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Navy Pier
600 E. Grand Avenue
60611 Chicago
September 19th, 2012 - September 23rd, 2012
Opening: September 19th, 2012 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Michigan Ave/Downtown



New Art Exposition to Feature Leading International Contemporary, Modern and Design Galleries

CHICAGO – The inaugural exposition CHICAGO debuts September 1923, 2012 in Festival Hall at Navy Pier, produced by the newly formed Art Expositions, LLC under the leadership of President and Director Tony Karman.  The new fair will open the fall art season in the heart of America and will draw upon our city’s rich history as a preeminent arts and culture destination.  exposition CHICAGO will showcase up to 100 international art galleries, presenting a curated mix of contemporary and modern art, design and new mediums.   

To ensure the highest standards of participating exhibitors and artwork presented, exposition CHICAGO will establish a Selection Committee of internationally respected dealers and be guided by an Advisory Committee of arts professionals and civic leaders.

“This is an exciting time for Chicago.  With our foremost cultural institutions, innovative technology sectors, internationally renowned restaurants, music and theater, and a new Mayor strongly committed to the arts, it’s the right time for us to launch a new contemporary art exposition for our city,” said Karman. “exposition CHICAGO is about looking forward – in theme, scope and presentation. We will adhere to the highest of standards of quality to present a thoughtfully curated mix of dealers, artwork and design for collectors, curators and arts enthusiasts to explore.”  

exposition CHICAGO will take full advantage of Navy Pier’s expansive space and ceiling height to offer generous-sized exhibitor stands, special exhibitions, large scale installations and patron amenities.  To that end, exposition CHICAGO will very soon announce a premier designer and architecture firm, to assist in the creation of a cohesive, design-forward interior environment.

“Navy Pier holds many great memories for the international art world.  Having a new fair on the lake at Navy Pier again at this time, in our great city, will serve artists, dealers and collectors very well,” said renowned gallerist Rhona Hoffman. “There are many wonderful and active collectors in the greater Midwest, and Chicago’s location makes it very convenient for them to travel here. I feel confident that this fair will be successful and build Chicago’s reputation as an international arts destination.”

For 2012, exposition CHICAGO will introduce an overarching theme – Discovery – to focus the programming and special installations that will occur at Navy Pier and other public art projects and events throughout the city.

Discovery is important in all aspects of what we are trying to do with exposition CHICAGO.  We envision that this theme will complement – and magnify – the extraordinary work of our local institutions, dealers, curators and artists,” said Karman. “September is the perfect time to establish our exposition and we will work closely with Chicago’s arts, design, entertainment, business and tourism industries to ensure a not-to-be-missed experience.”   

Art Expositions, LLC benefits from a strategic partnership with Mark Lyman and Michael Franks of The Art Fair Company, who bring many years of experience producing quality international arts and antiques fairs and events.  exposition CHICAGO exhibitors and patrons will also benefit greatly from this alliance, receiving unparalleled operational support and patron services including The Art Fair Company’s state-of-the-art 12’ walls, lights and equipment.

Art Expositions, LLC also includes public art consultant Joel Straus as a partner. Straus curated the art collections of the Washington DC Convention Center and Chicago’s McCormick Place South Building. He is co-founder and executive director of Chicago’s newest public art non-profit organization, 4D Arts. Straus will direct many of the exhibitions, public art installations and programming.

Art Expositions, LLC has committed to present exposition CHICAGO at Navy Pier for at least three years.

For more information about exposition CHICAGO, please call (312) 428-3094 or visit


About Tony Karman

Tony Karman has been active in the civic, business and cultural communities of Chicago for nearly 30 years.  Working with select institutions, associations, government organizations, producers of special events and corporations, he has guided numerous projects from concept to conclusion.  As the former Vice President and Director of Art Chicago from 2006 to 2010, Karman worked to rebuild and present the international art fair for Merchandise Mart Properties Inc. (MMPI).  In late 2010, he opened KARMAN projects inc. to provide strategic planning, management, fundraising and marketing assistance to international clients such as Chicago Ideas Week/TEDxMidwest, Kellogg Innovation Network (KIN) Global Summit, Fulcrum New Music Project and TechWeek Chicago.  Additionally, he co-founded and is President of 4DArts, a not for profit organization designed to initiate and produce temporal interdisciplinary public art events throughout the Chicago area.

Karman’s past work in Chicago also includes Director of Marketing and Development for the Auditorium Theatre Council; Associate Director, Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Chicago; Managing Director of Arie Crown Theatre– Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority; Associate for Vice Mayor David Orr, City of Chicago–Committee for Special Events and Cultural Affairs; Associate Director of the League of Chicago Theatres; and Managing Director with the Lakeside Group, producers of the Chicago International Art Exposition and other events. Immediately prior to his position with Art Chicago and MMPI, Karman was a principal of Tony Karman & Associates, an independent consultant firm providing sponsorship solicitation and acquisition, strategic brand development and marketing coordination for select local and national clients including Art Chicago, Chicago International Film Festival, South Beach Wine & Food Festival and numerous Fortune 100 corporations and media companies such as Motorola, Starbucks, Chase, AT&T, Coca-Cola, Kodak, US Cellular, American Airlines, United Airlines, Pepsi, Conde Nast, Mercedes-Benz, Chicago Tribune and Comcast, securing more than $12 million in cash and in-kind support for his clients.

Originally from Rock Island, Illinois, Karman attended Augustana College and Kansas State University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.  He has traveled extensively and he has established numerous professional alliances and relationships throughout the world.  He is a long-time resident of Chicago, where he lives with his wife Sondra.  Karman currently serves on several non-profit boards and civic committees, including Redmoon, School of the Art Institute–Fashion Committee, Chicago Artists Coalition and the Chicago International Music and Movies Festival.  

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