Expo Chicago and the Chicago-based wealth management firm Northern Trust will expand their Northern Trust Purchase Prize, which allows curators of a designated museum to select an artwork from the fair for their collection. Typically, the Purchase Prize only applies to one institution, but for the upcoming 2022 fair in April, three museums will benefit from the prize: the Portland Art Museum, the Pérez Art Museum Miami, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
“The expansion speaks to Northern Trust’s commitments across the country to cultural institutions and to the ongoing support Expo Chicago receives from its presenting sponsor,” Tony Karman, Expo Chicago’s president and director, said in an interview. “The 2022 Purchase Prize allows the fair to continue to expand its network and partnerships with national institutions.”
During the run of Expo Chicago (April 7–10 at Navy Pier), the museums will chose a work from the fair’s Exposure section, which will feature solo and two-artist presentations from galleries 10 years or younger. At this year’s edition, the section is curated by Humberto Moro, deputy director and senior curator at the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City. This year’s chosen artworks will be announced on April 8.
The choice to offer the gift to three institutions relates in part to the pandemic. Expo Chicago did not host an edition of its fair in either 2020 or 2021. When the Purchase Prize first launched in 2013, the idea was to help a local museum acquire a new work of contemporary art and past recipients have included the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and the Smart Museum of Art. In 2019, the fair looked to its immediate region and chose the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky.
In a statement, Brian Ferriso, the Portland Art Museum’s director and chief curator, said, “These prizes have empowered museums to champion the work of emerging contemporary artists, bringing an expansive and inclusive approach to art collecting at a time when it has never been more needed.”