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RedEye's Swasko Lives The Dream, Tours Art Institute At Night

By Lisa White in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 19, 2014 4:10PM

Chicago is full of amazing museums that are incredible to explore, but we've always wondered what it would be like to have a private viewing or perhaps a sleepover. Totally badass, right? Well, last night RedEye reporter Mick Swasko got to live the dream, when the Art Institute of Chicago invited him to spend the evening exploring the museum from midnight until early this morning. Why? As the RedEye simply put it "Why not?" If the Art Institute says "want to come hang out alone in our museum?" you simply put on slippers and pajamas and go along for the crazy ride.

Here is the thing about the Art Institute overnight. It's really dark. And silent. Thus, super creepy.

Swasko was accompanied by one of the Art Institute's overnight security staff, Jerry, who regaled him with tales of the building and how life truly is at the museum after hours. Apparently someone on staff warned Swasko of a ghost dog? Basically everything is just super dark and echo-y:

Echoes down the Rice building. Bruh.

A video posted by Mick (@mixswasko) on

Throughout the evening/early morning, Swasko live-tweeted his behind the scenes look, which included a lot of selfies (including a pretty perfect Ferris Bueller inspired video) and a lot of nightmare-inducing snapshots of art that is truly creepy in the dark. Yes, a lot of the photos are hard to see because they are in the dark and like any respectable human, Swasko followed art museum rules and DID NOT use flash photography. (You hear that tourists? Don't use the flash on your camera, which is one of our biggest cultural pet peeves when we see it in action at museums. Just don't be that asshole.)

Besides walking over three miles, which is not a bad workout in itself, Swasko also tried his skill at sketching some of the art for his Twitter followers to attempt to guess. We even got in on the action. Looks like studying hard during high school AP Art History really paid off:

Overall it was a fun night showcasing a different side of a major Chicago landmark and we might be a little bit jealous that our friend at the RedEye got to live out a true art nerd dream. We're just happy he took us along for the ride. To see Swasko's full set of tweets from the evening, head over to the RedEye.