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ARTROPOLIS Preview: 10 Can't Miss Options

By Ben Schuman Stoler in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 29, 2010 5:40PM

Photo by Mike-Chicago
At long long loooong last, art people, Artropolis is here. The biggest art expo in Chicago combines three shows—Art Chicago, NEXT, and The Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair—and goes from tonight to Sunday at Merchandise Mart.

You better believe collectors, gallery reps, and art geeks will be in town from all over the world this weekend. Besides Artropolis, most of the city’s galleries are premiering new work, staying open late (there’s even a Saturday night trolley between the West Loop and River North galleries...sorry, Pilsen), or throwing parties. This is the weekend for anyone involved in Chicago art to shake their moneymaker, so to speak.

For a preview, Paul Klein put up some sexy installation photos, and we asked the head of Merchandise Mart PR, Maura Bruton, for a list of 10 things not to miss (also after the jump: a way to get free tickets for the show):

1. Preview party tonight!

2. Designers on Call - attendees of the antiques fair can make an appointment for a one-hour ASID-IL designer consultation Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

3. Indoor/Outdoor sculptures - 27 total located inside and outside the mart

4. Scott Hunt at Robert Goff Gallery at NEXT - The artist has turned the booth into an entire environment (wallpaper, floor coverings) to highlight his drawings of the "American Dream gone Wrong."

5. The Spanish Edge at NEXT: Young Spanish Art in Context - A selection Spain's top emerging galleries will give Chicago a taste of the country’s cutting edge art.

6. NEXT Projects - Large-scale sculpture and ambitious installations presented outside of traditional booths. Projects on include Christophe Roberts (Lyons Wier Gallery), Richard Haden (Dorsch Gallery), Cordy Ryman (DCKT), Fraser Taylor (Balloon), Michael Rea (EBERSMOORE), Daniel Heyman (Cade Tompkins Projects), Dan Baird (Swimming Pool Project Space), Tony Tasset and Theaster Gates (Kavi Gupta Gallery) and others.

7. Converge Curators Forum/Curating and the Expansion Art Chicago Art Spot, 12th Floor - Curators discuss the challenges and rewards of mounting exhibitions in dynamic, architecturally-driven museum expansions. Using their own institution as a frame of reference, this conversation will address curatorial issues from a practical point of view, while also touching on the symbolic impact of contemporary architecture on the display of art and the museum experience. Panelists include Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director, Denver Art Museum, Jan Schall, Sanders Sosland Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Nelson Atkins Museum; Brady Roberts, Chief Curator, Milwaukee Art Museum; and Jacob Proctor, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, University of Michigan Museum of Art and Linda O. Stanford, Project Manager, Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University.

8. Perspective Texas, our special programming focus on the Lone Star State, will host top Texas collectors and curators from The Dallas Art Museum, Rachofsky House, Arthouse, Artspace, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, The Blanton Museum and more.

9. New Insight, an annual exhibition of rising MFA students from the country’s most influential art programs, curated by Susanne Ghez of The Renaissance Society.

10. Partisan, a display of works that critically explore social and political ideas; and Survey America, a floor-wide exhibit that highlights extraordinary works by artists living and working in the United States.

11. Collectors programs include a Docent Program, which debuted successfully in 2009 to museum, corporate and school groups, led by art professionals and consultants to help patrons and collectors navigate the fair and provide assistance with questions about works of art.

So, want free tickets?