The birth of virtual art shows | Best of Chicago 2020

The birth of virtual art shows 

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Remember the days of crashing an art gallery opening for free wine and a fat gourmet cheese spread? Now the thought of a crowd going open season on a platter of brie and sharp cheddar gives you the chills. Thankfully, galleries got savvy, hiring videographers to host virtual walk-throughs of shows with a voice-over from the showing artist, or in Gallery Guichard’s case, offering a virtual catalog loaded with past and current exhibitions.

Located in Hyde Park, Gallery Guichard made its debut in 2005 with the mission to expose patrons to multicultural artists specializing in the African diaspora. Artists and gallery owners Frances and Andre Guichard take the reins in walking viewers through collections of works on display. This innovation allows viewers a new window of access to the work. In Andre’s rundown of his show, “Art As Activism,” the artist shares details of his work in a very transparent way that viewers otherwise wouldn’t have access to unless they were lucky enough to sneak in a conversation with the artist at the opening—and even then it would be a rushed encounter. These virtual exhibits also allow for artists to speak about their work in an unprompted way, organizing their thoughts organically to match the flow the artist intended for the show. 

Meanwhile, over at LVL3 on Milwaukee, the artist-run exhibition space is serving up a different virtual experience for art enthusiasts. To stay connected to the community and offer exposure to artists, LVL3 hosts an Artist of the Week feature interviewing makers of all mediums. Viewers can also check out documentation from past and current exhibitions on the gallery’s site (lvl3official.com) as well as on its Instagram page (@LVL3official).

For those who aren’t quite ready to explore the local art scene in person, take a scroll through a gallery’s website and social media platforms with a glass of wine in hand right from your couch. 

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
March 29
Performing Arts
April 30