The Chicago Cultural Center Announces New Visual Art Exhibitions and Free Programming for Winter and Early Spring 2023

January 17, 2023

The City’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Invites Chicagoans and Visitors Alike to Experience Free, High-Quality Arts Programming Year-round at the “People’s Palace.”

DCASE Communications    dcase@cityofchicago.org

CHICAGO — The City of Chicago and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announces new visual art exhibitions, along with tours, lectures, and more taking place this winter and early spring throughout the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington St. Recently highlighted in the Chicago Tribune’s “Best of 2022,” the Chicago Cultural Center is a stunning destination in the heart of downtown attracting locals and visitors with its breathtaking architecture, history, and free arts programming. Visit ChicagoCulturalCenter.org and follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for the latest events and updates.

New program highlights include the exhibition, “Surviving the Long Wars: Reckon and Reimagine” featuring powerful artwork of Indigenous artists responding to the “American Indian Wars” alongside artists from the Greater Middle East and its diasporas reacting to the “Global War on Terror.” The exhibition explores how these works complicate and relate to the creative practices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color veterans whose experiences profoundly challenge the dominant histories of these long wars. Presented as part of the second Veteran Art Triennial and Summit, there will be adjacent exhibitions and programming at the Hyde Park Art Center and Newberry Library.

In February, Chicago African Americans in Philanthropy present “Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited,” showcasing dynamic photography along with poetry, prose, and film to reveal the long and unsung legacy of Black philanthropists.

The critically acclaimed “Nelly Agassi: No Limestone, No Marble” exhibition has been extended through February 26 in the Chicago Rooms. Selected for the Chicago Tribune’s “Best of 2022,” Lori Waxman praised “Nelly Agassi’s surreal observations about architecture, plants, and the female body.”

The popular immersive exhibition, “Exact Dutch Yellow” by Luftwerk continues through January 29th featuring a series of sculptural light installations using botanical pigments and dynamic, changing light conditions. A live, free performance from cellists and interdisciplinary artists Lia Kohl and Katinka Kleijn takes place today, January 17 from 6-7pm in the Exhibit Hall.

The Chicago Cultural Center welcomes A Long Walk Home's artists Scheherazade Tillet, Leah Gipson, and Robert Narciso as artists in residence in The Learning Lab this spring. As part of the “Meet an Artist” series, visitors will be invited to participate in the creation of “The Black Girlhood Altar” to honor and create awareness for missing and murdered Black girls and young women. The artists seek to transform public spaces from sites of trauma to places of collective remembrance and power. More details at ChicagoCulturalCenter.org.

 

Upcoming New Visual Art Exhibitions:

“Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited”
Presented by the Chicago African Americans in Philanthropy (CAAIP)
February 1 - April 30, 2023
Michigan Avenue Galleries, 1st Floor East
Photos >>

Groundbreaking in scope, Chicago African Americans in Philanthropy (CAAIP) hosts a touring exhibition that explores the African American philanthropy experience and giving traditions grounded in faith, mutuality, responsibility, and social justice. The exhibition illustrates Black philanthropy through innovative and interactive presentations, including luminous photographic prints on metal, iPad kiosks with digital apps featuring music, poetry, photography, narratives, and more. It comprises over a dozen vignette stories and more than 50 black-and-white images that depict facets of giving across generations. Elements of the exhibition invite visitors of all ages to share their own stories of giving and to contribute to “reframing portraits of philanthropy.”

“Surviving the Long Wars: Reckon and Reimagine”
The second Veteran Art Triennial and Summit
March 4 – June 4, 2023 | Summit March 16–19, 2023
4th floor Exhibit Hall
Photos >>

“Surviving the Long Wars: Reckon and Reimagine” is one of the three featured exhibitions of the second Veteran Art Triennial and Summit. From the “American Indian Wars” to the “Global War on Terror,” the exhibition explores the multiple, overlapping histories that shape our understanding of warfare, as well as alternative visions of peace, healing, and justice generated by diverse and entangled communities impacted by war.

Featuring powerful work of Indigenous artists responding to the “American Indian Wars” alongside artists from the Greater Middle East and its diasporas reacting to the "Global War on Terror,” the exhibition explores how these works complicate and relate to the creative practices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color veterans whose experiences profoundly challenge the dominant histories of these long wars.

Curated and organized by Aaron Hughes, Ronak K. Kapadia, Therese Quinn, Joseph Lefthand (Cheyenne-Arapaho, Taos, and Zuni tribes), Amber Zora, and Meranda Roberts with NEH Veteran Fellows Gina Herrera (Tesuque Pueblo), Monty Little (Diné), Gerald Sheffield, Anthony Torres, Eric Perez, and Natasha Erskine.

“The Veteran Art Triennial and Summit draws from our unique and diverse experiences in a way that strengthens our human connections and offers an opportunity to think honestly and creatively about peace,” shares co-curator Joseph Lefthand (Cheyenne-Arapaho, Taos, and Zuni tribes), artist, cultural advocate, and Marine Corps veteran. Visit ChicagoCulturalCenter.org to learn more about the featured artists and programming occurring in response to the exhibition.

 

Current and Ongoing Exhibitions:

“Nelly Agassi: No Limestone, No Marble”
Extended through February 26, 2023
Chicago Rooms, 2nd Floor North
Photos >>

“Nelly Agassi: No Limestone, No Marble” is a site-specific installation in the monumental Chicago Rooms gallery at the Chicago Cultural Center, curated by Ionit Behar and designed by Andrew Schachman. Israeli-born Chicago-based artist Agassi calls this project a “biography of the site” in which she develops a personal relationship with the past, present, and future history of a place in connection to her own, giving guests the opportunity to reflect on spaces and their history over time. With this methodology, Agassi “sculpts” the site as a material, and creates a project from the specificity of the place in relation to the city of Chicago and the institution’s impact. The exhibition is funded in part by Artis.

“Exact Dutch Yellow” by Luftwerk
Open through January 29, 2023
Exhibit Hall, 4th Floor North
Photos >>

“Exact Dutch Yellow” is an immersive exhibition by the Chicago-based collaborative Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero of Luftwerk Studio. Drawing upon the scientific history of color and color theory, the exhibition explores how we perceive the natural world today. A series of sculptural light installations using botanical pigments and dynamic, changing light conditions transform Exhibit Hall into abstracted, atmospheric chromatic experiences.

Performance, Tuesday, January 17, 6-7pm
Exhibit Hall, 4th Floor North
Cellists and interdisciplinary artists Lia Kohl and Katinka Kleijn will create a live, sound-based response to Luftwerk’s exhibition, “Exact Dutch Yellow.” Longtime collaborators, their shared practice explores vulnerability and resilience through the cello as an object, a body, and a sound-making tool. Free, no RSVPs required.

“Pullman: Conscious Revitalization of the Overlooked”
Presented by the Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB)
Open through January 29, 2023
CAB Studio, 1st Floor North

Chicago-based architect Armel Sagbohan visually maps the North and South sides of Pullman through a series of photographs and sketches that inform a speculative proposal for a master plan to address the divide between the two sides of the neighborhood. The photographs—a body of work spanning six years of repeated trips to Pullman—are built upon an immersive architectural methodology that captures the complex urban conditions of a town and the current patterns and nuances of daily life as it undergoes significant revitalization and redevelopment projects.

 

Additional Programming:

Author Talk
Dr. Karla Rae Fuller's Do the Right Thing: Five Screenplays that Embrace Diversity
March 3, 6-8:30pm
Claudia Cassidy Theater

Dr. Fuller will read sections from her latest book on screenwriting strategies that focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Five films will be highlighted: Moonlight, Get Out, Mudbound, Roma, and Always Be My Maybe. Screenwriting and script development can be most useful in the analysis of racism, inequity, and inclusion in all media. These five case studies of commercially successful and award-winning screenplays resist stereotypes and present multi-dimensional depictions of historically underrepresented groups, such as LGBTQ+, African American, Latino, and Asian American. There will be video clips and audience Q&A throughout the event. Filmmakers and screenwriters will leave further inspired to embrace their own unique voices.

 

CULTURE SNAPS in the Welcome Center

The Welcome Center on the 1st floor hosts the ongoing CULTURE SNAPS series, which invites a new artist or arts organization into the building each month to present their work to the public. CULTURE SNAPS celebrates people and organizations who are contributing to their neighborhood’s vitality. February features events presented by M.A.D.D. Rhythms and March welcomes Redtwist Theatre.

 

M.A.D.D. Rhythms
Free public engagement events: February 3 & 4 and February 17 & 18, 2-3pm
Welcome Center

M.A.D.D. Rhythms teaches TAP history, represents its culture and advocates for its future by providing scholarships, arranging national and international touring performance opportunities for Youth Apprentices, leading education events free of charge, and providing a state-of-the-art studio and cultural space for the Bronzeville and greater South Side communities.

 

Redtwist Theatre
Free public engagement events: March 3 & 4 and March 17 & 18, 2-3pm
Welcome Center

Creating theater in Edgewater since 1994, Redtwist offers intimate performances in a black box theatre. Redtwist strives for excellence with every project and proactively endeavors to take risks creating intense, edgy, and thrilling theatre, serving Chicago’s Edgewater community.

 

“Meet an Artist” series in The Learning Lab

The Learning Lab, housed on the first floor, is an interactive studio and home to the “Meet an Artist” series, which gives visitors the opportunity to meet Chicago artists face-to-face and participate in art making experiences led by the current artist in residence. “Meet an Artist” always takes place on the 2nd and 4th Friday and Saturday of each month, from 12-2pm, and is free and open to the public.

From March through end of May 2023, A Long Walk Home's artists Scheherazade Tillet, Leah Gipson, and Robert Narciso will be in residence in The Learning Lab. As part of the “Meet an Artist” series, the artists invite visitors to participate in the creation of “The Black Girlhood Altar” to honor and create awareness for missing and murdered Black girls and young women. The artists seek to transform public spaces from sites of trauma to places of collective remembrance and power. More information about the work of A Long Walk Home at alongwalkhome.org.

 

Dance Studio Public Programming

The newly renovated Dance Studio on the 1st floor launched a Dance Residency Program this year, which provides space and development opportunities to Chicago artists (recipients to be announced in the coming weeks). Starting in February, every second Tuesday of the month at 6pm the public is invited to a different program highlighting dance—from works-in-progress showings to artist talks hosted by the resident artists. Visit ChicagoCulturalCenter.org for schedule updates.

 

Chicago Cultural Center Audience + Engagement Project

DCASE is working with The Practice, a group of socially engaged artists, researchers, and educators, to reimagine how the Chicago Cultural Center can serve as a hub for artistic innovation and an active gathering place for creatives and audiences.

The public is invited to complete a survey by February 27, 2023 sharing their input. Visitors can also share feedback on-site at the interactive wall installation located in the Welcome Center.

 

Tours

Building tours reveal the storied history of the landmark Chicago Cultural Center and are offered year-round on Thursdays and Fridays at 1:15pm. Tours are free and led by volunteer docents and/or staff. Limited to the first 25 people who sign up at the Randolph Street desk upon arrival.

 

Buddy Store

Located on the 1st floor, the Buddy Store supports more than 200 local artists and small manufacturers selling Chicago-made art, objects, and more. This collaboration between Public Media Institute and DCASE furthers both institutions’ goals of providing visibility and opportunities to artists across the Chicagoland area. Details at Hi-Buddy.org.

 

Chicago Cultural Center

Completed in 1897 as Chicago’s first central library, the building was established as the Chicago Cultural Center, the nation's first and most comprehensive free municipal cultural venue, in 1991. One of the most visited attractions in Chicago, the stunning landmark building is home to two magnificent stained-glass domes, as well as free art exhibitions, performances, tours, lectures, family activities, music, and more – presented by the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and many others. Learn about the latest events and news at ChicagoCulturalCenter.org and by following the Chicago Cultural Center on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

 

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) supports artists and cultural organizations, invests in the creative economy, and expands access and participation in the arts throughout Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods. As a collaborative cultural presenter, arts funder, and advocate for creative workers, our programs and events serve Chicagoans and visitors of all ages and backgrounds, downtown and in diverse communities across our city—to strengthen and celebrate Chicago. DCASE produces some of the city’s most iconic festivals, markets, events, and exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center, Millennium Park, and in communities across the city—serving a local and global audience of 25 million people. The Department offers cultural grants and resources, manages public art, supports TV and film production and other creative industries, and permits special events throughout Chicago. For details, visit Chicago.gov/DCASE and stay connected via our newsletters and social media.

 

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