Art Design Chicago Preview – The Promise of an Amazing Year in 2018

“Art Design Chicago” is coming with 25 exhibitions and more than 100 events.  It is to take place in 2018 and many events are already scheduled.  Announcements about what, where and why were shared with a large, enthusiastic crowd at Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center.  Find out more at the Art Design Chicago website  The Chicago Cultural Center, once the Chicago Public Library embodies many of the ideas and ideal of this project and was the perfect venue for the announcement.


Introducing Art Design Chicago

It was here that the Terra Foundation for American Art formally announced Art Design Chicago, a wide-ranging initiative to explore the breadth of Chicago’s role as a catalyst and incubator for innovations in art and design. Spearheaded and funded by the Terra Foundation, with significant support from The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Art Design Chicago was developed in partnership with more than 40 cultural organizations to celebrate Chicago’s artists, designers, and creative producers. Focusing in particular on the period between the 1871 Great Chicago Fire and the turn of the 21st century, the initiative reveals little-known narratives of ingenuity and perseverance and provides new insights on Chicago’s enduring influence on fine and decorative arts, graphic and commercial design, product development, and film.

 The six speakers were:


Elizabeth Glassman

Elizabeth Glassman is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Terra Foundation for American Art, an international organization with offices in Chicago and Paris dedicated to supporting the study and presentation of historical American art worldwide. Ms. Glassman also oversees the foundation’s renowned collection of American art, as well as partnership projects, including the first American art exhibitions to take place at the Musée du Louvre and in the People’s Republic of China.


Ms. Glassman spoke about the many stories about the visual culture of Chicago waiting to be told and about Chicago’s role in America and the world as a design capital, especially the influence of industrial design.  There are many stories but one narrative.


Joy Bivins


Joy Bivins, a native Chicagoan, is Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Chicago History Museum, where she has worked since 2002. Her exhibition projects include Facing Freedom in America and InspiriBeauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair. She has contributed to the Journal of American History, Chicago History, and NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art.

Ms. Bivins emphasized the incorporation of industrial interior, graphic design and the impact opportunities offered in 2018 can have on school children.



Faheem Majeed


Faheem Majeed is a resident of Chicago’s South Shore where he works as an artist. He often looks to the found material from his neighborhood as an entry point into larger questions around civic-mindedness, community activism, and institutional racism, transforming such materials into art.


Presenting the artists perspective, Mr. Majeed shared that he originally came to Chicago 13 years ago to follow his then girl friend and now wife.  He feels that there is great value in the opportunity to work with so many different groups and people.


Richard H. Driehaus and Kim Coventry


Richard H. Driehaus is a native Chicagoan. He founded Driehaus Capital Management LLC in 1982 and The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation the following year. In addition to his business career, he has been a leader in Chicago’s philanthropic sector through the Foundation and The Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust.


Mr. Driehaus  pointed out that Chicago, while the home to artists and public art, these works are not well researched or shared globally and hopefully, this event will bring the attention these works deserve.



Kim Coventry is the Executive Director and Vice President of The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and leads the organization’s many efforts, with a special focus on the built environment.


Ms. Coventry shared that, the vision that the Terra Foundation presented, was immediately supported by Mr. Driehaus and many citywide cultural events are planned with the goal of a better understanding of the value of the art Chicago has.



Mark Kelly

Mark Kelly is the Commissioner of the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), which presents and promotes high-quality free festivals, exhibitions, performances and holiday celebrations each year in parks, the historic Chicago Cultural Center and other venues throughout the city.


Mr. Kelly in addition to his own role, was representing Mayor Emmanuel.  He mentioned the award winning design of the flag pin he was wearing, and that the design is 100 years old. He referred to the struggle between the industrial aspects of the city and the juxtaposition of refined art.   He spoke of how Bauhaus changed the world.


Todros Geller, "Hassidic Dance", 1928, oil on canvas, 45X 41 in., Gift of the College of Jewish Studies


Epherma, "Hollywood Bond Cavalcade," Soldier Field, Chicago, September 16, 1943, courtesy University of Chicago Press


On my “L” ride home, I also learned about the Koehnline Museum of Art, which is one of the 40 partners and I can’t wait to go the upcoming Richard Hunt sculpture exhibition there. Koehnline Museum of Art website



Richard Hunt gathering scrap in a junkyard at Clybourn and Sheffield Avenues, Chicago, 1962. Photo: courtesy of Richard Hunt


Ken Josephson, "Chicago", 1972, gelatin silver print, 4 3/4 X 7 in., Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Gof the Foster Charitable Trust in memory of Reuben A. Foster, 1983.37 ©1972 Kenneth Josephson. Photo: Nathan Deay © MCA Chicago

Photos: B. Keer unless otherwise noted.






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