Outside Inspiration — Chicago gallery spotlight

Outside Inspiration — Chicago gallery spotlight

I recently came across a gallery in Chicago’s North Shore that I found particularly interesting, The Art Post Gallery.

Opened in 1972 and purchased by current owner Christina Bates in 1980, Art Post Gallery says that it has the largest inventory of original art on Chicago’s North Shore.  Chris Bates is also more than willing to share her insights about gallery life.

TheDetroiter.com: What is the mission of your gallery?

Chris: The Art Post Gallery seeks to be a meaningful source of original art and fine framing for people who wish to beautify their home or office and express their passions, interests and individuality.

TheDetroiter.com: Can you describe the new gallery?

Chris: We are trying to create a bit of a WOW factor in our 2,600 square foot gallery. The floors will be polished concrete. The ceiling will be unfinished with all utilities exposed and spray-painted off-white to create a sense of airiness. The primary color we’ve chosen…antique pewter…is designed to show off our beautifully framed art. The bottom line is an edgier, “with it” sort of look.

TheDetroiter.com: What is your role in educating the public about art?

Chris: While we often educate our clients and prospects about an artist or a medium or an element of fine framing, we see our primary role as giving our clients the confidence to truly express themselves and make their home an extension of who they are.

TheDetroiter.com: What types of artists do you represent/carry?

Chris: We represent artists who do one-of-a-kind work from literally all over the world. In fact, with the exception of a handful of artists within a 100 radius, our artists live and work throughout the United States, Europe, South America and Asia. Over the past 31 years, I’ve developed a good sense of what works in our market area and what represents the kind of quality work that will be valued by our clients.

TheDetroiter.com: What advice do you have for artists wanting to show at your gallery?

Chris: I never agree to see a prospective artist without first seeing photographic examples of their work. And…while I would never interfere with an artist’s creative process, I expect them to be willing and able to accept feedback and critical commentary.

TheDetroiter.com: What advice do you have for new collectors?

Chris: Buy what you love. Make sure the art you buy expresses you and who you are. And…don’t be afraid

to mix styles or mediums. It’s often the element of surprise that makes a collection successful and impactful.

TheDetroiter.com: Your gallery has been around since 1972, how has it changed over the decades?

Chris: The business was originally focused on art supplies, with some framing and printed art. When I purchased the business in 1980, I immediately eliminated the art supply and reproduction art parts of the business and began to shift the focus to original art and fine framing. Today, we have the largest selection of original art on the North Shore of Chicago and are recognized as one of the most creative, high-end conservation framers in the area. We also have developed quite a following for the restoration of oil and acrylic paintings.

TheDetroiter.com: What’s next?

Chris: Our move to Willow Festival in Northbrook (near Whole Foods & REI and next to rōti) is designed to get us closer to our natural customers, who often travel to this beautiful and diverse shopping center from villages throughout the North Shore area. Simultaneously, we have invested a good deal of time and effort into making our website (www.artpostgallery.com) easy to navigate and find

what you’re looking for. We also expect to use our beautiful new space to host more shows and special events. Finally, we seek to become a more meaningful resource for the interior designer community. Our ability and willingness to let designers and clients take art home on approval before making a purchase decision differentiates us from most galleries. And…we’re a lot more convenient than the Merchandise Mart!

Five Fine Art Trends
Art Post Gallery Shares Up and Coming Art Styles

by Chris Bates

Fashion fads aren’t the only trends that come and go; art styles fluctuate in popularity as well. While it’s important to pick a piece based upon your own personal preferences, Chris Bates, owner of Art Post Gallery in Chicago’s North Shore, explains that there are a few trends that are currently gaining traction. Below are five fine art changes to watch for:

- Paper Art: A popular medium in the 1960s, paper artwork is finding its way back on the walls at both residences and businesses. This trend includes lithographs, etchings, antique maps, watercolor, photographs, and even botanicals.

- Museum Glass: The best option for protecting artwork, museum glass or “conservation glass” has a nearly invisible finish which prevents any glare from reflecting on the piece. The framing glass also blocks up to 99 percent of UV light rays, which not only protects the art, it helps to enhance the colors in the piece as well.

- Gallery Wrap: A method of stretching canvas around the sides of the wooden frame to hide the hardware (staples or tacks), the sides of the canvas are also prepared and primed in the same manner as the face. The artwork extends along the sides which allows for the painting to be hung without a frame or framed in a “floating” frame, where the sides are visible and the frame minimal.

- Mixing it Up: Notwithstanding the “theme” of your home, your artwork should reflect your desires, passions and individuality, so don’t feel the need to stick to one style. Incorporate a variety of traditional, transitional and contemporary artwork into your home as each piece will stand on its own and add an element of surprise!

- Thin Is In: The mid-modern style of framing is making a comeback. Homeowners are opting for thinner frames to compliment some of their artwork.

About Art Post Gallery, in its own words:
“Known for its extensive collection of original works including oil paintings, watercolors, etchings and vintage art, the gallery not only encourages designers and clients to take home art on approval, but can help commission artists to create special pieces for one’s home or office. Art Post Gallery also specializes in fine framing. All of the work is done on premises by a well-trained, creative staff. They are also available to perform a wide range of art restorations and can help with installation. Art Post Gallery is located in the Shops at Willow Festival [near Whole Foods, REI and next to rōti (Mediterranean Grill)] at 984 G Willow Road in Northbrook, IL, at the NW corner of Willow Road and Waukegan Road. For more information visit http://artpostgallery.com or call 847-657-9492.”