Inaugural Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Curatorial Fellowship

To start off the New Year in our Chicago office, we will launch the inaugural exhibition of our Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Curatorial Fellowship. In partnership with the Chicago Artists Coalition, we selected Jessica Cochran, an emerging curator and graduate of CAC’s HATCH Projects to create an exhibition featuring artists affiliated with some of the twenty visual arts organizations that the Foundation supports in the Chicago metropolitan area. The exhibition will be installed in our Chicago offices from late January through June 2016. In July, we’ll present a second Curatorial Fellowship exhibition that will be on view through the end of the year.

Why a Curatorial Fellowship? The Foundation supports 150+ arts organizations through our Gen Ops Plus program to help them be organizationally stable and strong. That’s important work, but the reason we want strong arts organizations always starts with the art. We want visitors to experience the vibrancy of our visual arts grantees, as well as celebrate it ourselves. What better way than to present an exhibition on our office walls? We also want to support emerging curators for whom opportunities can be limited.

Through this fellowship, Jessica has helped us to connect more deeply with each of the Foundation’s visual arts grantees. She visited each organization, learned how they served their artists and asked them for nominations. She conducted studio visits, which led to her ultimate selections. As she explained, she came to see her role in curating this exhibition as a way to bring “the everyday corners of artists’ lived spaces” into the GDDF offices.

We’ll be hosting a series of events in 2016 to view the exhibition and learn more about Chicago’s exciting visual arts organizations and the artists they serve. See our news entry for details as they develop.

Image: detail of LJ Roberts’ Jenny Romaine and Kubby Bear at Idyll Dandy Arts.

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