New Projects: Chicago's Newest Architecture Gallery

Located three blocks south of Crown Hall at IIT, New Projects, a new architecture research and exhibition space, aims to provide a venue for urban and artistic dialogue about the future of cities. Located in the 1920’s Overton Building, the 3400 square foot storefront space is to play host to lectures, workshops, and exhibitions “focusing specifically on urbanism,” according to co-organizer Marshall Brown.

Chicago has no shortage of architecture exhibition spaces, ranging from the vast A & D galleries at the Art Institute, to the stately but never stodgy Graham Foundation, to the edgy Extension Gallery. In addition to its focus on urbanism, New Projects will also showcase art-based practices, which the organizers believe will help it stand out from the crowd. Stephanie Smith, chief curator at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, will contribute to the programming of the space.

Brown, who also runs his architecture and urban design practice Marshall Brown Projects in the space, has kept the gallery largely raw, with peeling paint and exposed concrete columns as a reminder of the building’s history. It overlooks the former site of the Stateway Gardens housing projects, now cleared away as a part of former Mayor Daley’s tabula rasa approach to redevelopment. Brown hopes to provide a venue for more speculative projects about the future of Chicago and beyond. “How do you create spaces to do urban planning and design?” he asks.

“The space is a bit of an experiment,” Brown said. “Certainly we are inspired by the beginning of the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York.”

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