CHICAGO ARCHITECTURE BIENNIAL ANNOUNCES COMMUNITY ANCHOR SITES FOR 2017

April 11, 2017

April 11, 2017-

Today the Chicago Architecture Biennial announced an expansion into Chicago’s neighborhoods by adding six museums and institutions that will serve as Community Anchor sites for 2017. They include The Beverly Arts Center, DePaul Art Museum, DuSable Museum of African American History, Hyde Park Art Center, the National Museum of Mexican Art, and the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture.

During the second edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, this consortium of community sites will provide a variety of events, exhibitions and programs that will encourage visitors to explore different locations throughout the city, as well as experience some of Chicago’s historic museums. The initiative is funded through the generous support of The Chicago Community Trust and confirms the Chicago Architecture Biennial’s commitment to being a city-wide initiative by expanding beyond downtown.

“There is no better place than the City of Chicago to come together, share ideas, and focus on the future of architecture and design,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “The 2017 Chicago Architectural Biennial will build on the success of the inaugural2015 event and feature Community Anchor sites in neighborhoods across the city. We are proud to share Chicago’s world-class architecture with visitors from across the country and around the world this fall.”

The 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial is free and open to the public from September 16, 2017 through January 7, 2018. More than 100 architects and artists representing countries from around the world were selected to present their work around this year’s theme, “Make New History.” The opening of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial will align with the sixth annual EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art, which will run September 13-17 at Navy Pier.

The Community Anchor sites were selected to display additional exhibitions that will complement the programming presented at the Chicago Cultural Center, the main hub of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Each site will have its own unique programming, ranging from installations to historic tours and more. Several institutions, including DuSable Museum of African American History and Hyde Park Art Center, are tapping local artists like esteemed photographer Lee Bey and Chicago Architecture Biennial alumna Amanda Williams to create projects. The Beverly Arts Center, the National Museum of Mexican Art, and the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture will examine the heritage of their building sites and how they relate to the architecture, design and histories of nearby neighborhoods and cultures. DePaul Art Museum is bringing in an international artist to create an immersive installation that considers modernist architecture from a post-colonial African perspective.

This year, The Chicago Community Trust is providing a $200,000 grant for the Community Anchor sites to support the development and curation of the special programs and exhibitions that will be on display for the duration of the Chicago Architecture Biennial.

“Each neighborhood in Chicago has rich history and a strong passion for the arts,” said Terry Mazany, President and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust. “The Chicago Community Trust is providing this grant to the Community Anchor sites to help create excellent architecture-related  programming throughout the Chicago Architecture Biennial.”

The Chicago Architecture Biennial is a privately funded organization and has drawn support from major civic and business leaders. “The Chicago Architecture Biennial is an international exposition that reinforces the city as a premier place for the practice of architecture and design as well as intellectual conversation about the field,” said Chicago Architecture Biennial Board Chairman, Jack Guthman. “This is an exposition for both Chicagoans and visitors to heIp them experience the city’s rich cultural legacy and the neighborhoods, museums and institutions that make Chicago what it is today.”

In addition to the exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center and programming at the six Community Anchor sites, the Chicago Architecture Biennial will have a variety of other exhibitions, events and programs- downtown and dispersed throughout the city and surrounding region. The full list of program partner institutions wi II be announced later this spring.

 

DePaul Art Museum

In the heart of the Lincoln Park Campus of DePaul University, DePaul Art Museum Director Julie Rodrigues Widhalm will organize the first U.S. solo exhibition of work by Mozambican-Portuguese artist Angela Ferreira. Ferreira’s research-based investigations tap into the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial theme “Make New History,” and her work mines the complex historical relations that link African indigenous culture, slavery and European modernism. Ferreira makes historical ideas tangible through documentary photographs, architectural drawings and a structure that will become a platform for performances and community gatherings. In this exhibition, Ferreira will bring together two unrealized projects: Mies van der Rohe’s 1913 commission for a private museum/house in Holland, and Mozambican architect Pancho Guedes’s Circus School in Cape Town, South Africa.

“Mies van der Rohe’s modernism is synonymous with Chicago architecture. Angela Ferreira’s work offers a unique perspective on this familiar subject, while connecting Chicago to a global conversation around the history and politics of architectural forms and materials,” said Wid holm. “Ferreira’s work as an artist allows us to consider the complicated relationship between art, architecture and social concerns in order to write new histories.”

 

ARTFORUM CRITIC’S PICK

February 24, 2017

Congratulations to guest-curator Danny Orendorff and all the artists of “One day this kid will get larger” on receiving an Art Forum Critic’s Pick. 

Next Generation Leadership Circle

January 10, 2017

Now that I have settled into my first year as director of DePaul Art Museum, I have a sense of our fundamental purpose:

Through the art of our time, DPAM provides a platform to connect people and advance knowledge in a global society.

But this is just the beginning. Crain’s Chicago Business recently asked if I can make DPAM a “major player” and with your help, the answer is YES!

I invite you to join us as a founding member of DPAM’s Next Generation Leadership Circle. With an annual donation of $500 or more:

  • You will help shape the story of how DePaul Art Museum becomes a meaningful cultural hub within the city of Chicago.
  • You will support equity and inclusive opportunities for students, artists, interns and audiences.
  • You will keep art accessible with free admission and free programs for everyone.
  • You will have access to special events and opportunities throughout the year with DPAM staff and artists.

 

First and foremost, I invite you to help me build a program that provides a platform for under-recognized artistic voices. As you can see in our upcoming exhibitions, we are implementing this right away by featuring a wide range of artists from Chicago and beyond.

At this time, more than ever, it is critical that we make visible the wide spectrum of human experience through unique forms of expression. It is urgent that we create a space that promotes visual literacy, critical thinking and the ability to engage with difference in a productive and civil manner, while recognizing artistic excellence.

Next, we are committed to positioning Chicago as a global city in dialogue with internationally recognized artists by weaving Chicago-based artists from all stages of their career into our exhibitions and programs.

We recognize and value how art occupies a sacred space where language often fails and through our programs, we explore how art is connected to all facets of life. As a center for teaching and learning, the museum is a portal to the University’s academic strengths, and for our students, a portal to a global perspective that addresses the complicated and contradictory nature of human experience, past and present.

I invite you to join me as a founding supporter of our new annual giving program, the Next Generation Leadership Circle. With your help and forward-thinking vision, we can build a community that recognizes how art reaffirms our humanity and fosters critical conversations.

Your gift will enable us to organize programs that support the Next Generation of

  • lifelong learning opportunities through the visual arts
  • scholars and scholarship
  • equitable opportunities for artists
  • museum professionals who reflect our communities
  • culturally curious critical thinkers
  • innovators and thought leaders
  • collectors
  • philanthropists

 

To join the Next Generation Leadership Circle, please click here and select “Art Museum Exhibit Fund” for your donation. Your 100% tax-deductible donation of any size will make an immediate and significant impact.

Thank you

Julie Rodrigues Widholm

Director and Chief Curator

Julie Rodrigues Widholm interviewed in Crain’s Chicago Business

November 10, 2016
Can-a-new-director-make-DePaul-Art-Museum-a-major-player.jpg

Photo by Lizabeth Applewhite

Can a new director make DePaul Art Museum a major player?

by Lisa Bertagnoli, published in Crain’s Chicago Business Sept. 17, 2016. 

Can Julie Rodrigues Widholm make DePaul Art Museum a major player in the art world in this town?

Widholm, new director and chief curator at DePaul, is off to a good start. In May, she snagged 114 works by 59 Chicago-area artists from collector Chuck Thurow. On Sept. 24, the museum will claim the Northern Trust Purchase Prize, a gift of art exhibited at Expo Chicago. Widholm and Dia Weil, a university trustee, will select the piece from Expo Chicago’s Exposures gallery, a forum for emerging artists.

The gifts are helping Widholm make DePaul a showcase for artists based in Chicago and those from underrepresented regions and demographics. That niche, she says, will help the museum gain must-see status.

“There is such a deep and talented pool of artists in Chicago,” says Widholm, 41, who joined the museum in August 2015 after 16 years as a curator at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. There she assembled some 50 shows, including the 2015 retrospective for Doris Salcedo, the first for the Colombian sculptor. “Our institutions can never provide enough opportunities to work with them, showcase them, give them opportunities to grow as artists.”

To increase the focus on Chicago art, as well as on female artists and others from underrepresented spheres, Widholm has hired Mia Lopez as an assistant curator and Laura-Caroline Johnson as collection and exhibition manager.

An emphasis on local work “is an incredibly important gap in terms of the art collections of the city, someone really looking at Chicago art in-depth,” Thurow told Crain’s in August, when news of his gift was made public. “That’s not the MCA’s or Art Institute’s mission.” Thurow declined to disclose the appraised value of the donation.

Overall, Widholm plans to build a collection that spans from the modern era to emerging artists and include international art as well. “It’s important to integrate Chicago artists into several histories that run parallel with each other,” she says.

Widholm has the art to make that happen. Now she needs the money. “Funding is a top priority,” she says.

The museum gets about $500,000 a year from the university, which has an annual budget of about $500 million. A small endowment gives Widholm $25,000 a year to acquire new work. Grants help, too: $15,000 from Alphawood Foundation will underwrite “One Day This Kid Will Get Larger,” a show opening Jan. 26 in which emerging contemporary artists of color explore issues concerning AIDS. DePaul Art Museum stages four to six exhibits a year, each for three months.

 - DePaul Art Museum

DePaul Art Museum

A few million dollars extra would enable Widholm to hire a full-time education and outreach director, and boost marketing and advertising as well.

The museum opened in 1987 in a single room in McGaw Hall on DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus, then moved to the university’s library in 1992. It is now housed in a three-story, 15,000-square-foot space on campus and draws about 12,000 visitors a year. An outreach director could plan programming to draw more people, especially locals, to the museum, says Widholm, who has a master’s in art history, theory and criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

“We are very much a place to build a community—programming is a key way to make people feel welcome,” she says. “Studies have shown that art museums are a social experience. People go to hang out.”

Widholm will launch a private-donor initiative, the museum’s first, in the next few months. She is also building an advisory board and an alumni board, and plans a director’s circle of major funders.

To date, Belverd Needles and his wife, Marian Powers, have supported the museum mostly with gifts of art. “I don’t see why we couldn’t be successful in raising money,” says Needles, EY distinguished professor of accountancy at DePaul, who has been involved with the museum since the mid-1990s. “It’s not the MCA or the Art Institute, but we have a beautiful building, a highly motivated staff, university support and successful graduates,” he says.

Widholm’s MCA background will help her court the donors she needs to catapult DePaul Art Museum into elite territory. “When you’re a curator for a major institution like the MCA, you build up community credit,” says Tony Karman, president and director of Expo Chicago, which opens Sept. 22 at Navy Pier. Widholm has a reputation as “an able, smart, effective curator, a wonderful person to work with,” he says. “That’s why doors are opening.”

DePaul hired Widholm to “take (the museum) to the next level,” says the Rev. Ed Udovic, vice president for teaching and learning resources at the university. Widholm replaced Louise Lincoln, who retired after 17 years.

Lincoln “professionalized the operation,” cataloging works and organizing what was once chaos, Udovic says. She also oversaw the new building, which opened in 2011 and cost $7.8 million. University capital funds covered the cost.

All in all, that’s a good foundation for Widholm to build on. “I have this vision that people think of us as part of their daily life,” she says. “If you’re walking home, you just pop in.”

DPAM is now on ARTSY

November 2, 2016

ARTSY is an online hub for contemporary art lovers. Follow your favorite artists, galleries and art museums- and now DPAM too! Check it out.

 

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