Art Galleries in Chicago's River North Neighborhood
Galleries in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. (Photo by chicago boulevardier)

I really do love living in Chicago. There is so much good stuff here to stimulate your mind! In addition to world-class museums, Chicago has many outstanding art and antiques galleries. We are best known for the many galleries found in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. A former warehouse district just across the river from the Loop, River North is home to trendy residential condos and lofts, as well as the largest concentration of art galleries outside of Manhattan, Chicago’s Gallery District.

The District is for Everyone

Whether you are a serious collector or just looking for a unique way to break the ice on a first date, you won’t want to miss the chance to acquaint yourself with works by established and up and coming artists. And it is easy to do in a casual, low pressure atmosphere at gallery openings. Typically held on Friday nights from 5:00 until 9:00 p.m., openings offer a perfect opportunity to explore what is happening in the world of art in a festive atmosphere over a glass of Perrier or white wine. A complete schedule of upcoming openings can be found on the Chicago Gallery News website.  If you miss an opening, a number of galleries also stay open until 7:00 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month.

Photos of a Generation

Several River North galleries opened their first shows of 2009 last Friday night. I received an invitation to the opening of a black and white photography show by esteemed photographer, Robin Bowman. The Catherine Edelman Gallery, located at 300 West Superior Street, just east of Orleans Street, will be exhibiting her work until March 7.

As a mother of three toddlers, my free time is in short supply, but I managed to squeeze in 30 minutes between appointments to stop by. The effort was well worth it.

The show was even more powerful than I imagined. Bowman spent over four years photographing and interviewing teens in every region of the country and from every socioeconomic group: from a Texas debutante to teenage gang members in New York City; from a drag queen in Georgia to a coal miner in West Virginia. Her intimate photographs invite us to look more closely at how complex challenges facing a rising generation of Americans have influenced their individual identities.

The exhibition, along with Bowman’s new book, It’s Complicated: The American Teenager, charts the coming of age of the largest generation ever in America – almost double the size of the 1960s baby boomers. Whether you are an art collector, a parent, or just curious about the social history of our nation, this is a great show to see. Also, for just $44, you can purchase a copy of the book signed by the photographer herself.

Go Enjoy the District Yourself

If you are going to enjoy great art indoors, it might as well be now in the dead of winter. Check the Gallery News site for upcoming openings or look up gallery reviews on Yelp!, but get out and make the most of this cultural treasure in our own backyard.

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  • lindsay

    I have added the Gallery News site to my “favorites.” Thanks for the push to get out and enjoy some of what this amazing city has to offer!

  • lindsay

    I have added the Gallery News site to my “favorites.” Thanks for the push to get out and enjoy some of what this amazing city has to offer!