From international art expos to groundbreaking architecture exhibitions, Chicago showcases its creative spirit this fall.

Chicago has an impressive history of influential art and architecture that resonates around the world. So it’s no surprise that the city celebrates its creative legacy in a big way. Get the scoop on the exciting special events and exhibitions taking place this fall, from the largest contemporary art show in the Midwest to free behind-the-scenes architectural tours and more.


Sept. 16 – 22, 2019
Navy Pier

Expo Chicago Gallery

The annual EXPO CHICAGO, The International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art, returns to Navy Pier this September. Ushering in the international fall art season, EXPO CHICAGO feature artwork from over 3,000 artists represented by 135 international galleries, 24 countries, and 68 cities from around the world.

Besides exhibits and art installations created by emerging and established artists, EXPO CHICAGO offers forums with panel discussions conducted by art critics and museum curators. The event also features pop-ups from top Chicago restaurants and international beverage houses, mixed in with on-site programs and events.

A Painting at Expo Art Week in Chicago

In conjunction with EXPO CHICAGO, EXPO ART WEEK, held Sept. 16 – 22, 2019, features some of Chicago’s most prestigious institutions celebrating arts and culture through citywide museum exhibitions, gallery openings, outdoor installations, and public art projects, as well as music, theatre, and dance performances. 


Oct. 19 – 20, 2019

Elks Memorial interior of ornate windows, frescoed ceiling, chandeliers
Elks Memorial, © Eric Allix Rogers

Have you ever walked by a building and wondered what's inside? You'll get your chance during Chicago's annual Open House Chicago, a free public festival hosted by the Chicago Architecture Center.

Throughout the weekend, more than 270 significant buildings throw open their doors for self-guided tours. Explore soaring skyscrapers, opulent mansions, exclusive private clubs, and more across 29 different neighborhoods. No tickets or registration are required, and you can build your own itinerary based on your location or must-sees.

Chicago Architecture Biennial

Sept. 19, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020
Chicago Cultural Center and citywide

Chicago Cultural Center ©Lucy Hewett

The Chicago Architecture Biennial showcases innovative strides in architecture and design from across the globe. The 2017 biennial was the largest such exhibition on the continent. This year's Biennial promise to be just as sweeping. Centered around the Chicago Cultural Center, the biennial features free exhibits and events that put a spotlight on modern issues in architecture and the most groundbreaking solutions.

Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again


Andy Warhol's works are some of the most recognizable pieces in the world. His Pop masterpieces and more will be on display at this much-anticipated Chicago exhibit. The major retrospective — the first to be organized by a U.S. institution in 30 years — features more than 350 works that span Warhol's entire career leading up to his early death, offering a new perspective on one of the most iconic American artists.


Oct. 31 – Nov. 3, 2019 
Navy Pier

SOFA Expo at Navy Pier in Chicago

The Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design (SOFA) Fair, held at Navy Pier each fall, is a world-renowned gallery-presented art fair dedicated to 3D art and design. Which is exactly what distinguishes the event from other top art expos. SOFA presents artworks that cross the boundaries of fine art, decorative art and design, showcased by an elite selection of international dealers.

Attendee at SOFA Expo at Navy Pier in Chicago

Each year draws in around 80 art dealers and 35,000 attendees, resulting in $15 to $20 million in sales each show. With a strong educational emphasis, SOFA CHICAGO includes an acclaimed lecture series and special exhibits exploring the works on view and surveying new trends in the art world.

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