No need to wait for the warm-weather art festival season. Here are five area spring art shows and events that offer a much-needed cultural boost for winter doldrums. From compelling art by women and arresting photography to fine arts and handmade crafts, the arts are alive in the greater Chicago area.
Women’s Works 2020
33rd Annual Show
March 5 through April 11
Old Court House Arts Center
Now in its 33rd year, Women’s Works is an annual juried art show presented by the Northwest Area Arts Council. Women’s Works provides an opportunity to showcase the creative artwork of female artists in North America and internationally during March (Women’s History Month) and April each year. This year’s show will be judged by fine art photographer, Helen Smith-Romer, who works with collaged color photography using a repetition of human features to create bright, surrealist portraits, and settings contrasted against a dark background.
Admission is free.
A complimentary reception will be held on March 14, 7 to 9 p.m., for the general public to meet the artists and enjoy light refreshments. Old Court House Arts Center is located at 101 North Johnson Street, Woodstock, 815-338-4525, oldcourthouseartscenter.org.
International Juried Photography Exhibition
March 5 to 29
Perspective Gallery hosts its tenth annual juried exhibition of photography. Catherine Edelman, owner and director of Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago is the juror for the show. Perspective Group and Photography Gallery is a nonprofit, community-oriented cooperative whose purpose is to promote fine art photography. In addition to ongoing group and featured artists exhibitions, the gallery features: a guest speaker lecture series; monthly artist talks; an annual, international, juried exhibition; and an annual juried show for Chicago-area high school students.
Lens 2020 opening reception and awards will be held on March 7 from 5 to 7 p.m. Perspective Gallery is located at 1310 1/2 B Chicago Avenue, Evanston, 224-200-1155, perspectivegallery.org.
In Real Life
Through March 29
Museum of Contemporary Photography
Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) presents In Real Life. Through the lens of seven artists working with a range of digital media, In Real Life presents works that grapple with the fraught relationship between humans and technology—with an emphasis on the social and aesthetic ramifications of machine “seeing.” With a charged underpinning of human biases, these pieces, many of which were generated through algorithmic technology, present a speculative near-future wherein the socio-political consequences of AI have already begun to compromise how we visualize the world—and our humanity.
MoCP is located at Columbia College Chicago, 600 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, 312-663-5554, mocp.org.
One of a Kind Spring Show
April 24 to 26
Bringing more than 300 artists and makers together under one roof, the 5th annual One of a Kind Spring Show returns to The Mart. Featuring a variety of exceptional work from independent artists from across North America and beyond, shoppers will find a wide range of price points and media/categories including accessories, bath & body, ceramics, fashion, fiber art, furniture, glass, gourmet, home, jewelry, kids, metal, mixed media, paintings, photography, sculpture, and wood. The One of a Kind Spring Show will also host exciting fashion runway shows, live music, a gourmet market, and more throughout the weekend. Artists include Cape Horn Illustrations, Elko Hardwoods, Edgewater Candles, among many others.
Admission is $12 for adults (all three days); free for children under 12. The Merchandise Mart is located at 350 North Wells Street, 7th floor, Chicago, oneofakindshowchicago.com.
TACHP Spring Benefit
The Art Center Highland Park
The Art Center Highland Park (TACHP) celebrates its 60th Anniversary throughout 2020, with yearlong activities, including a “birthday party” during its Annual Spring Benefit on May 1. Begun as The Suburban Fine Arts Center (SFAC) by a group of artists who wanted to share their passion for self-expression, the center consistently grew in popularity and sophistication. Judith Roth, Ed Paschke, and other noted local artists have been among its faculty. In 2002 SFAC moved into its current home and changed its name to The Art Center Highland Park. It currently hosts three professional level galleries, has 2,400 annual class enrollments, and offers nearly 200 scholarships a year, as it continues to grow and expand from the “little gem” of the North Shore to a highly regarded gallery, school, and event location. TACHP is located at 1957 Sheridan Road, Highland Park, 847-432-1888, theartcenterhp.org.