them, how they came about, and what their role is in the bigger art scene.

Some examples of these alternative art scenes to be explored in Chicago include one-night-only gallery shows, temporary or moving spaces, temporary or unmarketable works and the venues that show them, and “outside of the box” art happenings.   More specific examples I would like to investigate may include:
  • Sound/noise spaces, Enemy Gallery
  • Installation-only spaces, such as Medicine Cabinet and Second Bedroom
  • City-wide happenings: the pillow fight day, zombie march, and the naked bike ride
  • Online resources, Art Talk Chicago's Gallery Snack Report
  • Pilsen Drawing Nights, underground events not found on Google
  • Post Pilsen, Swimming Pool Project Space, Black Market, Slow (Paul Hopkin), Temporary Services
  • Three Wall Publications & Green Lantern Press: Artist Run Chicago (check Flaxman and Flash) Phonebook, Organizing Arts
    The format of this project will be this blog, and eventually a blog-centered website. At it's most basic state, the website will contain a directory of web links to information on the topics, spaces, and artists investigated, and the blog will focus on news, interviews, and conversations with influential artists, curators, et cetera.

    I not only welcome, but will soon be searching out your input. If you would like to contribute, please contact me at altartchicago@gmail.com

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