Posts By Amanda


Strengthen Your Brand Image: Blank walls are boring and generic art is drab. Make a strong impression and create the image you want to convey by displaying original fine art.

Spark Creativity: A dull office lends itself to uninspired employees and low productivity, but an office filled with original artwork spurs creativity.

Customer / Client Experience: Original art creates an engaging and enjoyable experience.

Affordable: Wouldn’t you love to have an office filled with original art? When you are trying to keep an eye on the bottom line, purchasing original art isn’t always an option. Leasing artwork allows you to enjoy original art for a fraction of the purchase price.

Tax Deductible: That’s right! When you lease art, it’s a tax deductible operating expense.

No Commitment: You can change your surroundings as often as every three months with art rental and avoid buyer’s remorse.  Shorter rental periods are available upon request.

Try Before You Buy: Are you looking to make a purchase? Renting art allows you to live with it before committing to a purchase.

Support Chicago’s Working Artists: A portion of every rental goes straight into the artist’s pocket. You can feel good knowing that you are supporting the growing career of a Chicago artist.

Talking Point: People notice original art! It’s a great conversation starter.

It’s EASY: Art rental is easy! HangItUp Chicago works with you to make sure that all installations and rotations are smooth and do not disrupt your work environment. And, we provide a free initial consultation, so all you have to do is call.

On May 2nd, the art world witnessed a record setting sale for the most expensive artwork sold at auction. When Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ hit Sotheby’s auction block that Wednesday, paddles waived the sale price up to $119.9 million. Is this the picture of today’s art collector?

While the blue-chip collector who purchased ‘The Scream’ is an extreme example, there is a strongly misguided perception that in order to be an art collector one must be wielding the proverbial paddle at an esteemed auction house, such as Sotheby’s or Leslie Hindman. Not the case.

Would I love an original De Kooning? Absolutely, but I’m not in any position to plunk down $6 million. Most people aren’t. Instead, I have my eye on an original Labuzek. Who knows, you may see his work one day in the MCA, but if not, I’m ok with that because I purchase art for two very simple, but fundamental reasons – because I connect with it and because it’s an original. I like knowing that what I buy isn’t hanging above Pottery Barn sofas all across America and I like knowing that the money I spend on an original piece of art is supporting the career of someone who is following their passion. It’s a rarity that someone works hard to follow a dream and I’d much rather support someone’s dream than a major department store. Wouldn’t you?

There’s no doubt that art should be and can be accessible to everyone. So, while we can’t all own the work of a Master, we can own the work of a master in the making.

A 35mm camera.  A third-floor walk up studio just blocks from Lake Michigan. Windows filled with natural light and shelves of specimens…lots of specimens.

This is the creative world of Julie Meridian.

Branches by Julie Meridian

What’s my favorite part of working in the art world? Hands down it’s the studio visits. An artist’s studio is sacred ground. It’s their sanctuary. It’s where their innermost thoughts, feelings, fears and passions spill out onto a canvas or through another medium. To be invited into an artist’s studio is to be invited to take a peek into their soul. The creative energy is palpable. It may be serene and contemplative or pulsing and chaotic, but it’s always there. It’s real, it’s exciting and it’s awe inspiring.

Last May I was invited to tour Julie’s studio and view her vast collection of work. Stepping into Julie’s studio is like stepping into the archives of the Field Museum. Her studio is a botanist’s dream, filled with dried plants, a bit of taxidermy, jars, vials, vessels and a vintage field notebook – each specimen carefully identified by the original keeper’s precise penmanship.

Pages from an old book, a carefully placed twig, a bird’s nest and Julie’s still life composition comes together like a composer who so skillfully turns individual notes into a masterpiece of music. Julie uses her camera to preserve each specimen in an ephemeral framework constructed solely of light and shadow.

Themes of fragility and endurance, beauty and decay, chance and destiny, life and death are explored in Julie’s work. Working at an east window with morning light, Julie places natural objects between layers of scratched Plexiglas, glass and acetate and then shoots through the layers, as if peering through levels of time and memory. Like the objects themselves, these images resist classification, existing somewhere between drawing and photography, documentation and fiction.

We are pleased to welcome Julie Meridian to HangItUp Chicago!


Paul Klein is someone I truly admire on the Chicago art scene.  If you aren’t familiar with Paul’s contributions to Chicago, you should be.  Paul is an art advocate – a champion for Chicago and art in Chicago.  For over 20 years, Paul owned and operated one of the leading galleries in the city, Klein Art Works.  More recently, Paul served as the art consultant and curator for McCormick Place, choosing to outfit the space with permanently installed Chicago and Illinois specific art.  Today, Paul writes ArtLetter and runs Klein Artist Works.

I met Paul several months back at one of my favorite restaurants, Spacca Napoli, when HangItUp Chicago was nothing more than an idea – a blank canvas, so to speak.  Just a few weeks out from hip replacement surgery, on a blustery winter afternoon, Paul met me for lunch and listened to me hash out my business plan.  Most people wouldn’t have taken the time to meet a relative newcomer to the art scene – especially so soon after major surgery, but that’s Paul.  You see, Paul shares my passion for Chicago and drive to support the careers of Chicago artists.

As an art activist, Paul works tirelessly and passionately to make sure that today’s working artists are empowered – empowered to market themselves, empowered to set prices and empowered to stand solid and resolute in their dealings with curators, collectors and gallery owners.

One of the qualities I admire about Paul is that he is a straight shooter.  He tells it how he sees it.  That’s why his opinion, direction and advice are constantly sought out by artists at all stages in their careers.  It’s why Klein Artist Works is a one of a kind course that has been so successful.

I consider Paul a friend and mentor.  His advice and encouragement helped tremendously as I worked to build HangItUp Chicago.  Paul and I share the same objective – to see Chicago rival major art meccas such as New York and London, and to help grow the careers of Chicago area artists.

You can learn more about Paul and Klein Artist Works by clicking on the YouTube link below.

Klein Artist Works





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