The 7 Top Galleries in Chicago for Art Lovers
Chicago offers a dynamic and internationally recognized art and design scene for creative professionals and art lovers alike. With so many new exhibits, galleries, and presentations popping up throughout the city, the opportunities to see inspiring work from established and emerging artists may seem endless. Find out which galleries deserve to be on your must-see list and start planning your next visit. Read on to explore our list of the top seven galleries in Chicago for art lovers.
Stephen Daiter Gallery
If you’re an aspiring photographer or a fan of classic art, the Stephen Daiter Gallery should be at the top of your bucket list. Known for showcasing fine and vintage American and European photography from the 20th century, the Stephen Daiter Gallery is the perfect destination for art lovers who appreciate avant-garde, experimental, and photojournalism work. Popular pieces include artwork from the Bauhaus, the Chicago School of Design, the Photo League, and the André Kertész Estate. During your visit, you can also check out the Daiter Contemporary, which features pieces from modern photographers in an adjoining gallery space.
Explore the world of street art at Chicago’s premier urban-contemporary art gallery. Located in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood, Vertical Gallery has been putting the spotlight on pop culture-influenced art, graffiti, graphic design, and illustration since 2013. Known for being a catalyst for emerging artists, Vertical Gallery has featured artwork from JC Rivera, Ben Frost, Herakut, and Hebru Brantley, among others. You might just discover the next Banksy during your visit.
The Vertical Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. They also have a second location called the Vertical Project Space located on Chicago Avenue that’s open from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
Experience a blend of contemporary artwork from artists around the world, including New York-based videographer Casilda Sánchez, local Chicago visual artist Nick Albertson, and Cuban conceptual artist Alejandro Figueredo Díaz-Perera at ENGAGE Projects. This gallery focuses on encouraging inclusivity and accessibility by bringing artists and patrons together to celebrate multiple points of view.
Originally founded as Aspect/Ratio in 2012 to showcase emerging video artists, ENGAGE Projects now features a wide roster of international artists who specialize in photography, sculpture, video, and painting. The gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. by appointment only. Schedule your next visit online to make sure you don’t miss out on this art adventure.
Rhona Hoffman Gallery
The Rhona Hoffman Gallery has a rich history as one of the first galleries to showcase female artists, including Barbara Kruger, Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Cindy Sherman, and Jenny Holzer. Founded as the Young Hoffman Gallery in 1976, the Rhona Hoffman Gallery has roots in the West Loop, where it helped launch the careers of numerous artists throughout the seventies.
Today, you can visit the Rhona Hoffman Gallery along with several other art galleries in West Town to explore all types of international contemporary art. The Rhona Hoffman Gallery takes pride in highlighting work that is formally, conceptually, or socio-politically based. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Corbett vs. Dempsey
If you’re a jazz lover or film buff, make sure to add Corbett vs. Dempsey to your list of must-see art galleries in Chicago. Established in 2004 by John Corbett and Jim Dempsey, this gallery is a treasure trove filled with both historical and contemporary artwork that captures the heart of the Windy City. Explore American modernist traditions, abstract and contemporary artwork, and live performances from local musicians.
Corbett vs. Dempsey strives to find undiscovered talent and showcase many of the unseen sides of Chicago, while also featuring several international artists. Corbett and Dempsey also own a record label that features a wide variety of jazz, improvised music, and sound art that you can enjoy while wandering through many of their exhibits. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment.
Kavi Gupta Gallery
There’s always something new to see at the Kavi Gupta Gallery. With two permanent locations on Washington Boulevard and Elizabeth Street, this gallery curates more than a dozen innovative and project-based art exhibits each year. Whether you’re interested in folk art, costume design, sculptures, or paintings, the Kavi Gupta Gallery is sure to have an exhibit that catches your eye and inspires your creativity.
During your visit, make sure to browse the large selection of high-quality artist books and catalogs its publishing imprint, Kavi Gupta Editions, produces. The Kavi Gupta Gallery also participates in several international art fairs each year, including EXPO Chicago, so be sure to check out their events calendar to learn more about upcoming art experiences. The Kavi Gupta Gallery on Washington Boulevard is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. The Elizabeth Street location is open by appointment only.
If you’re spending time on the Near North Side, make sure to visit the Zolla/Lieberman Gallery in the lively River North Gallery District. This gallery has embraced a wide variety of genres and mediums since 1976, including artwork from popular artists like Stephen De Staebler, Deborah Butterfield, and John Fraser. Explore sculptures, paintings, photography, and mixed media art from an eclectic range of artists. The Zolla/Lieberman Gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
That’s a wrap! We hope you enjoyed our list of the top seven galleries in Chicago for art lovers, and feel inspired to add visit a few with your friends and family. If we missed your favorite art gallery in the area, let us know so we can make sure we add it to our next list of destinations. We also invite you to visit us at 16 W. Ogden Ave. in Westmont if you have any questions about coins or jewelry. We’re always happy to help!
Image via Unsplash by Josh Liu