The Women’s Board of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago once again hosts Vernissage, the fashionable opening night benefit and preview of the eighth annual EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art on Thursday, September 19, 2019, at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall (600 E Grand Ave). Vernissage introduces guests to art from 135 leading international galleries, including more than 3,500 works of art representing 24 countries and 28 cities on view throughout the exposition (September 19-22). Tickets for Vernissage (starting at $100) and the VIP Patron Reception (starting at $300) are on sale now at
A French term for art openings, Vernissage, or ‘varnishing day,’ evokes the energy and excitement that surrounds the commencement of this major international art event—attracting more than 8,500 visitors to one of Chicago’s most sought out and influential events of the year. The dynamic MCA Women’s Board has partnered with EXPO CHICAGO to present Vernissage since the inception of the exposition eight years ago.
“Each year, the Women's Board is honored to host Vernissage, the most sensational art event in Chicago,” said MCA Deputy Director Lisa Key. “Vernissage honors EXPO CHICAGO and celebrates the vibrant philanthropic efforts of the Chicago's arts community, and the collaborative spirit that has put Chicago at the heart of the contemporary art world while building a thriving community for living artists.”
Vernissage is co-chaired by MCA Women’s Board members Lori Crosley and Mary Kay Touhy. The special opening night kicks off with a private Patron Reception at 5 pm, featuring a premium bar and cuisine from some of Chicago’s finest restaurants including 20E, Aster Hall, Big Star, Chicago Raw, Eli’s Cheesecake, Hannah’s Bretzel, Margeaux Brasserie, Marisol, Nude Dude Food, Pescadero and Tanta. The general reception begins at 6 pm.
“The MCA has been instrumental in the success of EXPO CHICAGO, and we are looking forward to another exceptional year,” said President | Director of EXPO CHICAGO Tony Karman. “We are honored to be collaborating with the MCA Women’s Board on the annual Vernissage benefit event and for the programmatic alignments and collaborations that we have forged with this exceptional institution.”
“I feel fortunate to represent both Northern Trust, presenting sponsor of EXPO CHICAGO, and the MCA, a major cultural partner,” said Michael O’Grady, Chairman and CEO, Northern Trust Corporation and Board Chair of the MCA. “United in our collective commitment to supporting the arts in Chicago and beyond, we look forward to showcasing a premiere platform for global contemporary art and culture.”
Proceeds raised at Vernissage are in support of the MCA's educational and youth initiatives, whose programs offer compelling opportunities to explore, challenge, discuss and reflect on the art of today.
Vernissage is generously sponsored by Eli’s Cheesecake and Pipeworks Brewing Co. Event partners are Northern Trust, Navy Pier Inc. and EXPO CHICAGO.
Tickets and More Information
The MCA Women’s Board presents Vernissage, the exclusive first look at the eighth annual EXPO CHICAGO on Thursday, September 19 at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall (600 E Grand Ave). Tickets for the Patron Reception (5 pm) start at $300 and are available at Tickets to the general reception for Vernissage (6-9 pm) start at $100 and are available at
Opening the fall art season each September, EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art features leading international galleries alongside one of the highest quality platforms for contemporary art and culture. Hosted within Navy Pier’s Festival Hall, EXPO CHICAGO’s eighth edition takes place September 19 to 22, 2019, in alignment with the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial (September 19, 2019 - January 5, 2020). EXPO CHICAGO presents a diverse program, including Dialogues, presented in partnership with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Exchange by Northern Trust: An Interactive Conversation Around the Art of Collecting; unrivaled talks programs for both public and VIP audiences; IN/SITU, dynamic on-site installations highlighting large-scale sculpture, film, and site-specific work; and major public art initiatives, including IN/SITU Outside, public art installed throughout Chicago Park District locations; and OVERRIDE, a curated selection of international artists throughout the city’s digital billboard network. The EXPO CHICAGO program also features an unprecedented commitment to host curatorial initiatives during the exposition, including the Curatorial Forum in partnership with Independent Curators International (ICI), and the Curatorial Exchange, which partners with foreign agencies and consulates to expand the exposition’s global reach. EXPO CHICAGO is the publisher of THE SEEN, Chicago’s only international journal of contemporary and modern art criticism, online and in print.
EXPO CHICAGO is presented by Art Expositions, LLC. Under the leadership of President and Director Tony Karman, EXPO CHICAGO draws upon the city’s rich history as a vibrant international cultural destination, while highlighting the region’s contemporary arts community and inspiring its collector base. For more information on EXPO CHICAGO and EXPO ART WEEK (September 16-22, 2019) visit
Northern Trust
Northern Trust Corporation (Nasdaq: NTRS) is a leading provider of wealth management, asset servicing, asset management and banking to corporations, institutions, affluent families and individuals. Founded in Chicago in 1889, Northern Trust has a global presence with offices in 20 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., and across 23 locations in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. As of June 30, 2019, Northern Trust had assets under custody/administration of US$11.3 trillion, and assets under management of US$1.2 trillion. For more than 125 years, Northern Trust has earned distinction as an industry leader for exceptional service, financial expertise, integrity and innovation. Please visit our website or follow us on Twitter.
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