It’s not about a guy named Art but a broad cultural happening. COVID restrictions from 2020-2022 must be over because April 2023 has all of a sudden become Art Month in Chicago.
First, EXPO Chicago, once a big fall event centered at Navy Pier and that later moved to late Spring, is going on right now across the city’s art venues as Expo Art Week, April 10 through April 16. BTW, EXPO is a shortened version of International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art.
Secondly, Art on the Mart is premiering its new season/year Friday, April 14, after sunset.
Working with Choose Chicago, the city’s tourism site and Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events known as DCASE, EXPO Chicago’s Art Week has what it Featured Alignments with museums, galleries and hotels. See the list plus Screenings and South Side Openings + Events at After Hours events at Featured Alignments.
Art on the Mart
Actually written as Art on theMart, the display is considered the largest permanent digital art projection anywhere. It is a projection of contemporary and classical art on the 2.5 acre façade of theMART facing the Chicago River. Beginning April 14, 2023 it will feature “Funtime Unicorn: Ruby Rides through four Seasons. Beginning in May and going through the fall is Nick Cave, Ba Ba Boom.
AIC presents Salvador Dali: the Image Disappears
The Dali exhibition is the museums’ first, in depth presentation of the Spanish artist’s surrealism works and primarily features his 1930’s period. For hours and tickets information visit AIC.
Mark the calendar or add to the mobile phone places to go the day after Thanksgiving. One event is only Friday. The others start that day but go for a few weeks to just over a month.
Wreathing of the Lions
Be at the Art Institute of Chicago at 9 a.m. Nov. 25, 2022 to celebrate when the museum’s two famed lions are adorned with their holiday wreaths. The event is at the 111 S. Michigan Ave. entrance
Millennium Park Sing Along
Join groups and visitors at Cloud Gate (The Bean) on Fridays from Nov. 25 through Dec. 16, 2022 to celebrate holiday and other songs from 6 to 7 p.m. supported by the Millennium Park and Pritzker Foundations.
An indoor lights festival that includes a winter wonderland forest, Santa, animated lights display and skating rink, Light Up the Lake runs Nov. 25, 2022 through Jan. 7, 2023. Tickets are $15. For tickets and more information visit Light up the Lake. Navy Pier is at 600 E. Grand Ave.
Meanwhile, in the southwest suburb of Brookfield, female pygmy hippopotamus Banana, is getting acclimated to her new home in Brookfield Zoo’s Pachyderm House and can sometimes be seen outdoors on that building’s west side. (Smaller than the river hippo, the pygmy weighs between 350 and 600 pounds and can grow to about 5.75 feet long,)
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.
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.
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.
“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.
Nothing wrong with sending flowers to celebrate Mother’s Day, May 8, 2022. but if looking for something different consider saying it with something unique.
Say it with an artistic gift from the Spring One of a Kind Show. It’s at TheMart this weekend, April 29-May 1. A fun show that has loads of gift ideas, even for yourself, items range from gourmet foods, paintings and jewelry to ceramics, leather, wood and glass sculpture. The show’s title means you and your mom are unlikely to find the gift elsewhere.
TheMart is a few blocks north of the METRA/Union Pacific train station on the Chicago River at 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago, IL Visit One of a Kind Show or call (312) 527-4141 or (800) 677-6278.
Shop online for an artistic gift at the Art Institute of Chicago’s store. There are lots of choices and price points such as a 1000-piece William Morris Golden Lily Puzzle for $19.99 that reflects the current exhibition of “The Business of Beauty.”
See the beautiful Tiffany Hartwell Memorial Window Scarf for $45 or the fun Barbara Kruger “Too Big To Fail” tote for $25. For these and more items visit Museum Shop ARTIC.
Or say it with flowers and exhibits that go on all year long via a Chicago Botanic Garden membership. Having that means not having to pay for parking and getting a discount on store items and events. Chicago Botanic Garden
One year for one person is $109 (see other options). Member benefits include: Admission for 1 adult each visit ($10-$25 savings each visit), free parking ($8 savings each visit), members-only Garden hours 8-10 a.m. daily, 20% discount on most classes, 10% Garden Shop discount, Cafe discount, advance sales and discounts on ticketed events such as Lightscape and Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns. Plus members get free admission to 300 botanic gardens and arboreta nationwide.
Yes, it’s hard to choose so go with more than one options. After all it’s for Mother’s Day
Unusual portrait interpretations are at the Art Institute of Chicago. Intriguing works and insights of famed artist Frida Kahlo are at a College of DuPage gallery. Cartoon art and their artists are bringing memories and chuckles to the Chicago Cultural Center’s Yates Gallery and Museum of Contemporary Art’s Fourth Floor. Plus, the street art of Banksy will soon be up in a State Street space.
Because of the Obama’s strong ties to Chicago, Kehinde Wiley’s unique portrait of President Barack Obama and Amy Sherald’s brilliant portrayal of Michelle have started their tour at the Art Institute of Chicago. They can be viewed through Sept. 6, 2021.
While there visit Bisa Butler: Portraits. Butler’s works are done as quilts that portray family, and black life. Up through Sept. 6, “Bisa Butler: Portraits” is the artist’s first solo museum exhibition.
Sept. 6 seems to be a popular end date so before it pops up on the calendar try to get over to the Cleve Carney Museum of Art at the College of DuPage to see Frida Kahlo: Timeless. The exhibit is as much about the life of a significant 20th century artist as a show of her work. The art museum is at 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn.
Two Chicago destinations, The Museum of Contemporary Art and the Chicago Cultural Center have teamed to present cartooning art, history and the artists behind them across the decades.
The Cultural Center exhibit, City of Chicago :: CHICAGO: Where Comics Came to Life goes from 1880 to 1960 and is curated by artist and author Chris Ware with Chicago Cultural Historian Emeritus, Tim Samuelson. The MCA – Home (mcachicago.org) takes it from the 1960’s to now and was guest-curated by Dan Nadel; organized for the MCA by former James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator Michael Darling and Curatorial Assistant Jack Schneider.
Both exhibits close Oct. 3.
The Art of Banksy: Without Limits opens Aug 14 at 360 N. State St. (fourth floor). In case you haven’t heard of this person, he is a street artist credited by Time Magazine as among the world’s 100 most influential people in 2010. Although his identity is secret, Banksy is supposedly British and about 40 years old.
“The Art of Banksy” includes more than 130 of the artist’s original works, prints on various materials, photos, sculptures, murals, installations and more. A video documentary accompanies the exhibit.
A half century ago, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson pushed for a national day that would jump start legislation and events stopping industrial pollution and remind earth’s residents of the importance of their planet’s health.
First held and celebrated in the United States with marches and programs in April 1970, Earth Day was then established as April 22 by an executive order given in July that year.
It was followed by the creation of the US Environmental Protection Agency to regulate and enforce national pollution legislation and led to the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act.
Earth Day is now celebrated by towns and institutions around the world. Here are some ways to celebrate and/or participate.
Check your community for cleanup and other activities.
Join the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff League of Women Voters and Lake Forest Open Lands Association to clean up the lakefront April 17 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.. Capacity if 50 people. For tickets needed to meet state protocols and more information visit Earth Day Beach Clean-up. Face mask required. Parking is at lower south beach near boat launch.
The Andersonville neighborhood invites everyone to visit the shops for special promotions during Andersonville in Bloom, April 22-25.
The EarthDay Organization
Earthday.org has three days of activities beginning April 20 and culminating in workshops and speakers on April 22. Among the topics covered are emerging green technologies, climate restoration technologies and reforestation efforts.
Art Institute of Chicago
Celebrate Earth Day with the museum’s virtual programs, live performances, conversations and art activities. Registration is needed for conversations beginning April 21, art activities beginning April 23, and performances beginning April 30. For registration and more information visit AICEarthDay Highlights.
Chicago Botanic Garden
See Earth Day/Chicago botanic Garden for loads of ideas from “Be a citizen scientist” and “Eco-friendly gardening” to “Understanding bio-diversity” and “Conservation and restoration.”
The path back to normal begins to look more like the yellow brick road as an insightful Comics exhibition gets set to open at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Institute of Chicago is happily welcoming more and more visitors to its Monet exhibit and the Adler Planetarium reminds folks they can explore the museum and space online by putting space projections on theMart. Plus, over in Pennsylvania the Philadelphia Museum of Art gets ready to show off the major renovation of its 1928 building by architect Frank Gehry.
Art on theMart
April . No fooling. Projections on theMart at the Chicago River and Merchandise Mart Plaza promise to fascinate drivers and walkers as they move from the Adler Planetarium’s Astrographics about how we viewed the Earth, Other Worlds, the Stars and the Beyond April 1 through July 4.
In addition, the Art Institute’s Monet and Bisa Butler’s works simultanesously go from April 1 to May 19 followed by CPS class of 2021 projects May 20 to June 26.
The timing works because the Adler’s projections are about 16 minutes so the remaining time is filled by the other partners. Projections start at 8:30 p.m. CT and continue for about 30 minutes. Then, they begin again at 9 p.m. For more information visit Art on theMart and Spring art on theMart 2021.
Also in April but online is a curated digital exposition of contemporary and modern art put together by EXPO Chicago, the organization that has annually held its highly regarded show at Navy Pier pre-COVID. It runs APRIL 8-12, 2021 and includes gallery works plus knowledgeable art sessions. For information and registration visit EXPO Chicago.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
May, With travel returning as more people get their second vaccine, visiting museums outside the Midwest sounds enticing and doable. Among the places to visit is the Philadelphia Museum of Art to see how architect Frank Gehry (designer of Chicago’s Pritzker Pavilion renovated the museum’s 1928 building. The unveiling is May 7, 2021. For more information visit Philamuseum/renovation.
Museum of Contemporary Art
June brings “Chicago Comics: 1960s to Now” at the MCA. “From radical newspapers to literary graphic novels, encompassing autobiography, satire, absurdism, science fiction, horror, and fiction, the exhibition foregrounds comics and cartooning as a democratic medium that allows artists to grapple with the issues of their time,” says an MCA statement about “Chicago Comics”
Running June 19 through Oct. 3, 2021, the exhibit reveals Chicago as a center for comics and cartooning. For more information visit MCA Chicago Comics.
See an in-person exhibit on Nelson Mandela, Women in the Military, Monet or Marvel Comics.
As the number of COVID cases go down Chicago’s museums have begun inviting visitors back, enticing them with special exhibits.
Safety protocols will be followed including timed tickets and, of course, wearing masks. As an old, once popular ad said, “Don’t leave home without it.”
The Shedd Aquarium and Field Museum opened in January. The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois Holocaust Museum and Lake County Dunn Museum are opening in February and the Museum of Science and Industry opens in March.
Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center
The museum welcomed the public back with free admission on Feb. 3, 2021 and will continue to offer free admission on Wednesday through March. Hours are 9 a.m. -5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday but tickets must be purchased online ahead of time. See safety procedures.
Current main special exhibition is “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” up until about Feb. 20, 2021.
Upcoming special exhibit is “Mandela’s Struggle for Freedom” opening Feb. 20.
The Art Institute of Chicago is at 111 S. Michigan Ave. and 159 E. Monroe (Modern Wing).
Bess Bower Dunn Museum
The museum, a Lake County Forest Preserves property, reopens Feb. 13 with online, timed tickets.
“Modifications have been made throughout the galleries and gift shop to minimize touch points and support social distancing,” said Director of Education Nan Buckardt.
Along with displays of Lake County history and artifacts, the museum is currently celebrating Black History Month. Its special exhibit, “Breaking Barriers: Women in the Military,” will be up through June 13, 2021.
Modified hours are 10 am to 3:30 pm, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, with visitation time slots available from 10–11:30 am, 12–1:30 pm, and 2–3:30 pm. The galleries and gift shop will be closed between these time slots for cleaning and disinfecting.
The museum will be open on Presidents Day, Monday, Feb.15 and then will resume its regular schedule.
“We look forward to welcoming visitors back again to the Dunn Museum,” said Angelo Kyle, president of the Lake County Forest Preserves. “Our priority remains to create a safe environment and provide peace of mind for all our visitors and staff while connecting them with Lake County history and culture.”
For tickets, safety protocols and other information visit Bess Bower Dunn Museum. The museum is at 1899 W. Winchester Rd., Libertyville, (847) 367 6640.
Museum Of Science and Industry
MSI as Chicagoans call the museum, will reopen with the premiere of “Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes,” when it welcomes members on March 4 and the public on March 7.
A major exhibit, the ” Marvel Universe” will contain more than 300 items ranging from sculptures, interactive displays and costumes to props from Marvel films and original comic book pages.
After opening weekend, MSI will be open Wed -Sun from 9:30 a.m. to 4.p.m. For tickets, protocols, hours and other information visit MSI status.
The Museum of Science and Industry is at 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive.
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.
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.