Courtesy of Chicago Museum Week
Arts and culture lovers should jump at the chance to immerse themselves in both as never before during Chicago Museum Week. Discover fascinating artifacts and celebrations unique to specific cultures - from whimsical masks to honoring the dead - as well as exploring art from many different angles.
Straight from Puerto Rico and displayed via the Las Caras Lindas: Intervenciones Actuales exhibit at The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture, colorful vejigante masks designed by Puerto Rican artists provide a contemporary take on the folkloric artifacts. Housed in a beautiful brick building in Humboldt Park - former stables - the museum also is featuring a solo exhibition with paintings by Puerto Rican and Chicago-based artist Oscar Luis Martinez, called Metamorfosis of Divine Entanglements (above). Admission is free - during Museum Week and always.
Demonstrating the many facets of art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago will feature lots of music during Museum Week. MCA and Land Sea Dept. will orchestrate an already sold out evening of artist-activated, audience-engaged spectacle featuring electropop star Dan Deacon from 7 to 11 p.m., tonight (Oct. 2) - watch for the next MCA Prime Time in February 2016.
Want more music? Return at 6 p.m. on Oct. 6 (free admission for Illinois residents!) to hear David Grubbs, John McEntire and Rob Mazurek, seminal figures from Chicago's post-rock scene of the 1990s who wall talk and perform (the first time together) their inspirational avant-garde music. Come discuss the visionary work (above) of Atelier Bow-Wow, a Tokyo-based architecture firm at 1 p.m. Oct. 4.
The largest Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) exhibit in the country resides at the National Museum of Mexican Art, the only Latino museum to be accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. This year the exhibit features the poignant memorials of children in La Muerta Nina: Day of the Dead. Other exhibits will include Nuestras Historias, or stories of Mexican Identity, De Vuelta, the iconic puzzle-like paintings of Chicago imagist Errol Ortiz and Deportable Aliens, a new work by Rodrigo Lara Zendejas, depicting the unjust Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s by the Hoover and Roosevelt administrations. Admission is always free, and during Museum Week you can enjoy a 15 percent discount at the museum shop.
It's difficult to believe the beautiful DuSable Museum of African American History was once a police station, but come see for yourself and experience the only major independent institution in Chicago established to preserve and interpret the historical experiences and achievements of African Americans. On tap for Museum Week are special guided tours of the museum including exhibits ranging from Red, White, Blue & Black: A History of Blacks in the Armed Services and A Slow Walk to Greatness: The Harold Washington Story. Museum Week discounts include two-for-one admission, 10 percent off the store and half off individual membership.
The number one museum in the world according to TripAdvisor travelers, The Art Institute has a number of things on top for Museum Week, starting with daily tours of iconic masterpieces and hidden treasures at noon. Want a general overview or more working knowledge of the museum? Take an orientation tour at 1 p.m. Oct. 3. Bring the whole family for art-making fun at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Oct. 3 and 4 in the Artist's Studio.
Had your fill of art and culture? Check out the animals, history and science offerings at the other museums and institutions participating in Museum Week, and don't forget to document your experience using #ChicagoMuseumWeek.
Art Institute photo by Clayton Hauck