February’s Art Calendar Includes Slime, Love, and a Preteen Werewolf

Mika Rottenberg, “Spaghetti Blockchain,” 2019. © Mika Rottenberg/Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

This month in Chicago, art events, openings, and exhibitions run the gamut, from a slime-making workshop and a Valentine’s-appropriate installation all about love to an artist talk about a preteen werewolf story and a printmaking open house.

Courtesy of © Emil Ferris

“Natural Illusion” at the Dime
Check out new works by Chicago-based artist Samantha DeCarlo, who creates surrealist paintings and drawings inspired by nature. Think: flowers and creatures endowed with creepy eyes, hybrid bird-critters, and more uncanny visions.
Details: February 7

Slime Time With “Easypieces” at the Museum of Contemporary Art
There are many enthralling works in “Easypieces,” an exhibition by fantastic artist Mika Rottenberg, but the most addicting might be Spaghetti Blockchain, a sensorial journey through such sites as a potato farm and an ASMR factory. Slime plays a major role in that latter space, so it’s only fitting that the museum is throwing a slime-making workshop, followed by a tour of this not-to-be-missed show.
Details: February 7

Lacy Coligan at Agave Studio
The Chicago artist presents an installation exploring the meaning of love, featuring her own art, music, food, and drinks. Nine rooms in the gallery will display prints that translate hundreds of definitions of love that Coligan crowdsourced, representing the values, desires, and aspirations of people ages 6 to 83.
Details: February 7

“Chameleon Blind” at Chicago Market’s Gerber Building
Join artist Mara Baker for the opening of her public art installation, which presents light paintings made of rope, plastic fencing, twine, and other found materials—and, of course, light. It’s the latest iteration of her ongoing project that illuminates empty storefronts and spaces, creating colorful surprises in heavily trafficked corners of the city.
Details: February 8

Elnaz Javani, Inaccessible, 2019. Thread on fabric, 16 x 18 inches. Courtesy of One After 909.

Artist Talk at the Art Institute of Chicago
Enter the limitless mind of graphic novelist Emil Ferris during this free talk, which focuses on Ferris’s art practice and her first book, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters (2017). Laid out like a notebook diary, it’s set in Chicago in the 1960s—with a preteen werewolf as its imaginary protagonist.
Details: February 11

Open House at Chicago Printmakers Collaborative
Spend the day celebrating the art of printmaking. Artists will demo various methods to make lithographs and monoprints; during all the activity, make sure you take some time to enjoy the final day of the 30th annual International Small Print Show, which will display more than 350 prints by 75 international artists.
Details: February 15

“Your Residue ته مانده تو ” at One After 909
This solo exhibition of Elnaz Javani presents tactile fiber pieces that explore narratives about memory, body, and immigration. The Chicago-based Iranian artist began making these works in 2013 after moving to the United States, and her embroidery and illustrations suggest moments of disorientation and disruption and a balancing of dual identities.
Details: February 21

“Something Blue” at LVL3
The artist-run space celebrates 10 years of supporting emerging artists with this group show, which brings back 10 formerly exhibited artists. In homage to the traditional American 10-year wedding anniversary gift, they’ll show works that relate to something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.
Details: February 22

“NKAME: A Retrospective of Cuban Printmaker Belkis Ayón (1967–1999)” at Chicago Cultural Center
The late Cuban artist made strange, intense collographs (prints of collaged cardboard) based on mythologies associated with the all-male, Afro-Cuban secret society known as Abakuá. Consider this show a chance to learn about this complex society, as well as Ayón, an enigmatic, overlooked figure.
Details: February 29

Belkis Ayón, Nlloro (Weeping), 1991. Courtesy of Chicago Cultural Center.