As I travel around the country, I keep meeting people who are doing the most creative things to get exposure for emerging artists, and it inspires me beyond measure. In Chicago, there seemed to be cool things bubbling up everywhere I looked. Maybe because Chicago was one of the forerunners of the apartment gallery scene (along with San Francisco), the arts community there has seen the success of DIY and how to run with it. Apartment galleries have become such a fixture in the arts scene, that many established galleries consider them feeders for bringing new talent to their attention. (This warms my Crusading heart!) Matthew Avignone - a photographer, curator and energetic advocate for all things Chicago and art - is the studio manager at David Weinberg Photography, and he has transformed a section of this gorgeous space in the epicenter of Chicago's iconic galleries for a curatorial project called The Coat Check. The Coat Check puts on exhibitions by emerging artists and gives them the opportunity for high visibility and exposure, due to the location and built-in audience the Weinberg Gallery brings.
They have put up two exhibitions, and I was able to catch a sneak peek at the super top-secret upcoming work. But one of my favorite parts was this newsprint publication they produce for each show that acts as poster, souvenir, informative guide and collectible publication. This is a great branding idea - each is unique, but the consistency makes you want them all.
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