WBEZ | Tony Karman http://www.wbez.org/tags/tony-karman Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Expo Chicago’s sophomore outing http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-09/expo-chicago%E2%80%99s-sophomore-outing-108714 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/photo (3)_0.JPG" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-62cb411d-36b1-81de-bd34-6d4426f0e6ec">Musicians often face the pressure of the so-called &ldquo;sophomore curse&rdquo; with their follow-up albums, i.e., will the critics or fans adore it as much as the first record?</p><p dir="ltr">But if <a href="http://expochicago.com/">Expo Chicago</a>&rsquo;s director Tony Karman is feeling a similar pressure around the second outing of his international art fair, he&rsquo;s not saying.</p><p dir="ltr">As dealers and workmen were hustling to install the final fixtures and artworks at Navy Pier&rsquo;s Festival Hall, Karman seemed calm.</p><p dir="ltr">He says his focus this year is the same as last year&rsquo;s: the quality of the work.</p><p dir="ltr">Quality was definitely the headline of last year&rsquo;s festival, and it appears to be back with this year&rsquo;s outing: The beautiful open layout, punctuated by Jeanne Gang&rsquo;s massive airborne sculptural objects. The high-caliber art work from international and local artists.</p><p dir="ltr">Karman has put more emphasis on newer art, partnered with satellite fairs, and wrapped everything in a week-long celebration of Chicago&rsquo;s art scene.</p><p dir="ltr">But, for the moment, Karman says he&rsquo;s trying to sustain what he started.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;My interest is not to make this a mega-fair,&rdquo; Karman said. &ldquo;My interest is to make sure that the scale of this fair fits what this marketplace can sustain.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">What kind of marketplace exists for a Midwestern art fair continues to be the question.</p><p dir="ltr">Last year, lots of dealers did well, selling a lot or even everything they brought.</p><p dir="ltr">That was the case for dealer David Juda, the director of <a href="http://www.annelyjudafineart.co.uk/">Annely Juda Fine Arts</a> in London.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">He&rsquo;s back for a second year, but he&rsquo;s been coming to Chicago since the days of the first international art fair, which was also held on Navy Pier.</p><p dir="ltr">He says the quality and organization has definitely improved - <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_Chicago">in those days</a> they had to wrap the paintings in plastic because the Pier was still open to the elements.</p><p dir="ltr">Jura has brought lots of historic pieces to Chicago, including early 20th century works by artists like <a href="http://www.moholy-nagy.com/">Moholy-Nage</a>. He says local collectors have a &ldquo;sophisticated&rdquo; palate influenced by European traditions, unlike the more &ldquo;Americanized&rdquo; patrons at Art Basel Miami.</p><p dir="ltr">But unlike their Miami counterparts, Jura thinks the Midwestern crowd didn&rsquo;t quite get on the buying board at last year&rsquo;s Expo.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;At Art Basel, the collectors are already thinking how much money they&rsquo;ve got to spend, what they want to buy, they&rsquo;re already sort of primed,&rdquo; said Jura. &ldquo;Hopefully last year was the priming and this year&rsquo;s the success.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Success eluded dealer <a href="http://www.ppowgallery.com/">Wendy Olsoff </a>last year, who comes from P-P-O-W Gallery in New York. Though she said it&rsquo;s &ldquo;not all about the money you make,&rdquo; Osloff said her gallery made only one significant sale.</p><p dir="ltr">Olsoff is back for a second time because she&rsquo;s already invested time and money in Chicago. And last year proved good for networking. But if her bottom line doesn&rsquo;t improve by year three, Olsoff says she&rsquo;d reconsider.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;People hope that it will work, they like Chicago, there&rsquo;s a history of art here,&rdquo; Osloff said. &ldquo;But whether that will happen, who knows.&rdquo;</p><p>Expo Chicago runs September 19-22 at Navy Pier.</p><p><em>Alison Cuddy is WBEZ&rsquo;s Arts and Culture reporter and co-hosts the WBEZ podcasts <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wbezs-changing-channels/id669715774?mt=2">Changing Channels</a> and <a href="https://soundcloud.com/strangebrews">Strange Brews</a>. Follow her on<a href="https://twitter.com/wbezacuddy"> Twitter</a>,<a href="https://www.facebook.com/cuddyalison?ref=tn_tnmn"> Facebook</a> and<a href="http://instagram.com/cuddyreport"> Instagram</a></em></p></p> Thu, 19 Sep 2013 09:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-09/expo-chicago%E2%80%99s-sophomore-outing-108714 Week of Art coming to Chicago in Fall 2013 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-02/week-art-coming-chicago-fall-2013-105609 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/620-expo_0.jpg" title="Expo Chicago 2012 (WBEZ/Lewis Wallace)" /></p><p><a href="http://www.expochicago.com/">Expo Chicago</a>, the city&#39;s latest effort at an international art fair, took place over a few days last September.</p><p>But for their second go-round, organizers are thinking more is more.</p><p>They&#39;ve announced plans to wrap their fall art fair into a week-long festival of art and culture: <a href="http://www.expochicago.com/expo-art-week">Expo Art Week.</a></p><p>Expo Art Week will take place September 16-22 in 2013. Expo Chicago will host its vernissage at Navy Pier on September 19 and run through the 22.</p><p>Tony Karman is the Director of Expo Chicago. He says a week-long art festival will meet the expectations of art patrons everywhere.</p><p>&quot;They&#39;re coming for the art fairs,&quot; Kalman said. &quot;But they&#39;re also coming to experience our great theatre, our great dance, our restaurants. That&#39;s really the takeaway for the international art collector or art enthusiasts.&quot;</p><p>Also on board for Expo Art Week is Chicago&#39;s Department of Cultural Affairs and Choose Chicago, which is the tourism and marketing wing of the city.</p><p>Kalman says he hasn&#39;t asked city officials for outright financial support, but does say it is a &quot;huge facilitator&quot; in terms of &nbsp;&quot;organizational and messaging&quot; support.</p><p>Karman has also snagged some of Chicago&#39;s blue ribbon cultural institutions as collaborators.</p><p>Participants include: The Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, and Joffrey Ballet.</p><p>Karman promises there will be many more institutions on the list come September.</p><p>In far shorter supply, at least so far, are details about how the art week would actually work. &nbsp;</p><p>Organizers did say that <a href="http://www.acreresidency.org/">ACRE</a>, a local art collective and residency, will lead tours of &quot;alternative and apartment based galleries&quot; in neighborhoods like Garfield Park.</p><p>And some participants are cooking up other ideas.</p><p>Gail Kalver is Executive Director of River North Chicago Dance Company. She hopes her troupe will put on performances at the Expo, or she may just send dancers in some of the company&#39;s costumes.</p><p>&quot;There&rsquo;s a particular piece that has a huge red train,&quot; Kalver said. &quot;We have some beautiful costumes and I think they would go well at some of the public events.&quot;</p><p>Spectacle is a draw, but so is the prospect of money.</p><p>Northern Trust, which helped fund the Expo last year, has now signed on as the event&rsquo;s leading sponsor.</p><p>&quot;Frankly arts and culture is something for our clients are very interested in,&quot; said Steve &quot;Mac&quot; MacLellan, &nbsp;Executive VP of Wealth Management. &quot;It&rsquo;s a way for us to give back and is recognized by our clients as well.&quot;</p><p>Launching a new art week right as Chicago&#39;s fall art season gets underway means an even busier cultural calendar for many locals.&nbsp;</p><p>But Gail Kalver of River North Dance Chicago isn&#39;t worried. &quot;I&#39;m the Pollyanna. I think it is a really extraordinary opportunity to be able to highlight your group before you open your season. So I think any arts organization would welcome being part of it.&quot;</p></p> Tue, 19 Feb 2013 14:14:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-02/week-art-coming-chicago-fall-2013-105609 Can Expo Chicago make Chicago an international art destination? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2012-09/can-expo-chicago-make-chicago-international-art-destination-102529 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/620-expo.jpg" title="Expo Chicago, Navy Pier (WBEZ/Lewis Wallace)" /> <a href="http://www.expochicago.com/"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F60474284&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false&amp;color=ffe12b" width="100%"></iframe></a></p><p><a href="http://www.expochicago.com/">Expo Chicago </a>is the latest in a long history of attempts to create a truly international art fair in Chicago.&nbsp;</p><p>As Wednesday&#39;s opening night reception approaches, the fair&#39;s site, at Festival Hall on Navy Pier, is a whirl of activity.&nbsp;Workers are unloading wineglasses and polishing floors. Representatives from galleries around the world are taking care of last-minute details.</p><p>Natalia Sacasa is the senior director of Luhring Augustine, a New York gallery. She loves the look of Expo Chicago. &quot;It&rsquo;s beautiful, open space,&quot; she says. &quot;And the mix of galleries is very interesting. It&rsquo;s not the usual group of galleries we see at other international fairs.&quot;<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/230-expo2.jpg" style="float: right;" title="Natalia Sacasa (WBEZ/Lewis Wallace)" /></p><p>Sacasa&rsquo;s gallery has exhibited in Chicago before, and has a base of collectors here.&nbsp;She&rsquo;s excited about the potential of Expo Chicago, but she has one hesitation. &quot;We are wondering if we&rsquo;re going to see collectors from outside of Chicago.&quot;</p><div class="image-insert-image ">Collectors who didn&#39;t show up foiled previous attempts to sustain an international art fair here. So&nbsp;Expo Chicago organizer Tony Karman had his work cut out for him.</div><p>He lured international galleries, and found collaborators across Chicago&rsquo;s art world, from major musuems to emerging dealers. He says he has no doubt that his event will succeed because of the strength of Chicago&#39;s overall art scene. &quot;Our institutions are on fire. Our galleries are on fire. Our curators are on fire. This is our time.&quot;</p><p><em>The opening vernissage for Expo Chicago is Wednesday night. The fair runs through Sunday</em>.</p><p style="">&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 19 Sep 2012 16:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2012-09/can-expo-chicago-make-chicago-international-art-destination-102529