As the weather grows colder, there's no shortage of holiday traditions and activities to partake in around Chicago. If you've already visited Christkindlmarket for your annual mug of Glühwein, why not add a bit of art to your December schedule? Some of the city's best galleries have notable shows in store for the final month of the year, including a collection of prints curated by Jay Ryan and mesmerizing canvases by abstract painter Jackie Saccoccio. Find even more exhibits worth seeing with our guide to the best Chicago art openings to see in December.
December art openings in Chicago
Hailing from Pennsylvania’s Appalachian range, artist Kurt Herrmann creates canvases that depict abstract compositions (which he dubs "Color Bombs"), cowboys and creatures. Best known for designing original beer bottle labels for Elk Creek Café, Herrmann's latest exhibition demonstrates the breadth of his work and the vibrancy of his creative mind.
To create her latest show, photographer Svetlana Bailey returned to the empty house of her grandmother in Russia, creating still life installations with the objects she found inside. She repeated the process in her parent's home in Germany and her own home in the U.S., carefully arranging found objects to uncover new ways of visualizing the stories contained within each space.
Prolific screenprinter Jay Ryan (a.k.a the Bird Machine) curates a collection of prints by more than 20 of his favorite local ink-pullers, all focused around the theme of optimism in the face of adversity. The lineup was selected to showcase work by artists who are not white males, and will include pieces from Amy Martin, Jen Corace, Landland and Sonnenzimmer.
Abstract painter Jackie Saccoccio presents a collection of her swirling, dripping canvases in her latest solo exhibition. Her work finds a sense of direction in the simple reaction of paint to the pull of gravity, creating dizzying, mesmerizing lines that pull the viewer into a proverbial "Spectral Hole."