Expo Chicago, the International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art, attracted more than 3,000 people to Vernissage, an opening-night preview party Sept. 19 at Navy Pier's Festival Hall benefiting the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Attendees enjoyed an exclusive first look at artwork from more than 120 of the world's leading galleries.
Tony Karman, president and director of the exposition, thanked the crowd for its support during the event's second year. He was joined by Steve MacLellan, executive vice president of wealth management for presenting sponsor Northern Trust, and Michelle T. Boone, commissioner of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, who spoke about the importance of Expo Chicago in positioning the city as a global cultural destination. Madeleine Grynsztejn, MCA Chicago's Pritzker director, said, "Only in Chicago would we have this incredible combination of civic commitment, art, artists and museums in one place — the most inspiring city in the world."
Guests enjoyed tastings from some of the city's top restaurants as they perused artwork by Cindy Sherman, Damien Hirst, Chuck Close, Jeff Koons, Pablo Picasso and Roy Lichtenstein. A highlight was a stainless steel disc from the John Berggruen Gallery by Cloud Gate artist Anish Kapoor.
Co-chaired by MCA Women's Board members Cheryl Seder and Sally Meyers Kovler, the evening also included an interactive booth presented by the Natural Resources Defense Council. Artist Vaughn Bell created a large-scale terrarium inside a Lucite cube and encouraged viewers to place their heads inside the urban landscape to create an immersive experience.
Expo Chicago raised more than $200,000 for MCA's programming.
Freelance writer Candace Jordan is involved with many local organizations, including some whose events she covers.
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