The 15 Best Chicago Art Events of 2020 - The 15 Best Chicago Art Events of 2020 -
The 15 Best Chicago Art Events of 2020

The 15 Best Chicago Art Events of 2020

Written by:
Keith Contorno
Feb 24, 2020

If you believe in the fantastic powers of art, then you understand that art is more than visual beauty. Art locates potential. It helps us find the potential in ourselves. Is it odd that what we are able to create from, say, ink and paper, gives us a feeling of possibility? Is it odd that is gives us confidence? Certainly not! That feeling is a sense of capability. It is a sense of voice. And within that voice is a sense of power. 

Art also helps us locate the potential in our society. Part of that finding is discovering the ways that our lives are part of a community. Art is a point of contact from one person to another and as a result, connects people who might not have otherwise participated in an exchange. These exchanges are realized potential. 

In this way, art is not a component of a community. Rather, it is community, and we’re fortunate that Chicago’s is vibrant! Below are all of the best Chicago art events in 2020 that will inspire the artists of today and encourage the society of tomorrow. 

1. Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition

Museum Of Science And Industry, Now through March 1, 2020. 

View more than two hundred paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, mixed-media, photography, and ceramics, created by black Americans. 

2. Contemporary Art Exhibition

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago, Now through June 13, 2020.

This exhibition is part of the Oriental Institute’s centennial year celebration. The pieces are inspired by works in the museum’s collection and are meant to connect our world to the ancient past. 

3. Eternal Light: The Sacred Stained-Glass Windows of Louis Comfort Tiffany

Driehaus Museum, Now through March 22, 2020.

See the light through the ecclesiastic stained-glass windows produced between 1880 and 1925 by Tiffany’s. 

4. The Allure of Matter: Material Art From China

Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago, Now through May 3, 2020.

The artwork in this exhibit comes from China and features forty-eight astounding creations from modest, everyday materials. 

5. Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago

Museum of Contemporary Art, February 29 through May 10, 2020.

The artwork by Olowu plays with the intersection between art, fashion, and culture. It is his latest cultural project, this time spotlighting the city of Chicago.


6. Surrounding Kahlo

National Museum Of Mexican Art, April 3 through August 2, 2020

This exhibition is made up of all things Frida Kahlo, from the work of her students to the artifacts that surrounded her life. 

7. The Other Art Fair

Skylight at the Chicago Board of Trade Building, May 27-30, 2020

Started in London, this is the second year of the Chicago edition of The Other Art Fair. The fair promises an immersive experience and a place to buy art from leading, emerging artists. 

8. Monet and Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago, May 10 through Sep 7, 2020

The AIC boasts the largest collection of Monet paintings and drawings, forty-six pieces, outside of Paris. This exhibition will have sixty-five paintings and will continue their long-standing tribute toward Monet’s work.

9. Renegade

Chicago, June through December

These home-grown art fairs start during the summer and then pop up in multiple neighborhoods, carrying you into the winter. Visit their site to see neighborhoods and dates for 2020. 

10. 57th Street Art Fair

Hyde Park, June 6-7, 2020

This is the seventy-third year of the oldest juried art fair in the Midwest, which surely qualifies it as one of the best Chicago art events fo 2020. The fair celebrates visual art by bringing together returning and new artists for a two-day exhibition of handmade works.

11. Millennium Art Festival

Millennium Park, June 26-28, 2020

Over one-hundred juried artists participate in this art fair in the heart of downtown Chicago. 

12. Filter Photo Festival

Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel, September 10-13, 2020

This salute to photography takes place every fall in Chicago. Photography lovers will enjoy the exhibitions, workshops, and artist-talks during this gala.


Navy Pier, September 24-27, 2020

This international fair of contemporary art has become a mainstay in Chicago.

14. Wndr Museum


The exhibitions in this museum are permanent but it is new enough that many people might not have seen them or heard of them. That makes it a must event for this year. It holds Chicago’s first Infinity Mirror Room by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.

15. The Wabash Lights


Similarly, The Wabash Lights can be seen all year but are a relatively new installation. They are a vibrant addition to our long-beloved Chicago, and place it amongst the best Chicago art events. 

We hope you enjoyed this list of the best Chicago art events of 2020. Make sure to stay turned into our Chicago arts coverage, like this list of 9 incredible Chicago artists to follow on Instagram.

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Written by:
Keith Contorno
Feb 24, 2020