Cats, Video Games, and Zines Provide Inspiration for Upcoming Art Festivals

Courtesy of Studio Oleomingus

Coming up in Chicago’s art scene: Prepare for an exhibition with Woodstock vibes, a probing rendition of the national anthem, a synth-centric warehouse party, and a video game festival.

Courtesy of Ekene Ijeoma/Facebook

“Peace, Love & Understanding” at 1070 Gallery
With this year marking the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, there’s a lot of ’60s nostalgia in the air—whether or not one was present at, or even alive, during the mythic music festival. This Edgewater gallery is certainly feeling it and has put together an exhibition of art that envisions the world as a better place.
Details: August 8

Deconstructed Anthems at Arts Club of Chicago
For the past couple of years, artist Ekene Ijeoma has been developing a performance that deconstructs America’s national anthem using data about mass incarceration. Notes from the song are removed according to national incarceration rates, so it increasingly becomes strange and unfamiliar. You’ll have to hear it yourself at this Chicago premiere.
Details: August 9

Molecular Revolutions and Domestic Institutions at the Franklin
Chicago is well-known for its robust artist-run spaces, whether manifesting in apartments, garages, or bathrooms. Come to this discussion between two respected alt spaces, the Franklin and Comfort Station, to learn about the missions and models of these vital hubs.
Details: August 10

Day Glow Modular Synth Showcase at TH Inc
Spend your day at this warehouse party dedicated to all things modular synth-related. Audio and video artists will present experimental pieces, while DJs provide a thumping soundtrack.
Details: August 11

Jerry Gretzinger, Jerry’s Map: Section LO viii-xi (multiple panels), 2017. Collection of the artist/Courtesy of the Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art

Jerry’s Map at the Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art
Some of the most wondrous artworks emerge from the most mundane ideas. In 1963, artist Jerry Gretzinger was bored at his job at a ball-bearing factory and doodled—the drawing has since grown into a massive map that depicts an imaginary world of cities, rivers, railroads, and other facets of daily life. See how it evolved at this special show.
Details: August 15

Bit Bash at the Museum of Science and Industry
The annual, all-ages festival dedicated to indie video games is back. Come check out and, of course, play more than 50 alternative games by global artists, from a controller game inspired by basketball anime to an “endless gay road trip through a mysterious apocalyptic wasteland.”
Details: August 17 and 18

ZINEmercado 2019 at Comfort Station Logan Square
If you love zines, you won’t want to miss this annual festival, now in its fourth year. Local artists will be selling everything from comics to prints to stickers; make sure to get there early to beat the crowd.
Details: August 18

Bit Bash bracelets / Courtesy of Museum of Science and Industry/Facebook

Catzilla 7 at Hairpin Arts Center
Yes, this is indeed a cat-themed art festival. Now in its seventh(!) year, Catzilla will feature comedy skits, performance art, dance, spoken word, and video art. There’s also a silent auction with cat-themed art, if you’re looking for some funky feline home decor.
Details: August 23 and 24

“Notes in the Margins of History” at VGA Gallery
Here’s another awesome video game exhibition: Studio Oleomingus, a two-person game studio from India, presents art from its ongoing video game epic, Somewhere. It follows a narrative set in 19th-century British colonial India of several people searching for a mythical city, and each scene is gorgeously rendered.
Details: August 30