With more than 2.7 million residents, Chicago is the most populated city in the midwestern United States as well as the state of Illinois. Located in the north-eastern corner of the state along the banks of Lake Michigan, Chicago is a well-known tourist attraction too with many museums, art galleries, and attractions.
In addition, you can also spend some time at one of the 570 parks hiking, biking, or enjoying some water sports like fishing, boating, and even swimming. And with the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and sculptures everywhere, choosing an art exhibit space in Chicago is a great idea.
Interesting Fact: The name Chicago came from 1688 on a French document. It is actually an Algonquian word, Chigagou, which means onion field. Apparently, there were a lot of wild onions in the area.
Art Exhibit Options in Chicago
When planning an art exhibit, you have to consider several things such as food, drinks, décor, equipment, and even security. Luckily, Chicago has plenty of experienced and professional companies that can help you out with all of that.
Chicago has 22 Michelin-starred restaurants and many of them do catering as well. If you would rather have something more budget-friendly, you can also find hundreds of companies that will cater from 10 to 10,000+ guests. Whether you want a casual backyard barbecue or just some hors d’oeuvres, you can get whatever you need.
- Furniture and Décor
Many art exhibition spaces are a blank slate that you have to fill. Even if you are an interior decorator at heart, it is best to let the local professionals handle it since they know the best places to get what you want. From pedestals and lighting to sound equipment and charging stations.
Hosting an art exhibit is serious business and most of the artwork is typically worth thousands or even millions. Be sure to protect everyone’s interests by having some kind of security at the event. Chicago has a large number of companies to choose from.
Art Exhibit Companies in Chicago
Looking for a catering company that serves a specific food or a decorator that is experienced in art exhibit spaces in Chicago? It is best to get a local company to help you because they are familiar with the vendors in the area.
- Jewell Events Catering
Jewell Events has been catering since 1967 so they have more than 50 years of service and a stellar reputation in the entire metro area. They have served every president of the US every year as well as Prince Charles and the Queen of Sweden, but they consider every one of their customers just as important as the next. And they do it all, from picnics to seated dinners.
- MDM Entertainment Event Furnishings
No matter what you need from lighted pedestals to plush lounge furniture, MDM has it or can get it for you. How about a photo booth, lighting, or AV equipment? MDM has been in the industry since 2001 and covers more than 600 local events per year. They love what they do, and it shows!
- Titan Security Group
If you need security staff, Titan Security Group is the place to go. They have been in business since 1994 and have more than 2,000 employees who are vetted, insured, and licensed. From armed guards to door staff, they will protect what needs protecting any time you need them 24/7/365.
Pros and Cons of Art Exhibits in Chicago
You should do your homework before making any major decisions about Chicago. All cities have advantages and disadvantages, so it is best to find out what they are before packing your bags.
- Plenty of entertainment
Whether you want to shop until you drop, take in a show, or learn something new at one of the museums, Chicago has it all. Nightclubs, bars, and taverns are also plentiful so you will have no trouble finding something to do while you are in town.
- Lake Michigan
Another benefit of having your art exhibit space in Chicago is Lake Michigan. You can hang out at one of the many beaches, parks, or green spaces. If you are going in the summer, bring your sunscreen so you can do some sunbathing.
- Award-winning food
With 22 Michelin-starred eateries to enjoy, you can find a great meal with no problem. Try the Chicago-style pizza, hot dogs, or the jibarito sandwich while you are there.
- Cold and snow
If you are not into snow and cold weather, do not plan your art exhibit space in Chicago during the winter. They get about 35 inches of snow per year, which is a lot more than the US average of 27 inches.
- Dangerous streets
Chicago is also on the list of the top 100 most dangerous cities in the US and your chances of being a victim is one in 25. Try to stick to the safer neighborhoods like Clearing, Pullman, Dunning, and Sauganash.
- Traffic is horrible
With so many people in one city, you are bound to run into some traffic at one point. Stay away from the downtown area as well as other busy areas during the early morning and late afternoon.
Famous Locations in Chicago
- The Art Institute of Chicago
As an art lover, you should not miss visiting the Art Institute of Chicago. It was founded in 1879 and is one of the largest and oldest art museums in the US. There are 11 collections including African Art, Textiles, Photography, Asian Art, and Prints. The famous American Gothic painting by Grant Wood is on display as well as The Old Guitarist by Picasso and an ancient Greek Amphora from 550 BC.
- Navy Pier
This is where you go when you want to do it all and cannot decide what to do first. The 3,300-foot pier sticks out over Lake Michigan and has 50 acres of fun and relaxation. There are several rides like the Wave Swinger, Light Tower, and the Carousel as well as a museum, eateries, shops, gardens, parks, and several sculptures.
- Millennium Park
Another place to go with a lot to do is Millennium Park. Perhaps the most famous attraction is the Cloud Gate, which is a huge sculpture that looks like a giant silver bean. The Crown Fountain is another popular spot as well as the Lurie Garden, McCormick Rink and Grill, and the BP serpentine pedestrian bridge. But don’t miss the Boeing Galleries art exhibits.