Art 1997 Chicago takes place at the city's historic Navy Pier, May 9-12, 1997, organized for the fifth consecutive year by Thomas Blackman Associates. Why go? Ten reasons, cribbed from the press kit of Shields Communications.
1. See the largest (and only serious) contemporary art fair in the U.S.,
featuring some 200 dealers from 22 countries and 17 U.S. cities--
including 48 from New York -- spread out over 165,000 square
feet of exhibition space.
2. Be a class act and attend the private Vernissage '97, Thursday, May 8, a gala hosted by the tony women's board of the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art. Tickets start at $150; contact Gina Crowley at the MCA, 312-280-2660.
3. Meet people from Helsinki (Galerie Kaj Forsblom), Rio (Joel Edelstein Arte Contemporanea), Prague (Jiri Svestka Gallery), Verona (Studio La Citta), Tokyo (Taka Ishii Gallery), Seoul (Galerie Bhak) and Monterrey (Galeria Ramis Barquet).
4. Chicago actually has nice weather in May.
5. Navy Pier has a 150-foot-tall Ferris wheel.
6. The Chicago Art Dealer's Association sponsors a walk through the River North gallery district on Sunday, May 11, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information call (312) 649-0065.
7. The Art Institute of Chicago unveils its new galleries of
Contemporary Art on Friday, May 9 (invitation required).
8. Blackman Associates reports that contemporary art sales for
the 177 exhibitors at last year's Art 1996 Chicago totaled "upwards
of $25 million" -- which compares favorably to the concurrent New York auctions of contemporary art at Christie's ($15.3 million) and Sotheby's ($13.4 million).
9. Restaurants (the Everest Room, Topolobampo, Kamehachi, the Wishbone), dancing (Red Dog), live jazz (Bop Shop), live blues (the Checkerboard Lounge).
10. Compare the real-world fair to its online manifestation, at http://www.artchicago.com.