An Architectural Trolley Tour, Garage Gallery Walk, and Lake-Inspired Exhibition Headline These Late-Summer Art Events Throughout Chicagoland

Photo courtesy of Garage Galleries Forest Park/Facebook

As summer winds down, round out the season with artsy happenings like an architectural trolley tour, a catalog release, a garage gallery walk, and a lake-inspired exhibition in Evanston.

Bill Traylor, Woman Pointing (c. 1938–1943). Courtesy of Carl Hammer Gallery

African-American Architectural Trolley Tour at Illinois Institute of Technology Tower
The Johnson Publishing Building, once home to legendary magazines Ebony and Jet, is the first and sole downtown hi-res development designed by a black architect. On this tour, you’ll learn about John Warren Moutoussamy and other overlooked African-American architects by visiting their buildings and venturing to a park, a church, and more.
Details: August 17

Hole Black Hole Catalog at Flatland
Whole Earth Catalog, published in the ’60s and ’70s, was a famous counterculture magazine filled with myriad product listings, how-tos, and loads of radical ideas. Decades later, it has inspired this special Chicago-produced publication that takes as its impetus the first photograph of a black hole captured earlier this year. Pick up a copy at this release, which will also feature readings and related screenings and performances.
Details: August 18

Garage Galleries Forest Park
Explore this suburb as locals do—from the comfort of their homes. This unique art walk takes you around residents’ garages, which transform into scrappy galleries for the day to showcase art by local artists. This year’s is the largest one yet, with 51 artists and 19 garages on the roster.
Details: August 24

Dennis Lee Mitchell, Coalesce, 2017. Courtesy of Zolla/Lieberman Gallery

“Curtis Anthony Bozif: Great Lakes” at Evanston Art Center
Here’s a soothing exhibition: This series of quiet blue paintings by local artist Bozif is inspired by the five North American freshwater lakes, each rendered in shades of blue that range from moody to blissful. Some are oil on canvas, while others incorporate materials like sand and iron fillings to deepen the sense of locale.
Details: August 25

“The Way the Mystic Sees” at Weinberg/Newton
Whether in stores, on streets, or even in the comfort of our own homes, cameras are almost always watching us. This group show considers and critiques our contemporary, constant state of surveillance through works of various media; it’s presented in collaboration with Human Rights Watch.
Details: September 6

“Celebrating Our 40th Year” at Carl Hammer
This local gallery champions work by self-taught artists such as Henry Darger and Lee Goldie. At this anniversary show, celebrating four decades in the business, expect to see a spirited survey of greatest hits, including drawings by Bill Traylor, each executed on found cardboard.
Details: September 6

Nayland Blake, Magic, 1990–91. Puppet, steel, paper, wood, nylon straps, artificial flowers, and carrying case, 33 3/4 x 42 5/8 x 41 3/4 inches. ©Nayland Blake/Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery

Fall Gallery Walk in River North
Enjoy the late-summer weather while taking in some art during this free, self-guided tour of showrooms in the River North Design District, from Oscar Iberian Rugs to Lightology. Designers’ visions are paired with pieces by contemporary artists to create temporary vignettes that each tell a story.
Details: September 6

“Smoke Remains” at Zolla/Lieberman Gallery
The works of Dennis Lee Mitchell look like incredibly precise, technical photographs, but surprise! They’re actually traces of smoke on paper. The local artist has a talent for controlling the intensity of plumes to create markings that appear to unfold out of themselves, like a flower in eternal blossom.
Details: September 6

Nayland Blake Lecture at the Art Institute of Chicago
In recent years, queer representation has gradually inched away from the margins. One outspoken individual who has long celebrated their queerness is multimedia artist Blake, whose sculptures, drawings, performances, and videos are provocative, playful, and smart. Hear him speak at this free, open-to-all event.
Details: September 9