Chicago Has Six Young Art Curators You Should Know

Chicago Magazine

By Jason Foumberg / 6.4.13

In Chicago, the number of contemporary art curators seems to rival the number of contemporary artists. The saturated scene means that young curators must dig deep into their special areas of art smarts in order to produce the innovative, provocative, and timely exhibitions that artists deserve. And like the artists themselves, the standout talent soon begins to emerge.

Of the nearly 100 contemporary art curators operating independently in the city today, here are 6 that should be on your radar.

Alicia Eler

Who: She uses the internet and social media to research, organize, and produce exhibitions and essays, on topics like adolescent self-portraiture, feminism, and pop-culture critique. Eler once co-curated a video art program broadcast on French and German cable TV, and she is a guest curator for ACRE artists’ residency.

Curating style: “These days I like to cast a large net with a good, crowdsourced open call to start,” usually on Facebook, says Eler. She curates from and for the internet, usually as “collaborative experiments,” she says.

Artist recommendation: Abinadi Meza, from Austin, whose upcoming video installation in Chicago “will turn the gallery into a space of disembodied consciousness,” says Eler. The show runs June 16–July 2 at ACRE.

Up next: “NewQueerness,” an ongoing, co-curated Tumblr project. “Deadlines are open-ended and constantly transforming, especially in a virtual space,” says Eler.