photo: Courtesy of Sally Ko Studio
Flat out of fabulous ideas for mom's day gifts? Visit the art world this weekend to purchase a piece of creativity that will mean more to her than a lame flower bouquet. With a flurry of art school graduations and art fairs in the spring, this is the time of year for affordable art-buying in Chicago. If mom, true to her considerate self, insists on nothing more than a Hallmark card this Sunday, use this guide in her honor as a starting point for building your own collection.
Bring your checkbook to check out Chicago Arts District 2nd Fridays, Friday, May 12, 6-10 p.m.
Down a cup of vino, pick up a map and make your way through this Pilsen East open house art walk. While mom may like what you find her at Parts Unknown Gallery, Lanza Studio and Vespine Gallery and Studios, we are fairly certain she will love what you pick up at Sally Ko Studio. Reminiscient of ocean scapes, gardens and abstract views of nature, Ko's decidedly-feminine lush paintings brimming with color and texture are not to be found elsewhere. But at a price tag of $300 for the smaller canvases, you can see one in yours or your mom's pad whenever you want. Since Sally Ko Studio will be closing shop at the end of May, prices will be highly discounted at this Friday's last open house.
Make an art student's mother proud and buy at Manifest ArtWalk and Sale, Friday, May 12, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Columbia College's art program keeps creeping up on the reputation of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, making it clear that there are just as many great artists in the making at this South Loop school. While campus exhibition venues like A + D Gallery and Glass Curtain Gallery will show final student work from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. as part of the Manifest festivities, the truly fun option is to jump on a trolley tour of the exhibits (from 5-7 p.m.). Not-to-be missed stops include the BFA Fine Art Exhibition, Fashion Columbia: The Exhibition and the MFA Photography Exhibition.
Music, dance, and spoken word performances, media events, and lectures are also happening throughout the day as part of on the Manifest celebration of Columbia College's graduating class.
Experience Chicago's answer to Chelsea at Explore Fulton Market, Saturday, May 13, 3-6 p.m.
Make way to Chi-town's meat packing district this Saturday for major art viewing. If she's in town, this event would make for a great afternoon outing with mom. Pick up a map at any of the 27 participating art galleries, studios, businesses and retailers and meander around Fulton Market, where art prices range from $25-$15,000. A fun and decidedly affordable stop on the walk is Tra-Design (1139 W. Fulton), a retro-modern design outfit that will be selling glass samples (of glasses, vases, etc.) for less than $10. With many of the participating businesses offering give-aways and the option of free beer or wine at Fulton Lounge for those who can flash an Explore Fulton Market map from 5-7 p.m., this event is a value!
It almost feels like stealing at Sacred Art
When the year-long deadline for a wedding gift approaches and I don't a clue what to buy, I head to Sacred Art. You'll do well to take mom to this treasure-trove, where she'll lose herself in a sea of artistic objects that rarely price above $100. Not an art gallery or a craft shop but somewhere in-between, this destination displays such unique objects as antique barn-wood birdhouses and frames, carved mahogany plant stands and origami earrings alongside abstract paintings, photographs of Chicago architecture and hand-blown glass.