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The Chicago Artists' Coalition opened its new gallery location this past Friday August 7, 2009 with a group show. Typical of the CAC there was a significant lack of continuity and organization. Its no wonder they don't call themselves the Chicago Artists Organization, because there is obviously none of that going into this show.

With 22 artists showing one or two pieces, some on paper, some on canvas, prints, painting, photographs, and postcards littering every surface, it was hard to figure out where to look. Each piece was separated by six to eight inches which, I think, anyone would judge, is just not enough. It was obvious nobody took charge of this show, allowing everyone to be as flighty or demanding as they needed to be.

As an artist, and having worked with many, many artists and arts groups, I understand the dangers the CAC face on a daily basis. How do you critique people who are not asking to be critiqued, how do you leave out individuals not mature or responsible enough, and the list goes on. Question after question, but in the end, someone has to stand up and make decisions. One decision, which should have been made, was put more space in between the work, which translate to, less artists. Now that is going to piss off some people. Unfortunately, a lot of great art has pissed people off.

Now, I understand this was the inaugural opening, and the CAC want to get as many people through the door as possible so I forgive the helter skelter, for now. They are planning to do mainly 2-3 person shows in the future, and for the size of the space, I can see this working wonderfully for them.

Personally, I always wished that the CAC would forge new territory. Drawing people to areas where art is lacking, and utilize existing communities to effect the perception of art and art buying. I would want to see them inspiring young artists, collaborating with institutions and leading the way in new media. This move to the heart of Liquor Park is a bit disheartening, but predictable. It is a safe move, timid and unimaginative.

COALITION GALLERY - Cooperative Gallery of the CAC
2010 West Pierce Avenue, Unit 101
Chicago, IL 60622

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