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Chicago, a city rich with cultural destinations from museums to planetariums and aquariums, allows its residents and visitors the chance to view great exhibits within our artistic and civic institutions that you may not fid elsewhere. As the temps begin to rise again so does our curiosity and need for inspiration and a little cultural escape.
Just in time as we slowly thaw out of the deep Chiberia freeze (thanks a lot global warming), we’ve curated a list of exhibits opening this spring worth checking out either by yourself, with a date or the family. Take the time to enjoy, get inspired or escape into another world.
DATES: March 10-August 16, 2015
LOCATION: Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
220 East Chicago Ave. Chicago, IL 60611 GOOGLE MAP
ADMISSION $$: $12 Suggested Admission; Free for MCA Members, military, and children 12 and under**
DESCRIPTION: Faheem Majeed is an artist from the South Shore Chicago whose art explores the relationship between space, place, and community. This is his first solo museum exhibition and he uses it to question how space becomes place, and, further, how places can foster a sense of home and belonging. His work is heavily inspired by his community and is often a product of that community since it uses discarded materials like used billboards and scrap metal and wood. Organized by Curatorial Assistant Steven L. Bridges.
WHY SHOULD YOU GO? Majeed was most recently the Associate Director and faculty of the School Art & Art History at UIC. With the success of installation artist Theaster Gates, he may be the next Theaster. Throughought the duration of the exhibit, MCA and the artist will hold events (MCA Talk & MCA Live) and performances to activate the space. Visit Website
EXHIBIT: Ireland: Crossroads of Art and Design, 1690-1840
DATES: March 17- June 7, 2015
Member Preview: March 15-16
Opening Gala: March 14, 2015
LOCATION: The Art Institute of Chicago Regenstein Hall
111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago GOOGLE MAP
ADMISSION $$: Admission cost varies
DESCRIPTION: This is the first exhibition of its kind to explore the rich and complex art and culture of Ireland during the long 18th century. Organized thematically throughout six galleries—from portraiture to landscapes, from Dublin to the Irish country house—the exhibition celebrates the Irish as artists, collectors, and patrons.. An exhibition on Irish art and culture during the 18th century, a time of great change and strife following the English invasion and occupation of Ireland. Features many prominent works of art yet also many examples of other shit (woodwork, musical instruments). Organized by Christopher Monkhouse, Eloise W. Martin Chair and Curator, European Decorative Arts.
WHY YOU SHOULD GO? With St. Patrick’s day right around the corner, The Art Institute of Chicago is not only the first but the only venue to present this show celebrating the Irish as artists, collectors, and patrons—a fitting tribute to Chicago’s own deep Irish roots. Visit Website
EXHIBIT: Carmen Parra: Suave Patria
DATES: MarchMarch 20-August 9, 2015
Opening Reception: March 20 6-8pm
LOCATION: National Museum of Mexican Art-Rubin & Paula Torres Gallery
1852 W. 19th street Chicago, GOOGLE MAP
DESCRIPTION: Carmen Parra investigates, examines, creates and re-creates all subjects that passionately thrill her. In Carmen Parra: Suave Patria the artist reveals to us her love of Mexico by way of its symbols, natural wonders and sacred spaces. The royal eagle, the monarch butterfly, the Main (Aztec) Temple and the Metropolitan Cathedral are themes that unify this exhibition. Curated by Dolores Mercado
WHY YOU SHOULD GO? This exhibit has been put together in collaboration with the Consul General of Mexico in Chicago. The artist, who had been exposed to art since childhood has gone on to study art in Italy, England and Mexico.. Visit Website
EXHIBIT: Encounters with Asia, Spring 2015
DATES: April 29–May 20, 2015
DAY/TIME: Wednesdays from 11am
LOCATION: Art Institute of Chicago-Millennium Park Room
111 South Michigan Avenue Chicago GOOGLE MAP
ADMISSION $$: Asian Art Council members and Sustaining Fellows:$20 lecture, $50 lunch and lecture | Non-Asian Art Council members: $30 lecture, $60 lunch and lecture; free for SAIC students with RSVP
DESCRIPTION: Inspired by the strengths of the Art Institute’s collection in Korean ceramics and painting, this four-part series aims to highlight some of the major arts of this peninsular nation. Together, these lectures survey works whose diverse media, formats, functions, and methods of display reflect their significance in traditional Korean culture and worldwide contemporary art.
WHY SHOULD YOU GO? Though this isn’t technically an exhibit it is a lecture and luncheon series about Korean culture, art and textiles that should be quite informative with guest lecturers from UCLA, The Met, Textile Museum in DC and University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art. Visit Website
EXHIBIT: Charles Ray: Scultpure, 1997-2014
DATES: May 15- October 4, 2015
Member Preview: May 13-14, 2015
LOCATION: Art Institute of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago GOOGLE MAP
ADMISSION $$: Admission varies
DESCRIPTION: Organized by the Art Institute of Chicago in partnership with Kunstmuseum Basel, with the full cooperation of the artist. This exhibit surveys work produced by celebrated Chicago-born, Los Angeles-based sculptor Charles Ray over the past two decades.His work is characterized by its precision, solidity, and machine made qualities which exude an air of timelessness.
WHY SHOULD YOU GO? This is the first major exhibit celebrating his work since a mid-career retrospective in 1998. Also The Art Institute is the sole United States venue to present, and six sculptures—including two new never-before-seen works, Horse and Rider and Huck and Jim—are presented only in Chicago. Visit Website
DATES: May 2015- May 2017
LOCATION: Shedd Aquarium
1200 S Lake Shore Drive GOOGLE MAP
DESCRIPTION: A new special exhibit showcasing the amazing world of amphibians—featuring 40 species of salamanders, frogs and rarely-seen caecilians—highlighting their amazing diversity, unique adaptations and the serious challenges they face.
WHY YOU SHOULD GO? Like one needs an excuse to head to the she’d but if you need further convincing, this exhibit will allow you to explore more than 30 habitats to find tiny frogs not much bigger than a quarter plus a near 4-foot-long giant Japanese salamander. Visit Website
DATES: April 6 – July 12, 2015
Thursday April 9, 2015, 5-7pm
Symposium: Friday, April 10, 2015
LOCATION: The Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago
600 South Michigan Avenue GOOGLE MAP
ADMISSION $$: N/A
DESCRIPTION: Dandy Lion: (Re) Articulating Black Masculine Identity seeks to distinguish the contemporary expressions of the Black Dandy phenomenon in popular culture. The first comprehensive exhibition of its kind,thisprojecthighlightsyoungmenincity-landscapeswhodefy stereotypicalandmonolithic understandings of Black masculinity by remixing Victorian-era fashion with traditional African sartorial sensibilities. OGuest curated by Shantrelle P. Lewis. The 21st century Black Dandy’s sartorial choices are an expression of the African aesthetic rather than an imitation of European high-brow society. Using their self-fashioned bodies as sites of resistance, contemporary Black dandies are complicating modern narratives of what it means to be Black, masculine and fashionable today.
WHY SHOULD YOU GO? The exhibit will feature images of both emerging and world-renowned photographers and filmmakers from various regions of the African Diaspora, including the U.S., South Africa, the Congo and Western Europe, like a street style blog/campaign come to life. Visit Website
With contributions by Daniela Arellano & Tarrah Gibbons
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