This season, Chicago’s best art events allow visitors to ruminate about nature, tour a photography museum, attend a chalk art contest, enjoy a Miami-inspired brunch benefit, and much more.
Boy, Bye at Arrigo Park
If you’re concerned about the prevalence of monuments to problematic figures around this nation, you’ll want to attend this performance by local artist Kelly Kristin Jones. At a nine-foot bronze statue of Christopher Columbus, the photographer will lead a series of exercises to heal the landscape of the colonizer’s presence, using the tools of photography and collage.
Details: July 18
“Refusing the 6th” at Boundary
Chicago artist Carla Winterbottom presents an outdoor installation that meditates on the 6th extinction, centered around a young fruit tree. Pick an apple and think about the ways you’re nurturing and abusing our earth.
Details: July 20
Photos at Noon at Museum of Contemporary Photography
This is a great opportunity to check out this renowned photography institution if you’ve never been. Its curator of academic programs and collections will introduce its recent acquisitions in this special tour that will take you not only into the galleries but also behind the scenes.
Details: July 26
“Linear Motion” at Matthew Rachman Gallery
This gallery often considers the relationship between home design and visual art, and for this exhibition, it pairs modern furniture with paintings by Maura Segal. Merging collage and canvas, Segal’s new body of work centers on the power of the line to create motion and structure.
Details: July 26
Chalk Art Contest at Cultivate Urban Rainforest & Gallery
Bring your child—or celebrate your own inner one—at this chalk drawing session outside storefronts in Evanston. The competition coincides with sidewalk sales, so you can shop, eat, and drink in between masterpieces.
Details: July 26–28
The Annals of Hell at Zakaib
Don’t let the title scare you off from this evening of video art and performances at a dynamic artist-run space. Feminist, queer, POC artists command the roster at this moody-cool event, with a focus on goth aesthetics. You’re not required to look the part, but prepare for a candlelit setting and a taste of occultism.
Details: July 27
2nd Annual ArtBasel4Charity Brunch at IO Godfrey
Haven’t had a chance to make it to Art Basel Miami yet? Maybe you’ll appreciate this Miami-inspired art affair benefiting Street Samaritans, a charity for Chicago’s homeless. Works by local artists, from illustrations to photographs, will be available for purchase, and there will also be brunch and cocktails to enjoy on the rooftop.
Details: July 28
“Weaving Beyond the Bauhaus” at Art Institute of Chicago
Calling all textile lovers: This museum show promises beautiful woven works, from a wall rug by Sheila Hicks to a cascading sculpture by Claire Zeisler. An exploration of the Bauhaus’s legacy on weaving, it’s both an art history lesson and a visual treat.
Details: August 3
“Homage to Nature” at Hofheimer Gallery
It’s your last chance to catch this three-person exhibition celebrating our natural landscapes. From hyperrealistic paintings of the woods by Ann E. Coulter to serene depictions of the shoreline by Jennifer Presant, these works will compel you to amble out of the city and get lost somewhere with no wifi.
Details: Through July 27
“In-Betweenness” at LVL3
The gallery winds down summer with a group show of four artists, all part of the celebrated ACRE residency. The exhibition theme is universally relatable: the state of being in-between—that sense of awkwardness, of being unmoored and drifting.
Details: August 10