Expo Chicago: Painting the Picture

Lauren Zimmerman Every September in Chicago the art community gathers in celebration to promote and recognize new artists and galleries. Similar expositions can be found all over the world, but Expo Chicago’s rise to stardom is particularly special for the national art community. It has only been a few years since the show reopened at its new location in Navy Pier, but its iconic setting and represented artists make it a must-see place for collectors, curators, and art enthusiasts. Although on a smaller scale, Latin has a knack for developing the arts. We are frequently referred to as one of the best schools in Chicago for an all around liberal and visual arts education. It’s no surprise then that every year art faculty gather their students to take a much-anticipated trip to see Expo Chicago. When asked why he thinks this is such a valuable experience for students, Junior Dean, Mr. Woods said, “The arts are an important component of liberal arts education, particularly those opportunities that occur outside of our community but within our city. It allows students to see that art is an integral part of their lives, not just their education.” Although everyone who visits the show may not be particularly involved in the art world, the creative atmosphere at Expo Chicago is contagious. Students who dislike the usual art museums get inspired by not only the work itself but also the people who make the process of seeing art an interactive experience. For Latin students who were also part of last year’s visit to Expo Chicago, each year seems to be even more innovative than the last. Chris Chu, a junior at Latin said,“I went last year but this year it was a lot more interactive than it was the previous year. There were a lot more films and a really cool stop motion piece that was made completely out of porcelain and blue paint. They had a display case where they put everything they used to make the piece.” Chris’ excitement regarding what he saw at the expo was comparable to many of his classmates. Rani Randell, also a junior, said that “the actual caliber of fine art at Expo Chicago was inspiring” and that she was “thoroughly impressed and surprised.” However, Expo Chicago’s fundamental purpose is not only to expose verging artists and galleries to the art community, but also to sell new work. After all, art is also a business, and expositions are an opportunity for collectors and curators to discover and compile works of new artists. As for the collection’s visitors, many enjoy the expo as a way to discover budding talent. Mr. Haverland, who goes every year with his art class, said, “[I’m] always able to find new artists that I can take pictures of and investigate new work that I personally find interesting or that I can introduce to a student.” For the students who were part of the trip, some of whom are budding artists themselves, Expo Chicago served as a reminder of the importance of art and creativity. “I know that art can be a questionable necessity for a lot of schools who usually cut it from a lot of school programs,” said Chris Chu, “so [seeing] this international art community coming together to [appreciate] their best work helps students who have doubts about their talent.” With creativity newly rebooted for the upcoming year, young artists hope to continue on with their artistic endeavors, both in and out of the classroom. ]]>