The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Healthy Competition in Hot Neighborhoods

By Justin Sondak in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 8, 2006 10:00PM

Will the Wicker Park and Bucktown gallery scene become another West Loop, an explosion of art spaces on a few shabby-chic blocks? The Wicker Park and Bucktown Gallery Association hopes not. In this week’s Chicago Journal, Around the Coyote Gallery Director and WPBGA Founder Allison Stites talks about how she'd like to preserve the organic feel of the neighborhood art scene.

2006_1208_wpbmap.gifAnd for the time being, they don’t have much to fear. The West Loop and WP/B are distant cousins at best. The area stretching west from Peoria Street down Lake and Washington streets toward Ashland is far less residential. Unless you’re visiting your friend’s sweet loft condo, you’re probably there to see some art or pick up wholesale foodstuffs. Wicker Park and Bucktown are more established neighborhoods where you’ll stumble upon an exhibit on your way to the Double Door or the Map Room.

WPBGA started Second Saturdays to make the area as much of a destination as the West Loop while fending off unnecessary commercial additives. This Saturday night, nine galleries stay open late to celebrate their natural, crunchy goodness. Gosia Koscielak exhibits Emma McCagg’s fascination with media and entertainment vanity. The Green Lantern and Lloyd Dobler are among the coolest-named galleries ever; they’re showing Mat Daly’s prints and works of “sophisticated innocence,” respectively. Teti and Around the Coyote are selling small works, right in time for the holidays. David Leonardis is still Howard Finster’s biggest fan. The Johnsonese and Blake Palmer galleries celebrates their best of ’06, while the Society for the Arts sneak peeks ’07.

Wicker Park and Bucktown’s Second Saturday is … Saturday, from 6 – 9 or 10 p.m., depending on the gallery. More information and the full list of galleries are at

Image via WPBGA.