Chicago museums opening now and next two months

Some Chicago museums are opening to members beginning Jan. 23 and then to the public in the coming days. The museums’ reopening comes on the heels of IL Gov. J. B. Pritzker’s announcement this week that the city has moved to tier 2  mitigation.

(Pritzker is expected to announce today, Jan. 23, that the city has also reached tier 1 thus restaurants and bars will be be allowed to re-start indoor seating at 25 percent capacity.)

The Shedd Aquarium and Field Museum on the city’s Lake Shore Drive Museum Campus are among the current open museums. The Art Institute of Chicago plans to reopen in February.

Shedd penguins (J Jacobs photo)
Shedd penguins (J Jacobs photo)

Shedd Aquarium

Visitors can start purchasing tickets to the Shedd Aquarium at noon, Jan. 23, 2021. The Shedd, 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, is home to the penguins seen by thousands of viewers across the world on UTube.

Members can visit on the early access days of Jan. 27-29. To join the Shedd  visit  become a Shedd Aquarium member and visit free for a year and support its aquatic life.

The public can visit beginning Jan. 30. To obtain tickets visit Shedd aquarium/purchase. visit To get tickets.

Field Hall dinosaur (J Jacobs photo)
Field Hall dinosaur (J Jacobs photo)

Field Museum

The Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, opened to members Jan. 21 and is opening to the public today, Jan. 23. To buy tickets visit Calendar/FieldMuseum/ticketing. Members should sign in at Verify your membership.

Illinois residents can visit for free on January 25 and 28. Tickets for Free Days are only available onsite and cannot be reserved in advance.

For hours, safety protocols  and exhibits visit Know Before You Go.

Chagall Windows at the Art Institute of Chicago (J Jacobs phto)
Chagall Windows at the Art Institute of Chicago (J Jacobs phto)

Art Institute of Chicago

A world-renown art museum, the Art Institute of Chicago at 111 N. Michigan Ave., will reopen Feb. 11. It will start with a limited schedule Thursday through Monday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and open to members only the first hour.

More museums have indicated they will open in March. For more museum information and future openings visit Choose Chicago/museum reopening, the city’s tourism site.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Chicago museums close

Shedd Aquarium photo
Shedd Aquarium photo

Following Gov. Pritzker’s Covid-19 case mitigation orders on Nov. 17, 2020, Chicago’s museums will close this week. Several of them will shutter late afternoon Wednesday, Nov. 18.

Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd plans to close at 5 p.m. Wednesday and hopes to reopen Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. Its website has some fee-based videos, animal encounters and education programs to offset the loss of revenue it needs for animal care and conservation. For more information visit sheddaquarium.

 

Claude Monet, Stacks of Wheat, (Art Institute of Chicago photo)
Claude Monet, Stacks of Wheat, (Art Institute of Chicago photo)

 

Art Institute of Chicago

The museum closed Nov. 17. However, some of the exhibits and interesting information about them can be found online. Check Beyond the Surface for painting background on Monet at YoutTube/Watch and other information at articedu closure.

 

Museum of Science and Industry

MSI will close Nov. 18 at 4 p.m. The museum has digital programs and resources. Visit MSIChicago for more information. See some of the tree decorations that are part of the museum’s annual Christmas Around the world exhibit at Trees and Traditions. To see how the exhibit was build and what it looks like now visit Christmasaroundtheworld.

 

Adler Planetarium on the eastern edge of Chicago's Museum campus. (Photo by J Jacobs)
Adler Planetarium on the eastern edge of Chicago’s Museum campus. (Photo by J Jacobs)

Adler Planetarium

The museum closed back in March 2020 and has remained closed but it has  an online presence for star gazers and folks who want to stay current on sky events.  Visit astronomy live but also check the events that occur every week and every other week such as Skywatch Weekly. Click on the arrow to see what is available free such as NASA LIVE for the latest operations at the International Space Station.

 

 

 

Remarkable exhibition and art space come to Chicago

 

Immersive Van Gogh (Photo courtesy of Immersive Van Gogh)
Immersive Van Gogh (Photo courtesy of Immersive Van Gogh)

 

Imagine being surrounded by the art of Vincent van Gogh translated into movement, color and sound.

If you deliberately drive or walk past theMart to see what pictures are currently shown on the huge Wacker Drive side of the building as Art on theMart or it you tried getting tickets for last year’s sold-out last year and this year’s almost sold out Lightscape, the Chicago Botanic Garden’s stroll through immersive light and sound, you are likely to want to get to tickets when they go on sale this month to “Immersive Van Gogh.”

Tickets go on sale 11 a.m. CST Nov. 23, 2020 at VanGoghChicago and (844) 307-4644. Prices start at $39.99, adults and $24.99 for youth age 16 and younger. Tickets and space conform to pandemic protocols of social distancing and hand sanitizing.

The exhibition deconstructs Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh and several of his works including “The Starry Night” and some of the “Sunflowers” series during an hour-long, 360 degree experience among changing projections and music in a 500,000 cubic foot space.

 

Immersive Van Gogh Exhibition (Photo courtesy of Immersive Van Gogh)
Immersive Van Gogh Exhibition (Photo courtesy of Immersive Van Gogh)

 

The creative team responsible for the Parisian Atelier des Lumières Exhibition in Paris is getting the Chicago edition of “Immersive Van Gogh” ready to open Feb. 11, 2021, according to Chicago Commissioner of Culture Mark Kelly during an introductory conference Nov. 16.

However, as remarkable as the Immersive van Gogh exhibition will be, Kelly also considered the space as equally important. The exhibition which leaves early May is going up in the formerly dormant, now remodeled, historic Germania Club in Old Town. The building will be known as Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago, a new venue for immersive art.

After noting that the Paris exhibition drew more than 2 million visitors, Kelly pointed out that Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago would, from a global view, become a new “art destination.”  He added that Chicago, already known for its art institutions, would be an “art powerhouse.”

Jodie Jacobs

Classes to take now: think art or cooking or even science

 

 

If tired of friends asking what are you doing with more time at home, put yourself into one of those cartoon frames with a lightbulb in the overhead cloud.

What would the next frame show? Learn how to make a holiday dessert or favorite ethnic dish? Learn to draw? Paint a portrait of your pet? Work with clay?  And what if the frame has another figure such as a young son or daughter/ So what about a fun science or comic-book or kids cooking class.?

Chicago Theater and Arts CTAA) checked out several resources in the Chicago area to come up with three suggestions for now. (More later in January to combat winter and Covid doldrums).

 

 

An Art Center of Highland class is on painting your pet. (TAC photo) Park the
An Art Center of Highland class is on painting your pet. (TAC photo)

The Art Center

TAC, as highland Park’s art exhibition and class space is called, has in person and online classes. A good website to know, TAC has online mini classes for adults and youngsters such as one for ages 15-100 to learn how to do a pet’s portrait, work with colored pencils or portray a winter scene.

Classes are online between Nov. 30 and Dec. 20, 2020 with most starting Dec. 1 and going on for two weeks using zoom. Youth classes, for drawing, cartooning, painting and clay,  are typically are  for age 9-13 but some begin at age 8.

Visit TheArtCenterhighlandpark for for information.

 

 

Chef Gale Gand (photo courtesy of Gale Gand)
Chef Gale Gand (photo courtesy of Gale Gand)

Kitchen Sisters Cooking School

Get dinner ideas. Cook and learn from famed chefs. Have the kids take a class.  Those are just some of the perks of going to Chefs Gale Gand and Jessica Dawson’s online Kitchen Sisters Cooking School.

Gand, an award winning pastry chef, cookbook author, Michelin star and James Beard restaurateur and cooking teacher works out of the Chicago area. Dawson is a traveling chef, teacher who was the youngest traveling America’s Test Kitchen host and has taught people around the world the science of cooking (when she stops long enough to teach in one place).

 

 

Forensics Chromatography (MSI Photo)
Forensics Chromatography (MSI Photo)

Museum of Science and Industry Resources Lab

MSI has a new, online spot for tomorrow’s scientists. Some of the topics are Mission to Mars: what to pack, Forensics Chromatography, and Engineers: building bridges. For more information visit MSIChicagoResources.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Better than a blood pressure pill to forget Covid and political strife

 

Even the pundits don’t know when the full election results will be known or get through the courts. So, folks who welcomed the spirit of Halloween for personal and family feel-good time, now need another good-ole’ standby, holiday shopping, to raise spirits.

Christkindlmarket and the One of a Kind Show Chicago will both go virtual in this pandemic year of 2020.

Christkindlemarket in Daley Plaza (J Jacobs photo)
Christkindlemarket in Daley Plaza (J Jacobs photo)

Christkindlemarket

A European-style holiday event sponsored by the German Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, Christkindlemarket moved online from downtown Chicago, Wrigleyville and Milwaukee on Nov. 1.

Shoppers can visit the fun market for its signature mug, mulled wine, holiday ornaments and activities through Dec. 31, 2020.

For more information visit Christkindlemarket.

 

One of a Kind Show Chicago (J Jacobs photo)
One of a Kind Show Chicago (J Jacobs photo)

One of a Kind Show Chicago

A popular event that features art and food items upstairs at theMart (that huge building formerly known as Merchandise Mart on the Chicago River), the One of a Kind Show opens online Nov. 12.

Shoppers can browse and buy jewelry, wearable art, paintings, photos, yummy treats and a slew of other gift items through Dec. 6, 2020.

To view participating artists visit Artists.

.For more event information visit OneofaKindShow.

 

Around Town: Three fun activities

 

Tiffany dome at Chicago Cultural Center (J Jacobs photo)
Tiffany dome at Chicago Cultural Center (J Jacobs photo)

Now that November is here, normally, (and what is normal anymore?) calendars are full of fall and early winter events.  In the Chicago area that means many holiday activities and shows are usually available in person. Some of them are still taking place with timed tickets such as the Botanic Garden’s Lightscape and the Museum of Science and Industry’s Holiday Trees. More on those events next time. But other events will be presented differently this year. Here are a few suggestions.

 

Cloud Gate in Millennium Park (J Jacobs photo)
Cloud Gate in Millennium Park (J Jacobs photo)

Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park

Take a free tour of the Chicago Cultural Center or the art in Millennium Park.

The tours are offered virtually on demand by volunteers through the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Among stops at the 1897 Cultural Center is the Tiffany dome.

The Millennium Park tour includes work by Anish Kapoor and Kerry James Marshal. For more information and to sign up visit DCASEvolutuntours.

 

Art on theMART starts new projects. (Photo courtesy of theMART)
Art on theMART starts new projects. (Photo courtesy of theMART)

Drive or walk by theMART,

Art on theMart starts again Nov. 12. Among the scenes will be the Joffrey ballet’s images from “the Nutcracker,” and pictures from the Art Institujte of chicago’s M\”Monet and Chicago, “Bisa Butler’s Portraits and “
Arts of Life.

The images will on nightly at 7 and 7:30 through Dec. 30o. For more information visit artonthemart.com.

 

It's a wonderful Life Live (American Blues Theater photo
It’s a wonderful Life Live (American Blues Theater photo

“It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago

The American Blues Theater is bringing back its annual production. The classic show runs 80 minutes andcan be viewed virtually. However, it is live so there are specific times, dates and tickets.

“At American Blues, we miss so much of the experience of live theater, including its energy, social nature and ephemeral quality.,” said Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside

“This season, we will bring “It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago” entirely live for every scheduled performance. We will also be interactive, bringing our popular audiograms to audience members during every performance.,” said. Whiteside. She added,” This year has been filled with so much uncertainty, but the one thing audiences can count on is the holiday tradition of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Based on Frank Capra’s film, it can be seen online Nov. 12 2020 through Jan. 2, 2021. For tickets and more information visit American Blues Theater.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Fun weekend art fair with a twist

 

Photo courtesy of artists participating in a virtual art fair.
Photo courtesy of artists participating in a virtual art fair.

 

A small group of award-winning artists who show internationally, are in galleries and exhibit at some of the United States’ major art fairs, have cobbled together a virtual art fair that airs Oct.23-25.

The fun weekend begins with joining them for a drink on Friday similarly to the opening of a gallery show. Then,  they continue with visits to their studios on Saturday and Sunday.

As an example, meet California wildlife artist Anne London and see the works of Chicago artist Darren Jones. They are just two of the artists you get to know at  Youtube/watch/artfair.

 

 

In the galleries

 

Work of Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People at Wrightwood 659. (Photo courtesy of the architect, Vitra Design Museum and Wrightwood 659)
Work of Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People at Wrightwood 659. (Photo courtesy of the architect, Vitra Design Museum and Wrightwood 659)

New Art Dealers Alliance

NASA is holding Chicago Gallery Open, a new, hybrid, online-offline event Sept 30-Oct. 4, 2020 of in-person and virtual visits to Chicago galleries, artist spaces and nonprofit art organizations.

 

MoniqueMelocheGallery

Check out the works of Jake Trovli online or at MMG on North Paulia Street. The exhibit is Jake Troyli: Don’t Forget to Pack a Lunch!

MoniqueMeloche is at 451 N Paulina Street Chicago, IL (312) 243-2129.

 

Weinberg/Newton Gallery

Weinberg/Newton Gallery is working with the American Civil Liberties Union on the panel discussion “Art and Social Progress: Creating a Better World, Oct. 14, 7-8 p.m. CT.

The event complements the gallery’s current exhibition, “Anthem” which can be viewed online and at the gallery’s storefront windows, 688 N. Milwaukee Ave., through Dec. 10, 2020.

The event will contain Chicago area visual and performing artists  who use art to address social justice issues. The second of a three-part virtual event series called Vote Like Your Rights Depend On It: 2020 Election Series, the program is free but requires registration.  Visit Action/webformartand socialjustice.

 

Wrightwood 659

The fairly new, upscale gallery, Wrightwood 659, is featuring Balkrishna-Doshi: Architecture for the People,  through Dec. 12, 2020. The exhibition is in partnership with Vitra Design Museum of Germany.

A Pritzker Prize laureate, the renowned architect and urban planner has pioneered modern architecture in his home country of India.  The exhibit is a retrospective showcasing how his projects reflect local culture,  while adapted to  nature and resources. Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People is sold out this week but tWrightwood tickets are available Oct. 8-10 and for future dates.

The gallery is at 659 W. Wrightwood Chicago, IL  For questions call (773) 437-6601 or visit Info/wrightwood.

 

 

 

Two in person and one virtual art now in Chicago

Visit Monet exhibit and maybe one you don't know at the Art Institute of Chicago. (J Jacobs photo)
Visit Monet exhibit and maybe one you don’t know at the Art Institute of Chicago. (J Jacobs photo)

 

Expo Chicago

Normally, and we all are wondering if life will return to the old normal, art collectors would be elbow to elbow down at Navy Pier as they perused choice works shown by upscale galleries at the International exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art.

Known as Expo Chicago, the popular art gathering is now scheduled to return in person April 8-11, 2021. But for 2020, the show and its educational programs are virtual and are called Exhibition Weekend Alternative. Plus ,the event will showcase Chicago.

Set for Sept. 25-27, it will feature Chicago-based exhibits, artist programs and curatorial projects through virtual tours and discussions. There will also be opportunities for custom viewing and sales. The platform is provided by HOOK which connects collectors and galleries.

The platform is provided by HOOK which connects collectors and galleries.

For more information visit ExpoChicago/ExhibitgionWeekend/Alternative.

 

Art Institute of Chicago

After delaying the highly anticipated Monet exhibit until good protocols could be in place, the Art Institute opened “Monet and Chicago” Sept 5. It will be up through Jan. 19, 2021.

Members have access the first hour of any museum day, everyone must wear a mask and social distancing is in place with arrows and the revised spaces set for each picture.

Museum goers know that Art Institute is internationally recognized for its French Impressionist collection. However, they may not know that Claude Monet was well received in Chicago when he first showed outside France and that influential Chicagoans started collecting his works early in the 1890s.Thus the title of the current show.

Among his patrons were Bertha and Potter Palmer (yes, the Palmer House) who amassed 90 of his works including many of the “Stacks of Wheat” paintings by 1901.

The Art Institute which became the first American museum to purchase a Monet (1903) had also been the first US museum to hold the artist’s first solo show in the Us. “20 Works by Claude Monet (March 1895).

The exhibit is by timed ticket. So plan in advance to see it. The Art Institute is closed Tuesday and Wednesday. For more information visit artic.edu.

 

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Several exhibits opened at the MCA in July including the very appropriate “Just Connect” which closes Nov. 8 and “Alien vs. Citizen” which includes a Kerry James Marshall work and closes Feb. 21, 2021..The museum is closed Monday-Thursday. Tickets are timed so plan in advance. For more information visit MCAChicago.

 

Some art fairs still happening

Port Clinton Art Festival downtown Highland Park. (J Jacobs photo)
Port Clinton Art Festival downtown Highland Park. (J Jacobs photo)

Browsing tents and tables of jewelry, pottery, art glass, paintings and photos is still going on in some towns with a slightly different format. It’s also happening virtually.

The Port Clinton Art Festival, the mega fair that usually takes over at least four blocks of downtown Highland Park, will be back the last weekend of August. But in the 2020 year of the pandemic, look for it at about a quarter of its size with about 50 artists lining one block of St. Johns Avenue on the east side of the train station.

Taking a protocol page from Chicago’s popular destinations, the Port Clinton fair will have timed tickets. They can be obtained through Evanbrite/PortClintonArtWalk.

Port Clinton is among several fairs operated by Amy Amdur as the more than 30-year-old company of Amdur Productions.

To see what other art fairs  will be on the docket visit AmdurProductions/Festivals. To see art for sale from these and other artists visit Art Zipper/Festivals.