Surrounded by Art
As a young person, Saslow took art classes at the Art Institute. Although she enjoyed creating art, the instructor seemed more interested in telling her what she was doing wrong than encouraging or nurturing her talent, which intimidated her. Saslow didn’t beome an artist, but instead, for a time, was an elementary school teacher and an attorney specializing in family law. The idea of her opening an art gallery came from Saslow’s friends.“Friends told me I had a good eye. They encouraged me to open a gallery,” Saslow said. She met all kinds of artists, including artists with disabilities. She started collecting and buying pieces by these disabled artists, eventually sharing their art with others.
Modern and Contemporary Art
|Former slave Bill Traylor created art|
on scraps of cardboard.
Although she appreciates many forms of art and artists, she has a special love for artists that aren’t classically trained. One of Saslow’s favorite artists is Bill Traylor (1854-1949). Traylor was born a slave on a plantation in Alabama. After emancipation, he moved to Montgomery where he began drawing on scraps of cardboard. Traylor who created pieces for four years had a “simplistic, but appealling” style according to Saslow. She featured Traylor and other “outsider” artists at her gallery recently in “Far Out: 2012.” The show featured work by outsider and contemporary artist, including some pieces from Saslow’s personal collection.
Chicago Art Scene
When we asked her how the art scene in Chicago compares with that of other cities in the world, Saslow says it’s “it’s right up there.” Unfortunately, the Chicago art scene doesn’t get the “same amount of press coverage as it does in San Francisco and New York,” Saslow says. For sure, print reporting has changed in the age of the Internet. Newspapers that existed for three-quarters of a century are no longer with us and the ones that still are have cut back or eliminated their coverage of the arts. In spite of that fact, Chicago has a lot to offer art lovers.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Judy A Saslow Gallery, visit their Web site. Even better, pay the gallery a visit. “Timeless: Worlds of woodland spirits and old materials given a new life” will have an opening reception on February 24, 2012, starting 5-8 p.m. This exhibit runs through April 7, 2012.
The Judy A Saslow Gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.