Archive | Chicago RSS feed for this section

Chicago Art

In anticipation of Chicago Artists Month


From the streets to the galleries, Chicago has never lacked passion, expression and innovation. To honor Chicago’s commitment to culture, let’s talk about art. From the days of hosting one of the most successful World’s Fairs in 1893, Chicago has permanently stamped its mark as a city of culture and expression. Today that mark has touched all corners of the city’s society.

At the heart of art in this vibrant city is The Art Institute of Chicago, where numerous exhibits grace gallery floors and invite locals and tourists to experience the creative genius of artists from across time. The institute holds numerous exhibits such as the galleries of Greek, Roman and Byzantine Art and galleries of modern art. The latest exhibit that will swing through the Institute in July will be the painted tapestries of Édouard Vuillard. exh_vuillard_window_overlooking_the_woods_480The exhibit will bring together two halves of Vuillard’s earliest pieces. First Fruits is a two-part tapestry done by Vuillard in 1899. This is the first time since 1950 that the pieces will be reunited, after being sold into separate private collections over 50 years ago.  The exhibit will open July 11 and will stay until October 6:

If older century tapestries are not your style, Chicago brings current issues to the spotlight as well. An art exhibit by Ti-Rock Moore has been displayed in the Gallery Guichard since July 9. Moore’s piece is controversial, as it infuses the events of last year’s Ferguson shooting with a raw display of expression. Her piece is said to display the Statue of Liberty, a noose and Michael Brown all in the same context. She makes an argument for privilege in America with this impactful and controversial exhibit. The exhibit will last through August 10:!blank/ckje.

Art truly begins with the artist, and their inspiration by people and events. As Moore is inspired by Michael Brown, spectators will be inspired by the lush forest that Vuillard brings to the fabric. A young designer was inspired by another aspect of Chicago–the homeless population. Ian Todd decided to use his efforts as a design student to help the plight of homeless people on the streets of Chicago by redesigning the cardboard signs that are often seen with the homeless community in any city. Todd turned the typical handwritten sign into an appealing advertisement. Homeless Signs - ChicagoUsing several elaborate fonts, Todd wrote the messages of homeless people on cardboard signs to help them stand out. Todd, a California native, proved that using art in the smallest way can bring attention to the big issues.  He brought the stories of the city’s homeless to the news, as they highlighted his cause as a demonstration of community in downtown Chicago:

Artists in Chicago are making big waves, whether it be Moore with dramatic exhibits, or Todd with writing fonts on cardboard signs, the city pulls together to appreciate the passion behind the acts that drive these artists.

And if Chicago brings out the artist in you, share your work with the numerous art competitions around the city. The Chicago Artists Month competition invites people to submit their work as a chance to participate in the 20th anniversary of Chicago Artists Month that will take place in early October to mid-November:

Artists bring history, style and culture to Chicago. The culture of Chicago made even Frank Sinatra swoon. After all is it not he that sang it best?

Musicians and Their Hometowns

Famous Musicians' Home Cities

Do you know of any great musicians from your hometown? Newcomer’s Handbooks can name a few, and we want to share them with you!

Cee-Lo GreenCeeLo Green (born Thomas DeCarlo Calloway) reigns from Atlanta, GA. The five-time Grammy winner is best known for his song “Forget You,” released in 2010. After being a judge on The Voice, Green started his own show called The Good Life, where he and a group of friends, Big Gipp, Khujo and T-Mo, work together. Green also works with The Greenhouse Foundationin Atlanta, which he and his sister founded to help educate children in disadvantaged areas as well as to follow a family tradition of philanthropy.

Fall Out BoyFall Out Boy, the band consisting of Patrick Stump, Pete Wentz, Joe Trohman, and Andy Hurley, formed in Chicago in 2001. Songs like “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark,” “Thks fr th Mmrs,” and “Dance, Dance” have helped to maintain the band’s popularity even after a hiatus from 2010 to 2012. After releasing their comeback album Save Rock and Roll in 2013, the band conducted an expansive tour and performed with the other popular rock bands such as New Politics and Panic! At the Disco.

Sara BareillesSara Bareilles, whom you probably recognize from one of her big hit’s “Love Song,” hails from Los Angeles, where she went to the University of California. The five-time Grammy nominee taught herself to play the piano, and she started her career with Epic Records in 2005 after years of singing for acapella groups. Bareilles is currently in the midst of her “Little Black Dress” tour to promote her most recent album, The Blessed Unrest, released in 2013.

Fun.Many musicians call New York City home, but Fun. has been one particularly-popular band. The band consists of Nate Ruess, Andrew Dost, and Jack Antonoff, and they made it big in 2012 with their songs “Some Nights” and “We Are Young.” Besides creating catchy music, the band takes on a variety of charity projects: Andrew paints pies with all profits going to animal shelters in Detroit, and the band as a whole supports a variety of LGBT organizations such as Free & Equal and The Ally Coalition.

Macklemore & Ryan LewisLastly, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis call Seattle home. Macklemore, whose given name is Ben Haggerty, released the top-hit song “Thrift Shop,” which won two Grammys for best rap performance and song. During the 2014 Grammys, Macklemore preformed his song “Same Love” while the host, Queen Latifah, read out marriage vows from a mix of couples in support of equal marriage rights. Macklemore is also a big sports fan, and he dedicates songs to his Seattle teams; for instance, “My Oh My” is dedicated to the Seattle Mariners.

Written by: Kristin Monteith

Moving to Chicago


Thinking about making the move to Chicago? Have you already made the decision? Our Newcomer’s Handbook for Moving to and Living in Chicago can help make your transition smoother and give you the information needed to settle into your neighborhood quicker.

Here is a sample from our Newcomer’s Handbook for Chicago and a quick overview of what the great city of Chicago has to offer:

Chicago Intro_Page_01

Chicago Intro_Page_02Chicago Intro_Page_03Chicago Intro_Page_04


We could keep going, but we don’t want to give away all of our secrets! There are a lot of great things about Chicago, but you will have to buy our book to find out all about the great neighborhoods and greenspaces the city has to offer. 

Our Newcomer’s guide includes six geographic maps delineating each section of the city and suburbs as well as photographs of typical housing in each community. With detailed profiles on dozens of neighborhoods and communities, this comprehensive and detailed book includes helpful chapters on Neighborhoods, Finding a Place to Live, Moving and Storage, Money Matters, Getting Settled, Helpful Services, Childcare and Education, Green Living, Shopping for the Home, Cultural Life, Higher Education, Sports and Recreation, Greenspace and Beaches, Weather, Getting Involved (which includes volunteering, places of worship, and meeting people), Transportation, Temporary Lodgings, Quick Getaways, A Chicago Year, Chicago Reading List, and Useful Phone Numbers and Web Sites.

We hope to help make your move and relocation to Chicago as easy as possible!