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Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and the Chicago Artists Coalition Announce Curatorial Fellowship Program & Exhibition

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


GDDF Contact: Ellen Placey Wadey, Chicago Program Officer

CAC Contact: Caroline D. Older, Executive Director

CHICAGO, IL. January 26, 2016 – 

The Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation (GDDF) and the Chicago Artists Coalition (CAC) are pleased to announce the inaugural Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation Curatorial Fellowship which gives graduates of CAC’s HATCH Projects an opportunity to curate an exhibition of artists affiliated with visual arts organizations in the Chicago metropolitan area supported by GDDF.

“The Foundation is excited to partner with the Chicago Artists Coalition on this program,” said David Farren, GDDF’s Executive Director. “The Fellowship is an opportunity to have deeper contact with our visual arts organizations as well as support the curatorial field in Chicago.” 

CAC Executive Director Caroline Older, PhD, says the fellowship allows emerging curators an invaluable opportunity to use and further develop the skills they honed while a curatorial resident at the Chicago Artists Coalition. 

“I am grateful to the Foundation for sharing their vision for a fellowship with CAC and enabling us to partner with them on a project and exhibition that recognizes and supports curatorial vision and talent.”

Jessica Cochran, an emerging curator and graduate of the 2012-2013 HATCH Projects residency, was selected to create the inaugural exhibition, The Heart of the Matter, which will be installed in the Foundation’s Chicago offices in late January and on display through the end of June. The Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation will host several events to view the exhibition.

A dozen artists will be featured including  Esau McGheeLaura DavisAlex Bradley CohenRoberto JamoraAlice TippitJovencio de la PazJean SchusterJosue PellotHoward FondaAnna KunzPolly Yates, and L.J. Roberts.

"What unites the works," Cochran says, "is some observable manifestation of the artists’ everyday lives through closely observed gestures that span intimacy, awkwardness, specificity and inimitability. In a world saturated and fast, these artists model slowness and divergence, situating themselves and re-situating themselves in relation to the world, as if art is always, ‘in effect’ happening.”

The artists represent 11 of the twenty-two visual arts organizations that the Foundation supports including: ACREChicago Artists CoalitionElastic ArtsElmhurst Art MuseumHeaven GalleryRagdaleRoots & CultureSpudnik Press CooperativeThreewallsUnion Street Gallery, and Woman Made Gallery.

The Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation supports land conservation, artistic vitality and regional collections for the people of the Chicago region and the Lowcountry of South Carolina. In the Chicago region the Foundation supports over 150 arts groups across all disciplines with budgets under $1 million through its Gen Ops Plus program. For more information, visit

The mission of the Chicago Artists Coalition is to build a sustainable marketplace for entrepreneurial artists and creatives. HATCH Projects is a yearlong, juried incubator for contemporary Chicago artists and curators that strives to support an ecology of curatorial and artistic practice. HATCH fosters shared experimentation, exchange, and creativity to produce ground-breaking exhibitions and programs.


The Heart of the Matter

Featured Artists:
Esau McGhee Laura Davis - Alex Bradley Cohen - Roberto Jamora - Alice Tippit Jovencio de la Paz - Jean Schuster - Josue Pellot - Howard Fonda - Anna Kunz - Polly Yates - L.J. Roberts

The protagonist of the meta-fictional novel, The Illogic of Kassel, is a Spanish writer-in-residence at the citywide Documenta biennial, where he moves through a sometimes-foreign, sometimes-familiar sea of contemporary art and ideas, experiencing in near-simultaneity the cyclical highs and lows of an artist’s inner life. On his last day walking the German city of Kassel, he expresses an absorptive “peak”:

“Art was, in effect, something that was happening to me, happening at that very moment. And the world seemed new again, moved by an invisible impulse. Everything was so relaxing and admirable, it was impossible not to look. Blessed is the morning, I thought."  (Enrique Vila-Matas)

As cultural producers, how is our capacity to make catalyzed by what Vila-Matas calls the ‘invisible impulses’ that move through the world? In this sense, how are the objects and images we make something of a vital record; a form of transmission; an extraction from the everyday?

What unites these works—mostly “faces and places”—is some observable manifestation of the artist's everyday life through closely observed gestures that span intimacy, awkwardness, specificity and inimitability.  At the heart of each work we can perhaps locate, at arm’s length, the mobilization of some “invisible impulse” or energizing force – it may be an Instagram photo, a magazine, a bottle, studio remnants, rocks, a residency, a friend, a joke, or a llama. In a world saturated and fast, these artists model slowness and divergence, situating themselves and re-situating themselves in relation to the world, as if art is always, "in effect," happening.

The Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation exhibition, The Heart of the Matter, will be on view from January 29 – June, 2016, at 35 East Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL, 60601.

Images: Anna Kunz, Untitled, 2011, found Styrofoam, branch and enamel; Alice Tippit, Flush, 2015, Oil on canvas