We received word from the folks at the Chicago Artists’ Coalition that applications are now being accepted for the 12th Annual Chicago Art Open exhibition. From the CAC’s website:

The Chicago Art Open features 300 professional, emerging, and student artists with artwork in all media selected by guest curators. This major exhibition serves as the centerpiece of Chicago Artists’ Month. Members receive a discount on the application fee.

Here’s the information on the application process. If you have questions or need further information, contact Pepper Coate, Community Outreach Coordinator: pepper.cac@gmail.com.

Welcome to the Application for the 12th Annual Chicago Art Open!

The Chicago Art Open, an annual program of the Chicago Artists’ Coalition, exhibits established, emerging and student visual artists side by side in a professionally curated exhibition.


Please read the following guidelines before continuing the application process:


All artists must meet the following criteria:

Must live or make visual art in Chicago or in the greater Chicago area
Must be 18 years of age or older
Must have created their entries within the last two years.
Entry pieces must not have been exhibited in any prior Chicago Art Open

Professional Artist
Professional Artists must meet the following criteria:

Not currently enrolled in a degree-seeking studio art or design program
Must have participated in at least one professional exhibition within the last five years (not including the Chicago Art Open). Any artist that has exhibited at a professional exhibition in the last five years (see our definition below) MUST apply for this category even if otherwise he/she is considered “Emerging”.
Artists who have participated in professional exhibitions, but not within the past five years, may be accepted at the discretion of the Jurors.
Professional exhibitions include: juried, curated, group, or solo exhibitions taking place at a gallery, art center, museum, or other similarly recognized exhibition space. Public art commissions and representation in a commercial gallery can also be used to meet this requirement.
PLEASE NOTE: If your exhibition history ONLY includes the following types of exhibitions, you do not qualify for the Professional Category (see Emerging category guidelines instead):

Restaurants, coffeehouses, art fairs and festivals or retail environments
Web-based exhibitions or online galleries
Exhibits in a college or university gallery as part of an academic course of study or in fulfillment of a degree program
Emerging Artist

Emerging Artists must meet the following criteria:

Not enrolled in a degree-seeking studio art or design program.
Have no prior professional exhibition experience and have exhibited primarily in restaurants, coffeehouses, online galleries, art fairs/festivals, and other retail environments
Student Artist

Student artists must meet the following criteria:
Must be at least 18 years old and currently enrolled in a degree-seeking academic program.

2D Artwork

Original artwork completed during the last two years
Cannot exceed 48″ height x 48″ width (framed dimensions)
Must include a frame or mount of professional quality. (Clip frames and other temporary framing devices are NOT APPROPRIATE.)
Must be installation-ready with wire and hooks already attached to the back of the work.
Paintings on stretched canvas may be left unframed only under these conditions: if the edges of the canvas are painted as an integral part of the work or if the edges of the canvas have been neatly primed and do not contain staples.
Artwork with a fragile surface (pastel, charcoal, wet oil, etc) must be protected by Plexiglas
All other canvases, including those with unprimed edges, marks or staples, must be framed!

Original artwork completed during the last two years
Cannot exceed 60″ height x 60″ width x 60″ depth (including pedestal or mount). PLEASE NOTE: If your work weighs more than 150 lbs, you must arrange a time for drop-off and installation with the Exhibition Director.


Original artwork completed during the last two years
Installation entries should include a brief written description of the work that addresses materials, approximate dimensions, and viewer interaction (if applicable)

Images or sketches of the finished or proposed installation.
Installations cannot exceed 60″ height x 60″ width x 60″ depth. Once accepted, you must contact the Exhibition Director to arrange a time for installing the work.


Original artwork completed during the last two years

Video and Media entries should be represented by a CD or DVD sample and a brief written description of the AV equipment involved (artist’s responsibility to provide).


Collaborative pieces, films, and performances


The Chicago Artists’ Coalition reserves the right to refuse any work due to inadequate framing and/or mounting hardware or if the actual work differs significantly from the submitted images. Warped or shoddily constructed frames, canvasses or board will not be exhibited.

Use glass at your own risk — it will not be insured.


CAC retains a 40% commission of the sales price of any work. Artists are paid 60% no later than 30 days after the close of the exhibition.


Artists’ CV with exhibition history to determine if application was submitted for the appropriate category
Artist Statement
CD with 3 high resolution with titles, medium, size and selling price
Artist name, email, mailing address, phone number
Entry Fee (see categories below). Online applications may submit a secure payment on CAC’s web site or may mail a check to the CAC office – MANDATORY FOR PAYMENT TO BE MADE BEFORE JANUARY 29, 2010
Send all mailing materials to:
Att: Chicago Art Open
Chicago Artist Coalition
1550 N. Damen
Unit 201
Chicago, IL 60622
Send all email applications to: pepper.cac@gmail.com

Professional Category, non-CAC member: $100
Professional Category, CAC member: $70

Emerging/Student Category, non-CAC member: $45

Emerging/Student Category, CAC member: $35

PLEASE NOTE: We cannot reserve a spot in the exhibition for you until

ALL of the required items have been received, including payment.

Claudine Isé

Claudine Isé has worked in the field of contemporary art as a writer and curator for the past decade, and currently serves as the Editor of the Art21 Blog. Claudine regularly writes for Artforum.com and Chicago magazine, and has also worked as an art critic for the Los Angeles Times. Before moving to Chicago in 2008, she worked at the Wexner Center in Columbus, OH as associate curator of exhibitions, and at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles as assistant curator of contemporary art, where she curated a number of Hammer Projects. She has Ph.D. in Film, Literature and Culture from the University of Southern California.