Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Saturday, April 20

Gapers Block

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Thurston / May 19, 2005 2:35 PM

There is a wood carver artist guy who has an enormous studio comprised of several contiguous houses and an old bath house on Wolcott Ave just north of Augusta. He doesn't have a gallery there, but now and then when I see someone coming out of the building I ask to come in and check out his stuff, most of which is really cool. In the middle of his compound there is a large open space, with a huge hand carved wooden ladder that lazily ascends to about 50 feet. If you're in the hood, it's worth knocking on the door. Maybe not the best art, but among the most interesting.

Ian / May 19, 2005 2:42 PM

Chicago has some outstanding public art, both in and out and the downtown area. A little research can create a great walk or bike ride based on this theme.

Galleries connected to the art schools (G2, Gallery 400, Columbia etc) have an excellent selection of ever changing exhibitions.

Independent galleries across the city always welcome browsers.

The Cultural Center (not a museum officially I think?) has some fantastic and frequently under attended exhibits i.e. Many people seemed unaware of the recent Zhou 30 year retrospective.

Benjy / May 19, 2005 3:02 PM

I enjoy hitting the better art festivals during the summer.

Yet Anoter Jen / May 19, 2005 3:03 PM

Second the Cultural Center because itís free and the building itself is art

Tim / May 19, 2005 3:04 PM

There are many examples of public art around the Hyde park area, many are remnants from the World's Fair of 1893. One of the coolest is the 'Republic', located in Jackson Park. The 24-foot-high gilded bronze sculpture commemorates both the 25th anniversary of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago and the Illinois statehood centennial. It is a one-third reproduction of the 65-foot-high original which dominated the exposition's Court of Honor. There is more, you just have to look for it.

Craig / May 19, 2005 3:13 PM

The galleries in the West Loop tend to have excellent exhibits and great spaces too. Some of my favorite galleries are the Carrie Secrist, Donald Young, and the "supergallery" at 118 N Peoria.

wackpuma / May 19, 2005 4:07 PM

I like the art hanging up in the Leadway Bar. Its all the stuff that poeple painted while there were there. Also the owner is excelent at metal sculpture

pat / May 19, 2005 4:46 PM

Big Chick's (and Tweet for that matter) in uptown. The walls are littered with fantastic works.

Mike Kramer / May 19, 2005 6:51 PM

On a swing stage suspended above the street on a historical building in the loop.

Emerson Dameron / May 19, 2005 7:06 PM

Until I started tilting my head upward when I walked, I didn't notice how much amazing architecture exists in this city. If you know any old-building buffs, ask them for foot tours of their neighborhoods. My girlfriend defused my animosity for Wicker Park when she walked me around the older area.

Ron / May 19, 2005 8:33 PM

Carl Hammer Gallery

Mister C / May 19, 2005 9:41 PM

No doubt, MikeK. The Loop is like an enormous art gallery where you just keep noticing more pieces. Some of my favorites: the terra cotta sea creatures and ornamentation on the Fisher Building, Chagall's gigantic Four Seasons mosaic in the Bank One Plaza (an absolute must-see if you haven't), Henry Moore's Interior/Exterior Form nestled in the lobby of Three First Financial Place on Madison (a cast of just the Interior form sits in that sculpture garden south of the Art Institute). Oh, and if you're in that little sculpture garden, check out the huge-ass-cast-of-thousands relief sculpture that's about 2/3 up the facade of the School of the "Artitute" building across the street on the West side of Michigan Avenue. I just noticed it for the first time a couple weeks ago and was quite taken with it.

I always see nice stuff in galleries as I walk by them but never stop in because I always feel like I shouldn't be going in there if I'm not going to buy anything. Especially the really high-end places,it's the same way that I'd feel too intimidated to walk into a Ferrari dealership or something like that. You don't want some overly intense individual wasting their time trying to get you to buy something you couldn't afford in a million years.

Art fairs are good in the fact that you can see lots of art without the pressure of feeling like you're wasting somebody's time; you can just melt back into the flow if you don't wish to purchase; and (although you have to wade through the "metal butterflies on sticks" and crap like that) you can find some gallery quality art for a decent price.
That's why I'm doubly psyched that my dear friends, Tony and Erika*, are coming to the 57th Street Fair, I can catch up with them, get some of their pottery (it's awesome and not near as expensive as their mixed media) and check out a bunch of other great artists.

*If you do run into Tony and Erika, please tell them how horribly unusable and obnoxious their site is, I love them to death and don't have the heart to.

drdick / May 19, 2005 10:15 PM

CTA train is art in motion and public art - had an article on that yesterday!

Mister C / May 20, 2005 3:03 AM

Ooops, I meant to say the sculpture garden North of the Artitute.

chris / May 20, 2005 8:04 AM

Hyde Park has an annual art fair.

paul / May 20, 2005 9:02 AM

There's quite a few things to see on, and above the street in the River North area, like the Freedom Wall on Huron and Franklin, or the Yuppies climbing the building a block south. Of course you could walk into any of the fine galleries in the area, if you don't mind being indimidated by the staff. The Chicago Art Dealers Assoc. does have events like Starbucks Saturdays, which tour of some galleries, guided by an expert or owner.

Outside the city, the Northshore Sculpture Park along McCormick, always gets a recommendation from me.

Craig / May 20, 2005 9:36 AM

"I always see nice stuff in galleries as I walk by them but never stop in because I always feel like I shouldn't be going in there if I'm not going to buy anything. ... You don't want some overly intense individual wasting their time trying to get you to buy something you couldn't afford in a million years."

I certainly can't afford to buy any of the work either, but I have never felt like I was wasting anyone's time. Unlike a Ferrari dealership-- whose only reason for being is selling-- the gallery exists to publically exhibit work. No one is working the "hard sell". Just think of it as a trip to the MCA-- without the entrance cost-- and you'll be fine.

Tommy #1 / May 20, 2005 12:29 PM

I have to agree with DrDick. There are alot of free lance artists (aka taggers) that are absolutely great. Sometimes the passing freight train in better than a Monet. I just wish the not so good would realize it and practice in private before going big time.

curtsy / June 3, 2005 1:38 PM

Coolest "gallery" -- the etchings in the limestone along the lakefront (it's cooler by the lake...)

Susan / July 1, 2005 9:01 PM

Feels like home there. Far away yet warm like fire.

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