Jump to the listing for
  (1999)  
or read the notes below first...
This is an annotated listing of links to galleries and museums and to art organizations in the Chicago area, which deal with the visual arts, including photography. Also included are a number of artists' collectives. The sites of individual artists are generally not listed.
Links to web resources are scarce, quickly outdated, often dull, and frequently badly constructed. Before you start idling away your time browsing the local scene, check this list. If boring, empty, full of broken code, or not downward compatible, we'll let you know.
If there are comments, they reflect an impatient check with some stable Netscape version. A later look with a text browser (Lynx or Bobcat) will check text-mode compatibility.
Notes on content stand to be corrected. To do so, just send angry comments via [eMail]. Rants and spam will hit the bit-bucket, but I'll answer all others, and especially suggestions for new links. Your site can be anywhere (like in California or Finland), but the content or artists need to be Chicago based. That is Chicago, Illinois.
There are 100 mainstream galleries in Chicago and another hundred miscellaneous, new, temporary, and NFP galleries. A handful have URLs. Don't expect a lot; expect a lot of misdirections, moving gifs, and FRAMES which won't fit your screen, or links back which will endlessly replicate more frames.
FRAMES suck, in my humble opinion -- they are difficult to navigate, often go around in circles, difficult to get out of, hard to bookmark, and only a small error in judgement by the webpage designer can blow away any semblance of order for the viewer.
So does JAVA-Anything suck. After having a browser send you an endless series of error messages, you will probably disconnect Java from your cool options forever. And who cares about "mouse-over" crap anyway?
Remain hopeful, and remember you can always quit out.
JAVA is in, even though most users hate JAVA. FRAMES are in heavy use also, and many FRAME SETS have no method of exiting.
The second impression is of being lost in a Borgian labyrith. Local Webmasters have discovered the use of subdirectories, the default delivery by servers, and refeshing html files.
Some galleries seem to have gone packing this year, but organized listings by individual artists is on the increase -- at on-line only websites, which often assume the name "gallery" although they do not exist with a street address. We need a new name for these entities.
Ok, after three years, there still is no order to these listings. Sorry. Suggestions welcomed.
We gave up on colleges and schools. Based on exploration done both this year and last: College web sites just plain suck, and are mostly a joke. They tend to be extremely fragmented, with alliases and alternate machines to be found everywhere. Work by artists either doesn't exist, or goes stagnant.
You would think that involvement in image making and graphic design would place colleges on the leading edge. But mostly it just isn't so. The web site gets turned over to rotating staff and recent graduates. College which have recently gotten on line tend to turn the job of web design over to amatuers and newbees, as the background colors, frames, and unusable googaws will attest.
I got stuck during the January 1999 review -- about halfway through. So at some point you will run into a marker "here's where I am" which deliniates last year's reviews from this year's reviews. I'll catch up.
We have also dropped all the very irritating moving icons which kept the boxes of some viewers in constant disk-read motion. Even the horse.
Jump to the listing for   (1999)
Sites which exist only on the web are marked like this.
We have had complaints from some viewers that the icons are confusing, although no-one complains that they are irritating. To clarify: The icons were meant to be confusing and only marginally helpfull. They originally were meant to be irritating, also. Consider them to represent a meta-statement concerning the state of the web in Chicago.
Fast - means the source is well constructed and fast.
Wow - means this is a place well worth looking at.
Info - means there is information.
Pix - means there are images.
Yuk - means the site is aggravating or just stupid.
Brain Dead - uses Java, Frames, other Bad Ideas (TM).
Slow - means the images are large or early and slow.
Oops - means the site skids on a Text browser.
I finally ended up (by accident) at the location for the Cultural Center under the heading of "Tourism" -- which is the URL listed above. Here is an up to date listing of events and exhibits at the Cultural Center.
You cannot jump directly to the exhibitions, because the file names change monthly -- but try "../9901exhibits.html" for January, and "../9902exhibits.html" for February.
And try their link to [Public
Art]. which represents a very few city owned or sponsored
Here is the best among all of the City of Chicago pretensions to art: A cache of just plain photographs of what the Department of Public Works is doing (which is, they build things). Monumental, important, and without artifice.
Find these at this [obscure]
Check out their newsletter [on-line] in pdf (Bad Idea) format. If you don't mind 300K uploads and Acrobat decoding, then you get to look at handshaking Council members, and a set of pages which look much better than the hard copy, although still without any literary style or content.
For events and exhibitions see this [link], which was found to be up to date in January, but with "Programs" (which is to say, their address and phone number) in yellow (FBA444) on white (Bad Idea).
Link also to the "Illinois Artisans Shop" [next door], also
owned by the State, and only two months behind in listings.
Now on an alive drab (2E2E16) background (rather than black).
Some artists' works, an overview of the space, complete listing of
upcoming exhibitions, maps, members, other information. A few "current
events" pages date from last September.
However, check out our solution: Openings only, in alphabetical order all in one place. Copy this link for quick future reference:
(Note the change in file name as of 5/99) Updated within ten minutes
and 27 seconds
after the Reader posts their files at
Yahoo -- which is often not untill after midday on Fridays, and at times as late
as 6pm. We truncate long descriptions also, but leave you the closing phone
number, and links back to the original files. Done under agreement with the
At one time known as Gallery 954 (as if we needed another numbered gallery in Chicago), Ezel has since last year gone over the edge, like Egghead, and now exists only as an on-line entity. And Vernon may have left for West Virginia.
Otherwise it is still the Chicago photographer's gallery: Gwen Akin/Allan Ludwig - Frank Barsotti - Jerry Burchfield - JoAnn Callis - Eileen Cowin - Barbara Crane - John Divola - Judith Golden - Joe Jachna - Gail Kaplan - Howard Seth Miller - Joyce Neimanas - Maggie Taylor - Mary Jo Toles - Jerry Uelsmann. Mostly folks with connections to the Tute.
Easy to read, informative.
Includes (this year) a set of gallery artists and thumbnails of
their work. Easy to read, informative.
It may come from overextending the designer, one Mike Griffin, in whose home directory this stuff exists (along with pages for the Ukrainian Institute of Art, etc). If it , it's Griffin. See Mike Griffen's [home page].
But, back to Byron Roche: The links to gallery artists work this year.
And there are things to view. But still slow. A
100K million-color jpeg is not needed for a
300 x 400 black and white image.
Forget the School, their site is just lossitude. Barf, barf. (The index page still says "Use Netscape version 1.1 or higher" -- but don't try it. It will blow up with version 1.1.)
We seem to have lost any way to access the Gallery II site, or Betty
Rymer gallery. Maybe they are gone.
I looked up Beret again, as I have done three years in a row. Oh well, nice to know that some things never change. Beret is still listed as being on Elston Avenue. That was four years ago when they moved.
Some things do change. Their obnoxious pink wallpaper has turned into one
of those cheap gray rugs you get at a hardware store or find in schools.
Makes me want to sneeze just to look at it. I just don't know what the
outstanding features are -- it can't be the complimentary listings.
The "image" version is a bagbiter. You will get caught in an endless loop of requests to put Java up (seems some web people actually realize that most people turn JAVA off). "Just reload," they say. Ah-huh. It don't work (Even with Explorer 5).
To avoid this stupidity, do this: [click here] - it will get you to an index of sorts, and without having to run JAVA.
From that point on things go to FRAMES, but with white backgrounds, smaller images, more text. Commendable, compared to last year's frankenstein.
Check out also the
stamp art by Michael Thompson and Michael Hernandez de Luna at this
[http://www.pg.net/o/stampart.html] . Really nice, and appropriate to a
website. Better links:
This is the official Flotilla page. For the unofficial Flotilla page,
look at this [link].
Chuck pays me the following compliment,
"The best I can do for you is give you a link to the best (wordy) of all
browser art sites in Chicago: The Unofficial Uncomfortable Spaces Web
Site" - Chuck Eaton
The index page takes some time to load, and as usual is probably only used to plus-plus a CGI script for counting hits (when will they learn to grep log files?).
Still loaded with great stuff, though. A
The colored backgrounds and colored text drive me nuts, but there are more images than at some museum sites. The images look brilliant, and actually seem to be of the correct density and contrast, something difficult to find at many sites.
Includes also a wealth of discussions by Paul Klein, and responses from
others, which makes intriguing reading. Smart for a gallery, informative,
and easy to cruise. Go see it.
Still, as a year ago, "you must have installed.." the "FREE APPLE QUICKTIME VR PLAYER SOFTWARE," etc. At least I no longer "gotta have" Netscape Navigator 3.0. with plugins, etc.
Good. I run NOTscape 2.02, and have no intentions of upgrading. I have jettisoned the QT, NA Player, Shock Wave, and Java files. (QT writes 30 megs of read-only files to the Windows directory!). Sometimes I run Bobcat, and make it sign in as Mozilla.
Most interesting at the site are the text files describing the massive effort at making panoramic images of all the gallery's alcoves, and have them play back with QT software. "We already owned a Vivitar zoom lens," does not encourage confidence in resolution. Nor does their ownership of a "florescent filter," no doubt integral to the projects' blooming.
But it is none the less interesting to see the proud descriptions of the
details of the project, especially since
*I* have made panoramic images for years. I still can't figure why
half the pages won't load.
One page samples with images from various collections. Colored
backgrounds make reading a bitch. Some nice stuff though, not much where you
would expect a lot. Many of the links just go to a press release about the
"nature museum." I'm gonna start a Web Museum before it is too late.
The pink squiggly wallpaper background drives me bonkers, though. But
that isn't SOFA's doing, it is the design of their web site provider,
ArtResources. For which see above somewhere.
FRAMES, and funky graphics, and very difficult to make sense out of; some of it just unreadable and seems to just go round in circles.
Somebody must have been working 60 hour weeks over the last year: the
whole of the 1997 show catalog is on line. A CGI search links to a database
with formal descriptions (location, the stable, and a sample) of just about
every gallery exhibited in 1997. This all the same construction is as boring
as it is endless.
Lots of wacky font colors and Netscape slaverings right now. Over the
last year this has grown into a 40 megabyte cache of images, commentary,
and magazine rack of back issues and Jim Hugunin projects.
This year: Oodles of text, fast link to just about anything. But I have no idea what this is all about, but then, I never did have academic leanings.
For Chicago the one of ten initial NFP orgs is Beacon Street Gallery, at
Truman College, at
[http://www.openstudio.org/sites/beacon.html]. Ask them what this is all
Last year's comment: A few broken links if you are browsing with Lynx and looking for Fellowship money. You'll never find it. But then, that is their policy.
This year's comments: (1) They are still there. (2) Money has moved to the index page.
Nice white backgrounds. All put together by a crew of over 50 people, or
maybe 100. Ah, what committees can't do!
And, hey! Free money.. when there is money. Funding programs are easy to
This year they have gone to a longer text file, but otherwise nothing
has changed: Still listing one artist, mostly music, a longer list of
on-line publications, and the same gallery list as years ago: Look at
Artists Book Works (closed four years ago), darkroom aids (closed last year)
or Beret (moved from Elston Avenue three years ago). Forget it.
CAC services, and artists' images.
Subscriptions, back issues, etc.
Strange, for the slamming I gave them a year ago, they actually have a "links page" entry which reads, "Jno Cook's review of Chicagoland art sites" -- meaning, I suppose, this file, which is a review of *Web* sites. But the URL for the link contains three errors, and you will *never* connect. That's one way of getting even.
My bitch last year was that their "art resources" list did not have a single link to anything in Chicago. (I suggested they list the Utrecht catalog.) This year things have certainly improved. The NAE web-master was able to find 6 Chicago links, which includes one gallery (besides the Uncomfortable Spaces) and two museums.
Says something about Web activity in Chicago. I think *I'm* gonna add the Utrecht Catalog on this page
(later:) The Utrecht Catalog can be found at
Feel free to send [comments] via email.