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Gallery 312 Records, 1994-2005 | Columbia College Chicago Archives

Title: Gallery 312 Records, 1994-2005Add to your cart.
Predominant Dates: (bulk 1994-2005)
ID: 1000/15/MSS1015
Arrangement: The Gallery 312 Records is arranged into five series.

Series 1: Exhibition Files
Arrangement: Chronological
Description: This series consists of files for Gallery 312’s exhibition history from 1994-2005. Documents in these files include press releases for exhibitions, slides of exhibition installations, and promotional materials such as postcards, brochures, and posters advertising upcoming exhibits. These exhibition files also contain extensive background information on artists featured in each exhibition including artists' biographies, artist statements, CVs, photographs and slides of art work, newspaper and magazine articles on artists, and promotional materials for their work in other galleries and museums.


Series 2: Business Records
Arrangement: Alphabetical and Chronological
Description: This series consists of materials documenting the business functions of Gallery 312. The contents are primarily records of events Gallery 312 hosted as a rental space. Files are arranged alphabetically by individual event accounts and include event space rental terms, space rental inquiries, liability contracts, and caterer menus and invoices. Liability contracts not associated to events are also in this series and are arranged chronologically. There is also a folder documenting group visits to Gallery 312, which is also arranged chronologically.


Series 3: Printed Matter
Arrangement: Chronological
Description: This series consists of magazines, newspapers, and auction catalogs collected by Gallery 312. Printed materials in this series come from Where Chicago, New Art Examiner, Agenda Chicago: Special Events Resource Directory, the Chicago Reader, Chicago Journal. There are also two correspondences between Paul Brenner, Gallery 312's Program Director, and editors from newspapers and magazines that featured stories on Gallery 312.


Series 4: Audio Visual Materials
This series consists of audios visual materials from the exhibition history of Gallery 312. Interviews with noted artists such as Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind, and artists' sound recordings and work are represented in these materials in a variety of audio visual formats, including audio cassettes, compact discs, and VHSs.

For detailed inventory of audio cassettes, compact discs and VHSs, please see inventories located inside Boxes 7 & 8.


Series 5: Oversized Materials
This series contains oversized items from Gallery 312's records and Annie Properties, the commercial real estate company owned by Lewis and Anne Kostiner.
Extent: 10.0 Boxes
Other Note: Gallery 312 website.
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Scope and Contents: Gallery 312 was founded in 1994 by Lewis S. and Anne Neri Kostiner. The Kostiners opened the Gallery as a nonprofit art organization in a renovated warehouse building at 312 North May Street in the Fulton Market District of Chicago, Illinois. It was the second art gallery to open in the West Loop after Paul Klein and was active for 11 years before its closing in 2005. During their years of operation, G312 committed its efforts to the development of local artists and exhibited works by local and international artists alike. In the tradition of the Kostiner’s photography backgrounds, many of the exhibits featured artists in the photographic medium. Notable Chicago photographers who showed there include Aaron Siskind, John Vinci, and Harry Callahan.

The activities, programming, and exhibition selections at G312 were intended to initiate dialogue on contemporary art and social issues. Their mission was to assist Chicago’s emerging artists and facilitate their work by providing them work and exhibition space. Each year, "The Summer Show" exhibition showcased artists not backed by gallery representation. Some of the artists featured in this annual show have since become well known in the art world. Tony Tasset, Mayumi Lake, Ursula Sokolowska, and Alison Ruttan have gone on to exhibit in national and international museums and festivals and featured in publications such as ArtWorld Digest and F-Stop Magazine. In the summer of 2010, Tony Tasset’s "The Eye" was installed as a public sculpture in Pritzker Park at State and Van Buren Streets in the Chicago Loop. Other recognized artists who were featured at G312 include Jed Fielding, Michiko Itatani, Dawoud Bey, Esther Parada, Leon Golub, and Cindy Sherman.

At its inception, Gallery 312 was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Expenses for G312 were covered by Annie Properties, the Kostiner’s commercial real estate company, with all the Gallery’s earned revenue going to donation; half of which went to artists participating in the exhibitions and the other half to a local children’s charity chosen by the Kostiners to aid at risk Chicago youth.

In their mission to improve the lives of at-risk, urban children by encouraging and expanding their knowledge of themselves through creative, personal expression, the Kostiners founded The PEACH Club in the summer of 1996. The PEACH Club (Patience, Encouragement, Arts, Consistency, Hope) was a long-term, after-school program that met twice weekly over the course of the school year at The PEACH Club studio and five additional sites in Chicago’s North, Northwest, and South Sides. Curriculum for the program was designed to foster individual growth, self-realization, and potential and was divided into three parts: self-introspection and self-realization, self-reflection and self-integration, and integration of the self into the social unit.

Each year G312 showcased two annual exhibitions, "The Summer Show" and "Young At Art." The "Young At Art" exhibition featured artwork created by the youth participating in The PEACH Club. In addition, two other youth arts organizations were invited to exhibit a selection of the artwork from their participants. Throughout the program’s operating years, "Young At Art" also featured work by youths from Chicago Public Schools, the Marwen Foundation, Picture This Projects, KidStART, Pros-Arts Studio, Uhlich Children's Home, Marshall Boys and Girls Club. This collection of Gallery 312’s Records includes material evidence of their collaboration with the Richard E. Byrd Community Academy in Picture This Projects in December of 1999.

G312 closed in 2005 after 11 years of activity. In 2010, the Kostiners donated Gallery 312’s records to the Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) at Columbia College Chicago (CCC) and was later moved to the Columbia College Chicago Archives located in the CCC Library.


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