The Art World's First Weekend of 'Spring'


Friday, March 1 begins a weekend of fresh openings in galleries around the city, as many spaces feature their first exhibitions since the year began. A host of artists have used our collective hope for renewal and warmth, as well as fresh air and light, as inspiration for their latest work. 

River North opens many new shows as part of its commitment to coordinating receptions on the first Friday of the odd months. 

Several spaces in West Town also open dynamic shows along Chicago Ave. 

Additionally, new art may be found on both ends of the city, the south as well as the north, and on both days of the weekend, Saturday, March 2 and Sunday, March 3, making this an altogether Chicago and art-filled weekend. 

Some highlights are listed below, and our full calendar may be viewed here. 

And of course the art doesn't stop after the openings are over. Much is planned in the coming days and weeks! 

Enjoy these bright signs of spring, and see you in the galleries! 


Stan Shellabarger

Stan Shellabarger, 'Untitled (Winter Solstice 2017) 2017. Artist book: cyanotypes on paper, archival tape, arches covers. 7 x 5 inches closed, 7 x 50 inches open. Unique edition of 2

March 1–April 13 at Western Exhibitions – West Town

Stan Shellabarger's new artist books and collages are made from cyanotypes produced during full moons, summer and winter solstices, autumnal and vernal equinoxes and a solar eclipse. Beginning in 1994 Shellabarger has executed over a dozen performances on solstices and equinoxes. Marking the longest and shortest days of the year, or those days with equal amounts of light and dark respectively, the duration of his art-making activities are often influenced, or even determined by, these celestial events. In Shellabarger’s new body of work, comprised of a series of cyanotypes— a camera-less photographic process where chemically coated paper is exposed to light— full moons, the solstices, equinoxes and a solar eclipse are also the work’s light source, in addition to the inspiration for its imagery.

Also on view at the gallery is a companion show, My informal printmaking residency with Stan Shellabarger, that features work by Leslie Baum, Elijah Burgher, kg, Kelly Kaczynski, Rachel Niffenegger, Paul Nudd, Steve Reinke, and Jeremy Tinder.  Both shows open Friday, March 1, 5-8pm.


Thaddeus Wolfe: Crossing the River to Fetch Water

Thaddeus Wolfe, Assemblage / 2016, Blown glass, Unique, 20H x 8W x 6D

March 1–April 27 at Volume Gallery - West Town

This exhibition gathers Thaddeus Wolfe’s new kiln-constructed objects and blown flat wall reliefs. Wolfe is known for his dedication to the laborious techniques of glassmaking and an inquisitive, bold vision that leads the medium into new terrains. Opening Friday, March 1, 5-8pm.


Tetsuya Noda

Tetsuya Noda, Diary; May 7th, '18, woodcut and screenprint, 2018.

March 1–31 at Andrew Bae Gallery - River North 

This Japanese artist has been working for 50 years, during which he has single-handedly created a 'diary', which comprises over 500 works of art, which today continue and compliment Japan's great tradition of printmaking. Noda finishes each of his prints with his own thumbprint in red 'she ni ku' next to his signature. The artist will be present at the opening Friday, March 1, 5-8pm.


Come As You Are: New Work by Amy Laskin

Amy Laskin, Floras Duppy

March 1–April 27 at Carl Hammer Gallery – River North

Amy Laskin's works speak to the dark beauty that can come with the first signs of spring. The sun and natural warmth we so crave have the power to make spectacular flowers bloom. In Laskin's work once the flowers are in bloom, they may be fully and formally constructed by humans, representing perhaps an ideal extension of ourselves in nature's own landscape. Opening Friday, March 1, 5-8pm.


Soak. Stroke. Scratch.

Michelle Wasson, Sun King, 96″ x 72", Acrylic on raw canvas

March 1–April 30 at Melanee Cooper Gallery – River North

A three-person exhibition at this River North Gallery, which reopened in the district this past fall after the owner spent 9 years in California, features a vibrant array of sun-inspired work that conjures a variety of images and of and the feeling of being around water as well as the sun. One of the three artists, Michelle Wasson, exhibits work that relies on an ongoing exploration of materials and methods in order to traverse the history of painting. Opening Friday, March 1, 5-8pm.


Parallel Points

Oltre il Momento I, 30 x 30, oil and cold wax on panel

March 1–April 25 at Addington Gallery – River North

Two shows featuring multiple artists open Friday at Addington Gallery, and one exhibits the cold-wax and oil paint works of Allison B. Cooke. The range of colors may reflect whatever your mood, and the weather, is this weekend. Opening Friday, March 1, 5-8pm.


Remnants: Works on Paper 

Sue Fox, Verdant, 20” x 16” x 2”, Acrylic and collage on board

Thru March 30 at Studio Oh! – Ravenswood

Featuring Sue Fox, Vida Sacic, and Don Widmer. Opening reception Friday, March 1. 

Mixed media artist Sue Fox works in collage exploring color through movement, texture and light. 


Inside / Outside

Catherine Maize, Untitled, Oil on Board

March 1–28 at Hofheimer Gallery – Ravenswood 

Four artists share their examinations through painting of the dual worlds we all occupy, both inside and out of doors. This time of year outside scenes must be consolation as we wait a few more weeks before we can spend more time in the fresh air. Featuring Catherine Maize, Jacqueline Moses, Karen Perl and Gene Skala. Opening Friday night, March 1.


Cornelia Spring Open Studios

March 1, 6-10pm at Cornelia Arts Building – North Side

The studio building marks 30 years in 2019 as a working studio building. Cornelia Arts Building Open Studio nights happen four times a year. Join over 40 resident artists in their studios, hallway guest artist exhibitions, and food from a local food truck in the parking lot. 


Top of page image: Verdant, by Sue Fox, Studio Oh!