Art

Internet Walking Tours, Pilsen’s Gallery Night & Other Must-Do Art Events for May

With a Capital P/Photo by Kay Rosen/Courtesy of Elmhurt Art Museum

From a taco-filled Wicker Park gallery anniversary party to an internet walking tour and gallery-hopping in Pilsen, May is shaping up to be a memorable month for art in Chicago.

Works by Tadeusz Torzecki/Courtesy of Thomas Masters Gallery

Our House at Heaven Gallery
The Wicker Park gallery is celebrating an impressive 19 years this year, and everyone is invited to the party. The festivities don’t just mark the anniversary, but aim to fundraise for a critical cause: buying the building to create a sustainable art center. Look forward to a dance party, but also a silent art auction, where you can purchase works by 50 artists. Oh, and there will be tacos from Big Star.
Details: May 4

Internet Walking Tour at Glessner House
Log off and take a walk—and learn about the ubiquitous, IRL architecture of the internet in this walking tour. Your guide will be Ingrid Burrington, who has written a superb field guide to “urban internet infrastructure,” which refers to everyday objects like cable routers, entire buildings and even manhole covers.
Details: May 5

Secret Passages at Thomas Masters Gallery
Looking for some abstract, meditative work? This show of landscapes by Corey Kahn and Tadeusz Torzecki might just be the ticket. The former presents mixed media paintings; the latter: smoky, subdued works that play with light and shadow.
Details: May 10

2nd Friday Gallery Night at Chicago Arts District
If you’ve never gone gallery-hopping before, the experience can be a little intimidating—even in a chill art scene like Chicago’s. Now that it’s finally warm out, explore galleries and artists’ studios in East Pilsen on this designated community night, with a helpful map in hand.
Details: May 10

Eye of the Beholder Garment Exhibition at Water Street Studios
Art and fashion collide in this annual, curated exhibition of wearable art made by artists who might not typically dabble in creating clothing. There will be 2D and 3D pieces to behold, by nearly two dozen artists, all centered on the theme of transparency.
Details: May 10

Kate Conlon, South Pointing Chariot (2013)/Courtesy of Goldfinch

Book That Is Also a Bookend at Goldfinch
I’m definitely intrigued by this solo show of work by Kate Conlon, who is interested in scientific inquiry, failures and speculation. The highlight here might be a wooden chariot based on an ancient Chinese navigational devise, made of wood and found bicycle wheels.
Details: May 11

With a Capital P at Elmhurst Art Museum
An interesting premise for a museum show: six local painters, from Suellen Rocca to José Lerma, were given the task of curating works by 45 artists, all based in the Midwest. The result: six rooms filled with different styles and perspectives, coming together as a unique portrait of contemporary painting.
Details: May 11

Raeleen Kao, Mandrake (2016)/Courtesy of BGFA

In Plane View at Gallery Studio Oh!
If dynamism rather than minimalism is more your speed, you might want to check out this two-person show. Wild, geometric paintings by Jane Barthes and layered imagery by Dennis Kowalski that pits planes against each other will all play tricks on the eye.
Details: May 17

Widow’s Weeds at Bert Green Fine Art
Raeleen Kao’s practice centers on mortality and death, but her work isn’t as overtly morbid as you might think. Her solo shows features beautiful, delicate etchings of enigmatic weeds, from a poisonous belladonna to the mystical mandrake.
Details: May 18

The Nervous System at Arts Club of Chicago
Brooklyn painter Amy Sillman fills the gallery with large-scale paintings, known for their gestural brushstrokes. These are painted on two sides and hung on a line, beckoning you to wander around them and contemplate her graphic lexicon.
Details: May 22

Courtesy of Amy Sillman/Facebook