What Rahm Should Do For Chicago Arts

Published May 12, 2011

Dancer in doorway4) Place Video Screens in Key Locations to Showcase Local Arts

These video screens would showcase Chicago art events in short advertisements and feature videos aimed at passers-by. The content could showcase paintings, prints, photography and
short videos created by Chicago artists; they could show snippets of upcoming dance and theater shows, as well as include readouts about what is happening about town in the arts during a given week.

The screens should be large enough to be noticed -- perhaps similar in size to the one downtown off Daley Plaza – and placed carefully in areas where large crowds congregate, like on Michigan Avenue, downtown, and in public squares and transportation hubs around the city. O'Hare Airport's terminals would be another likely spot, so people arriving from other cities can get a look what is happening in Chicago arts.

5) Establish a Museum Devoted to Chicago Art of Past and Present

If the city can successfully create a space like Gallery 57 to showcase children's art, it is ready to move up to a museum that exhibits professional art by Chicago artists of the past and present. A huge need exists for such a museum, as local museums have not, for whatever their reasons, placed a priority on exhibiting local artists.

Such a museum should be centrally located, of significant size and architectural quality and might be constructed with the help of private donations ala Millennium Park. (It should be designed to be self-sustaining financially.) It would house both a permanent collection and rotating exhibits by living artists or artists of the recent past. The initial "permanent collection" might be seeded in the beginning with art from major collections and donations from artists. Specific exhibition rooms could focus on various media: paintings, photography, sculpture, tapestry, etc.

A museum like this could be instrumental in promoting Chicago art to the world, exploring Chicago's indigenous styles and promoting Chicago artists through exchanges with other museums. It would not just be a "Museum" of Chicago art, but a promoter of Chicago art as a unique entity in today's art world.