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Tony Karman: EXPO CHICAGO Returns Sept. 22-25

Editor's Note: Tony Karman is the President/Director of EXPO CHICAGO. Now in its fifth year as a leading international art fair, EXPO CHICAGO (Sept. 22 – 25, 2016) is a four-day art event featuring 145 leading international galleries and offering diverse programs, bringing artists from around the world to display their work in Chicago.  

As we celebrate our fifth 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 five 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/2016 welcomes over 140 leading galleries, representing 22 countries and 53 cities, presenting material ranging from museum quality masterpieces alongside some of the most cutting-edge, emerging contemporary work being made today. This year’s program includes EXPOSURE—a section that affords younger galleries the opportunity to participate in a major international art fair. With the exposition as its centerpiece, EXPO ART WEEK (September 19–25) features the city’s most prestigious institutions with select aligned programming for this citywide celebration of arts and culture including museum exhibitions, gallery openings, outdoor installations, public art projects, music, theater, and dance performances. In addition, EXPO CHICAGO continues to publish THE SEEN, Chicago's International Journal of Contemporary & Modern Art, following the first printed edition, which launched during the 2015 exposition.  

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 showcasing select international organizations, non-profits and institutions; and several Special Projects; EXPO VIDEO, a curated, cutting-edge selection of film, video and new media works; as well as IN/SITU and IN/SITU Outside and EXPO Projects, a curated selection of site-specific projects presented both on the main floor of the exposition, and throughout the city of Chicago. This year we’re thrilled to present, alongside the City of Chicago, the inaugural OVERRIDE | A Billboard Project, a citywide public art initiative featuring 15 artists on 28 of Chicago’s digital billboards, providing EXPO CHICAGO a key opportunity beyond Navy Pier to showcase works in neighborhoods throughout the city. 

In 2015, over 35,000 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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