Brief Gallery Profile
In September 2006 I joined forces with William Schopf to open our current space, Packer Schopf Gallery in the thriving West Loop gallery district in Chicago. Over the years my focus has shifted from folk art to contemporary art, curating what I consider to be compelling, whatever the genre. This means a little obscure, idiosyncratic, and the road not obviously taken.
Aron Packer 2012
Aron Packer started collecting folk art by osmosis, his parents owned an antique quilt gallery called The Wild Goose Chase. He was always more interested in the odder material-- hand carved canes, original tattoo drawings, sideshow banners, African American quilts, etc. -- that in turn led to being a dealer in American folk art. After years of selling folk art at antique shows, Packer decided he would curate shows in his own apartment. Through his travels he sought out unknown folk and/or outsider artists that had more interesting talent than many of the typical names. After creating a small network of collectors interested in his vision, he began to include contemporary artists. These shows ran four times a year. In 1992 he found a permanent space on the second floor of the Flat Iron building in Wicker Park. This coincided with the first exciting years of Around the Coyote, and the alternative gallery scene that included Beret International, Ten in One, and Space Gallery. Over the years the Wicker Park neighborhood had shifted. It was time to make a change so temporary shows were next over a two-year period. In late 1999 he joined forces with a River North gallery bringing many of his artists and his vision with him. This lasted eighteen months. Deciding to take the great leap forward yet again, in September 2001 Packer took hold on the second floor of the 118 N. Peoria gallery building which also housed FlatFile, Rhona Hoffman, Peter Miller, and Walsh galleries. And now as mentioned, in his largest space to date, two levels with over 3000 sq ft, we continue with Packer Schopf Gallery at 942 West Lake Street on Chicago.