Seven Must-See Art Design Chicago Activities in October

Goldsholl Design Associates, (detail) 7Up exploratory logotype for “See the Light” Campaign, c. 1975. Courtesy of Dr. Pepper Snapple Group.

Mid-century commercial film. African American design. Photocollage. October in Chicago promises a full schedule of Art Design Chicago activities on all these topics and more. Need a little help deciding what to do and see this month? We’ve got you covered—check out our list of must-see activities below which includes programs in all corners of the city.

  1. Six Exhibitions Opening

This October, six new exhibitions open at cultural partners across Chicago and beyond exploring topics such as product design, mid-century art deco, Chicago bicycle culture, and much more.

  1. October 16: Diasporal Rhythms Home Tours

Get a peek inside the homes of collectors of artworks by members of the African Diaspora. Chicago-based artists include Juarez Hawkins, Marva Lee Pitchford Jolly, Faheem Majeed, Joyce Owens, Felicia Grant Preston, and more.

  1. October 17: Music at the 1893 World's Fair

What role did music play at the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893? Stop by the Newberry Library for a special musical performance featuring original compositions written for and performed at the Fair in the late 19th century. End your visit with a stroll through the accompanying exhibition Pictures from an Exposition: Visualizing the 1893 World's Fair.


“Harmony Reigns at the World’s Fair,” from Puck Magazine, 1893. The Newberry Library.

  1. October 20: Art Deco Cemetery Tour

Get spooky this October with a walking tour of the city’s Bohemian National Cemetery. Art deco and mid-century modernism sure have a way of showing up in unexpected places—even the afterlife!

  1. October 25: Conversation on Photography and the Black Arts Movement 

The Art Institute of Chicago presents this conversation about the impact of Chicago photographers who documented Chicago’s South Side during one of the most tumultuous periods in United States history: the 1960s and 1970s.

  1. October 27–November 11: Chicago Humanities Fallfest GRAPHIC!

The Chicago Humanities Festival’s annual Fallfest investigates the opportunities, limits, and expressions of our rapidly changing visual culture. Seven programs are offered as part of Art Design Chicago, including a special conversation with famed Chicago cartoonist Chris Ware.

  1. Block Cinema Film Series in conjunction with Up is Down exhibition

The Block Museum of Art offers a five-part film series showcasing the artistry of the Chicago design firm Goldsholl & Associates, including screenings of mid-century film experiments and advertising campaigns, á la Mad Men. Find below a complete list of screenings in October.

October 12: Designers in Film: Films by the Goldsholls and Company

October 19: Designers in Context: Film, Advertising, and Modernism

October 20: Color and Line: Mid-Century Animation

October 26: Light Play: Film and the Bauhaus

For a full range of upcoming programming, find exhibitions here and events here.


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