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9 art gallery exhibitions to check out in February

Written by
Jenny Lam

It's the dead of winter in Chicago, and it's safe to say that most locals are in need of a little pep. Warm your body and soul with some art during February. And maybe some alcohol. OK, lots of alcohol.

Primer — This new monthly event at Canvas is aimed at connecting with artists and entrepreneurs, spreading the word about your creative projects, and getting inspired. There will also be musical performances by vibraphonist Preyas Roy, video installations by DRMBT, and artwork by Jane Georges and Lefty. Thursday, Feb 5, 7-11pm (creative project pitches 8:30pm) at Canvas (2313 W North Ave)

Identify — Addressing issues of identity and classification, the exhibit includes Tara Bogart’s modern hair studies, Heather Dewey-Hagborg’s 3D portraits created from DNA strangers left behind in public places, Jess T. Dugan’s explorations of the queer experience, Michael Itkoff’s GIF-like loops of idealized figures, and collaborators Garth & Pierre’s installations referencing scientific categorization. Friday, Feb 6, 5-7pm at Catherine Edelman Gallery (300 W Superior St)

Context 2015 — Filter Photo Festival’s inaugural exhibition at its new gallery space in the Hubbard Street Lofts features the work of two dozen photographers, juried and curated by Michal Raz-Russo, the assistant curator in the Department of Photography at the Art Institute of Chicago. Friday, Feb 6, 5:30-8:30pm at Hubbard Street Lofts (1821 W Hubbard, suite 207)

18th Annual Chicago Bike Winter Art Show — The winter bike show is back for its 18th iteration and should be as fun as ever. Hosted by Critical Mass Chicago, the art will be bike-themed and span across all mediums. Friday, Feb 6, 6-11pm at Genesis Art Supply Gallery (2525 N Elston Ave)

Cities, Towns and Color Fields — This solo exhibition by Chicago-based imagist and expressionist Nate Otto will display more than 30 new paintings, drawings and collages. Otto likes to use many layers of paint to reflect the continuous renewal and revision of the urban landscape. Saturday, Feb. 7, 6-10pm at Vertical Gallery (1016 N Western Ave)

The Pancakes and Booze Art Show — The Chicago edition of a national movement features an exhibition of 75 emerging artists, live body painting, live art battles, performances and, most importantly, all-you-can-eat pancakes. Saturday, Feb 7, 8pm-2am at Reggie's Rock Club (2106 S. State St)

2nd Floor Rear — This is a 24-hour festival of experimental spaces, apartment galleries, and ephemeral and migrant projects celebrating Chicago’s vibrant alternative and DIY art community. This year’s theme is the Danish word hygge, which describes the sense of contentment drawn from camaraderie during a long winter. Saturday, Feb 7 and Sunday, Feb 8 at various venues 

Typeforce 6 — The sixth annual showcase of up-and-coming typographic art stars is the place to be for keeping up with the latest in type, lettering, and design. Friday, Feb 13, 6-11pm at Co-Prosperity Sphere (3219 S Morgan St)

Prom Night — Give your high school dance another shot, all while supporting local artists. This time, the chaperones will be more forgiving, the fashion sense will be more sophisticated, and the alcohol will be legal. There will also be awards, a professional photographer, and music spun by The Bored Enthusiast. Saturday, Feb 14 at Chicago Art Department (1932 S Halsted St)

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