Closing of Chicago Art Magazine

Founding Managing Editor, Stephanie Burke; Editor-in-Chief, Robin Dluzen; Kathryn Born, Publisher (not pictured)

(originally posted 4/3/12)

Chicago Art Magazine will be closing on April 13, 2012. The primary reason for the close is due to the publisher, Kathryn Born, going on an 8-month medical leave. Robin Dluzen, the Editor-in-Chief, could have solely sustained the editorial and operational aspects of the magazine, but not the financial demands.

Running Chicago Art Magazine has been a wonderful experience; it’s been life-changing for those of us who have dedicated our work-lives to the magazine we built in 2009. In the days to follow, we will post some final editorials and thoughts, and the “transparency pages” will complete its mission to offer some degree of analysis of the publication and lessons learned, in an attempt to help the next endeavor.

Chicago Art Magazine will remain online, in its current form, for the next five years as an archive to the 935 posts and 5,260 images.

Over the past 3 years, we have worked with some of the finest writers, artists, gallerists and organizations in the city, and would like to thank you all for the support and for the amazing art and writing that made our magazine possible.

We leave this magazine in high spirits. We are in a different place as professional artists and writers, and we believe strongly that we helped Chicago’s art world be more prominent on the global map. We have no regrets.


(note: we’re doing a “soft close”, so although we have an official end date, some additional content may be posted after the close)


Comments (7)

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  1. Andrew says:

    Chicago is losing it’s most in-depth and dedicated art (and artist) resource. Truly a sad day. I’m proud of you Robin, Kathryn and everyone involved.

  2. jeffery mcnary says:

    …best wishes, kathryn. be well and i hope to touch base at some point…

  3. I’m sorry to hear about this. It’s too bad another art publication in Chicago has folded. Hopefully, this unfortunate news will serve as a reminder to Chicagoans that these publications need to be financially supported in order to survive. If we want reportage on Chicago, we have to be willing to fund it. Those who are covered by publications like this need to consider how many outside publications have asked them for an interview lately. It would serve everyone in the city to have a better informed public, more coverage of the interesting events that are going on here, and a healthy publishing industry.

    Not to be an ambulance chaser, but we’d welcome Chicago Art Magazine’s writers and editors at Jettison, if they’re so inclined. It’s talent that shouldn’t be wasted.

    Matthew Hendrickson
    Editor in Chief
    Jettison Quarterly

  4. Kathryn Born says:

    Thank you for the kind comment, Matthew. I think Chicago galleries feel like if they advertise, they cheapen their brand, there’s a stigma against it and a fear that if you do, no one will think the review of your show is legit. This small detail, this little sentiment, which fairly unique to Chicago, has single-handedly destroyed our art publications here. We learned early on, they don’t support us, they don’t support ArtSlant, New City, Trib, Sun Times, Chicago Magazine or The Reader. Yet we have — (another this Sunday) — endless panels on art criticism! Where people come together and wonder why things are the way they are.

    During one of these symposiums, Susan Snodgrass got on stage and said, “If only we had a Chicago …. Art … Magazine… with paid writers and editors…”

    Robin and I sat, totally stunned in our seats.

  5. Ian says:

    Not to be overly critical, but instead of sitting stunned in your seats, that would have been a golden opportunity to call Susan and everyone else to task for not supporting the one thing they are pining for (or, at least to inform everyone of the fact that there once was such a thing as a Chicago Art Magazine, as I suppose it is possible that they truly did not know it ever existed…)

  6. Kathryn Born says:

    Fair question. To answer directly, Susan’s comments followed my speech at the symposium :) Also, she teaches a class on interviewing, and one semester, 3 of her students had me as their subject. So ..trust me, she knows.

    But I don’t want to single her out, this happened DOZENS of times. I think there’s a little bit of “it didn’t help me, so we need to keep looking” attitude. People say they want criticism (specifically defined as long form academic writing), but look at who’s calling for it: writers, gallerists, and artists looking for their careers to rise. The missing voice calling for criticism? The readers. So there’s a mis-match, people want it so they can personally benefit from it, but there’s no audience for it.

    Thus the death spiral.

  7. Kathryn, The sponsored posts you wrote for our encaustic shows were by far the most engaging and entertaining writing I’ve ever read about our exhibitions, paid or not.

    Recently, we have noticed an interesting if not troubling art-review phenomenon…reviews of shows based not a on a visit to the actual exhibition, but on a press release and a visit to our website. I know people are busy, but…wow. I’m not the first to mention this.

    You were different. Our advertising was the direct result of you stopping by and having a conversation about art with us, even when it didn’t result in a review. I don’t know about anyone else, but I advertise when writers/publishers/editors take the time to visit us, and to have a conversation, like you did. Thanks for some good dialogue.

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