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Tony Karman: Reflections on EXPO CHICAGO

Editor's Note: Tony Karman is the President/Director of EXPO CHICAGO. Now entering its 3rd year, EXPO CHICAGO is an international exposition of modern and contemporary art at Navy Pier, bringing artists from around the world to display their work in Chicago.

As we celebrate our third edition, it is important to reflect on how far we have come in establishing this annual September tradition. Chicago’s civic pride, paired closely with its value of the arts, has proven to be a definitive catalyst for making EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art, so successful. For the past three years, the international exposition has been instrumental in attracting renowned galleries, curators, critics and collectors from around the world. The response from our city this year, as always, is so encouraging.

EXPO CHICAGO/2014 welcomes over 140 galleries, representing 17 countries and 43 cities, presenting material ranging from museum quality blue chip masterpieces alongside some of the most cutting-edge, emerging contemporary work being made today.  In addition to the main exposition, which returns to iconic Navy Pier, an unprecedented number of Chicago's museums and galleries have aligned to be opening major exhibitions the same time as EXPO CHICAGO. The institutional alignments make this year’s EXPO ART WEEK (September 15–21) a robust schedule not to be missed by locals and visitors alike.

Our unmatched programming returns again this year: /Dialogues, the series of panel discussions in partnership with The School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Special Exhibitions featuring exhibits by select non-profit organizations and institutions and several Special Projects; EXPO VIDEO, a dynamic and cutting-edge display of film, video and new media works; IN/SITU, a curated selection of site-specific projects taking place on Navy Pier, and the inaugural IN/SITU Outside, placing large-scale public works throughout the city of Chicago.

EXPO Chicago 2013
Image: EXPO CHICAGO/2013. Photo by Paul Audia.

In 2013, over 30,000 people attended the exposition and participated in off-site activities hosted by local institutions, non-profit organizations, and galleries. Our cultural partners, such as Chicago Loop Alliance, are no exception in the continued success of EXPO CHICAGO. CLA’s commitment to developing, supporting, and promoting public cultural events is matched by its support of this international endeavor. Leading by example, CLA proves its dynamism as an arts-conscious, economic driver within downtown Chicago. By having partners such as these—who are driving highly engaged patrons to cultural touchstones in our city, both on and off the pier—EXPO CHICAGO has solidified its place on the international arts calendar, making Chicago the place to be this September.

See you at Navy Pier.

Tony Karman

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