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


Around Town finds art events and Jane Eyre this week

2018 Arts in the Dark lit up State Street with costumed performers. (Arts in the Dark photo)

There is so much going on in and around Chicago that it is easy to miss something good.

Here are just a few of the fun things to do this week.

See “Jane Eyre,” The Joffrey Ballet’s production. It opens Oct. 16 at the Auditorium Theatre (at Roosevelt University) 50 E. Ida b wells drive (Former Congress parkway). For tickets and other information visit Joffrey.

Find art for you house while The Art Center holds its annual Recycled Art Sale. Works have been donated by private individuals and corporations so TAC can raise funds for its classes and exhibitions. The art work is offered at a fraction of its market cost. General Admission Benefit tickets for Oct. 18 are $85. The rest of the weekend is $5. But check TheArtCenter for more information. TAC is at 1957 Sheridan Rd., Highland Park.

Go downtown Oct. 19 to State Street for Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade. It runs from 6 to 8 p.m. starting at Lake Street on the north and continues south to Van Buren Street. It’s theme honors “Year of Chicago Theatre” so the parade features several theater companies and other groups such as The Joffrey Ballet. Visit Arts in the Dark.

Visit Intuit, the Outsider Art Museum Friday night from 6 to 9 p.m. because museum officials understand it is hard to fit in a visit during the day. The museum is at 756 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago.  For all extended hours see IntuitArt.

Jodie Jacobs



June art shows and gallery exhibits


Outdoor art fairs are a summer activity in suburbs and Chicago. (J Jacobs photo)
Outdoor art fairs are a summer activity in suburbs and Chicago. (J Jacobs photo)

Whether seeing art shows outside or exhibits inside, summer is a great time to check on what artists have been doing in their studios. Also, it’s a chance to find just the right piece for over the mantle or to spark conversation in a sitting area. Here are a few shows tovisit in June or until they disappear.


Chicago Artists Coalition is sponsoring “Far from the distance we see,” an exhibition of new works by Mev Luna. Opening May 31 with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m., the exhibit continues through July 11, 2019 at 2130 W. Fulton St., Chicago. For more information visit Chicago Artists Coalition/events.


Gold Coast Art Fair, a huge annual show that attracts 300 exhibitors, moved to June 1-2 this year at Butler Field in Grant Park at South Lake shore Drive and Monroe Street behind the Art Institute of Chicago. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information visit Amdur Productions/Gold Coast.


57th Street Art Fair in Chicago’s  Hyde Park neighborhood, near 5631 S. Kimbark June 1-2.. Hours: Saturday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Considered the oldest Midwest juried art fair it has about 250 exhibitors. For more information visit 57th Street Art Fair.


MoniqueMeloche a fine art gallery at 451 N. Paulina St. is showing “Basking Never Hurt No One” by artist Cheryl Pope, June 6 through Aug. 17, 2019. He opening reception is June 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. For more information visit Moniquemeloche.


Old Town Art Fair runs June 8-9 this year. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 8 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 9. The main entry is at Lincoln Avenue at Wisconsin in the Old Town triangle District. Suggested donation is $10. More information is at Old Town Art Fair.


The Art Center (TAC) summer exhibits are “Undercurrents” and “Inside/Outside,” June 14 through Aug. 3, 2019. TAC is at 1957 Sheridan Rd., Highland Park. The artists reception is June 14 at  5:30 p.m. For more information visit The Art Center/Exhibits.


North Shore Art League’s “Art in the Village” is June 22 – 23, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days in Hubbard Woods Park, 939 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka. For more information visit North Shore Art League.


Festival of Fine Arts takes place June 22-23 on Sheridan Road on the north east side of downtown Highland Park. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information visit Amdur Productions/Highland Park.

Jodie Jacobs


Around Town mid March


Life and death translated as theatre

Go to Rosehill Cemetery, 5800 N. Ravenswood Ave., March 10 or 11 for writer/performer Neil Tobin’s Necromancer: Near Death Experience, an interactive Magical theatre about life and death. The performances begin at 3 p.m.  in the May Chapel and lasts an hour. (Also takes place April 14-15 and May 5-6). For tickets and other information visit Near Death X.


Chicago premiere of 'Fellow Travelers' comes to town.
Chicago premiere of ‘Fellow Travelers’ comes to town.


Male relationship depicted through opera

Hear “Fellow Travelers,” a new opera by Gregory Spears with a libretto by Greg Pierce at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N Southport Ave., March 17-25. Presented by Lyric Unlimited, an arm of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the opera is based on the Thomas Mallon novel about two men in love during the 1950s McCarthy era in Washington D.C. For tickets and more information visit Lyric Opera/Fellow Travelers.



Native art combines with immigration

See Contemporary Native American Art at the Art Center of Highland Park, 1957 Sheridan Rd., Highland Park. The exhibit, open to the public March 10 and continuing through April 6, 2018, combines with personal stories of Immigration.  For more information call (847) 432-1888 and visit TAC.


Jodie Jacobs


This Weekend: Petty and posters and rock paper scissors


From a French poster by a famed artist and fantasy sculptures amidst nature’s forms to a commemorative sing-along for rocker Tom Petty, here are some things to do and places to go the weekend of Oct. 20-22, 2017.

Artist Kevin Box origami sculpture: "Rock Paper Scissors at Morton arboretum.
Artist Kevin Box origami sculpture: “Rock Paper Scissors” at Morton Arboretum.

Great art deals at TAC

Art lovers have a chance to pick up excellent fine or decorative art works including a Yaacov Agam at a price below what they typically bring in a gallery at the Upscale Art Resale. Held by The Art Center in north suburban Highland Park, the annual event is a win-win for collectors and TAC.

Paintings, antiques, jewelry, sculptures and other items are donated by designers, the community and TAC’s patrons.

The best chance to snag a treasure is Oct. 20 at the 6 p.m. early party preview which is $150. But the 7 p.m. regular party at $75 in advance and $90 at the door, is also excellent and have  an additional incentives including a 20 % discount on prices from 7 to 7:30 p.m.

“It’s a wonderful party with fun bites, cocktails and desserts, “ said Jacqueline Chilow, event chairperson.

The art resale opens to the public free of charge from Oct. 21 through Oct. 31. Hours are Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun. Oct. 22 noon to 4 p.m. and Thurs., Oct. 26, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Art Center is at| 1957 Sheridan Road | Highland Park. For benefit tickets and more information  call (847) 432-1888 and visit TAC.


Sing “Free Fallin”

Gather in the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Grand Foyer Saturday to pay homage to late rocker Tom Petty. A musician who inspired more than a generation, Petty died Oct. 2, 2017.

Participants will receive the lyrics and be divided by voice category so they can join with Toronto Canada’s Choir! Choir! Choir!  to sing “Free Fallin.” No singing experience needed. Reservations needed. Tickets are $25.

The Lyric Opera House is at 20 N. Wacker Dr., Chicago. For reservations and tickets visit Lyric concert.


Rock Paper Scissors and more

Oct. 22 is the last day to see Origami in the Garden, the Morton Arboretum’s fantasy-like metal sculptures. See what looks like birds, elephants and a delightful Rock Paper scissors sculpture.

Morton Arboretum is at 4100 IL Hwy 53, Lisle. For garden admission and other information call 630) 968-0074 and visit MortonARB.