Art Encounter

At Art Encounter, we believe that there are many ways to see, and that art can be a powerful vehicle to better understand ourselves and the world around us. Our mission is to educate, empower, and connect people of all ages and backgrounds through interactive encounters with visual art.

We offer a broad menu of programs that includes:

- tours and programs for the general public in galleries, artist studios, and private collections

- one-of-a-kind art travel to domestic and international destinations

- educational outreach programs for youth, adults, and seniors

- a professional mural program

The cohesive thread between all our programs is the art encounter: an engaging, inclusive approach to learning rooted in the power of bringing people together through art.


Art Encounter is a non-profit visual art organization dedicated to educating, empowering, and connecting people of all ages and backgrounds through interactive encounters with visual art. Founded by three artists in 1978, we have been taking people to art and bringing art to people for over 40 years. All of our programs are built around our unique discussion method, which uses inclusive and engaging conversation to encourage the development of a community among participants and emphasize each individual’s unique perspective. 


We have three areas of programming:


Interactive art tours and exclusive visits to local artists’ studios, galleries, private collections, and special exhibitions in the Chicago area, plus domestic and international art travel. Programs are open to the public, and members of Art Encounter receive discounts and special access, as well as other benefits throughout the year. 


Hands-on educational programs and creative art workshops for public school students, residents of assisted living facilities, and adults with disabilities throughout the Chicago area with fewer resources or access to arts engagement. 


Our local public art initiative, bringing world-class murals to the Evanston area and beyond. 

We welcome you to learn more about our upcoming programs for the public and more at


Image: Art Encounter members visiting the studio of artist Linc Thelen

Past Events