Beginning in the 1960s, a loosely related group of Chicago artists began producing art with fantastical, colorful, and strange images. These artists were purposely disconnecting with what other artists were making at the time (in New York City and around in Europe). This was a unique Chicago phenomenon. This lecture will show how this movement portrays the type of cultural outlook that is still true of Chicago. It will also argue that the works are exciting, still fresh, and accessible to people from all walks of life.
Chicago is well known for nurturing the careers of women artists since the late nineteenth century, yet they continued to found separatist exhibitions to promote visibility and sales of their artwork. This lecture will provide a history of several of these organizations and collectives, including the Palette Club (1880–c.1895), Women Artists’ Salon of Chicago (1937–1953), Artemisia Gallery (1973–2003), ARC Gallery (1973–present), Sapphire and Crystals (1986–present), and Woman Made Gallery (1992–present).