You can discover a whole new world when it comes to art and film in Chicago by simply visiting any of the city's art house theaters, independent galleries and off-the-beaten-path art hubs. In addition, pop-up art galleries, whether presented at festivals or as a uniquely themed temporarily running event, allow opportunities to witness artistic endeavors we may otherwise never see. We've selected a few of the city's most creative outlets that we believe give art and film, or both, a whole new focus.

Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N. State St.)

The Gene Siskel Film Center is a welcomed reprieve from the 3D spectacle and hollow blockbusters of Hollywood. Originally known as The Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the two theater venue was renamed in honor of movie critic Gene Siskel in 2000. The downtown film center presents more than 1,500 screenings a year. Films range from the nightmarish works like Japan's Kuroneko, movies by the awe-inspiring French filmmaker Jean Rouch. Lest you fret, this place is more than art house features, offering mainstream fare as well. GSFC is definitely a festival choice for new screenings so stay up to date on these and more at

Facets Multi-Media (1517 W. Fullerton Ave.)

This place is a combination videotheque and cinematheque. Considered a leading national media arts organization, Facets houses more than 65,000 titles that are available for rent. Facets is multi-media based venue that not only screens films, but also offers educational programming. Interested adults should check out their film school and night programs, while children and families can take advantage of the largest children's film festival in North America. 

Yollocalli Arts Reach (2022 W. Cermak Rd.)

Yollocalli was established in 1997 as a youth initiative of the NMMA. It provides a creative and nurturing environment, which makes for progressive dialogue in urban and youth culture. The art space provides free classes and workshops encouraging participants of all ages. Some of the classes offered include digital media using sound and photography, silk screening, performing comedy via social media, pinhole photography and creating a mosaic mural, among others. Exhibits and performances follow the end of each course, which is where we as an audience are able to capture and appreciate the talent Chicago's youth has to offer. Classes are ongoing. 

Written by Sandra Treviño / Arte y Vida Chicago