Jan Petry, who has overseen more than 135 art exhibits for Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, received that organization’s 2015 Visionary Award at a fundraising gala, with a Western theme, Friday evening, Oct. 30, in Chicago. A sculptor and retired VP Associate Creative Director with Leo Burnett, an international advertising agency, Jan is a resident of The Admiral at the Lake continuing care retirement community on the lakefront on the city’s north side.
In 1991, Intuit was founded “to promote public awareness, understanding, and appreciation of intuitive and outsider art through a program of education, exhibition, collecting and publishing.” Intuit defines “intuitive and outsider art” as work of artists who demonstrate little influence from the mainstream art world and who instead are motivated by their unique personal visions. This includes what is known as art brut, nontraditional folk art, self-taught art and visionary art.
Jan was a charter member of Intuit. She curated several shows and joined Intuit’s board as Exhibits Chair in 1994. In that role, Jan oversaw many “pop-up exhibits” in borrowed spaces and at the Roger Brown studio space in Chicago. Since 1999, Jan has supervised scores of exhibitions at Intuit’s home on Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago.
“The world-class quality of these exhibits—and Jan’s dedication—have ensured international recognition of Intuit and Chicago as a home to outsider art and artists,” the organization noted in honoring Jan. “Intuit is proud to recognize its very own Jan Petry as a visionary in the field of outsider art.”
In her remarks at the gala Jan said, “I am humbled to receive this Visionary Award for doing what I love.” After thanking the board, lenders to exhibits, various Intuit staff associates and outside curators, Jan closed by challenging all to “Giddyup ! Find your passion and hang on for a great ride.”
Photo by Cheri Eisenberg