Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

Stephen Kelly Gallery: Turning Profits and Heads
by Andrew Davis
2006-03-01

This article shared 2839 times since Wed Mar 1, 2006
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Pictured Stephen kelly Smith. Photo by Andrew Davis. Work by Lisa Caplan. Former President Calvin Coolidge once stated that 'the business of America is business.' If that's the case, then Stephen Kelly, owner of Stephen Kelly Gallery, is the essence of Americana. However, he is more than a businessman; he is also an artist, and is successful in combining the analytical and the creative.

Kelly recently chatted with Windy City Times about the art of the deal—and the deal regarding art.

Windy City Times: Your background is in art.

Stephen Kelly: Yes. I've been an artist my entire life. My dad went to art school in Grand Rapids. But I remember drawing from age five. I went away to school for business. I try to utilize that as much as I can; sometimes it works well and sometimes it doesn't. [ Laughs. ] But it's a learning process. However, I [ ultimately ] left a company and went to the School of the Art Institute. I decided that I wanted to control my art and bring together the business and the art worlds.

I opened my own gallery because I showed other galleries and had been pretty successful. I figured that I could sell and produce my own work as well as create the whole environment on my own terms. It's been a real process and a learning experience.

WCT: It'll probably always be a learning experience.

SK: Oh, absolutely. It's funny how you think you understand something about the business and something always pops up. I'm always trying to get better at what I do.

WCT: Who are your own favorite artists?

SK: I like Gerhard Richter. I like how he spreads the paint across the surface and you wonder about what's going on underneath. I always wonder about what he's deconstructing—and I think he's trying to break down what abstraction is. I love mystery. With my own paintings, I don't [ reveal ] everything; I want people to be continually interested.

WCT: Is there any type of art you won't display in this gallery?

SK: That's a good question. The body of work that I'm working on now is taking me in the direction of art that is even more abstract. I want work that's very clean and simplistic. I really want people to create the story within themselves. There's going to be more abstraction.

I want something that people don't see all the time in River North. I mean, there are a lot of beautiful works, like Picasso and van Gogh. That style is wonderful but I want something new.

WCT: So what separates this gallery from the plethora of others in this area?

SK: Part of it has to do with the fact that I'm an artist myself. There aren't a lot of artist-owned galleries in River North, or Chicago for that matter—and there aren't many galleries owned by African-Americans. I bring all those worlds together.

If someone comes in here and wants a piece specifically for their office or home, I can create that. As long as we're on the same page, it'll be a happy relationship. I really try to create the environment for the client. But I [ essentially ] work as a consultant; I want the client to become part of the process.

WCT: What are the best and worst aspects of owning a gallery?

SK: [ Laughs. ] The best aspect is that I can sit in this gallery and be surrounded by beautiful work all day. I love working with people, and I don't know where they might be coming from: places like India, Europe and other spots. That makes it fun. I also enjoy the creative part, [ which involves ] creating and selling my work. I like the control.

The biggest challenge is the business aspect and keeping everything interesting and fresh. So I have various events, like First Fridays. It's always [ about ] cash flow. Money talks; that's the bottom line. I want to let people know what I can provide what they need.

Something I didn't realize initially is that River North is seasonal. It makes for an interesting sociological study. Spring and fall are usually the best times while winter and summer tend to be slower. In the summer, people go away to resorts or places like Saugatuck and New Buffalo. During the fall, people come back from traveling and walk around the galleries to prepare their homes for the winter. There are a lot of dynamics going on [ regarding ] spending habits. It's such a learning process. This has been business school; my advice is to start a business if you really want to learn about it.

WCT: What is art to you?

SK: Art, to me, comes in different ways. When I'm in the studio, the creative process is art to me. With any artist, the art is in the creation; for the viewer, it's in observing that piece. I'm very blessed to be in this world and being able to create.

One day, I won't be here but my art will be. That's the beauty of it. That's what Picasso, Michelangelo and all of these incredible artists can say. They've been able to transcend their lives through their art.

Stephen Kelly Gallery is located at 750 N. Franklin, Ste. 101. Call ( 312 ) 867-1921 for more info.


This article shared 2839 times since Wed Mar 1, 2006
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

ART 'Frida: Immersive Dream' coming to Germania Place in 2022 2021-11-30
- Lighthouse Immersive, North America's leading producer of ground-breaking experiential art exhibits, and Maestro Immersive Art announce their newest immersive art installation, "Frida: Immersive Dream." This exhibition will run at Lighthouse ...


Gay News

MCA announces new curatorial leadership 2021-11-18
- The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA) announces the appointments of two new leaders to its curatorial team—Rene Morales, as the James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator; and Jamillah James, as Manilow Senior Curator. Morales and James ...


Gay News

Steppenwolf opens Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center 2021-11-04
- On Nov. 2, Steppenwolf Theatre Company opened its new 50,000-square-foot theater building and education facility, the Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center. Designed by architect Gordon Gill FAIA of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill ...


Gay News

THEATER 'A Michael Martin Tribute' Nov. 11-28 2021-10-27
- Curious Theatre Branch will host a three-week celebration of the solo performance monologues of the late Michael Martin, curated by Kelly Anchors. A Michael Martin Tribute will take place Nov. 11-28 at Pride Arts Center, 4139 ...


Gay News

Mayor Lightfoot, DCASE reveal more fall, holiday event details 2021-10-22
--From a press release - CHICAGO—Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) today announced more details for DCASE fall and holiday traditions as Chicago's vital arts and culture scene continues to safely and fully ...


Gay News

ATTRACTIONS Pizza pop-up, WNDR, Wrightwood 2021-10-22
- —Rewired's pizza pop-up: Rewired Pizza Cafe & Bar, 1102 W. Thorndale Ave., is getting in on the Halloween fun by paying homage to classic restaurant chains and "dressing up" as owner Daniel Barat's favorite pizza chain: ...


Gay News

Alphawood chooses LGBTQ+ individual to head foundation 2021-10-20
- Alphawood Foundation Chicago announced Chirag G. Badlani as its newest executive director, effective Nov. 8. Badlani succeeds Jim McDonough, who retired this month after leading the foundation since 2012 and who will remain Alphawood's legal counsel ...


Gay News

Portrait series 'Still Searching' highlights missing Black women, children 2021-10-19
--From a press release, video below - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. On Friday, Oct. 22, 2021 from 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Damon Lamar Reed, Nicole So Random, and 345 Art Gallery will collaborate to present Still Searching Art Exhibition at 345 Art Gallery in Chicago, ...


Gay News

3Arts awards nearly $1M to women artists, artists of color, Deaf, disabled artists 2021-10-18
--From a press release - CHICAGO, IL (OCTOBER 18, 2021)—3Arts, the Chicago-based nonprofit grantmaking organization, will award Chicago artists with nearly $1 million in unrestricted cash grants during the 14th annual 3Arts Awards, taking place ...


Gay News

LGBT History Month: '40s and '50s instant photography gave LGBT people 'Safe/Haven' 2021-10-15
- Two men dressed in drag for a tea party, and two women cuddled up at the beach. Today these might be benign photographs but, in the early 1950s, they were memories shuttered away from public view. ...


Gay News

ART Contemporary yet timeless exhibition 'Young, Gifted and Black' arrives at Gallery 400 2021-10-13
- To be a Black art collector is to stand on the shoulders of a proud lineage. Throughout history, Black patrons have supported Black artists when nobody else did. Bernard Lumpkin—a New York City-based art patron, educator ...


Gay News

ART Van Gogh balloon celebrates installation's extension to Feb. 6 2021-10-11
- Following a maiden flight in Toronto to herald the return of the city's "Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit," Lighthouse Immersive's Vincent van Gogh hot-air balloon made its way to Goebbert's Farm, in the Kane County village of ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Songs for Nobodies 2021-10-07
- Title: Songs for Nobodies. Playwright: Joanna Murray-Smith At: Northlight Theatre at the North Shore Center for the Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd. Tickets: $30-$89. Runs through: Sunday, Oct. 31 You won't find their names in the history ...


Gay News

Chicago Inclusion Project offers anti-racism workshops for arts organizations 2021-10-05
--From a press release - Chicago, IL—The staff of The Chicago Inclusion Project is excited to launch a new workshop and continuum developed by staff members Jessica Vann and Arti Ishak. The workshop, entitled "Being Anti-Racist: An Active Action," is designed ...


Gay News

ART Nick Cave, Bob Faust to unveil 'Rapt on the Mile' on Michigan Avenue 2021-10-04
- The Magnificent Mile has recently installed a monumental, multi-story public art installation entitled "Rapt on The Mile" that renowned artists (and couple) Nick Cave and Bob Faust created. The mural, which now wraps the 679 N. ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.