GMO Spotlight Society Art Gallery

Monday, 09 January 2012 04:17 Written by  Tiffani Alexander

On January 27, 2012, GlossMagazineOnline (GMO) will hold our annual New Year launch party at Chicago’s Society Art Gallery, located in the city’s West Loop. This year, we are presenting a “Salute to Black Media,” and the gallery, which shares a common philosophy with GMO, graciously agreed to host the event. Here, the owner Nikki Burnett tells us more about her “sophisticated art gallery,” its purpose and what patrons can expect when they visit.


GlossMagazineOnline (GMO): Tell me a little bit about the History of Society Art Gallery: Who founded it, when and why?

Nikki Burnett: I founded it [Society Art Gallery] last September––in September of 2011. I have been an event planner for the last two years and a bartender for the last five years. I’ve always been looking to have a place where I could host my own private events without having to pay for places and rent spaces and so forth. I took the initiative to utilize my real estate license [I’ve been a licensed relator for six years] and started looking for a space around last winter. And when I came across this space, it put me more in the mind of an art gallery, as well as event space––as opposed to just event space. So, I had the vision to not only hold private events, but also be an art dealer and to feature up-and-coming artists in the Chicagoland area, and the Midwest as well. And help them to get a name for themselves as well as host different events, fundraisers and things of that nature.

GMO: Upon hearing you’re story, did you always have a love for, or interest in art––or did the space inspire you to create this type of venue and experience?

Nikki: It was just the space. I’m actually learning about art as I go.

GMO: What kind of art can be found in the gallery?

Nikki: We have contemporary, abstract and fine art.

GMO: Where do you find the artists?

Nikki: It’s really been kind of “who you know.” One of the artists is a close friend of mine, but the other artists that we feature from month to month, they generally hear about us and then they reach out to us.

GMO: Your “About Us” section on your website states that at your gallery, you “strive to present works by emerging and mid career artists that inspire, excite, and intrigue our increasingly diverse clientele,” and that your goal is to “work with our artists for the long term, assisting them through their careers by exhibiting their works at our gallery, art fairs…” This is very similar to one of GMO’s main goals, which is to act as a forum and platform for up-and-coming writers, artists, models, photographers and more––to get their work out there. Why is working with emerging artists so important to you?

Nikki: Because just as they are just emerging in their business, so are we. I thought it would just go hand-in-hand. We both together get our feet wet and see what the business can bring and hopefully be successful in it.

GMO: Are the artists able to actually sell their work there, during events, etc., or is their work just up for display?

Nikki: Oh no, they’re actually able to sell – oh yeah.

GMO: You touched on this briefly, but what types of events do you typically host? What has been one of your most memorable events to date?

Nikki: The most memorable event I would have to say was the grand opening, which took place Nov. 12. Then I did a live art show, as well as an exhibit of live body art. We had models who were body painted––that event we had a good 400 people and it was very diverse and just one of the best events yet because of the art and all the artists who were able to be seen and heard, as well as able to give background on their art and visions, etc.

The other part of your question: currently, most of our events are fundraisers, milestone birthday parties and right now we’re getting quite a few bookings for wedding receptions.

GMO: Besides hosting GMO’s upcoming “Salute to Black Media Soiree,” what are some of your other upcoming events?

Nikki: Well most of the events are private, when I say private, most of the events that we have coming up are birthday parties. One event that we are looking forward to is Friday, January 20, and that is an erotic poetry show, and those are held here monthly and the host is Strawberri Taylor who is pretty well known. She has another one on Valentine’s Day, February 14. And we are going to do a nice Super Bowl party.

GMO: What words of advice do you have for aspiring small business owners?

Nikki: I would say, like Nike says: ‘Just do it.’ Write the vision down and make it come to life.

Find out more about Society Art Gallery by visiting it’s website

Tiffani Alexander

Tiffani Alexander

Publisher and Editor in Chief of (GMO), Tiffani Alexander came to Chicago in the fall of 2004 to pursue her Master's degree in Arts, Entertainment & Media Management at Columbia College Chicago. Tiffani earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of
 Maryland, College Park. She has worked for both Cygnus Business Media and Maher Publishing before embarking on her dream to start her own magazine. In addition to publishing GMO bi-monthly, Tiffani freelances and works as an editor on a legal journal in Washington, DC.


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