The Heat is On: July Art in Chicago

The summer art season is about to be in full swing, as many galleries open their latest exhibitions this coming weekend. The hottest months of the year inspire many galleries  to welcome art collectors and visitors to the city to spend time in the districts and explore a unique part of area culture by viewing work created by living artists. 

There is a lot to see Thursday through Sunday, with the bulk of the openings taking place in River North and West Town on Friday night. Openings continue on Saturday night in West Loop, West Town and Michigan Ave. 

Many artist talks are also planned for Saturday and Sunday in both galleries and museums, with a handful of events taking place in the suburbs.  

Our summary of the weekend's highlights is below. New events are being added daily.


In River North, the traditional July happening that was a much loved fixture on the art calendar for many years is back, with the second annual Midsummer Art Walk. Resurrected and reimagined last year by a group of dealers who wanted to reinvent a familiar seasonal energy for a district long associated with art, the event is casual but promises to be a lively evening of mingling in the name of art discovery.

Throughout the city galleries have spent time planning their new shows, the final stop before the fall art frenzy opens in September and continues through EXPO Chicago.

Galleries are dispelling old notions of lazy summer group shows by featuring new artists, for instance at Andrew Bae Gallery, the artist Dabin Ahn is a recent SAIC grad who is the gallery's first-ever artist from Chicago and the only new one to be added to the roster in over 13 years. Opening Friday, July 13.


Catherine Edelman Gallery celebrates 15 years of curating The Chicago Project VII: Selections from our Online Gallery a show created in 2003 as a biennial online-only gallery devoted to unrepresented photographers in the Chicagoland area. Opening Friday, July 13.


Gallery Victor Armendariz opens two shows simultaneously, Kirill Polevoy: Sideshow and Oliver Hazard: Purple Dawn, highlighting the range of figuartive work on view in the space, which marked its first anniversary this past March. Opening Friday, July 13.


Carl Hammer Gallery's group show highlights the gallery's recent acquisitions from artists such as Mary Lou Zelazny, Jay Kelly, Amy Laskin and Marc Dennis. Opening Friday, July 13.


A thought provoking exhibition at Weinberg/Newton, Weight of a World, presents artworks that elicit lessons to be learned – and to be taught – from global conflict, local lore, and cultural identity. Opening Friday, July 13.


DOCUMENT, one of a handful of West Town spaces opening on Friday, features its summer group show featuring artists Elizabeth Atterbury, Gordon Hall, Huong Ngo and Em Rooney. Opening Friday, July 13.


The Chicago Artists Coalition, which just moved to a new expansive space on West Fulton in West Town, is actually presenting an off-site exhibition in Pilsen at the Chicago Art Department (1932 S. Halsted). You will be the archivist of your desires, a HATCH Projects exhibition, features new works by Brittany Leeanne Williams, Frances Lightbound, Marissa Chris Zain Neuman, Meg Leary, Pooja Pittie, and Sydney Shavers. Opening Friday, July 13. And if you're in Pilsen, it's 2nd Friday! More than 20 galleries surrounding South Halsted and 18th Street showcase cutting edge art from Chicago and beyond. Pick up a map at 1945 South Halsted in the the Chicago Arts District meeting spot. 


Tony Fitzpatrick's The Dime on Western Ave. opens the first solo show by artist Danny Torres, Urban Menagerie. According to Fitzpatrick, artists like Torres are exactly why he opened The Dime. Opening Friday, July 13.


PATRON in West Town opens their first solo exhibition with Los Angeles based artist, Greg Breda, titled, Hei. Opening Saturday, July 14.


Carrie Secrist Gallery's group show is as vibrant as the season and as hot as the political climate. TRUTH CLAIM features six artists and artistically explores the term “Truth Claim”, formally known as a proposition or statement that a particular person or belief system holds to be true. Opening Saturday, July 14.


In the West Loop, Kavi Gupta's newest show at their 219 N. Elizabeth St. location features the intricate, large-scale paintings of Korean artist Young II Ahn, who recently had a large-scale solo exhibition at LACMA—the first time a Korean artist has received the honor. Opening Saturday, July 14.


On South Michigan Ave. in Bert Green's high rise space, Tom Burtonwood's 3D printed images are on display. Burtonwood reinterprets physical space through technological means using scanning, printing, and virtualization of positive and negative spaces to expose the inner workings and invisible structures of our environments. Opening Saturday, July 14.


View the full CGN calendar here.


Top image from TRUTH CLAIM at Carrie Secrist Gallery