Get us in your inbox

News (22)

9 art gallery exhibitions to see in November

9 art gallery exhibitions to see in November

There’s a lot of great art to be thankful for this month. As the leaves change color and the holidays begin, here are nine awesome shows to check out in November.  SOFA Chicago The annual Sculpture Objects Functional Art + Design Fair returns to Navy Pier. Browse booths featuring hundreds of artists working with jewelry, glass, ceramics, fiber art and other mediums at this long-running exposition of three-dimensional art. (Navy Pier Festival Hall, 600 E. Grand Ave, Nov 3 5-9pm, Nov 4–5 11am-7pm, Nov 6 12-6pm. $20)  "Dumping Trump: Art Against the Donald" and "BIG Small Works" Elephant Room Gallery’s Bridgeport location presents two group exhibitions in November. The first, “Dumping Trump,” is a one-night-only art protest by award-winning illustrators and other artists—a portion of sales will go to scholarships for local undocumented students. The second, “BIG Small Works,” continues through the holidays and includes paintings, photos, sculptures, and mixed media pieces that are all 30x30 inches or smaller. (Elephant Room Gallery at C.C.’s Art Garage, 2727 S. Mary St, Nov 3 5-9pm and Nov 11 6-9pm. Free) "Corrections" Zora J. Murff’s “Corrections” photo series spotlights incarcerated youth at Linn County Juvenile Detention and Diversion Services. The portraits in this solo show explore issues related to race and class and how they affect children in the system. (Filter Space, 1821 W. Hubbard St, Ste 207, Opens Nov 4 6-9pm. Free) "Round and Round" Resident artist Johana Moscoso

9 art gallery exhibitions to see in September

9 art gallery exhibitions to see in September

Chicago’s official art gallery season is upon us! With entire fairs as the cornerstone, there’s so much art to see in just a month. To help you navigate through it all, here are nine highlights of art gallery exhibitions in September.  "Ground Floor" Discover new talent at this biennial exhibition featuring a select group of artists from various local MFA programs. A catalog and critical writing will also be included. (Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave, Opens September 4, 12-5pm. Free) "Michiko Itatani: Starry Night Encounter" Based on the Japanese concept which suggests thinking of every encounter as if it’s both the first and the last, this solo exhibit by artist Michiko Itatani presents new paintings that encourage such meetings and discoveries within the viewer. (Linda Warren Projects, 327 N. Aberdeen, Ste. 151, Opens September 9, 6-9pm. Free)  The Chicago Exchange: Community Block Party Community-minded Quennect 4 and Genesis Art Supply host this fundraiser for the Simple Good, an organization that empowers at-risk youth through creative channels. Expect live murals, live music, an interactive installation, fire dancers, a skate demo, art vendors and more. (1414 N. Hoyne St, September 10, 12-10pm. Free)  The Annual: Showroom For the Annual’s second edition, curator Edra Soto has brought together local artists for a showcase of paintings, sculptures, and collages with connections to architecture and design. (Chicago Artists Coalition, 217 N. Carpenter St, Opens Se

8 art gallery exhibitions to see in August

8 art gallery exhibitions to see in August

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. Fr

8 art gallery exhibitions to see in July

8 art gallery exhibitions to see in July

The sheer variety of summery things to do in Chicago extends to all the artwork that can be seen across town. From personal family histories to the grand scale of the cosmos, here are eight great art events to attend this month. Disco Art Exhibit: Ricardo “Naco” Gonzalez substitutes typical canvases for vinyl records in this solo show. Inspired by the Spanish word “disco"—which translates to "record"—his pop art portrait paintings honor inspirational and influential musicians who have broken barriers, as well as local neighborhood figures. (Pilsen Outpost, 1958 W 21st St, Opens July 1, 6-10pm. Free) Where Do We Go from Hera?: Hailing from Frankfurt, Germany, Jasmin Siddiqui (a.k.a. Hera of the global art duo Herakut) explores the human condition in her first solo show in eight years. The classically trained artist will also be painting a public mural on South Wabash Avenue. (Vertical Gallery, 1016 N Western Ave, Opens July 2, 6-10pm. Free)  Visible from Space: Paul Catanese, a Chicago Cultural Center artist in residence, combines science with art and the theater with the studio for his first Chicago solo show, where he’ll be drawing massive diagrams and piloting a 12-foot blimp that will record and project images as if they’re being seen from outer space. (Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington St, Opens July 9, 10am-5pm. Free) ACTIVATE: Smell: ACTIVATE continues its monthly tour of the senses with “Smell.” A party in an alley and the word “smell” might not seem like the be

10 art gallery exhibitions to see in June

10 art gallery exhibitions to see in June

The greatest season is upon us, and the art across the city reflects the joys of summer in Chicago. Revel in color and community interaction at these 10 gallery exhibitions. Promised Land: Carlos Barberena’s linocut and woodcut prints take images from old masterpieces and pop culture and combine them in ways that address social, political and environmental issues. The artist’s works also honor immigrants, a timely focus as Immigrant Heritage Month kicks off. (Pilsen Outpost, 1958 W 21st St, Opens June 3, 5–11pm. Free) Gist & Gesture: All the world’s a stage—at least for artists. This group exhibition explores the performative nature of art through boldly rendered paintings, photographs and objects. (Kavi Gupta Gallery, 835 W Washington Blvd, Opens June 4, 4–7pm. Free) Trash Day and High Swoon: With influences ranging from graffiti to emoticons and computer graphics, Josh Reames’s paintings and sculptures find the humor and the poetry in the items we throw away. Suspended from the ceiling and the walls are NoĂ«l Morical’s colorful woven sculptures, which harken back to places of both memory and fantasy. (Andrew Rafacz Gallery, 835 W Washington Blvd, Opens June 4, 4–7pm. Free) ACTIVATE: Hear: Art-party-in-a-downtown-alley season has finally arrived. “Hear” is the second of this summer’s senses-themed ACTIVATE series. With a silent disco, a performance from White Mystery and a dance party, attendees will have plenty to interact with. (Sullivan Center Alley, 16 E Monroe St, June 9

9 art gallery exhibitions to see in May

9 art gallery exhibitions to see in May

All NSYNC memes aside, May truly is a wondrous time of year in Chicago. Whether you treat your eyes to playful paintings inside galleries or jump around in an outdoor ball pit installed for one night only in a Loop alley, you can't go wrong with any one of these art shows. Dialogues, reVisioned: Five up-and-coming artists explore the therapeutic role of art in this show. The theme of community is the common thread in these artists' works, from fiber and quilting to drawing and illustration. (Cobalt Studio, 1950 W 21st St, Opens May 6, 5–10pm. Free) New Demands?: “New Demands?” depicts garment workers’ fight for better working conditions since 1890, with a focus on the struggles and successes of the International Ladies Garment Workers’ Union. Historical materials like flyers and posters will be on display, as well as modernized interpretations. (Spudnik Press Cooperative, 1821 W Hubbard St, Suite 302, Opens May 6, 6-9pm. Free) Lucifer in Dub: Alexander Valentine breaks down everyday images—from ads to emojis to elements of Internet culture—and reassembles them into colorful, saturated collages in this solo show of the Chicago artist’s graphic and painterly pieces. (Johalla Projects, 1821 W Hubbard St, Suite 209, Opens May 6, 7–10pm. Free) Gravity: To celebrate Asian Heritage Month, this solo exhibition by Roman Serra draws inspiration from shan shui, a brush and ink landscape painting style from 10th-century China. East and West meet in Serra’s minimalist oil on canvas abstra

11 art gallery exhibitions to see in March

11 art gallery exhibitions to see in March

March weather in Chicago can be fickle, but whether you see snow on the ground or the first signs of spring, there’s one sight you can always count on: art. Here are 11 fantastic art shows to check out this month. Organize Your Own: The Politics and Poetics of Self-Determination Movements: Contemporary artists and poets have created new work responding to archival materials related to the history of white people organizing working-class neighborhoods in Philadelphia and Chicago in keeping with the mandate from the Black Power movement to “organize your own” community against racism. (Averill and Bernard Leviton Gallery, 619 S Wabash Ave, Opens March 3. Free) Rastros de Ser: The first solo exhibition by Amara Betty Martin, a Puerto Rican multidisciplinary artist and organizer born and raised in Chicago, includes photographs, collage, captured sound, poetry, text and pattern-based works and music that document the urban lucha of a second generation Afro-Latina. (Pilsen Outpost, 1958 W 21st St, Opens March 4. Free) Secular Studies: Each artist in “Secular Studies” considers the ways in which the politics and power of display intersect in popular culture production. The exhibit surveys a range of artistic strategies and interests in 19th and 20th century visual culture and the influence on social behavior trends online and real life. (Chicago Artists Coalition, 217 N Carpenter St, Opens March 4. Free) Voces de Mujeres 2016: Celebrating Women’s Month: Carlos & Dominguez is honored

11 art gallery exhibitions to see in February

11 art gallery exhibitions to see in February

It may be the shortest month of the year, but February in Chicago is never short on art and culture. Here are 11 exhibitions that you'll be able to enjoy this month. Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen: In their first major American exhibition tour, Theo Jansen’s wholly distinctive kinetic creations blur the lines of art, engineering, science and performance. The sculptures are accompanied by drawings, videos, daily demonstrations of their movements, a display of “fossils” and photography by Lena Herzog. (Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington St, February 5 to May 1. Free) Sentience: In “Sentience,” five Chicago-based artists embrace mediums of construction, assemblage and collage in a range of vastly differing practices. Their works share a strangeness that results from the tension of commingling imagination with everyday life. (Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, 2320 W Chicago Ave, February 5 to March 27. Free)  A Lullaby to the City: This light installation by Chiara Galimberti with musical performances is an invitation to see winter (and the semi-hibernation that comes with it) as a time for reflection and a necessary slowing down, instead of something to fight and overcome. (Comfort Station, 2579 N Milwaukee Ave, February 6, 6-9pm. Free) 2nd Floor Rear 2016: We Are Here: To celebrate its fifth anniversary, 2nd Floor Rear has added Pilsen and Little Village to the annual alternative space art hop. This year, the festival is interested in the sociocultural po

10 art gallery exhibitions to check out in January

10 art gallery exhibitions to check out in January

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 oppress

11 art gallery exhibitions to check out in December

11 art gallery exhibitions to check out in December

This month, let the holidays and art bring you joy. Here are 11 art shows where you can get cultured, buy some gifts or do both. Lights in the City: Inspired by Zen Buddhism to reveal the interconnected relationships between people through photography, Satoki Nagata uses unique illuminations to capture the cultural complexities within our society. (Rangefinder Gallery at Tamarkin Camera, 300 W Superior St, December 4, 6-9pm. Free) One of a Kind: This show is returning for its 15th year hosting more than 600 juried artists. In addition to handcrafted fine art, there will be live music, special demonstrations from exhibiting artists, fashion shows featuring artist-designed apparel and more. (Merchandise Mart, 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, 7th Floor, December 3 & 4, 11am-8pm; December 5, 10am-7pm; and December 6, 10am-5pm. $12) Full Empty: In this exhibition of new work from Everything Is Collective, the premise of 1971 cult classic sci-fi novel Roadside Picnic—a society faced with the presence of powerful and often misunderstood technology—sets the tone for a series of photographs, digital images and sculptures that approach the contemporary image landscape as a zone of unexplained phenomena and a source of dubious economies. (Filter Photo Festival, 1821 W Hubbard St, Suite 207, December 4, 6-9pm. Free) Sketchmas: Fifty artists have taken the #Sketchmas challenge and created art pieces in custom-made sketchbooks, giving a glimpse into the complex and beautiful lives of artists. (

9 art gallery exhibitions to check out in November

9 art gallery exhibitions to check out in November

With the [mostly] beautiful autumn Chicago’s been having and the approaching holiday season, we have a lot to celebrate, including an abundance of art around town. Here are nine awesome art events to look forward to in November. Day of the Dead in the City of Chicago: The National Museum of Mexican Art and its surrounding area will turn into an elaborate work of art, featuring visual displays revealing the story of the Day of the Dead. Harrison Park will be transformed into a festive cemetery, complete with ofrendas created by community members and local artists. The evening will be rounded out with Pan de Muerto, altar demonstrations, live performances, face painting and art activities. (National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W 19th St, November 1, 4-9pm. Free)  Hubbard Street Lofts Open Studios: Fulton Street Collective, Spudnik Press, Latitude, Filter Space, Post Family, Platform Studios Chicago and other artistic venues open their doors and invite the public to get behind-the-scenes looks of more than 40 working artists’ studios and explore the art-based businesses housed within Hubbard Street Lofts. (Hubbard Street Lofts, 1821 W Hubbard St, November 6, 6-10pm. Free) Timeless: Galerie F, Boundless Brooklyn, JC Rivera and Ali 6 have commissioned a group of highly regarded street artists to get creative and decorate model water towers for this dual exhibition. (Galerie F, 2381 N Milwaukee Ave, November 6, 6-10pm. Free)  The Great Good Place: This artist project by Brandon Alv

10 art gallery exhibitions to check out in October

10 art gallery exhibitions to check out in October

For this city’s culture lovers, October is a busy time. It’s the annual Chicago Artists Month, and this year sees the launch of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Don’t let FOMO get the best of you. Here are 11 highlights from this month's art scene. Permanent Record: Chicago Hip Hop Kulture The Artistic Bombing Crew, one of the revolutionary graffiti crews that introduced hip-hop culture to Chicago in the early '80s, presents this interactive exhibit displaying graffiti, breakdancing, emceeing and DJing, celebrating hip-hop’s past and present. (Hairpin Arts Center, 2810 N Milwaukee Ave, October 2, 7-11pm. $10 suggested donation) Hood Surreal: A Magical Vision of Neighborhood Life Part of Villarte 2015, this group exhibition is a continuation of Las Artelitas’s quest to provide a safe and nurturing space for dialogue and storytelling in Little Village. (Las Artelitas, 2320 S Kedzie Ave, October 3, 5-11pm. Free) Stony Island Arts Bank Grand Opening Rebuild Foundation, founded by artist and urban planner Theaster Gates, announces the public opening of the newly restored Stony Island Arts Bank. With an installation by Portuguese artist Carlos Bunga, the new space will open to the public as a primary venue of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. (Stony Island Arts Bank, 6760 S Stony Island Ave, October 3, 5-8pm. Free) Let’s Play “Let’s Play” is the debut U.S. solo show of French street artist OAKOAK, who transforms mundane objects using cleverly placed and humorous drawings, creati