MDW Fair…Again by Norbert Marszalek

MDW Fair which had its debut earlier this April ran again this past weekend with the intent of being a bi-yearly event. This time around the Fair—once again on three floors of the GeoLofts building on Chicago’s South side—offered the same high energy and most of the quality venues that were present the first time out. There were also some exciting new exhibitors.

The first floor had the Hand in Glove Conference. As their website states: a new semiannual conference for independent visual arts facilitators working at the crossroads of creative administration and studio practice. This conference was open to people engaged in the pragmatic realities and imaginative possibilities of organizing exhibitions, re-granting programs, publications, residencies, public programs, platforms for projects, and a variety of other programming that challenges traditional formats for the production and reception of art at the grass-roots level.

The second and third floors held the small not-for-profits, artist-run spaces, independent galleries, collectives, curators and publishers from around the country. Strong showings included Erik DeBat at 2612 Space, Paul Nudd at Western Exhibitions, Brian Kapernekas at 65Grand, Tom Torluemke at Linda Warren, Kristina Paabus and Raul Mendez at Hinge Gallery and bookmaking at North Branch Projects.

Let’s hope that MDW Fair will continue and become a driving force in the Chicago art scene.