Weekends are smooth sailing for the president and director of Expo Chicago
Starting Sept. 20 the iconic Ferris wheel won’t be the most eye-catching thing on our lakefront as the inaugural Expo Chicago — an international exposition of contemporary and modern art and design — brings more than 100 of the world’s best artists to Navy Pier.
The event is the brainchild of Tony Karman, former head of the now-disbanded Art Chicago and an art aficionado with 30 years of experience under his belt. His goal? To return Chicago to the forefront of international art fairs.
“Our city has a great art fair legacy and I believe strongly that Chicago deserves to once again have a leading fair on the international art fair calendar,” Karman says.
Karman’s experience, combined with a uniquely Chicago location, has attracted some of the biggest names in art, including: contemporary New York City-based artist Byron Kim; Jenny Holzer, creator of large-scale public displays; installation artist Dahn Vo; and local photographer Dawoud Bey. Such top-tier artwork deserves the perfect home, so Karman brought in renowned architect Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects to design the interior of Festival Hall specifically for the fair.
Karman hopes that the four-day Expo event will spark a resurgence in the Chicago art scene.
“It is my great hope that everyone from institutions to galleries to artists benefits greatly from the international exposure generated by Expo Chicago,” he says. “I hope that this week of activities has a lasting impact on Chicago’s arts and cultural community.”
With just a few days to go before the big event, Karman takes a break to chronicle his perfect Sunday routine.
Check out Expo Chicago on Sept. 20-23 at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand, expochicago.com
Karman enjoys a blueberry pancake breakfast outside on his home’s deck in River West with wife, Sondra, and their two cats.
The perfect laidback ritual, Karman reads the Sunday New York Times and watches “CBS Sunday Morning” with hot coffee, preferably from Big Shoulders (1105 W. Chicago).
Bike up the drive. What’s more beautiful than the lakefront?
Karman sets sail on Nighthawk, his friend Carl Hammer’s classic ’46 wooden sailboat.
4 p.m. Shopping at Whole Foods to find the right complement to the veggies bought the day before at the Green City Market.
5 p.m. Karman cooks a healthful dinner with Sondra; they love shrimp pasta or anything with beets.
7 p.m. Dinner outside on the deck with Sondra, the cats and a great bottle of wine purchased at Lush Wine and Spirits. Then early to bed and early to rise.