’Tis the Season for Neapolitan Crèches, Candlelight Tours, Glass Ornaments, and Other Merry Art Events

Photo courtesy of Kate McQuillen/Facebook

As we press further into the holiday season, round it out with a dazzling lobby display at the Ace Hotel, a Christmasy lecture at the Art Institute, a ceramics market, and a candlelight tour. Plus: Chicago’s only science and art festival makes its annual return!

Nina Rizzo, City Moon, 2019. Courtesy of Nina Rizzo/Facebook.

Lights Out at Ace Hotel Chicago
Artist Kate McQuillen brings the dazzling nocturnal sky into the lobby of the trendy hotel with a new light installation. Specifically referencing a streak in the Milky Way, her artwork aims to evoke the mystery and awesomeness of limitless celestial space. Check it out during this opening.
Details: December 10

Lecture at the Art Institute of Chicago
Every year, the museum displays its Neapolitan crèche, a complex and historical diorama of more than 200 figures that illustrates the birth of Jesus. Learn about the significance of the carefully carved visual scene during this free lecture by a staff art historian.
Details: December 12

Gnarly? Or Nice? Ceramics Market at GnarWare Workshop
Visit the beloved ceramics studio for its very first market, where artists will sell their one-of-a-kind wares. Pick up anything from a hand-built Absurdist sculpture to a functional, wheel-spun bowl for yourself—and everyone else on your gift-giving list.
Details: December 19

Photo courtesy of Glessner House/Facebook

“Nuit Exquise” at Night Light Studios and Gallery
Artist Nina Rizzo presents a series of new oil paintings that distills the essence of everyday sights—from the moon to a lettuce head—into absorbing, abstracted landscapes. Don’t miss the bonfire in the gallery’s backyard, lit in honor of the winter solstice.
Details: December 20

Make Your Own Blown-Glass Ornaments at Chicago Glass Collective
This year, upgrade your Christmas tree decorations by introducing a personal touch to your Tannenbaum. During the two-hour workshop, expert glassblowers will teach you how to heat and blow glass into unique festive ornaments.
Details: December 20

2019 Sciart Annual at Zhou B Art Center
Chicago’s only science and art festival returns for its second year, with an edition that centers on the body. “Tête à Tête: Embodying Dialogues” presents visual art, performances, workshops, and even games that explore alternative realities and new futures.
Details: December 20

“Woman’s Club” at 7077 North Ashland Boulevard
Join Roman Susan gallery for a flag-raising ceremony to switch out artist-made banners that commemorate the former location of the Rogers Park Woman’s Club. After three months on the pole, Carolina Fernandez Del Dago’s flag will come down, to be replaced by a striking geometric design by Maryam Taghavi.
Details: December 21

Christmas Candlelight Tours at the Glessner House
This festive, near-electricity-less 45-minute tour will take you back to the late 19th century. Docents lead you through the historic house, which is decorated for the holiday season, including a live fir tree and a dining table laden with fine settings for a period-appropriate feast.
Details: December 21

Bert Menco, Pious Jester, 2002. Courtesy of Firecat Projects.

“Inspired-Transpired-Expired” at Firecat Projects
Close out the year with one of the last exhibition openings of the decade. Artist Bert Menco displays paintings, drawings, and intaglio prints that continue his exploration of the human face as a mask.
Details: December 27