Black Panther to Urban Planning: The Most Exciting Art Events in Chicago

Ray Bartkus installation; Credit: Ray Bartkus

ICONIC: Black Panther at Stony Island Arts Bank
After successful runs at California galleries, this monumental exhibition celebrating the legacy of the Black Panther Party arrives in Chicago’s South Side. Featuring over 50 artists, like Emory Douglas and Amanda Williams, the show is a reminder of what people of color have overcome, as well as the struggles many still face on a daily basis.
Details: November 2-January 6 at Stony Island Arts Bank

Stephen Eichhorn: CEASELESS WHEEL at Carrie Secrist Gallery
You might know the Chicago artist from his ultra-popular book of collages, Cats & Plants. At his first solo exhibition at Carrie Secrist, Eichhorn shows his continued exploration of with one of those subjects through an alluring series of hand-cut works. (Hint: It’s not the felines.)
Details: November 10-December 22 at Carrie Secrist Gallery

Stephen Eichhorn In the Garden I See 2018. Collage on archival paper 41.0 x 28.0 inches; Courtesy of the artist and Carrie Secrist Gallery

Roger Brown: La Conchita at Kavi Gupta
The sprawling personal collection of the Chicago Imagist has long been on view at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and now you’ll be able to see the eclectic contents of his former home in La Conchita, California—including furnishings, artworks and curious bric-a-brac. This might be your last chance: All objects will be auctioned off on the show’s opening day.
Details: November 10-December 19 at Kavi Gupta

Aram Han Sifuentes: To ward off authorities and to protect my neighbors
Chicago artist Aram Han Sifuentes is known for her lending library that’s filled with colorful banners she made and collected to protest the Trump administration. Her new textiles for this show hone in on one key issue: immigration. Spelling out immigrants’ basic constitutional rights, this series boldly underscores how the US government—not a family crossing borders—is a real source of terrifying threats.
Details: November 25-March 10, 2019 at Hyde Park Art Center

Aram Han Sifuentes: To ward off authorities and to protect my neighbors

GARDENS at Harold Washington Library Center
The glass-ceilinged Winter Garden at the Harold Washington Library Center will transform in the hands Lithuanian-American artist Ray Bartkus, who is disrupting the striking space with a large, kinetic sculpture. For just two days, color-changing patterns inspired by Lithuanian folk art will light up the indoor garden in a brilliant display that marks the centennial of Lithuania’s statehood.
Details: November 27-28 at Harold Washington Library Center

Brook Hsu, Earth Angel, 2017; Courtesy of the artist and Deli Gallery

Walkthrough of Let me consider it from here
Paintings of mythic beings by Brook Hsu, sound works by Constance DeJong, entrapped alien-like sculptures by Tetsumi Kudo—the works in this exhibition can be strange, disturbing and cryptic. Parse through it all with the guidance of Solveig Øvstebø, the Ren’s executive director and chief curator.
Details: November 29 at the Renaissance Society

Steven Husby: Paths of Least Resistance
It’s never hurts to take a break from a project and start something new. The abstract paintings in this show are the results of such a decision by Chicago artist Steven Husby, who says he commenced them “in a spirit of curiosity and idle distraction.” Composed of fluid, dynamic bands, they might inspire you, too, to let loose.
Details: December 1-22 at Roman Susan

Beauty and the Bike: The Impact of Recreational Changes on Park
Urban parks changed the way city dwellers spend their downtime. But how did new leisurely pursuits impact the architecture of these green spaces? Julia Bachrach, author of The City in a Garden: A History of Chicago’s Parks, will speak about how urban planners shaped existing parkland to accommodate activities like biking, swimming and golf. Her talk coincides with an ongoing exhibition on Chicago’s bike culture.
Details: December 6 at the Design Museum of Chicago

Paths of Least Resistance; Courtesy of Steven Husby

Oh, Maker
The seven artists in this timely show have mined various archives to create new works that grapple with contemporary conversations in today’s divided America. These include, according to a release, the “history of trauma on American Soil, the act of rebellion, as well the narrative of black women, and families.”
Details: December 7-January 20, 2019 at Heaven Gallery

Bicyclists in Garfield Park, ca. 1900. Courtesy of Chicago History Museum, ICHi-36405

Ambient Church
Looking for a soothing, immersive experience? This event—organized to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the ambient label Kranky—takes good advantage of the Gothic Revival chapel’s rich acoustics. A lineup of ambient musicians will take the stage, surrounded by a video performance that’s mapped against the awesome, sweeping architecture.
Details: December 8 at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel