Visual Stimulation: Chicago Edition!

Alyssa Mercante By Alyssa Mercante September 11, 2017

Windy City, it’s your turn to be featured in the Visual Stimulation! Here are the most intriguing visual events we found in your city this week. Let us know if you hit one up!

Want us to include your city in the future, or have ideas for events we should include? Drop us a line at!

Monday, September 11th

Chicago Architecture Tour

Chicago Architecture Tour: Dazzling Interiors of the Loop – $20 – $25
11:00 am — 1:00 pm
233 S Wacker Dr
233 South Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606

Chicago’s central business district, the Loop, is a bustling hub of infrastructure, business, politics, and more. This tour takes you beyond those well-known façades and into interior spaces that boast fantastic architectural feats spanning two centuries. There’s something incredibly special about the discovery of newness in familiar things, and this tour will certain deliver on discoverability.


Tuesday, September 12th

Fata Morgana

Roman Ondak: Man Walking Toward a Fata Morgana – Free
6:00 pm to 7:00 pm
The Arts Club of Chicago
201 E Ontario St
Chicago, IL 60611

“Fata Morgana” is Italian for a mirage comprised of multiple images. Artist Roman Ondak’s highly conceptual work speaks to how we experience mirages and illusions. His work is intended to confuse and to cause question—viewers “may or may not recognize a concrete subject in his work” which sounds just like the kind of high brow stuff your art school friends would swoon over. Ondak is known to use his art as a means of conversing with Marcel Duchamp, a French-American artist from the early 1900’s whose work was also high concept. Man Walking Toward a Fata Morgana is being presented during the 100-year anniversary of Duchamp’s controversial art installation of 1917: a urinal entitled Fountain. Heady stuff.

Wednesday, September 13th

MCA Talk: Solange Knowles – $20/$15 members/$10 Students
7:30 pm
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
220 E Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

While this may not be an inherently visual event, if you have an opportunity to go see Beyoncé’s hipper, artsier sister give a talk about her work, you go do it. Solange’s performances are meticulously choreographed and stylized visual events that are perfect representations of her music. See for yourself. At the Guggenheim in May, she performed what W magazine called a “black Gesamtkunstwerk,” or work that utilizes many forms to tell its story, and she banned cell phones from the performance. The woman is a modern amalgamation of performance, fine art, and music. Any talk involving her is sure to invoke some incredible vibes and get those creative cogs cranking. Again, go do it.

Thursday, September 14th

Art Institute of Chicago

Designed to Find: Exploring the Art Institute – $25
5:30 pm — 10:00 pm
Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60603

Who says art can’t be a game? Certainly not the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the largest and oldest museums in America, and the location of this art-based scavenger hunt. The search for clues will include a dive into art history and an exploration of the museum’s work, with an after party where the winning team will receive their reward—a one year Art Institute membership for each team member! Probably a good idea to party afterwards, as a bunch of drunk adults running around priceless art sounds like a bad idea.

Friday, September 15th

Ladies First Chicago

Ladies First – $20/$15 Student or Senior
7:30 pm
Athenaeum Theatre Studio 3
2936 N Southport Ave
Chicago, IL 60657

A night of collaboration, Ladies First features three independent but interwoven pieces across a myriad of mediums. The performers will draw from personal experiences to depict varying manifestations of femininity and explore the way society frames, gazes, and compares women.There will be sounds, films, dance performances, and something called object manipulation, which sounds super vague and cool. Head there to support women artists and to engage in some creative acts of sisterhood.

Saturday, September 16th

West Loop Art Fest Chicago

Third Annual West Loop Art Fest – Suggested $10 Donation to West Loop Community Organization
10:00 am to 10:00 pm
Fulton Market District
800 W Fulton Street
Chicago, IL 60607

This weekend is featuring two days and four blocks worth of artwork, live music, glassblowing, and tons of interactive art performances, all in Chicago’s vibrant West Loop. The interactivity is appropriate for all ages (AKA there’s kiddy stuff and adult-y stuff), and there’s even an opportunity for attendees to participate in a massive community mosaic designed by Rich Alapack from “We All Live Here.” You’ll have the chance to purchase a tile and place it on the 40’ by 40’ mosaic, with part of the proceeds going to “Light Up Lake Street.” The Art Fest will also have tons of dope food, so head over there to get visually and orally stimulated (I’m sorry).


Sunday, September 17th

Expo Chicago 2017

EXPO Chicago 2017 – $20 for 1-day Admission
6:00 pm — 9:00 pm
Festival Hall at Navy Pier
600 East Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

EXPO Chicago is a contemporary art exhibition that kicks off the fall art season with a massive installation inside the cavernous Festival Hall. The space will feature a bevy of art galleries who have come from all over to present their curated work, as well as smaller scale exhibitions and installations. EXPO Chicago describes itself as one of the “highest quality platforms for global contemporary art and culture,” so don’t expect anything less than staggering. You could easily get lost for hours, wandering throughout the Festival Hall and amongst multifaceted visual experiences. There will also be daily events and talks, and even though we’ve posted this on a Sunday, if you head there on Saturday the 16th, you can check out a talk entitled “Art Criticism and Rock & Roll” featuring Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova. Please go and live stream it for me. Please.


Solange photo courtesy of Tore Sætre, CC BY-SA 4.0