Gallery 400 annually presents six to nine exhibitions in an exhibition space of 2,900 square feet (one large, main gallery and three project spaces). Group exhibitions feature local, national, and international artists together in dialogue on critical themes, and often premiering new works. Gallery 400 has in recent years prioritized major solo exhibitions of women, artists of color, and mid-career artists in the Chicago region. Large commissions of new works focus on artists working across disciplines.
From 2002 to 2008, Gallery 400 commissioned projects in a series titled At the Edge: Innovative Art in Chicago, which supported over 45 new projects of an experimental and innovative nature from Chicago artists. As of 2009, that program has been folded into the Gallery’s larger exhibition program. The Gallery continues to commission new works (large or small-scale) from local artists, but does so within the context of one-person exhibitions, curated exhibitions, and special programs.
Gallery 400’s Voices Lecture Series is a premier forum in Chicago for discourse in the field of art and design practice. In an 80-seat lecture room, Gallery 400 annually presents between 10 and 18 lectures. Discussing timely ideas, significant artists, critics, designers, curators, and historians engage audiences in their creative and conceptual processes. Voices extends the educational programs of the Gallery and the University of Illinois at Chicago to provide the public direct contact with a diverse range of artistic practices and positions.
On a regular basis, guest curators—typically film and video artists—organize screening events in conjunction with exhibitions. Presented within the gallery space, these screenings feature new and archival works in exciting combinations that expand on the ideas, themes, and forms of the exhibitions.
Artists presented in Gallery 400 exhibitions often work across disciplines. On many occasions the Gallery presents free performance events as part of exhibition programming.
Gallery 400 actively supports artists with opportunities, discourse, and financial and other resources. Recently Gallery 400 has partnered with Chicago non-profit threewalls to launch Propeller Fund, a new initiative to support independent, collaborative art projects in the region. Begun in 2010, Propeller annually awards $50,000 to area artists and arts producers.