See a historic L car or Native American wigwam on Presidents Day

 

 

Old time signs, and spaces are fun to check out at the Chicago History Museum. (Photo courtesy of the Chicago History Museum
Old time signs, and spaces are fun to check out at the Chicago History Museum. (Photo courtesy of the Chicago History Museum

Maybe you know that Abraham Lincoln’s birthday was Feb. 12 and that  some states considered the date a state holiday. In Illinois, it was celebrated in Springfield. But schools and federal businesses are also off in Illinois on Presidents Day, the third Monday of February to recognize George Washington’s birthday. It was Feb. 22, 1732 on the Georgian calendar.

A couple of fun places to become immersed in history on Presidents Day are the Chicago History Museum in the Lincoln Park neighborhood and The Dunn Museum in north suburban Libertyville. 

 

Chicago History Museum borders Lincoln Park and Clark Street. (Photo courtesy of Chicago History Museum)
Chicago History Museum borders Lincoln Park and Clark Street. (Photo courtesy of Chicago History Museum)

Chicago History Museum 1601 N. Clark St.

Go any time this weekend but if you visit Feb. 20, 2023, admission is free to Illinois residents and the museum has family events.

 Among them are Oval Office activities that include an interactive Oval Office where the president works, a chance to design an Oval Office that would work for you and an “I Spy” game using President Joe Biden’s Oval Office.

OK, you know that Abe Lincoln once called Illinois “home.” But can you ID three other US presidents who lived in Illinois? The family events day includes an activity that connects facts and quotes from four US presidents who spent significant time in the state.

Clues: one was a military commander with a home in Galena; a second one was born in Illinois and grew up in Dixon and third was a recent president with a Hyde Park home, connections to the University of Chicago Law Schoo and soon-to-be presidential library and museum. Places to visit these presidential connections are at the Illinois tour site of
Enjoy Illinois
.

Visitors step onto an old platform and walk the aisle of L Car No. 1. (Photo courtesy of Chicago History Museum)
Visitors step onto an old platform and walk the aisle of L Car No. 1. (Photo courtesy of Chicago History Museum)

The family events are interesting and fun but this is a once-upon-at-time museum so figure enough minutes in your visit to see and experience  forgotten times showcased in Chicago: Crossroads of America.

Walk the aisle of L car no. 1 which took riders from the Loop to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Jackson Park. Once upon a time old L cars had stained-glass windows and fine woodwork.

Although usually closed on Mondays, the museum will be open for Presidents Day. Upcoming 2023 Illinois resident free days include: February 14–17, 20–24, 28. For more information and tickets visit Home – Chicago History Museum.

 

Lake County Forest Preserves' Dunn Museum in Libertyville (J Jacobs photo)
Lake County Forest Preserves’ Dunn Museum in Libertyville (J Jacobs photo)

 

Dunn Museum, 1899 W Winchester Rd, Libertyville

The current exhibit is “Through Darkness to Light – Photos taken along the Underground Railroad.” An excellent photographic journey, it is up through March 19, 2023.

But visit the museum now, during Presidents Day, to take advantage of  what is called a “commemorative” day off school and work to honor two influential men in United States history.

A small treasure operated by the Lake Country Forest Preserves, the museum is an easy to stroll through history.

Small dinausaur at Dunn Museum Libertyville (Photo by Jillian getter)
Small dinosaur at Dunn Museum Libertyville (Photo by Jillian getter)

Visitors take photos of the prehistoric bones of a Dryptosaurus , a small tyrannosaur that roamed Lake County 67 million years ago and a fossil rock about 420 million years old.

Moving along they walk into a wigwam that is a full-scale reproduction constructed with help from a local Native American tribe. Arrowheads and other Native American artifacts are in cases further down. 

As to Lincoln’s time, the museum has American Civil War uniforms and equipment plus agriculture implements. The region was settled since the early 1830s and manned the 96th Illinois volunteer Infantry during the Civil War.

A fun stop for youngsters is the museum’s recreation of a one-room schoolhouse with a small stove, blackboard and benches. 

One-room schoolhouse reproduced at Dunn Museum, Libertyville (Jillian Getter photo)
One-room schoolhouse reproduced at Dunn Museum, Libertyville (Jillian Getter photo)

For hours, tickets and more information visit Dunn Museum.

 

Jodie Jacobs

 

Underground Railroad Exhibit

 

From Darkness to Light exhibit of photos along the Underground railroad (Dunn Museum photos by Jillian Getter)
From Darkness to Light exhibit of photos along the Underground railroad (Dunn Museum photos by Jillian Getter)

 

An old-time schoolhouse room, Civil War uniforms, farm equipment, dinosaur bones and a resort-style lake boat are all reasons to wander through Lake County Forest Preserves’ Dunn Museum.

But on view now to March 19, 2023, an Underground Railroad exhibit is added incentive to put the museum on the visit list. Just don’t be surprised it is shrouded in darkness. That was the safest time to escape slavery.

Titled “Through Darkness to Light – Photographs along the Underground Railroad,” the exhibit is how photographer Jeanine Michna-Bales captured the ways and paths slaves escaped to freedom.

 

Dress of the period is at start of the exhibit
Dress of the period is at start of the exhibit

 

Her photos were taken on pathways from southern plantations to north of the Canadian border.

The exhibition which also includes relevant items from the period and an interactive structure regarding lights, was organized by ExhibitsUSA, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance.

 

Jodie Jacobs

 

Celebrating Mozart at Lighthouse Immersive

 

Visitors get a sneak peek of Mozart Immersive: The Soul of a Genius, Opening March 10, 2023 at Lighthouse Immersive. (Photo Credit: Reno Lovison)
Visitors get a sneak peek of Mozart Immersive: The Soul of a Genius, Opening March 10, 2023 at Lighthouse Immersive. (Photo Credit: Reno Lovison)

Lighthouse ArtSpaceChicago, known for its presentations of visual artists, celebrated Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s 267th birthday with a sneak-peak kickoff of “Mozart Immersive: The Soul of a Genius,” The birthday celebration included complimentary treats of Prosecco and Eli’s Cheesecake.”

Past Artspace presentations featured the works of such artists as Van Gogh and Frida Kahlo by utilizing cutting-edge projection techniques to create a 360-degree immersive visual experience.

The Mozart presentation is the first to feature a musician. To craft dream-like 18th century inspired imagery, the producers partnered with the creative team of Massimilliano Siccardi and Vittorio Guidotti.  

Mozart Immersive’s world premiere is currently scheduled to open March 10, 2023 at the Lighthouse ArtSpace at the corner of Clark Street and Germania Place with no immediate plans for the exhibit to travel. All the more reason to be sure to check it out.

Terri Hemmert of WXRT Radio hosted the birthday bash with live music by the Ryan Center Ensemble featuring Wm Clay Thompson (Bass) singing an aria from Don Giovanni with Chris Reynolds on piano.

The excellent young basso and pianist duo were followed by an expert chamber ensemble comprised of four string players from The Music of the Baroque performing two Mozart compositions, the ever popular “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” and “Divertimento in D Major.

The experiential projected images thoughtfully incorporated the monochromatically painted architectural interior features of the former Germania Club that is now the home of Artspace.

For instance, the inside frames of what had been windows were replaced by projected vintage images of the Austrian countryside.

They added to the enjoyment of the string ensemble by transporting us back in time to a place that might have hosted an elegant soiree, perhaps in a stately home or castle of one of Mozart’s benefactors.

The final production, a retrospective with highlights from Mozart’s short life, integrates video re-enactments with live actors alongside the animation.

Mozart Immersive (Photo credit Kyle Flubacker.)
Mozart Immersive (Photo credit Kyle Flubacker.)

Many visitors will be delighted to see legendary dancer and actor Mikhail Baryshnikov in the heart-rending role of Mozart’s father, Leopold, who is credited for launching his son’s early career. They became estranged later in life.

Constantine Orbelian, New York City Opera’s music director and principal conductor, joined Hemmert onstage to discuss the production.

The music, arranged by composer Luca Longobardi, will accompany Mozart Immersive.  It was recorded by the Lithuanian Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra led by Orbelian.

Before the doors opened, I had an opportunity to interview the Maestro for my ChicagoBroadcastingNetwork.com podcast. The four-time Grammy-nominated musician shared that he had not yet seen the visuals associated with the music and was as eager as the rest of us to get a sneak peek.

Details: Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago is at 108 Germania PL. For tickets visit Mozart Immersive.

Reno Lovison

 

 

 

Photo: Reno Lovison (R) recorded a podcast interview with Maestro Orbelian (L) which can be heard at ChicagoBroadcastingNetwork.com (Photo Credit: Julie Lovison)

Photo: Julie Lovison, Director of The Lake Shore Music Studio with Constantine Orbelian, Director and Principal Conductor of the New York City Opera celebrating Mozart’s birthday at Lighthouse ArtSpace in Gold Coast / Lincoln Park. (Photo Credit: Reno Lovison)

Photo: Visitors get a sneak peek of Mozart Immersive: The Soul of a Genius, Opening March 10, 2023 at Lighthouse Immersive. (Photo Credit: Reno Lovison)

Botanic Garden and Shedd plus Brookfield Zoo news

 

Art of Fiber at Chicago Botanic Garden. (J Jacobs photo)
Art of Fiber at Chicago Botanic Garden. (J Jacobs photo)

Not all colors are outdoors at the Chicago Botanic Garden. While CBG is getting ready outdoors for its soon to be sold out holiday Lightscape, the Fine Art of Fiber has taken over the inside of the Regenstein Center. 

Chicago Theater and Arts stopped for a sneak preview while it was setting up. Its impressive.

Extraordinary quilts, wall hangings and wearable fiber art such as shawls and jewelry, can be seen and items bought at the Art of Fiber show but it only goes Nov. 4-6, 2022. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more info visit Chicago Botanic Garden

 

Sea otters Suri (l) and Willow (r) have names now instead of numbers at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. (Photo courtesy of Shedd)
Sea otters Suri (l) and Willow (r) have names now instead of numbers at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. (Photo courtesy of Shedd)

Shedd Aquarium

Penguins aren’t the only cute, playful animals capturing attention at the Shedd.

Its two new otters now have names. The Shedd’s Animal Care Team has named Otter 926 as Suri for California’s Big Sur coast line between Carmel and San Simeon.

The other otter, known as 929 won the public vote name of Willow. For other otter news visit Shedd Aquarium and Sea Otter | Shedd Aquarium

 

Spree, a 20-year-old bottlenose dolphin, during a feeding session with Andy Ferris, a senior animal care specialist from Brookfield Zoo.(P:hoto courtesy of Brookfield Zoo)
Spree, a 20-year-old bottlenose dolphin, during a feeding session with Andy Ferris, a senior animal care specialist from Brookfield Zoo.(P:hoto courtesy of Brookfield Zoo)

Brookfield Zoo

Go to Brookfield Zoo operated by the Chicago Zoological Society in suburban Brookfield, IL for lots of animal sightings, but not for its seven bottlenose dolphins.

Beginning early November, the dolphins (along with their support staff) have taken up residence at the Minnesota Zoo for about seven months while Brookfield’s Seven Seas area is undergoing renovations.

Among the renovations is installation of a lift platform to allow quick adjustment to water depth, a new roof and a climate-controlled purifying system.

For more Brookfield Zoo info visit Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield.

Jodie Jacobs

Find a rainbow of fun at the Color Factory

 

Inspired by the city’s St. Patricks’s Day traditions as well as notable sites and sights like Chicago’s Lakefront Trail, baseball fields and the oldest L line , our custom green ball pit is a joy whether you’re 2 or 200. (IPhoto courtesy of the Color Factory)

 

What is the Color Factory?  Is it an art museum, a place to learn, or an interactive experience? Actually, it’s all three. It’s experiential.

Located in downtown Chicago’s Willis Tower, the Color Factory is more than 25,000 sq. ft. of interactive rooms and activities designed to stimulate your imagination. 

The third permanent installation in the U.S., the company has other locations in New York and Houston.  Each Color Factory embraces its city with a unique color palette and provides a multi-sensory interactive art experience with multi-sensory installations, immersive rooms, and carefully curated moments.

This joy of color celebrates artists, art institutions, nonprofits, and brand partners to bring more art and color to the world.

Working in partnership with photographer and South Side native, Akilah Townsend, the palette celebrates some of Chicago’s most iconic elements and neighborhoods.

Colors from Chicago’s exclusive Rainbow Cone (think ice cream), the dyed Chicago River (St. Patrick’s Day celebration), Lake Michigan, and the beloved Chicago flag are the stars.

It’s called the 36Chicago Color Palette and you’ll find these colors infused throughout the museum. Mirrors create layers of images in multi-sensory rooms to get lost in.

 

At the color Factory in Willis Tower see Artist Camille Walala’s 1,500 square foot maze that with patterns inspired by Chicago architecture. ( Photo courtesy of the Color Factory)
At the Color Factory in Willis Tower see Artist Camille Walala’s 1,500 square foot maze with patterns inspired by Chicago architecture.  (Photo courtesy of the Color Factory)

 

If you go: 

Get your brain wired for a color explosion as you enter the multi-hued walkway.  Check out more than a dozen immersive spaces that tap into all five senses – taste, touch, sight, scent, and sound. Enjoy sweet treats along the way, like delicious (and colorful) macaroons revolving out of a conveyer belt or a green Kurimu honeydew ice cream cone.

 Taste and identify different flavors of “pop rocks.” Take lots of selfies, free with your QR code in each of the rooms. Touch the lightweight colorful balloons and watch them move through space. There was even a chance to quietly sit and draw the person sitting across from you.

The mint green ball pit was a fan- favorite!  The Color Factory is great for kids, teens, and adults. There are enough activities with more sophisticated options to keep everyone happy. Plan to spend around 90 minutes enjoying the Color Factory fully.

DETAILS: The Color Factory is at Willis Tower, 233 S. Wacker Drive, Chicago as an open run.

 For more information, go to ColorFactory.  To receive further updates on Color Factory Chicago, sign up at ColorFactoryChicago.

Mira Temkin

Chicago Botanic Garden does a nifty fifty

 

Adsila by Juan angel Chavez. (J Jacobs photo)
Adsila by Juan angel Chavez. (J Jacobs photo)

Yes lighted displays at the Chicago Botanic Garden look spectacular when Lightscape stars and sparkling plants line walkways from Mid-November 2022 to early January 2023. 

 But the Garden also amazes right now as you wander among art installations, special plant groupings and the Greenhouse Galleries packed with the garden’s past and imagined future. 

The art and other special exhibits are part of Flourish, The Garden at 50,” an anniversary celebration up now through Sept. 25, 2022.

Pick up a Flourish brochure at the membership/information desk near the Café, to see a map and information on 10 art installations.

Take some photos by the lily ponds while wondering the Chicago Botanic Garden. (J Jacobs photo)
Take some photos by the lily ponds while wondering the Chicago Botanic Garden. (J Jacobs photo)

Leaving the building you are walking across a bridge to the garden’s main area. Look right to see a huge nature sign on the opposite bank and then look near it further west in the water to see Casa Isle, an aluminum island house constructed by artist Edra Soto in what the Garden calls its “North Lake.”

A turn south past the lily ponds brings Juan Angel Chavéz’s wood and fabric Adsila sculpture into view.

Check the brochure for other art installations and then go over to the Regenstein Greenhouses for a look back at the garden’s past and thoughts of its future.

See where the plants along the paths near the lily pads are from. (J Jacobs photo)
See where the plants along the paths near the lily pads are from. (J Jacobs photo)

Be sure to stop at the plant installations on the path back to the bridge. They are plant groups from different countries.

To learn more about each artist, pop-up events and tours go to  Flourish: The Garden at 50.  

The Rookery by Patrick Dougherty is installed near the entry road and the butterfly exhibit. Photo courtesy of the Chicago Botanic Garden
The Rookery by Patrick Dougherty is installed near the Dixon Prairie at the south end of the main island. ( Photo courtesy of the Chicago Botanic Garden)

“What began as an ambitious vision to have Chicago’s own public garden is now 28 gardens and four natural areas in Glencoe, 16 community garden and farm sites in Chicago and Lake County, and dozens of conservation and restoration research sites around the country,” said Jean Franczyk, the Garden’s president and chief executive officer.

“We are thankful to all who have shown up for nature, supported our conservation mission, and inspired us to keep imagining a future where people and planet thrive,” Franczyk said.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe., IL

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

The Cezanne you may not know

 

Paul Cezanne.
Paul Cezanne. The sea at L’Estaque behinf trees 1q78-79, Musee National Picasso-Pariss

Walking through Cezanne, an extensive exhibit now at the Art Institute of Chicago and co-curated with the Tate Modern in London, is like pulling back a curtain to really see and understand the French artist’s various approaches to portraitures, landscapes and figures.

Influenced by Camille Pissarro, Paul Cezanne (1839–1906) was also admired by Pissarro, Claude Monet, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.

Indeed, “The Sea at L’Estaque Behind Trees” done by Cezanne, 1978-79 was owned by Picasso, and is in the Musee National Picasso-Paris collection on loan for this exhibit.

Works are on loan from several museums and private collections. Visitors should expect to spend close to two hours. The exhibit features 80 oil paintings, 40 watercolors and drawings and two sketchbooks. Some will look familiar. Others will be less known and seldom viewed.

Still Life with Apples; Paul Cézanne (French, 1839 - 1906); 1893–1894; Oil on canvas; 65.4 × 81.6 cm (25 3/4 × 32 1/8 in.)
Still Life with Apples; Paul Cézanne (French, 1839 – 1906); 1893–1894; Oil on canvas; 65.4 × 81.6 cm (25 3/4 × 32 1/8 in.)

Beautifully curated, the exhibit places watercolors of the same or similar subjects close enough to compare. As with many artists, Cezanne’s works reflect different stages of life. Boards near each phase talk about those periods.

Called by some artists and art historians as the “Father of Post Impressionism,” Cezanne’s paintings are a bridge from Impressionism to Post Impressionism.

His early and middle years paintings also became his own bridge. Visitors who think they can identify a work as by Cezanne may be surprised .  His “Still Life with Apples,” 1893-94 oil painting, is quite different from “Still Life with Knife and Watermelon” a watercolor done later, about 1900.

Cezanne’s still life paintings of apples and fruit could easily fill an exhibit on their own. But you will see a still life series of another subject, skulls. They were done in his later years.

Paul Cezanne. The Three Skulls, 1902–6. The Art Institute of Chicago, Olivia Shaler Swan Memorial Collection.
Paul Cezanne. The Three Skulls, 1902–6. The Art Institute of Chicago, Olivia Shaler Swan Memorial Collection.

Part of his appeal to other artists was how his feelings about a subject were expressed by his brush strokes.

“Cezanne pursued an art distinct from his Impressionist colleagues,” explained Gloria Groom, Chair and David and Mary Winton Green Curator, Painting and Sculpture of Europe.

“Whether looking at the countryside around Paris or at a still life arrangement indoors, his was a laborious process and state of mind that involved finding the exact brushstroke to evoke his feelings, his sensations. The exhibition aims to deepen our understanding of this deliberate, singular process,” said Groom.

By the time a visitor exits the exhibit there should be a feeling that some  paintings seen in art galleries and art shows in the current century are not that different in technique from how Cezanne painted.

Paul Cezanne. Bathers (Les Grandes Baigneuses), about 1894–1905. The National Gallery, London (Photo courtesy Art Institute of Chicago)
Paul Cezanne. Bathers (Les Grandes Baigneuses), about 1894–1905. The National Gallery, London (Photo courtesy Art Institute of Chicago)

“While Cezanne himself was as interested in long traditions of painting as much as its modernist future, it’s simply not possible to envision twentieth-century avant-garde art without Cezanne’s influence,” said Caitlin Haskell, Gary C. and Frances Comer Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

“Cezanne approached painting as a technically rigorous yet deeply personal search for truth in art making. And in the process he upended the conventions of artifice in European painting, laying bare the components of color and brushwork used to compose images, and establishing the fundamentals of what would become Cubism, Fauvism, and non-objective art,” said Haskell.

(Note: If you go, get the Art Institute app (know your Apple store password) and go to the number accompanying some of the paintings to hear about Cezanne’s technique and aims. The museum hasn’t been using individual recorded devices since COVID began.)

The exhibition is organized by the Art Institute of Chicago and Tate Modern, London. It is curated by Gloria Groom, Chair and David and Mary Winton Green Curator, Painting and Sculpture of Europe and Caitlin Haskell, Gary C. and Frances Comer Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art, Art Institute of Chicago and Natalia Sidlina, Curator, International Art, Tate Modern.

“Cezanne” is at the Art Institute of Chicago May 15 through Sept. 5, 2022. The museum has two entrances: 111 S Michigan Ave and 159 E. Monroe St. For more information including tickets and hours visit AIC.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Find Spring Break ideas at Chicago museums

 

 

Adler Planetarium is back open with new inter-active and reconfigured spaces. (Photo courtesy of Adler Planetarium)
Adler Planetarium is back open with new inter-active and reconfigured spaces. (Photo courtesy of Adler Planetarium)

Chicago and some area schools are on Spring Vacation through April 17.  But even if your youngsters’ schools already had their break, terrific exhibits at Chicago’s museums are worth a weekend visit.

Fortunately, there are some free museums, free days and free to certain ages deals that can make a Spring Break outing less of a budget breaker. Most museum no longer require masks or vaccination proof but they do require advance tickets. However check the museum website for its current requirements.

For example of “free,” the National Museum of Mexican Art is always free. Located in the city’s Pilsen neighborhood at 1852 W. 19th St., the museum is currently featuring Freda Kahlo photos. But it is always filled with colorful and interesting galleries. Visit National Museum of Mexican Art for entry information. It is currently asking for masks and social distancing.

Also, the Illinois Holocaust Museum  at 9603 Woods Dr., Skokie has a promo code “SPRING 22” that is good for free admission to children and students through April 17, 2022. The museum is also free to all the last Friday of each month.

Check out the following museums for more ideas and cost saving deals:

Chicago Museum Campus

After closing for two years due to covid, the Adler Planetarium at 1300 S. DuSable Lake Shore Dr. at the east end of the Museum campus, recently reopened with more interactive exhibits and reconfigured spaces. The museum is free Wednesdays from 4 to 10 p.m. Among the fun, family-friendly spaces is the Clark Family Welcome Gallery with video presentations, interactive motion-sensing displays and pop-up exhibitions. Chicago’s Night Sky is also worth experiencing.

The Field Museum, at 1400 S. DuSable Lake Shore Dr. at the front end of the campus, has its free admission days May 14-15 and discounts the Discovery and all Access Pass those days so cost to Illinois residents would be $16 adult and $14 ages 3-11. Known for its dinosaur halls, The Field has gone further by going underwater to find giant species in its new temporary exhibit, Jurassic Oceans: Monsters of the Deep.  Up through Sept, 5, 2022, this special exhibit needs a Discovery Pass or All Access Pass but there is plenty to see with General Admission.

Shedd Aquarium, at 1200 S. DuSable Lake Shore Dr., sits in the center of the Museum campus. The museum had free days earlier in the year but if living in Chicago find reduced fares through the Chicago Public Library: Kids Museum Passport.

Hyde Park Neighborhood

Museum of Science and Industry at 5700 S. DuSable Lake Shore Dr. has free days coming April 21 and 25 and May 2, 4, 9, 17 and 18. MSI, as the museum is usually known, can fill a day without its special exhibits but it currently has the blockbuster Art of the Brick, an amazing  sculpture collection of LEGO Art that is up through Sept. 5, 2022. An extra ticket is needed but the display is worth the cost.

The DuSable Museum of African American History  at 740 E. 56th PL, is celebrating 61 years as the country’s oldest independent African American Museum currently has free admission for all every Wednesday. Masks are  required for ages 5 and older. Among the exhibits are “Freedom: Origin and Journey” which looks at several key periods in African American history and South Side Stories such as “The Art and Influence of Dr. Margaret T. Burroughs, 1960–1980.” It looks at Burroughs’s “legacy as an artist, creator, activist and institution builder.”

 

Art Institute of Chicago main entrance. (Photo by J Jacobs)
Art Institute of Chicago main entrance. (Photo by J Jacobs)

Art Museums

Art Institute of Chicago, has a main entrances at 111 S. Michigan Ave. and around the corner at 159 W. Monroe St.  to its Modern Wing (connected to the main building). It is free to Chicago teens under 18 and all youngsters  under 14. Frequent AIC visitors have favorite galleries such as French Renaissance and the Thorne Rooms (miniature periods). The current exhibit is “Life and Afterlife in Egypt,” an impressive, recently re-done permanent display of items already held by the museum.

Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave. is free to visitors under age 18 and Illinois residents receive free admission every Tuesday. Visitors who enjoy debating what is art and what does it illustrate should see “Based on a True Story.” Using items mostly owned by the museum, it puts together the works of 20 artists who “play with fact, fiction, and the grey areas between” that “wrestle with truth and belief by exploring fiction.”

Lincoln Park Neighborhood

Chicago History Museum at 1601 N. Clark St. is on the edge of the park. Check out its “Crossroads of America” which includes stepping aboard a fancy, old train car. Also up is an exhibit of women’s voting struggles and items from the museum’s Costume Collection. The museum is free is Illinois teens under age 18 and all children under age 12.

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum at 2430 N. Cannon Dr., is a Chicago Academy of Sciences museum that is also on the edge of the park. Come here to see, walk among and learn about butterflies. Exhibits also include climate change, weather and rivers.

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

 

 

 

 

Around town: From food to film and crafts to contemporary art April beckons

eateries participating in Chicago Restaurant Week. Photo courtesy of Avec River North
Avec River North, a popular upscale restaurant, is participating in Chicago Restaurant Week. (Photo courtesy of Avec River North)

After surviving a winter of ordering out and shopping and seeing shows virtually, it’s nice to find a few fun, in-person options filling the April calendar.

Chicago Restaurant Week

Now through April 10, diners have a chance to try a new on the city’s food scene or popular but pricey upscale eatery at a more pocket-friendly level.

Menus are multi-course, prix fixe at $25 for lunch or brunch and $29 and/or $55 for dinner. Experience can be dine-in or takeout/delivery. (Price excludes beverages, tax, gratuity, and delivery fees). Find restaurants and menus at Chicago Restaurant Week Participating Restaurants | Choose Chicago

 

Rhino Fest returns in April 2022 (Photo courtesy of Pride Arts)
Rhino Fest returns in April 2022 (Photo courtesy of Pride Arts)

Pride Arts and Rhinofest

After missing 2021 due to COVID, Hint of Rhino: Rhinoceros Theater Festival 2022 , will be April 1 through May 7, 2022. Presented by The Curious Theatre Branch in association with the Pride Arts Center and Jimmy Beans Cabaret, Prop Thtr and Labyrinth Arts, shows will run Thursday through Sunday at Jimmy Beans Coffee (2553 W. Fullerton Ave, second floor) in Logan Square and at the Broadway Theater at Pride Arts Center (4139 N Broadway Ave) in Uptown.

Tickets to all events are $20 or pay-what-you-can. Proof of vaccination will be required at the door, and audience members and crew will remain masked inside venues. For ticket, show and other information visit  rhinofest.com.

Maxwell Street Market

Known for its crafts, clothes, music, street food and family fun, the historic Maxwell Street Market reopens April 3. Hours are Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For directions and more information visit City of Chicago :: Maxwell Street Market.

 

Maxwell Street Market reopens. (Photo courtesy of City of Chicago)
Maxwell Street Market reopens. (Photo courtesy of City of Chicago)

 

Expo Chicago

Among the world’s leading art exhibition and programing, Expo Chicago will be at Navy Pier April 7 through April 10, 2022.

Expect to see more than 140 leading galleries from 25 countries ranging from Argentina, Ireland and Israel to Italy, Japan and Spain. For more information visit EXPO CHICAGO – Chicago’s International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art.

 

Latino Film Fest

Coming in the second half of April, the Latino film Fest runs April 21 through May 1, 2022. For locations and more information visit CLFF – Chicago Latino Film Festival.

One of a Kind Show

Also end of April the spring version of the popular holiday art, crats and food exhibition at The Mart will be April 29 through May 1, 2022. For information visit One of a Kind Show | Welcome (oneofakindshowchicago.com).

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

 

Orchids doing their thing

 

Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show, February and March, 2022. (J Jacobs photo)
Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show, February and March, 2022. (J Jacobs photo)

 

Expect the unexpected at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Orchid show during this unpredictable year of 2022.

Stretching from the Regenstein Center into the greenhouses, orchids are rooting in an old upright piano, finding nooks in a secret garden, latching onto trees and winding around old strands of damp wood.

The show’s theme, “Untamed” is quite different from recent past years. Instead of remarking on how orchids are cultivated for celebrations or different uses, the show suggests they are resilient so can grow almost anywhere if left alone including where other plants might have trouble rooting.

Orchids and plants take over a secret garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden show. (J Jacobs photo)
Orchids and plants take over a secret garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden show. (J Jacobs photo)

Opened Feb. 12 and extending through March 27, 2022, the Orchid Show arrived in the Chicago area with more than 10,000 colorful orchids just as the weather seesaws from icy and snowy to warmer and rainy.

A special treat is Orchids After Hours on Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m. when cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are also available.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 10000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, just east of Edens Expressway.

For tickets and more information visit Chicago Botanic Garden

Jodie Jacobs