With acclaimed art museums, eclectic gallery collections and thousands of public sculptures and murals, Chicago has an impressive art culture just waiting to be discovered. Here are just a few exciting art exhibits and events coming up.

David Bowie Is

September 23–January 4, 2015 

In September, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago will be the only U.S. location to host David Bowie Is, the renowned traveling retrospective examining the art, work and life of one of the most inspiring and influential artists of our time. The exhibit showcases more than 300 objects, including handwritten lyrics, original costumes, photography, album artwork, set designs and rare performance material from the past five decades.

EXPO Chicago

September 18–21, 2014 

Now in its third season, EXPO Chicago is an international exhibition of contemporary and modern art featuring over 140 of the leading galleries from around the world. Roam through galleries and artist displays on view at Navy Pier, and be sure to catch the Special Exhibition program that features select non-profits and institutions, panel discussions, cutting-edge film and new media works, and a curated selection of site-specific projects. Admission is $20 for a one-day pass and $30 for a three-day weekend pass.


September 15–21, 2014 

In conjunction with EXPO Chicago, the city will host EXPO ART WEEK, a citywide celebration of art and culture that includes exhibitions, gallery openings, installations, public art projects, music, theater and dance performances. 

Gallery Weekend Chicago

September 18–21, 2014 

Running concurrently with EXPO Chicago, Gallery Weekend Chicago invites national and international contemporary art collectors, curators and critics to the city for a curated weekend of private gallery tours and exclusive museum access. The event, founded in 2011, has helped put Chicago's art scene on the global map.

Chicago Artists Month

October 2014 

The art scene in Chicago is so big, there's a whole month dedicated to it. Chicago Artists Month is a month-long festival held in October that celebrates the creativity in each of the city's neighborhoods. Artists and performers working in all media promote their work and engage audiences throughout the month. The 18th annual event follows the theme "Crossing Borders," and includes behind-the-scenes studio tours and neighborhood art walks, exhibitions and performances, theater and dance productions, classes, conversations and more.

Gallery Districts

Apart from the many events and major exhibitions Chicago hosts throughout the year, there are also a number of gallery districts to explore. Wander the expansive selection of contemporary art in River North, packed with galleries such as Richard Norton Gallery and Brave New Art World.

The West Loop is home to edgy, avant-garde art, such as street and graffiti works displayed at Vertical Gallery. Head to Wicker Park/Bucktown and explore open studios at First Fridays at the Flat Iron, or venture south to Pilsen to discover bold murals as well as a diverse mix of mediums from young, adventurous artists during Second Saturdays at Lacuna Lofts.

Chicago Gallery News leads free Saturday tours to a variety of neighborhood galleries, giving you more of a behind the scenes look. You can also check out their neighborhood gallery district guide to discover even more great art-focused spots around Chicago. 

Want to experience more of Chicago's art scene? Learn about Chicago's arts and culture, and find artistic happenings on the events calendar.