20. September 2012 09:09
Last night much of the art world gathered at Navy Pier for the opening of EXPO Chicago, otherwise once again known as Vernissage (according to Wikipedia: A vernissage (varnishing, from French) is a term used for a preview of an art exhibition, often private, before the formal opening. Guests may be served canapes and wine as they discuss with artists and others the works in the exhibition.) Benefitting the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and made possible with support from the MCA Trustees and the Women's Board, Vernissage was a jaw-dropping chance for visitors and scenesters to get a first look at the fair, while enjoying an entertaining evening of food, drinks, entertainment and people-watching. The fair's much-talked about trio of mylar vortexes were hung from the ceiling of Festival Hall, serving as points of reference for where to find food and drinks all evening, while adding a soaring amount of shine and silver.
I first attended Vernissage in 2003 during Art Chicago's final years on the Pier before moving to the park and then the Merchandise Mart, so what I remember was not really most art fans in Chicago recall so fondly. However, my husband used to attend Vernissage 15 and 2 years ago, and last night he simply said that it all finally felt like the old days again. The art was strong, the booths were big enough to let the art breathe, and the Pier showed it all off very well.
The CGN office snapped a few photos of art and people from last night. Have a look, and then come see it all for yourself today and this weekend. Remember you can pick up a complimentary issue of Chicago Gallery News at the fair, as well as sign up for a subscription discount. We'll be on site at the info booth at the top of the escalator. And of course don't forget that 4 free shuttles will be running from EXPO to the MCA to River North and the West Loop gallery districts through Saturday, 2-8pm each day. More info may be found HERE