NOTE: Skestos is moving to a new location in 2008.
Skestos Gabriele Gallery may be one of the newer kids in the West Loop, having opened in fall of 2005, but there is nothing rookie about this operation. Having worked as a curator in the Art Institute of Chicago's Prints & Drawings and Contemporary Art departments for 11 years, gallery owner Stephanie Skestos Gabriele knows a thing or two about contemporary art. Her last stint, helping to execute the Gehrard Richter retropsective at the Art Institute of Chicago, gives her automatic art gallery credibility with an array of contemporary art fans for that was an impressive show.
Skestos Gabriele truly got hooked on the idea of starting her own gallery when she curated a show for the Three Arts Club of Chicago in 1998. "That experience of having complete control over every aspect of curating I loved," she says. Her museum experience truly resonates in the beauty of the space. Skestos worked with an architect to create moveable walls and niches that accommodate the display needs of any type of contemporary work, from installation to large-scale painting to sculpture to video work.
This focus on the presentation of art certainly sets Skestos' space apart. "I don't really like the hierarchy of the typical gallery where there is a main space and a side project space." she says. "I really like the expanse of this space, and that it flows organically."
Skestos brings an expertise in prints and drawings from her Art Institute days to the gallery though this will not be the gallery's primary focus, as she's regularly exhibiting emerging and established artists working in a variety of media. Fittingly, two of the artists Skestos found for the Seven Women Artists on the Rise group show are now on board with Skestos gallery: painters Shona Macdonald and Susannah Papish. Also on the current roster are Shane Huffman, Elyn Zimmerman and Beverly Fishman.
Centerstage Reviewer: Joanne Hinkel