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Art Institute Block Party

Join us for the Art Institute of Chicago's first annual Block Party!

Art Institute Block Party
Saturday, July 21, 2018, 10:30 a.m.–10:30 p.m.
In and around the entire museum
Open to the public, general admission tickets required
Buy Tickets 

Ticket Information: 

  • $10 general admission tickets for Illinois residents are available only through midnight on July 20. Tickets purchased online after midnight or onsite on July 21 will be at the regular museum admission rates.
  • Visitors arriving from outside Illinois can purchase general admission tickets for July 21, which will give them access to the museum and all Block Party programming.
  • Members require no registration and receive free admission to the program. 

Celebrate the deep and lasting impact of Chicago art and design on American culture with a day of talks, performances, and art making that fill the museum's galleries gardens, library, and public spaces. 

Start the day with hundreds of fellow visitors posing for a photograph recreating the 1893 opening of the museum's historic Michigan Avenue building. Then head into the museum for a full day of creative exploration. Visit the Ryan Learning Center with family and friends of all ages for art making and demonstrations. Engage with short talks, artist responses, and storytelling in the galleries. Gather at the lively community stage and picnic on the terrace in the Stanley McCormick Court North Garden. Sketch in the Stanley McCormick Court South Garden with a teaching artist, tour public art and gardens around the block with local historians, and meditate on Yoko Ono's Mended Petal in Pritzker Garden. 

This day of delightful surprises and creative responses to the museum's renowned collection culminates with evening festivities in the Modern Wing—the galleries of modern and contemporary art offer immersive experiences, while poets, musicians, and dancers perform in Griffin Court. Download the printed schedule to plan your visit. "

 


Program Schedule

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Drop-in programs happening throughout the museum 


All Day 
10:30-10:30 

ART MAKING  
The Artist's Studio: Heroic Sculptures
Ryan Learning Center, Family Room  
Design your own heroic figure from found objects inspired by Richard Hunt’s Hero Construction.
 
ART ACTIVITY
Insta–art Hunt
Griffin Court, Modern wing
Pick up a scavenger hunt and take photos of the spaces and details you find. Post your findings using the hashtag #ArtChiBlockParty.
 
ART MAKING
Coloring Room
Ryan Learning Center, Interactive Gallery
Explore connections between color and sight, space, sound, and touch in the Coloring Room.
 
10:30–1:30 

ART MAKING
Drawn From Chicago: Make and Mail Postcards with Intuit*
Ryan Learning Center, Classroom 5
10:30-1:30
Make your own Joseph Yoakum-inspired postcard of Chicago's sites and mail it to someone special. 

10:30–2:00

ART MAKING
Unsilence: Art as a Form of Resistance*
10:30–2:00
South Garden
Uncover hidden Chicago stories of injustice and human rights. Find your inner artist and engage in an act of resistance by creating art about the injustices of our time.
 
ART MAKING AND CONVERSATION 
The Great Migration       
10:30–2:00 
Gallery 261 and 263
Explore Walter Ellison’s Train Station with Jomo Cheatham. 

10:30–3:00

ART MAKING  
Mobile Street Art Cart with William Estrada 
10:30–3:00 
Modern Wing Entrance       
Add your words and pictures to a silkscreen print. 

ART MAKING
Chalk Drawing with Aaron Renier       
10:30–3:00 
Modern Wing Entrance
Collaborate on a sidewalk chalk drawing.   
    
ART MAKING
Community Bookbinding with Regin Igloria  
10:30–3:00 
Ryan Learning Center, Studio B
Try your hand at bookbinding and printing techniques with a Chicago artist.        

ART MAKING
The Little Studio
10:30–3:00
Ryan Learning Center, Classrooms 3 and 4  
Our youngest visitors can find their voice through dramatic play, art making, and sensory-rich experiences. Recommended for ages 5 and under. 

ART MAKING
Fragments of Chicago's Architecture
10:30–3:00
Gallery 200 
Create your own design by combining elements from architectural fragments on view in Gallery 200.

11:00-12:00

ART MAKING
Sensing Color
11:00-12:00
Ryan Learning Center, Interactive Gallery
Tinker and play in a multi-sensory experience of color.

11:00–2:00
 
MUSIC AND DANCE PERFORMANCE AND WORKSHOP
The American Indian Center and the National Cambodian Heritage Museum
11:00–2:00
Ryan Learning Center, Studio A
Cambodian and American Indian community members explore their cultural identities through the arts.
 
11:00–3:00
 
ART MAKING
Sketching in the Galleries
11:00–3:00
South Garden 
Find inspiration in nature and landscape design within the museum’s South Garden. Materials are provided.
 
11:30–1:30
 
CONVERSATION
Charles White and the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection
11:30–1:30
Griffin Court
Chicago Public Library archivist Tracy Drake shares stories and rare material from the life of artist Charles White.

PERFORMANCE
Boulevard Dreamers     
11:30-1:30     
North Garden 
Responding to the specific narratives and communities of the sites and venues it visits, collaborative project Boulevard Dreamers explores how we are moved by the agency of desire and the magical allure of being in the spotlight. Accompanying images will be on display at Fullerton Hall. Boulevard Dreamers is a project by artists Kirsten Leenaars and Lise Baggesen.
 
Participating artists:
Shriner/Green, Emily Hooper Lansana, Rebirth, Fred and Pearl Sasaki, Henry Barrett, Toni Asante Lightfoot, Atticus, Post Studio Band, H1BA, Summer Tribble, Anni Holm, The Sensational Travelers of Zion, Ffake Ffarian: Boney M Tribute, I Yell Because I Care, Jose-Luis Moctezuma, Riya Jain, Witnesses for Christ, Jessica Cambell, Joe Barrett, Phaedra Darwish, Dina Frigo, Naomi Harvey-Turner, Angela Gawthrop, Becky Aspell, Country Priest, Christopher Gambino, Chicago Gamelan Gadhon.
 
12:00-1:00

CONVERSATION
The Sounds of “The Alley” 
12:00-1:00 
Outside Morton Auditorium
Sojourner Scholar alumni and Smart Museum of Art docents bring you music from Chicago’s South Side in the 1960s and '70s.

2:30-4:30

PERFORMANCE       
Boulevard Dreamers     
2:30-4:30
North Garden 
Responding to the specific narratives and communities of the sites and venues it visits, collaborative project Boulevard Dreamers explores how we are moved by the agency of desire and the magical allure of being in the spotlight. Accompanying images will be on display at Fullerton Hall. Boulevard Dreamers is a project by artists Kirsten Leenaars and Lise Baggesen.
 
Participating artists:
Shriner/Green, Emily Hooper Lansana, Rebirth, Fred and Pearl Sasaki, Henry Barrett, Toni Asante Lightfoot, Atticus, Post Studio Band, H1BA, Summer Tribble, Anni Holm, The Sensational Travelers of Zion, Ffake Ffarian: Boney M Tribute, I Yell Because I Care, Jose-Luis Moctezuma, Riya Jain, Witnesses for Christ, Jessica Cambell, Joe Barrett, Phaedra Darwish, Dina Frigo, Naomi Harvey-Turner, Angela Gawthrop, Becky Aspell, Country Priest, Christopher Gambino, Chicago Gamelan Gadhon.
 
4:00–6:00

PRESENTATION
Community Arts Project with Nia Easley*
4:00–6:00
Ryan Learning Center, Classroom 5  
Explore this project focused on the Bronzeville community.
 
5:00–10:00

ART MAKING
Open Studio: Printmaking with David Anthony Geary
5:00–10:00
Ryan Learning Center, Studio B     
Try your hand at printmaking techniques with a Chicago artist.
 
6:00–8:00

ART MAKING
“Drive-By Arts” Project with Derric Clemmons*
6:00–8:00
Ryan Learning Center, Studio A     
Explore this community art project, situated in the South Shore, Englewood, and Pilsen neighborhoods, and help paint elements for future projects. 
 
9:00-10:00

ART MAKING
Sensing Color
9:00-10:00
Ryan Learning Center, Interactive Gallery
Tinker and play in a multi-sensory experience of color.

 

_____

Scheduled programs happening throughout the museum 


11:00

PERFORMANCE
Reading Charles White with the Lucky Trikes*
11:00 (15 minutes)
Griffin Court
Performance artists the Lucky Trikes celebrate a brand new children’s book about Chicago artist Charles White. Recommended for families with young children.
 
GALLERY TALK
Music and Movement: Rhythm in Textile Design
11:00 (20 minutes)
Galleries 57–59       
Assistant curator of textiles, Erica Warren, leads a discussion exploring expressions of rhythm in global textile design. American sign language interpretation will be provided.
 
EXPERIENCE
Egyptomania!
11:00 (30 minutes)
Ryerson and Burnham Libraries     
Mellon undergraduate curatorial fellows, Margarita Lizcano Hernandez and Alejandra Vargas, demonstrate stereoscopes for viewing 19th-century photographic fantasies of ancient Egypt.
 
GALLERY TOUR
A Guided Tour with Eladi, Age 9*
11:00 (30 minutes)
Meet in Griffin Court
Join Eladi and family on a guided tour of the galleries.

GALLERY TOUR
Tour the Block with Julia Bachrach
11:00 (1 hour)
Meet on the North Garden Terrace
Learn about the fascinating history of the Art Institute and its outdoor museum setting in Chicago’s “Front Yard” with Julia Bachrach, author of The City in a Garden: A History of Chicago’s Parks.
 
GALLERY TOUR
Prints and Drawings Study Room
11:00–12:30 (15 minute sessions)
Meet in Gallery 125
Go behind-the-scenes with curators for a rare look at prints and drawings from the collection. Recommended for adults. Space is limited; attendance is on a first-come, first-served basis. 

11:30

GALLERY TALK
The Language of Flowers with Jolene Varley Handy*
11:30 (20 minutes)
Gallery 265 
Jolene Varley Handy guides a reflection on flowers in the work of Georgia O’Keeffe and beyond.
 
ART MAKING
Send a Postcard from 1893
11:30 (30 minutes)
Ryerson and Burnham Libraries     
Make a collaged postcard inspired by the Ryerson Library's archives of maps, photographs, and memorabilia from Chicago's 1893 Columbian Exposition.

EXPERIENCE
Mindful Meditation with Yoko Ono's Mended Petal
11:30 (30 minutes)
Pritzker Garden       
Focus your thoughts through a mindful experience with Yoko Ono’s large-scale installation.
 
12:00

GALLERY TALK
A Gilded Age Interior with Amy Endres
12:00 (20 minutes)
Meet in Gallery 172
Learn about the Richard H. Driehaus Museum, known as Chicago’s “Marble Palace.”
       
GALLERY TALK
Stories from the Collection
12:00 (30 minutes)
Galleries 262–265     
Museum educator Annie Morse roams the galleries providing off-the-cuff insight and expertise on a variety of artworks. 
 
EXPERIENCE
Egyptomania!
12:00 (30 minutes)
Ryerson and Burnham Libraries
Mellon undergraduate curatorial fellows, Margarita Lizcano Hernandez and Alejandra Vargas, demonstrate stereoscopes for viewing 19th-century photographic fantasies of ancient Egypt. 
     
GALLERY TALK
A Hands-On Armor Experience with Curator Jonathan Tavares
12:00 (1 hour)
Galleries 235–239   
Get an up close look at the museum's collection of arms and armor with the collection's curator, Jonathan Tavares. 

CONVERSATION
Art Moves: Billy Abernathy, Edmonia Lewis, and Robert Paige 
12:00 (1 hour) 
Meet in the North Garden
Connect with educators using portable methods about the work of artists Billy Abernathy, Edmonia Lewis, and Bob Paige. Presented in partnership with the Museum of Vernacular Arts and Knowledge.

12:30

GALLERY TALK
Rick Kogan re-reviews the Chicago Picasso
12:30 (15 minutes) 
Meet in Gallery 144
Chicago newspaperman Rick Kogan talks about the reception of this famous Chicago public art piece. 
 
GALLERY TALK
The Language of Flowers with Jolene Varley Handy*
12:30 (20 minutes)
Gallery 265 
Jolene Varley Handy guides a reflection on flowers in the work of Georgia O’Keeffe and beyond.

ART MAKING
Send a Postcard from 1893
12:30 (30 minutes)
Ryerson and Burnham Libraries     
Make a collaged postcard inspired by the Ryerson Library's archives of maps, photographs, and memorabilia from Chicago's 1893 Columbian Exposition.

1:00

PERFORMANCE
Lucky Trikes Pop-Up*
1:00 (10 minutes)
Gallery 399 
Works of art come alive through music and picture book reading. Recommended for families with young children. 
 
GALLERY TALK AND READING
“Two Men Holding Hands” with Jose Luis Benavides*     
1:00 (20 minutes)
Gallery 1     
Jose Luis Benavides narrates a queer Latinx history of the photography at the Art Institute and reads his poem inspired by a 19th-century daguerreotype.
 
GALLERY TALK
Bertha Palmer, the Nation’s Hostess, with Ken Price
1:00 (30 minutes)
Meet in Gallery 161
The Palmer House Hilton's historian for the past 35 years, Ken Price tells the story of Mrs. Palmer and her legacy, which included many contributions to the Art Institute’s famed Impressionist collection.  

EXPERIENCE
Egyptomania!
1:00 (30 minutes)
Ryerson and Burnham Libraries
Mellon undergraduate curatorial fellows, Margarita Lizcano Hernandez and Alejandra Vargas, demonstrate stereoscopes for viewing 19th-century photographic fantasies of ancient Egypt.
 
GALLERY TOUR
A Guided Tour with Eladi, Age 9*
1:00 (30 minutes)
Meet in Griffin Court
Join Eladi and family on a guided tour of the galleries.
 
EXPERIENCE
Mindful Meditation with Yoko Ono's Mended Petal
1:00 (30 minutes)
Pritzker Garden
Focus your thoughts through a mindful experience with Yoko Ono’s large-scale installation.
 
GALLERY TOUR
Tour the Block with Julia Bachrach
1:00 (1 hour)
Meet onn the North Garden Terrace 
Learn about the fascinating history of the Art Institute and its outdoor museum setting in Chicago’s “Front Yard” with Julia Bachrach, author of The City in a Garden: A History of Chicago’s Parks.

CONVERSATION
Art Moves: Billy Abernathy, Edmonia Lewis, and Robert Paige 
1:00 (1 hour) 
Meet in the South Garden
Connect with educators using portable methods about the work of artists Billy Abernathy, Edmonia Lewis, and Robert Paige. Presented in partnership with the Museum of Vernacular Arts and Knowledge.

1:30
 
GALLERY TALK
Home and Housing in Chicago with Robert Smith III 
1:30 (20 minutes)
Gallery 262 
Explore Eldzier Cortor’s painting Room No. VI and get acquainted with the National Public Housing Museum.
 
ART MAKING
Send a Postcard from 1893
1:30 (30 minutes)
Ryerson and Burnham Libraries
Make a collaged postcard inspired by the Ryerson Library's archives of maps, photographs, and memorabilia from Chicago's 1893 Columbian Exposition. 

GALLERY TALK
Focus on African Art with Curator Constantine Petridis
1:30 (1 hour)
Gallery 136 
Explore the history of the Art Institute’s collection of African Art.
       
2:00

PERFORMANCE
Lucky Trikes Pop–Up*
2:00 (10 minutes)
Gallery 265 
Works of art come alive through music and picture book reading. Recommended for families with young children. 
 
GALLERY TALK
Music and Movement: Rhythm in Textile Design
2:00 (20 minutes)
Galleries 57–59       
Assistant curator of textiles Erica Warren leads a discussion exploring expressions of rhythm in global textile design. 
 
GALLERY TALK AND READING
"Two Men Holding Hands" with Jose Luis Benavides*
2:00 (20 minutes)
Gallery 1
Jose Luis Benavides narrates a queer Latinx history of the photography at the Art Institute and reads his poem inspired by a 19th-century daguerreotype.

MUSIC PERFORMANCE
“Art is Home” with Christopher Audain and Jeremy Jon*
2:00 (30 minutes)
Galleries 154     
Enjoy storytelling with song, and explore how space and time are enriched and transcended by the presence and practice of art.

GALLERY TALK
A Hands-On Armor Experience with Jonathan Tavares
2:00 (1 hour) 
Galleries 235–239   
Get an up close look at the museum's collection of arms and armor with the collection's curator, Jonathan Tavares. American sign language interpretation will be provided. 

CONVERSATION
Art Moves: Billy Abernathy, Edmonia Lewis, and Robert Paige 
2:00 (1 hour) 
Meet at the Modern Wing Entrance
Connect with educators using portable methods about the work of artists Billy Abernathy, Edmonia Lewis, and Robert Paige. Presented in partnership with the Museum of Vernacular Arts and Knowledge.

2:30

GALLERY TALK     
Home and Housing in Chicago with Robert Smith III 
2:30 (20 minutes)   
Gallery 262 
Explore Eldzier Cortor’s painting Room No. VI and get acquainted with the National Public Housing Museum.

GALLERY TALK     
Stories from the Collection     
2:30 (30 minutes)   
Galleries 131–134, 108–109  
Museum educator Annie Morse roams the galleries providing off-the-cuff insight and expertise on a variety of artworks.

3:00

GALLERY TALK     
Whitney Halstead: SAIC Connect 
3:00 (15 minutes)   
Galleries 136–137
Museum educator Annie Morse discusses former School of the Art Institute of Chicago faculty member and anthropological art historian Whitney Halstead. 
       
MUSIC PERFORMANCE       
Axiom Brass: Into the World There Came a Soul Called Ida       
3:00 (20 minutes)   
Gallery 261   
Hear Axiom Brass perform a new composition inspired by Ivan Albright’s painting.

GALLERY TOUR     
Tour the Block with Julia Bachrach   
3:00 (1 hour)  
Meet on the North Garden Terrace
Learn about the fascinating history of the Art Institute and its outdoor museum setting in Chicago’s “Front Yard” with Julia Bachrach, author of The City in a Garden: A History of Chicago’s Parks.
 
CONVERSATION
Art Moves: Billy Abernathy, Edmonia Lewis, and Robert Paige 
3:00 (1 hour) 
Meet in Pritzker Garden
Connect with educators using portable methods about the work of artists Billy Abernathy, Edmonia Lewis, and Robert Paige. Presented in partnership with the Museum of Vernacular Arts and Knowledge.

DANCE WORKSHOP AND PERFORMANCE 
Hearing Dance with Katie O’Neill  
3:00 (1.5 hours)     
Stock Exchange Trading Room
How can visually-dependent performances be made more accessible to those who are blind or have low vision? This inclusive dance workshop, led by performance artist and choreographer Katie O’Neill, invites people with all abilities to experience the effects of altering the orientation between audience and performer while exploring audio description. Comfortable shoes and clothing are recommended.  

3:30

GALLERY TALK     
Archibald Motley: SAIC Connect 
3:30 (15 minutes)    
Gallery 263 
Museum educator Annie Morse discusses Archibald Motley, Chicago artist and alumnus of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

GALLERY TALK     
A Gilded Age Interior with Amy Endres     
3:30 (20 minutes)   
Meet in Gallery 172
Learn about the Richard H. Driehaus Museum, known as Chicago’s “Marble Palace.”
 
GALLERY TALK     
Never a Lovely So Real: Photography and Film in Chicago, 1950–1980 
3:30 (20 minutes)   
Meet in Gallery 1
Join museum educator Sam Anderson-Ramos in a discussion of Never a Lovely So Real: Photography and Film in Chicago, 1950–1980.

GALLERY TALK
Tour in American Sign Language
3:30 (30 minutes)
Meet in Gallery 100
This tour of works in the collection is offered primarily for the deaf community. 
 
4:00

GALLERY TALK     
Jeff Koons: SAIC Connect
4:00 (15 minutes)   
Gallery 292 
Museum educator Annie Morse discusses Jeff Koons, renowned artist and alumnus of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

GALLERY TALK     
Never a Lovely So Real: Photography and Film in Chicago, 1950–1980 
4:00 (20 minutes)   
Meet in Gallery 1     
Join museum educator Sam Anderson-Ramos in a discussion of Never a Lovely So Real: Photography and Film in Chicago, 1950–1980.

MUSIC PERFORMANCE       
Axiom Brass: Into the World There Came a Soul Called Ida       
4:00 (20 minutes)   
Gallery 261   
Hear Axiom Brass perform a new composition inspired by Ivan Albright’s painting. 

_____
Evening Programs Happening in the Modern Wing 

 
MUSIC PERFORMANCE       
Mikel Patrick Avery: Parade     
5:00 (1 hour)  
North Garden to Griffin Court
Interdisciplinary artist Mikel Patrick Avery—in collaboration with up to 14 Chicago musicians, puppeteers, and yo-yo artists—presents Parade, a procession and composition developed in response to stories collected with residents on the South Side of Chicago.
 
MUSIC PERFORMANCE       
Present Elders*     
6:30 (1 hour)  
Outside of the Modern Wing Entrance
The Present Elders, composed of Brother El and Radius Etc, presents a healing outreach through music, meant to be valued for the wisdom of eras and transcend time with vibration.
 
MUSIC PERFORMANCE       
Dee Alexander Quartet   
6:30 (45 minutes)  
Pritzker Garden
Jazz vocalist Dee Alexander leads her quartet in a performance responding to the exhibition Charles White: A Retrospective and the history of the Chicago Black Renaissance.
 
DANCE PERFORMANCE     
aMoratorium by J'Sun Howard Ensemble
7:30 (30 minutes)   
Griffin Court
aMoratorium is a tribute to the ways that black people cannot be black in public. The piece explores how to create self-portraits with the impossible task of being both internally and externally present, being precious to one’s self, and being aware of hypervisibility. Like Charles White's work, aMoratorium engages the past and present, and keeps on eye on the future.
 
READING     
Growing Concerns Poetry Collective
8:00 (30 minutes)   
Griffin Court
Fusing lyrical, narrative, and hip-hop poetry with original music and soundscape, Mykele Deville, Mckenzie Chinn, and Jeffrey Michael Austin of Growing Concerns Poetry Collective create a spoken word performance that is greater than the sum of its parts.
 
MUSIC PERFORMANCE       
Jeff Parker (solo)   
8:30 (1 hour)  
Pritzker Garden
Jeff Parker is recognized as one of contemporary music’s most versatile and innovative electric guitarists and composers. A longtime member of the influential Chicago band Tortoise, Parker has also been a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) since 1995. He performs solo with electric guitar, effects, and samplers.
 
MUSIC PERFORMANCE       
Ben LaMar Gay     
9:30 (1 hour)  
Griffin Court
Composer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Ben LaMar Gay leads his quartet in an ecstatic performance, weaving together free jazz, sensuous funk, Brazilian rhythms, and dixieland to present a living portrait of Chicago music today. 

 


*Indicates that the presenter was selected from an open call of local contributors. 

Programs are for all ages unless otherwise noted. 

Please keep your museum tickets with you to gain access to the museum throughout the day. 

Share your experience with us by tagging #ArtChiBlockParty on social media. 

To request an accessibility accommodation for any of the programs above, please call (312) 443-3680 or send an email to access@artic.edu as far in advance as possible.

 


The Art Institute Block Party is part of Art Design Chicago, an exploration of Chicago’s art and design legacy, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.  
The Art Institute Block Party is funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
 
The Art Institute of Chicago is grateful to Glenn and Claire Swogger and the Redbud Foundation for their extraordinary sponsorship expanding the museum's free admission program to Chicago teens under the age of 18.
 
Support for Summer Learning at the Art Institute of Chicago is generously provided by The Jane and David M. Stone Charitable Trust.
 
Support for Live Arts programming is provided by the Woman's Board of the Art Institute of Chicago.