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8 art gallery exhibitions to see in August

ACTIVATE by the Chicago Loop Alliance. Photo by Jennifer Catherine
Photograph: Jennifer Catherine ACTIVATE by the Chicago Loop Alliance

Summer isn’t over yet. Whether you choose to beat the heat in a gallery or revel in it at an outdoor art party, here are eight awesome art shows worth checking out this month—and they’re all free.

"Ain’t-Bad Metropolis: Chicago": In this group exhibit, Chicago-based photographers investigate the political crises revolving around race, gender, class, and sexual identity, as well as the ongoing search for community within urban environments despite such struggles. (Filter Space, 1821 W Hubbard St, Suite 207, Opens August 5, 11am-5pm. Free)

"The Great Migration in Three Movements": Through portraiture and the use of donated and found family pictures, David Anthony surveys the mid-century migration of more than 6 million African Americans from the rural South and the impact this movement had on the country’s culture. (Blanc Gallery, 4445 S King Dr, Opens August 5, 6-9pm. Free)

ACTIVATE: See: Playing around with light and shadow, alley walls become canvases at this month’s ACTIVATE art party installment, featuring projections of scenes from the Gene Siskel Film Center’s Black Harvest Film Festival. (Couch Place Alley, 170 N State St, August 5, 5-10pm. Free with RSVP) 

"Dissecting Signifiers"Salvador Dominguez, Jason Hawk, Chris Silva and Asli Uludag explore symbols, iconography and the visual vocabulary of life with their sculptures and art objects in this exhibition curated by artist Eric Gushee. (Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, 2320 W Chicago Ave, Opens August 12, 6-9pm. Free) 

Up and Coming Chicago Artists Showcase: Ten emerging artists working across all media make up this pop-up exhibition, which reflects the talented future of the local art scene. There will also be live painting and chances to interact with the art. (Genesis Art Supply, 2525 N Elston Ave, Opens August 12, 5-9pm. Free) 

"Hard to Believe: Visual Illusions of Reality": Nine skilled representational artists have created paintings and drawings so realistic they could be mistaken for photographs. This group exhibition also examines the popularity of hyper-realistic art, photography’s influence on fine art and what realism truly means. (Bridgeport Art Center, 1200 W 35th St, 4th floor, Opens August 19, 7-10pm. Free) 

"It Feels Like I Was Already Here": In curator and artist Sergio Gomez’s biggest solo show yet, large and contemplative charcoal drawings are paired with abstract figurative paintings that delve into themes of immigration, poverty, the environment and the human condition. (Zhou B Art Center, 1029 W 35th St, Opens August 19, 7-10pm. Free) 

"Social Justice": A selection of street artists express the need for social change and provide perspectives that are often underrepresented, starting a dialogue and striving to empower one another through art. (Galerie F, 2381 N Milwaukee Ave, Opens August 19, 6-10pm. Free)

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