Hugh McMahon’s portrait of Hillary Clinton sat in the White House when husband Bill was president. His art work has been featured in magazines and on TV. But McMahon’s work is no ordinary art form. He carves pumpkins.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you drive over to north suburban Lake Forest between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Labor Day you can catch the second day of one of the best outdoor art shows in the Chicago area. It’s the 62nd Annual Art Fair on the Square.
Even though it is sponsored the locally run Deer Path Art League, its high quality of artists and reputation for patrons who seriously shop has attracted fine artists from across the country.
You will see really exceptional paintings and sculptures plus good jewelry, wood and glass items.
The fair fills the suburb’s Market Square, a historic downtown area with a European flavor that is on the west side of the Union Pacific train tracks.
You’ve heard of outdoor art installations where objects are wrapped but imagine one that requires precise rototilling.
If you fly over Richardson Farm in Spring Grove, IL you see images of the Starship Enterprise, Spock, Captain Kirk and planetary objects. Or drive there to walk the rototilled trails that define the images. There is also a tower to climb to see the images. They are on a 33-acre cornfield about an hour northwest of Chicago west of Fox Lake.
The images that come to mind following the stock market crash of 1929 and resulting economic collapse are breadlines. However, those images are not replayed in “America After the Fall,” a new, temporary exhibit in the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern wing.
Oops. If waiting until fall to fill in activity calendar dates you might miss out on some of summer’s really good art museum shows. No need to say oops. Take a peek at this short round-up then mark in the ones you want to catch.