Spring is finally here. Reward yourself by attending some art events. Here are eight great exhibitions worth checking out in April.
"2 for 2" Vertical Gallery celebrates its two-year anniversary with this group show, featuring a lineup of artists from around the world, each contributing two original works. The exhibition will kick off a new year of shows and wall mural projects planned throughout the city. Vertical Gallery, 1016 N Western Ave. April 3, 6–10pm. Free.
"Custom Culture" Cultural inspiration is the common element in the art of SentRock, Sam Kirk and Tubs, the three emerging artists with new works in this exhibition. Elephant Room, 704 S Wabash Ave. April 3, 6–9pm. Free.
"Imaginary Landscapes" Imaginary Landscapes is a group exhibition that raises questions about the uncertainty of physical space and history as they relate to knowledge of time and the effect of time on memory. The artists ascribe painterly gestures and photographic theory to sculpture, manipulating and reconstructing symbols, forms, language and systems. Chicago Urban Art Society, Mana Contemporary 4th floor, 2233 S Throop St. April 4, 6–9pm. Free.
"For the Love of Toys" Urban Vinyl Daily and Galerie F present this group exhibition of playful three-dimensional art. Each artist in the show will contribute three to six new custom toys and accompanying works on paper, canvas or found material. Galerie F, 2381 N Milwaukee Ave. April 10, 6–10pm. Free.
Lake FX Summit + Expo The region’s largest free conference for artists, creative professionals and entrepreneurs, the inaugural four-day event welcomes thousands of individuals, business and organizations for keynotes by industry leaders. Professional development panels and workshops, networking opportunities, music and film showcases, a resource fair, and a marketplace featuring local artisans are also on tap. Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington St. April 16–19. Free.
"Immortality & Vulnerability" Although seemingly contradictory, immortality and vulnerability have played parallel roles in art and literature, as in the tale of Achilles. In this group exhibition curated by Sergio Gomez and Didi Menendez and presented by PoetsArtists Magazine, artists and poets have been asked to reinterpret the ideas of immortality and vulnerability in a personal, psychological or social manner and provide the viewer with a contemporary glimpse into age-old concepts. Zhou B Art Center, 1029 W 35th St. April 17, 7–10pm. Free.
Scenic Overlook, Swallow City, and Nature’s Matrix This reception celebrates multiple exhibitions, including: Scenic Overlook, which activates the gallery space with large-scale wooden sculptures borrowing signature architectural features from the highest observation towers in the world; Swallow City, a mixed media installation examining nature’s ongoing influence on structural design and architectural beauty and Nature’s Matrix, which samples formal structures from nature and invents new patterns that reflect technology’s influence on how we perceive the environment. Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S Cornell Ave. April 19, 3–5pm. Free.
"Salvaged Beauty" "Salvage Beauty" is about reinvention. In this exhibition, artists are challenged to reimagine what was and construct new life, function and beauty from recycled and reclaimed objects and materials. Jackson Junge Gallery, 1389 N Milwaukee Ave. April 22, 6–9pm. Free.