It’s been an incredible year for the gallery and our artists, which made the process of selecting our highlights difficult! These are our top ten moments from 2018. We can’t wait to share with you all we have in store for 2019, but for now, enjoy this year in review, shared in chronological order.
1. 2018 kicked off with Elizabeth Ernst’s third solo exhibition
In perhaps one of CEG’s most dynamic installations ever, Elizabeth Ernst introduced us to the residents of Shady Grove Nursing Home. Using photography and painting, the Chicago-based artist shared with us the current whereabouts of her cast of GE Circus characters, continuing a narrative Ernst has been creating for over a decade. Throughout the gallery, one could peer into vitrines filled with ephemera belonging to Lenny the Caregiver, Pearl the Lunch Lady, Lois, Jake and others. The show was reviewed by The Chicago Tribune, part of its “See It Now” column.
2. Barbara Crane celebrated 90 years on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight
Our exhibition, Barbara Crane: The Polaroid Years ran concurrent with a solo show at Stephen Daiter Gallery, honoring the artist at 90 years of age. Marc Vitali stopped by the gallery to speak with Catherine and Barbara for Chicago Tonight.
3. Catherine Edelman honored by her alma mater at their 2018 commencement ceremony
In May, the University of the Arts honored Catherine with their Silver Star Award for Outstanding Alumni! The school recognized her dedication as a leader and educator in the world of contemporary fine art photography.
4. We signed the lease for a NEW space at 1637 West Chicago Avenue
After 31 years in our current building, CEG will relocate to West Town in April of 2019, joining other new and established galleries which span Chicago Avenue from Ogden to Western. Our new space will have two floors and almost twice our current square footage, providing much-needed room for storage and dynamic, expanded programming. Chicago Gallery News interviewed Catherine about leaving the River North Gallery District in their fall issue. Read the article, here.
5. How do you see me? programming included an insightful panel discussion with Chicago arts leaders
After watching the separate careers of these three amazing photographers develop over the past few years, we invited Alanna Airitam, Endia Beal, and Medina Dugger to exhibit in our September season-opener. How do you see me? featured work by three important bodies of work that confront perceptions of race, gender and beauty within the arts and the workplace. The gallery hosted and recorded a panel discussion with local arts leaders, as well as an informative artist talk with Airitam, Beal and Dugger, both of which you can watch here. The exhibition gained unbelievable press attention from the BBC, CBS, Chicago Tribune, among others, further propelling the ideals promoted by these incredible photographers.
6. Jess T. Dugan published To Survive on This Shore
For over five years, Jess T. Dugan and Vanessa Fabre have been traveling, photographing, and interviewing members of diverse trans elder communities. Thus, To Survive On This Shore was published with Kehrer Verlag, containing the stories and portraits of over 60 non-binary and transgender individuals. Within weeks of the September release, multiple news outlets had featured the photo book and the first edition sold out from the publisher. The New York Times Photo Lens Blog has included the series in it’s top 13 photo stories of 2018.
7. CEG welcomed baby Nolan!
Many of you know our amazing gallery Director, Juli. In the middle of a busy week filled with art-fair prep, installation and gallery events, Juli delivered a healthy baby boy! Though she and baby Nolan have visited the gallery a few times already, we’ve missed having Juli here everyday, making us laugh and leading our crew. We look forward to welcoming her back from maternity leave soon.
8. Michael Koerner’s first ever solo show closes out the year
We were thrilled to install “Michael Koerner: My DNA,” the artist’s first solo exhibition, which opened on November 2 and has been extended through January 5, 2019. Over 50 tintypes were initially installed, both framed and displayed on ledges through the gallery. Special thanks to former Director of the Japanese Culture Center Saira Chambers and nuclear ethicist Yuki Miyamoto for participating in an amazing dialogue with the artist concerning Gaman, a theme prevalent throughout Michael’s images. Read more about this purposeful work in these reviews by The New Yorker and Chicago Reader.
9. These works were acquired by public collections in 2018
Our artists had an incredible combined total of 14 museum and other public collections acquire their work this year! Total works acquired was almost triple.
10. New represented artists joined our roster
A successful year meant we were able to add four new photographers to our roster of represented artists. If you haven’t familiarized yourself with the work of Marina Black, Garrett O. Hansen, Michael Koerner, and Pete Jacobs, head over to our website or stop by the gallery to see their work!