As the weather continues to warm, it’s the perfect time of year to embark on an artsy architectural nature walk through Humboldt Park. This is one of many exciting art happenings coming up later this month and next, along with events and openings celebrating Stonewall, pop culture cartoons, and biracial couples.
About Face Symposium at Wrightwood 659
Wrightwood 659 is mounting a major group show to mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising that explores the meaning of queerness and identity today. This symposium offers an opportunity to hear directly from some of the participating artists, who will be speaking about their work and who all have incredibly diverse backgrounds.
Details: May 22
“Spirit of the Waves” at Graham Foundation
The foundation’s magnificent Madlener House will be reimagined by local artist Nelly Agassi, who will fill its rooms with a large-scale textile installation, works on paper, sculptures, and embroideries. These respond to the building’s architecture to consider its history and preservation.
Details: May 23
“The Ins and Outs: New Figures in the Urban Landscape” at Rhona Hoffman
The superb multidisciplinary artist Derrick Adams presents a recent body of work that merges textiles and paint, each centered on a black individual. Miniature roads, complete with cars, crisscross each portrait like windowpanes, situating each figure in a surreal setting of the city.
Details: May 31
“What’s Up Doc” at Line Dot Editions
Local illustrator Zach Schrey takes well-known pop culture characters—think: Mickey Mouse, Bart Simpson, and SpongeBob SquarePants—and warps their features into near-grotesque personalities. You can check out his newest works, made of sanded cutouts, in this solo show.
Details: June 1
Exhibition Tour of “Blowout” at the Renaissance Society
There’s a lot to unpack in Liz Magor’s solo exhibition of tchotchkes packaged in acetate, from candy wrappers to stuffed animals to, yes, rat skins. This free walk-through will help you get a better sense of the Canadian artist’s work, which she describes as “a collection of tiny intense narratives.”
Details: June 6
“Basking Never Hurt No One” at Monique Meloche
Chicagoan Cheryl Pope often delves into the city’s deep-rooted segregation and widespread racism in her work. This solo show of new wool and cashmere “paintings” presents scenes that bind together one black body and one white body, exploring the intimacies and complications of a biracial couple at rest.
Details: June 6
“Object of Desire” at Oliva Gallery
If you’re in the mood for some risqué art, you’ll want to check out this wild presentation of 1940s boudoir photography, collected by Kate Roth. The pictures come from men’s camera clubs, so prepare yourself not just for a step back in time but also in societal values.
Details: June 7–29
“The Vessel Is a Body Is a Skull Is a Mask” at Volume Gallery
Ceramist Anders Herwald Ruwald makes incredibly textural sculptures that sometimes seem to defy gravity. His work ranges from small glazed forms to goopy, stalagmite-like sculptures; this solo show will feature a number of plated steel works that evoke anthropomorphic forms.
Details: June 7
Jens Jensen Humboldt Park Walking Tour
The weather should be lovely in early June, so why not join Atlas Obscura on a nature walk? This new tour focuses on the landscape architecture of Jens Jensen, who redeveloped Humboldt Park, helping to introduce native plants and prairie-style design elements. You’ll also have a chance to explore the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, where an exhibition on the park’s history is currently on view.
Details: June 8