Slime Ornaments & Silent Christmas Movies: Holiday Art Events in Chicago

Credit: Chicago Cultural Center

From a slime ornament (yes, you read that right) workshop to holiday film screenings, readings and lectures, Chicago’s art scene is really going all out for the festive season this month.

Poetry & Place: Edith Farnsworth at Istituto Italiano di Cultura
Edith Farnsworth gifted Chicago one of its architectural treasures: the Farnsworth House, which she commissioned Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to design. She was actually an artist herself, and spent some time writing and translating Italian poetry. Hear some of her verses at this reading.
Details: December 6

Fourth Annual Festival of Poets Theater: Transversals at Sector 2337
This beloved exhibition space is sadly closing on December 14, but its schedule until then is jam-packed with incredible programming. Case in point: this multidisciplinary event, which will feature a dozen artists presenting works in performance art, installation, video and live theater.
Details: December 7 and 8

Courtesy of Istituto Italiano di Cultura

Prairie Avenue Style: Holiday Edition at Glessner House Museum
Need some inspiration for getting your house all dressed up for the holidays? Head to this lecture by author Debra N. Mancoff, who will discuss the grand, festive decorations of late 19th-century mansions on Prairie Avenue, once home to the city’s wealthiest residents.
Details: December 11

20th Annual Animation Show of Shows at Gene Siskel Film Center
This traveling festival of tightly curated animated shorts is making its Chicago debut, with 15 films from six countries. Think of it as a 98-minute escape into various worlds of fantasy and at times, delightful absurdity.
Details: December 14-27

Celebrating the Christmas Story in Art at the Art Institute of Chicago
Sure, you can get into the Christmas spirit at one of the many holiday-themed pop-up bars around the city. But if you crave festive fodder for your mind, check out this lecture by museum educator Jeff Nigro, who will take his audience on a tour of various Christmas narratives as illustrated in Western artworks.
Details: December 14

Breakfast with Tiffany’s…Mosaics at Chicago Cultural Center
If you’ve visited the Chicago Cultural Center, chances are you’ve gasped at its massive glass dome created by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The celebrated artist actually left his mark in other pockets of the city, and you can learn about his legacy on the local decorated arts scene on this special tour organized by Atlas Obscura.
Details: December 15

Winslow Homer, Christmas Belles, from Harper’s Weekly, January 2, 1869; Glessner House Museum

Sound Ensemble at Evanston Art Center
This is your last chance to see Linear Stream, an exhibition of graphite drawings by Paul Lorenz, whose practice also encompasses architecture and sound. To mark his show’s close, Lorenz will collaborate with other musicians to perform a piece composed of found object percussion and drawing with microphones.
Details: December 16

A Silent Christmas at the Charnel House
You’ve seen Home Alone, Love Actually, Die Hard and the rest of the Christmas classics. But how about some festive silent movies? Join Atlas Obscura at this screening of some of the earliest holiday-themed silent films, which will be introduced by historian Michael Smith.
Details: December 16

Holiday Slime Ornaments Workshop at Local Color Art Studio
Need to entertain young ones over the holiday season? This Pilsen art studio has your back with this class on how to construct an ornament filled with slime, the material that is all the rage with kids these days. Why not jazz up your Christmas tree with a little personalized sludge ball?
Details: December 22