Chicago’s most hotly anticipated gallery this year is not an upstart artist-run space in West Town or a refurbished warehouse in the West Loop, but Star Line Gallery, the Grammy-winning Chicagoan musician Chance the Rapper’s long-awaited second studio album.
True to its title—which references the Black Star Line shipping company founded by the Jamaica-born, Pan-Africanist activist Marcus Garvey—the album will have not one cover but a gallery of 16 original works, one for each track. To date, Chance has collaborated with the artists Nikko Washington, Naïla Opiangah (whose work for the song Child of God was displayed at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago last year) and Yannis Davy Guibinga—whose photograph for the song The Highs & The Lows went on show at Art Basel in Basel in June 2022.
Visitors to Expo Chicago will have an opportunity to see more of Chance’s upcoming Star Line Gallery at the fair’s Dialogue stage, where the rapper will be in conversation on 13 April with the artist Hank Willis Thomas. In addition to discussing Thomas’s huge new sculpture at O’Hare airport, Chance will curate a selection of works by some of the artists who are creating pieces for his album. The rapper will also present “live audio experiences” in response to the works every night from 13 to 15 April.