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EXPO Chicago Opening Preview Vernissage Draws Record Crowd

EXPO Chicago Opening Preview Vernissage Draws Record Crowd

Thursday evening, to kick off the weekend filled with art buying, art talks and art demos, VIPs and art enthusiasts dressed in their finest were spotted on the scene at EXPO Chicago’s 5th Vernissage held Thursday September 22 in Navy Pier’s Festival Hall. EXPO CHICAGO, The International Exposition of Modern and Contemporary Art, helmed by Tony Karman now in its fifth year, welcomed over 8k guests during Vernissage, the opening night celebration benefiting the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago.

Sondra Karman, Tony Karman

With presenting sponsor Northern Trust once again on board, The art fair is making a case to be the destination on the art travel circuit.

Some of the Who’s who business/civic/cultural leaders and up-and-comers that were spotted on the scene include: Former Ultimo owner Sarah Albrecht, Art Institute of Chicago’s James Rondeau, Marilyn and Larry Fields, Ken Griffin, Sarah Albrecht, MCA Curators Michael Darling, Naomi Beckwith and Omar Kholeif, Sandra and Jack Guthman, Leslie Bluhm, Ikram and Josh Goldman, Ashley and Pam Netzky, Julie Latsko, Miami’s Jorge Perez, Palais de Tokyo President Jean de Loisy, Palais de Tokyo Curator Katell Jaffres, Carlos Rolón (DZINE), Samm Mackin,  Eric and Liz Lefkofsky, Aaron Shirley, Alison Glenn, Ron Mallicoat, to name a few.

Sarah Albrecht

MCA Pritzker Director Madeleine Grynsztejn, EXPO CHICAGO President and Director Tony Karman, Northern Trust, Vice President of Wealth Management Steve “Mac” MacLellan, Navy Pier’s new Chief Program and Civic Engagement officer Michelle T. Boone (formerly of DCASE) all addressed guests to thank them, thank the sponsors and remarks on the vision for this for years to come.

“I am more than honored to stand here and represent all of us who work each and every day on EXPO CHICAGO in order to ensure that this fair serves the international art world and that our city stays vital for years to come. It is now time to move forward and own the fact that EXPO CHICAGO and the city of Chicago are back as an annual international destination that we know reflects the beauty of our city and the work.” -Tony Karman


Guests mingled throughout the show floor until For Freedoms initiated a balloon drop upon the entrance of the exposition letting loose Red, white and blue balloons upon the crowd and then were popped by guests in order to find take-away artwork by artist Cheryl Pope.

Earlier that evening, Tony Karman, was honored by the Republic of France as a Chevalier. See more pictures in the gallery above. Special thanks to Timber Alcott and Daniel Delgado.

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photo credit: Daniel Delgado/SociaLifeChicago

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