A talk with Tracey Morrison

  ·  Cristiana Troli

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 4.04.23 PMCristiana Trolli is an international intern visiting from Italy as part of EF International School of English program. She worked on her English while learning more about ArtReach and Lillstreet.

As an international intern at ArtReach at Lillstreet, I was introduced to the Exhibition Manager for Lillstreet Art Center, Tracey Morrison a few days ago. ArtReach is the non-profit sister organization to Lillstreet Art Center. The purpose of ArtReach is to spread art to communities in Chicago which cannot afford it on their own.

As part of my work with ArtReach, I was introduced to Tracey and since I recently founded a non-profit cultural association named EUtopia dedicated to show the work of emerging artists in Italy, I thought: why don't ask her about her role in the gallery and how an exhibition is set up?

Tracey Morrison is the current Exhibition Manager at Lillstreet Art Center. Her role is strictly connected to the organization of the art exhibitions, from the selection of the artists to the final set up in collaboration with the artist itself.

She explained to me that the process of selection is quite long and based on annual applications for shows which are scheduled two years in advance. A proposal is required by the artists who wish to show at Lillstreet Gallery.

Tracey gave me a tour of the two Gallery spaces at Lillstreet Art Center that can be used by the artists.

The Main Gallery, which is also the biggest one, is located on the first floor. It is dedicated to exhibiting the work of local artists who work in ceramics, painting, drawing, textiles, photography and metalsmithing. Graphic Noise: Gig Posters from the Chicago Printers Guildis the most recent exhibition, a collective of Chicago-based printmakers artists. Currently Let There Be Light: the 39th Annual Holiday Show and Sale is in the gallery from November 21st 2014 through the holiday season.

Directly connected to the Main Gallery is the Artisan Gift Shop where some of the artists' works of art are sold.

The second space, called the Annex, is situated on the second floor. It is mostly dedicated to emerging artists in order to support them and make them known. During June and July 2014 ArtReach, in collaboration with the art class of Lake View High School, set up an exhibition in this space called StreetReach. This was not only to show the work that ArtReach does with schools and communities, but also to give a voice to street art and its relationship with the youth culture. A new exhibition organized by ArtReach will be on display April 24-May 31, 2015.

The current exhibition in the Annex is  When Things Fall Apart: a collage installation representing abstract figures which are continuously added to and therefore comes alive and evolves day by day.

It has been a pleasure to meet Tracey Morrison during my internship. Having the opportunity to talk to her showed me how challenging running a gallery and staying in contact with artists and people related to the art world can be.

Posted In: Interns/Volunteer