UPTOWN — Uptown Art Week will take place with an expanded format and footprint starting Friday.
The public art event will run through Aug. 15, with more than 150 pieces of art on display throughout the neighborhood. Neighbors can take in the public painting process throughout the week as 40 works of art are painted or installed.
Last year saw the first Uptown Art Weekend, which featured a pandemic-friendly self-guided tour and events surrounding Uptown’s robust public art collection. After that event’s success, chamber group Uptown United decided to expand the event to a full week, Executive Director Martin Sorge said.
“We needed an excuse for people to get out in the neighborhood, and there was a great response,” Sorge said. “We had so many projects in mind [this year] that we said, ‘There’s no reason not to expand it to a week.’ “
New to this year’s event will be the Uptown Art Fair, which will take place 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday in the renovated former Wilson station house at 4620 N. Broadway.
Truman College also will host an art fair 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sunday on its patio at the corner of Wilson and Racine avenues. Truman students will sell their artwork.
Like last year, there is an interactive map that allows neighbors to take a self-guided tour. Along the way, more than 40 artists will be in the neighborhood painting or installing works of art.The public art map is below.
At least four works of art will go up in the Clifton Avenue Street Art Gallery, including a nine-artist work that will go up on the former Wilson Men’s Hotel building that just debuted as an apartment complex. Another three will be painted on Argyle Street buildings.
Graceland Cemetery and Arboretum is also involved in art week programs. The cemetery will host weekend walking tours led by the Chicago Architectural Center and kid-friendly scavenger hunts.
Businesses, including Green Mill and Fat Cat, will debut “patio art,” with artist-made and decorated seating, planters and other patio furniture.
The event also will feature the grand opening of Uptown Gallery at 6 p.m. Aug. 12 at 4802 N Broadway, Suite 202.
Uptown Art Week started as a way to safely generate foot traffic for local businesses during the pandemic. Uptown United and the local special service areas were able to shift funds away from public events like street fairs into more public art.
That pandemic pivot bolstered Uptown’s reputation as a public arts destination, which will come in handy as businesses continue to deal with COVID-19, Sorge said.
“The goal is to get folks into local businesses, grab lunch and shop locally while they’re in the neighborhood,” he said.
For more information on Uptown Art Week, click here.
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