Art Market

NADA is launching an art fair in Chicago.

Wallace Ludel
Apr 26, 2019 2:35PM, via New Art Dealers Alliance

The exterior of the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, which will host the Chicago Invitational. Photo courtesy the New Art Dealers Association.

The New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA), the nonprofit gallery association headquartered in New York City, will launch a new art fair in the Windy City to run concurrently with Expo Chicago in September. Dubbed the Chicago Invitational, it will take over part of the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel from September 18th through the 21st. Two of the hotel’s communal spaces will transform into a space for a curated selection of galleries, while the hotel’s fourth floor will feature interventions in 13 hotel rooms.

In a statement, NADA’s executive director, Heather Hubbs, said:

Historically, Chicago has been a hotbed of artist-run galleries and alternative spaces. The city then and now embodies the experimental spirit of NADA, and we look forward to connecting our exhibitors with this audience.

Rachel Uffner, NADA’s board president and owner of her namesake gallery, added:

This important expansion to Chicago, in an ideal venue, will continue our mission to support artists and arts organizations internationally [...] The Invitational will also allow us to cultivate existing relationships in the region while developing new ones. We are already feeling incredible support from Chicago’s cultural and arts community and are looking forward to seeing everyone in September.

NADA, which has member galleries all over the world—including eight based in Chicago—has experimented with fairs and other programming to drive attention and business to its galleries over the years. It has held annual fairs in Miami during Art Basel in Miami Beach and Cologne during Art Cologne (the latter, not since 2016). It canceled the 2019 of its New York City fair, typically timed to run during The Armory Show, opting instead for a decentralized, pop-up approach.

Further Reading: How NADA Helps Young Galleries in Hard Times

Wallace Ludel
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Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019