Four Underrated Chicago Galleries

By Julia Weeman in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 8, 2012 7:00PM

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[Correction]: This post made the statement that New City and Jettison Quarterly were the only sources of arts journalism in the city, at the expense of scores of other outlets in print and online. For that, we are sincerely regretful.

Chicago is in the midst of a very exciting moment in its artistic history. Many resident collectors are paying greater attention to local talent and more curators are choosing artists who live and work here. However, there is a void of information about what’s happening in the art community, and with the exception of New City and Jettison Quarterly,there aren’t a lot of places for Chicagoans to hear about what’s happening in the art community now. Many of the smaller galleries aren’t getting enough buzz so we’re here to give you the scoop on some of the best galleries you probably haven’t heard about.

Happy Collaborationists Exhibition Space shows work that is not intended to be sold. Much of the work is performance, installation, or event-based. Mid-career and emerging artists (Claire Ashley, Industry of the Ordinary) have the opportunity to take risks without having to create an end product to sell. The space encourages art for the sake of art. It's located at 1254 N. Noble in Wicker Park.

Roots & Culture provides the opportunity for leading-edge emerging artists to show their work. They also focus on developing the city’s cultural community through lectures, community events, and allowing artists to direct and curate programming. It's located at 1034 N. Milwaukee in Wicker Park.

ACRE Projects is a huge resource for up and coming artists in Chicago. They run a residency that really supports young artists and creates a structure that pushes them to produce work and gives them a place to show it. The art is experimental because it is created by artists who are still honing their craft and figuring out who they are as artists. You’ll see work in new genres like installation, performance, and video. It's located at 1913 W. 17th St. in Pilsen.

Hyde Park Art Center is a gem, and definitely one to check out. It is one of the best institutions in the city and they have shown some of the most highly regarded artists in the world. Expect museum-worthy shows on a regular basis here. It's located at 5020 S. Cornell Ave. in Hyde Park.

What are some of your favorite under the radar art spots?