Considering that my photographer boyfriend, Oliver, has a gallery of his own, it’s no surprise that one of our favorite things to do on a date night is visiting art galleries. There’s something magical about strolling through an exhibit, taking in the beauty that someone has crafted from joy or pain or any other number of emotions that you might identify with. Ollie is especially wonderful to have along because his eye catches things in the composition that go right over my head sometimes, but once he points it out, I can’t believe I ever missed it.
Chicago has no shortage of artistic displays. The most obvious example is the Art Institute, which you may know from visiting or just from watching Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. But there are plenty of other amazing if less well-known places in the art scene of Chicago. Oliver and I love to grab a glass of wine or two at The Pour House on Halsted and then do a bit of gallery hopping over the course of our night.
But one of the best suggestions I can make for a Chicago date night is First Fridays. On the first Friday of every month, over 30 studio galleries are on display for free in the Wicker Park area from 6 to 10 p.m. You start at the Flat Iron Arts Building, where artists have their work on display. You’ll find sculptures and paintings, abstract work and impressionist work. Resident artists hail from Mexico, Europe, Chicago and around the globe, and are extremely active in the community not only contributing to their own projects, but other galleries and shows throughout the year.
Admission is free, many studios offer refreshments, and you can be on the lookout for spontaneous performances as well. The area around the event is also ready for art lovers, making the evening something of a fantastic neighborhood block party.
December 6th is the next event, and it isn’t too far away. Ollie and I will be out on the town, enjoying both the art and Chicago in the Christmas season. Hope to see you out there!