Context and Overall Experience

The first thing that hit me when we entered Chicago was all of the architecture. The buildings were so tall and some of them had really interesting design. The skyline was really cool to see as well.

The first thing I did in Chicago was go to the Art Institute. I thought this was a really cool experience because, embarrassing as it is, I had never been to an actual art museum before. So I was really excited to go for that reason alone.  It was really cool for me to see such famous works of art and famous artists’  works such as VanGogh’s self portrait, Monet’s work, and Georgia O’Keefe’s work.  I remember learning about Claude Monet back in first grade, so being able to see works with such memories behind them was a really great experience.  Seeing work in the museum definitely legitimized the work. Seeing it in the museum lets you know that its the real thing and an important piece of art. I think that because I was already familiar with some of the work that was in the museum, the venue did not necessarily shape associations. I would say that the venue impacted how I interacted with the work though, because it caused me to be much more formal and careful as I was viewing the art.

I really enjoyed going to different galleries because of he fact that they are much less formal and I felt more free to be relaxed with the work. The atmospheres of the galleries were very different. For example, the Robert Bills Contemporary Gallery, which was featuring Nathan Vernau’s work was in the basement of a building. To get to the actual gallery, we had to walk down a deserted hallway. I felt like this gallery did not help to legitimize the work because it was so secluded and the location was almost creepy. However, it is also made it feel more like “underground artsy.” I’m not sure if thats the right way of putting it, but it felt very much like a place where a so-called starving artist’s work might be displayed. However all the other galleries I visited; the PopUp gallery, the Carrie Secrist Gallery, Kavi Gupta Gallery, and the McCormick Gallery seemed formal and slightly more professional. In the Carrie Secrist Gallery, Kavi Gupta Gallery, and the McCormick Gallery; however, because they did feel more formal, I felt less comfortable there.

Seeing public works was interesting as well. It was definitely a more casual scene because of the fact that they are outdoors and for the public to view. I’ve seen countless people take pictures in front of “the bean,” so it was really cool to see it in person. I feel like the fact that they are outdoors helped to show the artists’ intent because the works were created to please the public, and you can really tell that. For example, the fact that the Bean is so large and is reflective makes it something that people can really relate to. Because the public works are outside, I feel like the “venue” made me think that the works weren’t really necessarily “fine art” pieces that we think of  that usually are more valued. I personally feel like the public works have a really important value because they are so important to the public, they are meaningful.


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