10 art gallery exhibitions to check out in January

Written by
Jenny Lam

Make a resolution to see more art in 2016. Here are 10 Chicago gallery exhibitions to help you kickstart the new year.

Sienna Shields: Invisible Woman: Sienna Shields’ large abstract paintings are vibrantly colorful, topographical stories, often recounting a specific personal narrative. In her premiere solo exhibition in Chicago, her works refer to the psychological fragmentation and physical dispersal of people of African descent across the diaspora, due to colonization, forced immigration and voluntary migration. (Kruger Gallery, 3709 N Southport Ave, January 7 to February 6. Free)

Surviving the Times: Artist Sam Kirk centers her exhibit around the decisions that force youth into sex trafficking and the dreams that are quietly kept alive during their most difficult moments. 20 percent of all profits will be donated to the Center on Halsted, assisting the organization's continued efforts to help provide LGBTQ youth with programs to keep them off the street. (Center on Halsted, 3656 N Halsted St, January 8, 6pm. Free)

Gordon Parks: A Segregation Story, 1956: Completed in 1956 and published in Life magazine, Gordon Parks’ groundbreaking "Segregation Story" series documented life in Jim Crow South through the experiences of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Thornton Sr. and their multigenerational family. A selection of photographs from the series will be exhibited, highlighting Parks’ ability to honor intimate moments of everyday life despite the undeniable weight of segregation and oppression. (Rhona Hoffman Gallery, 118 N Peoria St, January 8 to February 20. Free)

A Home Coming (revisited) and You Are Looking Good, A Real Good LookerIn “A Home Coming (revisited),” Alejandro Figueredo Diaz-Perera explores the idea of home using elements extracted from his memories and dreams. In “You Are Looking Good, A Real Good Looker,” contemporary artists from Chicago and St. Louis encounter each other as strange reflections, both individually and as cities. (Chicago Artists Coalition, 217 N Carpenter St, January 8–28. Free)

Fragile States: The artists in this show (curated by Make Space) challenge established structures in an attempt to understand the uncertain, the uncanny and the unknown, taking an interdisciplinary approach to create physical manifestations of invisible phenomena and construct pieces of an imagined reality. (ACRE, 1345 W 19th St, January 8–31. Free)

Penny Pinch: Seventy-Seven: Renowned street artist Penny Pinch has created 77 new pieces of art—one for every community area in Chicago. Taken as a whole, the pieces seek to represent the richness and diversity of the city. (Galerie F, 2381 N. Milwaukee Ave, January 8–31. Free)

National Wet Paint Biennial: An overview of the top MFA programs in the country, “Wet Paint” refers to the idea that this exhibition showcases a fresh group of artists. Curated by Sergio Gomez, the fourth edition of this highly competitive juried exhibition brings work by talented emerging artists to Chicago. (Zhou B Art Center, 1029 W 35th St, January 15 to February 13. Free)

GatewayThis group exhibition curated by Janice Bond invites viewers to explore the channels we utilize to access and communicate with each other. (Art NXT Level Projects / 33 Contemporary, 4th floor of 1029 W 35th St, January 15, 7-10pm. Free)

The Weight of Rage: What can be said from inside a maximum security prison? Join the Prison and Neighborhood Arts Project for its annual exhibition featuring art, critical essays and poetry by men who took part in PNAP classes at Stateville Prison. Families, friends, advocates and allies of the incarcerated are invited. (Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S Cornell Ave, January 10 to March 20. Free)

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