Susan Aurinko founded FLATFILEgalleries in 2000. In the nine years it was open, the gallery grew to be one of the largest in Chicago, and continually received national and international press for many of its 200+ exhibitions. In 2003, Aurinko was named “One of 25 People Making a Difference in the Arts in the Midwest” by Dialogue Magazine, and in 2007, she received Columbia College’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Among the gallery’s highlights were many political exhibitions, including the record-breaking Domestic Tension which featured the residency of Wafaa Bilal which received press in over 80 countries. Bilal credits Aurinko with being a visionary to allow the project to be played out in the gallery. University College of London geographic sociologist Alan Ingram is currently writing a book about the exhibition in which Aurinko figures prominently as a source. During the years of the gallery, Aurinko was known for pushing the envelope with the content of the exhibitions she curated. Through the gallery, Aurinko became very involved in Chicago’s arts community, actively working with or serving on the Boards of several major organizations including the Chicago Artists Coalition, the City of Chicago’s Chicago Artists Month Advisory Committee, Chicago Sculpture International, the Community Arts Assistance Program award panel, and Ballet Chicago, among others. Currently Aurinko serves on the Art Committee of the Union League Club of Chicago, its Collection Management Subcommittee, and the Boards of Directors of Chicago Artists Coalition, The Chicago Photography Center, and Universe of Poetry.