Art Not Just Elite in Chicago, It's Public

In Chicago, art is not restricted to galleries and museums. It's art of the public sphere, including streets and private buildings. You just have to walk down the streets of Chicago to explore the exciting world of public art. No matter where you are in Chicago, you are always surrounded with art works, sculptures and astounding murals. This is what gives Chicago its unique identity.

Here are some of the best places to find this public art on display in Chicago, IL

1. The Loop

Here store fronts are decorated with art by local artists. Any time you walk in the streets here, you enter an art exhibition. This Chicago locality has an exciting collection of public art in all its blocks. You can find the famous Picasso sculpture, created specifically for Chicago by the artist himself, in Daley Plaza. Look at the Four Seasons painting in Chase Plaza. The fa├žade of the Bilandic Building has a magnificent steel art work. You will find the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the riverwalk.

2. The Parks of Chicago

Find statues, fountains and intriguing art works in this locality. In the Millennium Park, you have "Cloud Gate" sculpture (or The Bean). There are numerous public art installations in the parks of this locality. So many new ones are installed regularly, which means a constantly fresh display of work that you have never seen.

3. Lincoln Park

On the corner of Wrightwood and Sheffield, you have the Eagle Columns -- three eagles rising to commemorate John Peter Altgeld, a politician. Then there is the Space Junction of Energy (at the Belmont Red and Brown line stop), a steel sculpture depicting the movement of mass through space.

4. Hyde Park

Visit the Francis M. Drexel Memorial Fountain in Drexel Square in Hyde Park. It is one of the oldest sculptures in Chicago, and the art is dedicated to Austrian-born Francis Drexel, a banker.

5. West Loop

The huge Batcolumn on West Madison Street in the West Loop will inspire awe with its approx 100-feet tall metal structure, which represents the city's baseball history.

6. University of Illinois

This place of education is also home to interesting public art pieces. One of the major attractions here is the Slabs of the Sunburnt West, a huge bronze plate commemorating Illinois poet Carl Sandburg.

Truth be told, you don't need a guide book or list to explore public art work in Chicago. You just have to be adventurous and willing to walk all around the city to explore hundreds of public art strewn across the city.

Different Adventure [With Locksmiths]

Okay, I (you realise there is a real person typing all these words and adding images here) have been writing about art and cultural scene of Chicago on this website. Today, I will deviate from the topic of this website & talk about my personal experience.

Some days are not that lucky! Yesterday was that day for me.

Not my scooter ;)

Late evening, I wanted to go out in the city for a new adventure in its art & culture scene. So, I started looking for my scooter keys (yes, I own a scooter). It wasn't anywhere to be seen. Looked for it in all of my jeans, checked the pile of dirty clothes, under the bed and all the places I could expect the keys to be lying hidden. Nothing really helped. So, instead of an art adventure, I embarked on the excitement of calling up a local Chicago locksmith for bringing my scooter back to life.

I started out with the usual way of looking for an auto locksmith who could get me keys for my scooter. There was Yelp locksmiths for Chicago too. I called up one of the locksmiths to check the damage it would do to my pocket. Lo and behold, my first guy who was there in ads section of the search only did car keys. No scooters, I was told. Dismayed!

I then called up another locksmith, this time from Yelp. Nope, still no luck. Chicago does seem to have key troubles only with cars. Scooters seemed to be non-existent for these two locksmiths whom I had called so far.

Frustrated, I called up another locksmith this time. One that I found in search organic listing (not the ads). "Scooter keys?" that what I blurted. I did not bother to speak anything else. "Yes.................." I was relieved hearing the "yes" and missed the rest of his answer.

With the usual questions and checking prices, I asked this person to send a locksmith to rescue my scooter from the dead. This guy, one friendly chap from Omega Locksmith, showed up in 20-odd minutes or so. In the next 30 minutes, I had my scooter keys replace. Not a bad experience. The locksmith chap as a chirpy one. (Forget his name now.) I will now get the whole lock replaced soon.

The urge for an art adventure had left after the key adventure. I have been told to get the lock replaced if I cannot find the original keys. That is an adventure that I want to save for a more leisurely day. Kapish!

Art Museums of Chicago [Places to See in Chicago]

Chicago can mesmerise visitors with its stunning tall skylines, but that's just one aspect of the city. Chicago is an important art and culture hub in America.

So, there's bound to be art museums in this major American city.

Here is a list of  prominent ART MUSEUMS in the City of Chicago. Go for an exhilarating ride to the world of period, contemporary, eclectic as well as eccentric art works in one long spin.

1. The Art Institute of Chicago

If you ask anyone of a recommendation for art galleries in Chicago, this one will invariably at the to of the list. So it is here at the top too. It is among the most popular art museums in Chicago. It also has an important stature in the art scene of the US. It is home to 2,50,000+ art works from the world over, spanning across 5,000 years.

2. Smart Museum of Art

The Smart Museum is the official art museum of the University of Chicago. It has some famous exhibits, and houses a large collection of art work. It's free to visit!

3. Museum of Contemporary Art

As the name suggests, this museum is among the largest museums for contemporary art since 1945. The art on showcase in the museum include paintings, sculptures, photographs, videos and even art performances.

4. National Museum of Mexican Art

Though the existing US President might want to keep Mexicans at a distance with his famed (or ill-famed, you choose) border wall, this museum takes US and its citizens close to Mexican art. It is one of the most prominent display of Mexican culture in the US. With around 7,500 pieces of art, the exhibits belong to ancient Mexico as well as the contemporary Mexican-American culture. Located at 1852 W. 19th street Chicago, IL 60608, the museum is free to access.

Art Neighbourhoods of Chicago

Located on Lake Michigan, Chicago is one of the largest cities in the US. Tall skyscrapers with a bold architecture dominate its skyline. It's not just these that make the city popular. It's a hub for art and culture too! Chicago is renowned for its museums and art galleries.

You can find art in every nook and corner of Chicago. Housed in museums, public places and street corners, there's art everywhere in Chicago. It's the place to visit for art lovers. If art is part of life blood of Chicago, how can there not be art galleries. One can find numerous art galleries in the city.

Here we list some of the prominent locations in Chicago that have emerged as hotspots for art galleries you must visit when in Chicago.

1. Pilsen
This neighborhood has numerous modern art galleries, mostly showcasing young artists. In Pilsen, there are around three dozen artist-run galleries. This is the Chicago Arts District. If you  happen to be in Chicago on the second Friday of the month, you can take part in the art gallery walks to exlpore in a more engaging manner.

2. Bridgeport & Hyde Park
Bridgeport Art Center and Zhou B Art Center are the prominent art galleries here. In Hyde Park, you can find some contemporary works from Chicago artists at Hyde Park Art Center and Logan Center.

3. River North
It's teeming with art galleries to be explored. On the first Thursday of every month, there's an art crawl and open house by Brave New Art World. Here you might not want to miss Ken Saunders Gallery with luminous bowls and glass artworks. The Project Room offers an astonishing window to Tibetan and Cuban worlds. Visit the Richard Norton Gallery for modern paintings.

4. West Loop
Here art houses are jostling for space amid commercial hives. Some prominent places here are Threewalls, Vertical Gallery & Carrie Secrist Gallery.

5. Bucktown/Wicker Park
If you tend to patronize the outlier, Bucktown/Wicker Park is the art neighbourhood in Chicago. Intuit - The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art for folk art, Monique Meloche Gallery for mixed-media works, Eyeporium Gallery with its eyewear retail store mixed with art, artist residence Flat Iron Arts Building.