Four art shows to see over the winter holidays

Sometimes it takes a holiday week or weekend to fit in some of the places we’ve been meaning to go and the shows we want to see. Here are some suggestions to move from sometime to the do now list for the coming holidays.

Moholy-Nagy Constructs. Photo by Jodie Jacobs
Moholy-Nagy Constructs. Photo by Jodie Jacobs

Moholy-Nagy: Future Present, an exceptional retrospective of one on the 20th century’s most influential artists and designers, is at the Art Institute of Chicago, but only through Jan. 3, 2017. Moholy, as the artist is popularly known, founded the New Bauhaus school in Chicago that became the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute of Design. Containing more than 300 works, the exhibit features several photomontages, sculptures, constructs, works in Plexiglas, color slides and abstract paintings. Organized by AIC, the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the exhibit next moves to LACMA mid February, 2017. The Art Institute of Chicago is at 111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago IL 60603. For other information call (312)  443-3600 and visit AIC Moholy

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High end art fills Festival Hall at Navy Pier

Art aficionados, collectors and anyone who has been to the annual SOFA art show know about the high quality works on display.

Collectors admire glass art pieces at Melbourne's Kirra Galleries Photo by Jodie Jacobs
Collectors admire glass art pieces at Melbourne’s Kirra Galleries Photo by Jodie Jacobs

Perhaps for everyone else the title, an acronym for Sculpture, Objects and functional Art and Design is misleading.

SOFA isn’t a crafts fair. Nearly 70 galleries, some as far as Melbourne, Australia, Kyoto, Japan and London, England, have brought their showpieces to Chicago’s Navy Pier for the event.

When asked during opening night why come so far, Melbourne’s Kirra Galleries Manager Suzanne Brett, said, “We come because this is the biggest collector’s fair in the year.”  Her gallery specializes in exquisite glass objects.

A couple of rows over are the gorgeous ceramics of the Sokyo Gallery from Kyoto. “This is the only one we do in the United States. It’s a good show for us,” said Yoshika Yajima.

At the Thursday night preview reception, the crowd appeared to be collectors and buyers who talked about how pieces would fit with what they had.

Gladwell & Patterson brought exceptional pieces from London Photo by Jodie Jacobs
Gladwell & Patterson brought exceptional pieces from London Photo b Jodie Jacobs

At London’s Gladwell & Patterson Gallery, Ella C. Elphick was adjusting a stunning mobile. “A lot of our customers are in Chicago,” she said explaining this was the gallery’s second year at the show.

Interested in buying or not, SOFA is a good show to see what is trending and what might be fun to have. Begun Nov. 3, the show continues  through Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016.

SOFA is at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL. For tickets and other information visit SOFA and Navy Pier.

Three things to blot out 2016 election static Nov. 3-6

Instead of subjecting oneself to all the election noise on TV and social media, try to feel good about the world, at least for a little while, by going to a fun event. An old fashioned musical opens this week.  See what creative folks are doing with functional art. Visit an outdoor destination that has an unusual indoor exhibit this weekend.

Danny Gardner as Don Lockwood in 'Singing in the Rain' at Marriott Theatre. Justin Barbin photo
Danny Gardner as Don Lockwood in ‘Singing in the Rain’ at Marriott Theatre. Justin Barbin photo

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Stunning videos pull viewers into animal and plant life

Be immersed in color, movement and animal life with “The Sympathetic Imagination,” a short retrospective of the work of video/film artist Diana Thater. Organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Thater’s installations take up the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s fourth floor exhibition area now through Jan 8, 2017.

Diana Thater, Oo Fifi, Five Days in Claude Monet's Garden, at 1301PE,Los Angeles, 2012 (c) Diana Thater. Photo (c) Fredrik Nilsen
Diana Thater, “Oo Fifi, Five Days in Claude Monet’s Garden,” at 1301PE, Los Angeles, 2012 (c) Diana Thater. Photo (c) Fredrik Nilsen

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The tattoo phenomenon and a tattoo shop come to The Field

It doesn’t matter if you look at the people on the street, on a bus, in stores or on TV, you are likely to see someone with a tattoo, today.

Tattooed torso on silicon mold by Leo Zulueta of the Spiral Tattoo Studio, Ann Arbor MI. for the Field exhibit. The Field has 15 silicon tattooed body parts in the exhibit. Photo by Jodie Jacobs
Tattooed torso on silicon mold by Leo Zulueta of the Spiral Tattoo Studio, Ann Arbor MI. for the Field exhibit. The Field has 15 silicon tattooed body parts in the exhibit. Photo by Jodie Jacobs

But if you want to know more about tattoos, see some rather spectacular ones and even get a tattoo or watch someone getting one, go over to The Field on Chicago’s Museum Campus.

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Six free and discounted museum visits to ease the budget

Listen up if looking for a weekend activity that won’t empty the pocketbook. Think outer space, mummies or A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, Georges Seurat’s famed painting.  With the apple picking season beginning to wind down, the coming weekends are a good time to visit one of Chicago’s world class museums whether interested in art, history or science. Fortunately, free and Illinois discount days offset the necessary fees the museums have to charge to make up for cuts in state and other government subsidies. Here are six free and discounted museum ideas.

The Field is among Chicago museums participating in Illinois Free Days and Illinois Resident discount days.
The Field is among Chicago museums participating in Illinois Free Days and Illinois Resident discount days.

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  This Weekend: Art, Festivals and Music

Evanston Art & Big Fork Festival… If looking for a fun festival atmosphere with lots of local dishes, beer and wine plus bands plus art to see or buy go downtown Evanston, Sept. 30 through Oct. 2, 2016. The event is a chance to shop for gifts ahead of the holiday crush and try some of the suburb’s restaurant’ fare. The festival center is at 800 Church Street. Hours: Art Fair – Fri. 4 a.m. –dusk, Sat. 10 a.m.-dusk, Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Food and Music – Fri. 4-9 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For other information visit Art&Fork.

Evanston's Art & Big Fork Festival. Photo Amdur Productions
Evanston’s Art & Big Fork Festival. Photo Amdur Productions

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This Weekend: Three important art shows

Expo Chicago

The fifth International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art at Chicago’s Navy Pier, known as Expo Chicago, opens Sept. 22 with VIP parties and is open to the public Sept.23-25. More than a mere showing of works from 140 galleries across the globe, the fair showcases special exhibitions from art institutions and organizations and has panel discussions. There are also unusual suspended installations as part of IN/SITU.

Navy Pier, always a fun destination, adds art appeal this weekend as it hosts EXPO Chicago. Photo by Jodie Jacobs
Navy Pier, always a fun destination, adds art appeal this weekend as it hosts EXPO Chicago. Photo by Jodie Jacobs

Details: EXPO Chicago is at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL. Hours are Fri-Sat. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $20 one day, $30 3-day pass. For  more information visit EXPO Chicago. For Navy Pier information call (312) 595-7437.

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