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Neon and Light Museum
Photograph: Courtesy Neon and Light Museum"It Is" by Jacob Fishman (2021)

A dazzling pop-up neon light museum is opening in River North

Presented by Ken Saunders Gallery, the exhibition will feature around 70 light and neon sculptures.

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

Last fall, the Ken Saunders Gallery presented a free exhibition entitled "On Neon," showcasing a small collection of signs that channeled the kitschy, nostalgic and eye-catching glow of vacuum sealed glass tubes. This September, you'll be able to check out an even larger collection of neon- and light-based sculptures at the pop-up Neon and Light Museum, which will display nearly 70 works of art in River North.

Taking over a space at 325 West Huron Street (the former home of Latin American restaurant Naçional 27), the Neon and Light Museum is scheduled to begin an eight-week run on September 9, and is curated by Ken Saunders. The pieces on display range from large interactive works like Monika Wulfer’s "Circle's Edge" to smaller pieces like the sign by Jacob Fishman that's pictured above.

Other highlights of the Neon and Light Museum collection include a massive 14-foot-tall neon sculpture by artist John Bannon that changes based on what perspective you view it from—on one side, it appears to be a woman smelling a rose and on the other it portrays a young girl blowing the seeds of a dandelion. You'll also be able to see a complex sculpture by artist Gary Justis, who shines light through a series of colorful translucent surfaces to create ethereal projections.

When it opens on September 9, reservations will be required to visit the pop-up exhibition, so don't show up without a ticket. Hours for the Neon and Light Museum will be Thursdays and Fridays from 4–10pm, Saturdays from 11am–10pm and Sundays from 11am–6pm. Reservations will be capped at 60 people per hour to ensure that the space isn't too crowded. Tickets will start at $40 per person (with VIP options available) and will go on sale via the Neon and Light Museum website on August 2.

Can't wait to see the show? Check out some photos of pieces that will be on display at the Neon and Light Museum.

Neon and Light Museum
Photograph: Courtesy Neon and Light Museum"Circle’s Edge" by Monika Wulfers (2019)
Neon and Light Museum
Photograph: Courtesy Neon and Light Museum"Big Onion" by Gary Justis (2020)

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