The Best Dollar Ever Spent?

How to up your culture game in November

By The Editors
November 5, 2015 9:00 am

Because you don’t have time to find your horizons (let alone broaden them), we give you the Art Directory: our essential guide to gallery shows and cultural happenings that should be on every man’s radar, recurring every other month or so. Sally forth.

Stony Island Arts Bank
As story has it, artist Theaster Gates purchased a dilapidated community savings and loan bank on 69th and Stony Island for $1 from the City in 2012. After three years of top-to-bottom restoration, the world-renowned artist has opened the Stony Island Arts Bank, a hybrid exhibition space, library and media archive and South Side cultural arts center. Free public tours go down every Saturday (more info here), where you’ll be able to tour the 17,000-square-foot space, which includes access to the late, great “godfather of House music” Frankie Knuckles’s archived vinyl collection. The Bank’s first exhibition — a cardboard scaffolding installation by Portuguese artist Carlos Bunga in the main hall — is a partner show to the Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Stony Island Arts Bank, now open

SOFA Chicago
The Sculpture Objects Functional Art Expo (SOFA) returns to Navy Pier this weekend, bringing with it 70+ galleries from all over the world in the name of, well … sculpture, objects and function. On display: artful stuff for the home, including these far-out Cubist glass aquariums. Don’t know where to start? Check out SOFA Selects, highlights of the show from noted curators, designers and critics.

Navy Pier, November 5-8

The Power of Paint
Known for capturing street art and large-scale murals across the city through their popular Instagram account, the Chicago Culture Couple dive into their first gallery curatorial with The Power of Paint, a group charity show at the Vertical Gallery. The theme: using art to help others. Help yo’self and follow them on Instagram.

Vertical Gallery, opens November 7th

John Stezaker: The Truth of Masks
British artist John Stezaker juxtaposes recycled imagery to delightful effect. Film stills from Hollywood’s Golden Era. Found photographs. Antique travel postcards. For The Truth About Masks, the Richard Gray Gallery offers a wide range of Strezaker’s surrealistic collage dreamscapes.

The Richard Gray Gallery, opens November 5th

Revelation at the Revel Room
This winter, the Revel Room’s got a jazzy little secret. Curated with the help of local genre-defying record label International Anthem, the Wicker Park cocktail bar has added live Thursday night jazz. They’re calling it Revelation. Starts at 9 p.m. Two sets. No cover. Our pick: November 12th, when Philadelphia experimental outfit MAST takes the stage with dummer/producer Makaya McCraven, whose 2015 record In The Moment cracks our list for favorite releases of the year.

The Revel Room, every Thursday at 9 p.m.

Bonus: Theory of Forms
Bonus points if you make it to the inaugural show at Patron Gallery. You’ve got a little bit over a month. Patron is city’s newest destination for high-minded art from Julia Fischbach and Emanuel Aguilar, former directors at Kavi Gupta Gallery. Theory of Forms, named for Plato, brings together 11 artists to explore the concept of the Platonic ideal.

Patron Gallery, now open

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