The Seen: Presenting Chicago’s International Contemporary Art Blog

Screen grab of The Seen online blog for EXPO Chicago 2012

We’re proud of our partnership with EXPO CHICAGO – the cutting edge international contemporary and modern art fair that will debut this September at Chicago’s iconic Navy Pier.

Screen grab of The Seen online blog for EXPO Chicago 2012

Since fall 2011, Otherwise has been collaborating with EXPO CHICAGO to translate the vision for the art fair into a powerful and clearly articulated brand. One of the core components for building the brand presence was to create a blog for EXPO CHICAGO that acts as a stand-alone publication. Otherwise conceived, designed and developed The Seen, Chicago’s international art and design blog, which serves as a living journal while positioning the fair as a leader in collaborative new media in the art world. Today, five months after The Seen’s launch, Otherwise continues to curate and contribute content while evolving the blog’s vision and raison d’être.

From its inception, we wanted to access art from across the world while incorporating many different points of view. Our content covers museum exhibitions, gallery shows, studio visits, artist interviews and important international art news. Solidifying The Seen as a go-to resource, Otherwise manages contributors who range from Chicago art writers to museum curators and Paris art collectors. The result is that our content is original, our voice authentic and our commentary relevant.

Inside the studio of Amanda Ross Ho, showing chairs and piles of pots on pedestals
Amanda Ross-Ho’s studio

In order to differentiate The Seen from other art publications, Otherwise curates a variety of perspectives that reveal an inside glimpse of the contemporary art world otherwise unexplored.

EXPO team member Nicole Berry visits the downtown Los Angeles studio of internationally acclaimed artist Amanda Ross-Ho. Going “behind the scenes” in Amanda’s studio, Nicole captured aspects of her artistic process no interview could. Photographing her studio walls, Nicole found them covered in phrases written in pencil. (When phrases catch her attention, Amanda jots them on the wall rather than disrupting her flow to get a pen and paper.) Traces of her work over the years can be seen throughout her studio. The studio walls themselves are works of art that inform her practice.

Our Paris contributor, Susan Lyons, regularly visits museums and galleries all over the city. Her commentary on Galerie Karsten Greve, Jeu de Paume and Musée d’Art Moderne allow readers to feel as though they hopped a plane to Paris and are walking through the exhibitions alongside her. Susan’s review of the Festival de la Jeune Photographie Européenne exposes the photographs of up and coming artists and their reflecting visions of our world.

The SAIC runway fashion show in 2011
SAIC Fashion Show 2011

The Seen also promotes local art projects, such as Hearth + Shelf and The Happiness Project. We engage with the Chicago community, to both show our support for the “home grown” while also allowing the international art audience to catch a glimpse of just how dynamic and exciting the art “seen” is in Chicago. As a result, you’ll find us live tweeting the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Fashion Show 2012 and spotlighting gallery openings around the city. The Seen sponsored the event EXPO /Dialogues, an artist residency panel discussion examining leading residencies and their dedication to emerging artists. By engaging with the Chicago arts community, we build relationships and strengthen the EXPO CHICAGO brand.

Otherwise created a blog that is smart, sophisticated and sleek. The Seen has reviewed exhibitions from Madrid to Toronto and Atlanta, covered major shows in New York and uncovered small but powerful exhibitions in St. Louis. In this way, The Seen brings together slices of the contemporary art world in a way that is both accessible and tangible. 

Emmaline Niendorf is an Integrated Marketing Associate for Otherwise Incorporated.