This second-story, John Cusack-branded gallery/apartment is like a sophisticated clubhouse for grown-up artists. During one exhibition, co-directors and Art Institute alums Rachel Adams and Patricia Courson hosted various interactive evenings dedicated to coloring (complete with a not-so-PG, Alice Cooper-theme coloring book created by local artists), poker and potluck.
Previously named New Space Chicago, the gallery was rechristened in 2007 (about a year and a half since its inception) to better reflect the image of the irreverent, pop-culture-savvy artists it represents. While the majority of artists are local (many fellow Art Institute grads), Adams and Courson occasionally handpick up-and-comers from outside of Chicago as well. A recent show exhibited the work of rising star, Pennsylvania-based Ann Tarantino, who meticulously blows ink through a straw to produce vibrant ink and gouache works on paper.
Ever-dedicated to community involvement and embracing the city's art scene, the gallery hosts a monthly Informal Review, a kind of book club for gallery-goers in which a handful of folks democratically select shows at different Chicago galleries and then convene at the month's end to discuss what they saw. Anyone interested is welcome to join.
Centerstage Reviewer: Maria Raynes