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Zhou B Art Center

Explore Chicago art at open studio nights

Meet artists, explore galleries and get acquainted with local art at Chicago's best open studio nights

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long
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Art is everywhere in Chicago, whether you're walking through a contemporary art gallery or admiring work by a street artist sprawled across an outdoor wall. As much as we love staring into the reflective depths of "the Bean" or admiring a painting at a museum, sometimes we wish that we could meet the people behind all of this wonderful art. Open studio nights at Chicago art centers allow you to do just that, as painters, photographers, sculptors and artists of all stripes open up their studios and showcase their work. Take a look at some of our favorite open studio nights below, and get ready to come face to face with talented Chicago artists.

Chicago open studio nights

Fine Arts Building
  • Things to do
  • Loop
  • price 2 of 4
Come on the second Friday of each month (5–9pm) to explore this historic artists' haven on Michigan Avenue, filled with studios that host visual artists, musicians, performers and dance instructors. The second floor of the Fine Arts Building houses a gallery and a bookstore, while a trip up the last manually operated elevator in Chicago will take you to Curtiss Hall, where you can take in music or dance performances.
Zhou B Art Center
  • Art
  • Galleries
  • Bridgeport
Founded in 2004 by Chinese-American artists the Zhou brothers, this Bridgeport institution provides galleries, studio spaces and a collaborative creative environment for local artists. On the third Friday of each month (7–10pm), the center hosts a free exhibition and open studio event, allowing visitors to explore exhibitions, galleries and resident artists' studios.
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  • Art
  • Galleries
  • Bridgeport
Located in the former Spiegel Catalog Warehouse, the Bridgeport Art Center hosts artist studios, a special event venue, gallery space and a raw industrial work space. Every third Friday (7–10pm), coinciding with the nearby Zhou B Art Center open gallery, artists in the building open their creative spaces to the public and give visitors the opportunity to buy one-of-a-kind pieces.
Flatiron Arts Building
  • Art
  • Galleries
  • Wicker Park
Before Wicker Park became a sea of boutiques, chain restaurants and condos, the neighborhood attracted artists with cheap rent and trendy coffee houses. Established in 1985, the Flatiron Arts Building is a vestige of the area's bohemian past, containing a smattering of artists' studios and local businesses. The building is open to the public daily, but guests can take a look inside artists studios on the first Friday of each month.
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  • Art
  • Arts centers
  • North Center
Situated in a structure that used to house clay, airplane parts and pipe manufacturers, there's still plenty of creative spirit on display within the walls of the Cornelia Arts Building. Since 1986, the arts center (which is located between Lakeview, Roscoe Village and Ravenswood) has provided studio space for local artists, ranging from painters to photographers to sculptors. Cornelia Arts Building hosts a quarterly open studio event that allows visitors to connect with artists inside their studios while enjoying food truck grub—check out the full schedule on the building's website.
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