advertisement

It sounds like an X-Files kind of name, and, true, the art can get a little weird here, but you have no alien abductions to fear in this warehouse district gallery. “Outsider art,” is a term attached to a group of unknown, unconventional artists who do their work without any formal training or connection to the mainstream art world, and it ranges from fairly conventional paintings to enormous canvases, bottle cap art, and beyond. Visitor’s reactions run the gamut from intrigued to “what the . . .?” as they explore the permanent collections of art, including the fascinating Henry Darger room, a replica of the one-bedroom apartment the Chicago recluse/custodian/artist/hoarder lived in prior to moving to a nursing home. One standout recent exhibit came from a photographer who purchased 30 boxes of slides at a secondhand store that captured a family he’d never met. He became obsessed with finding out who the people really were, as his exhibit showed. The gallery is also home to educational lectures, along with workshops, independent film screenings, and fun events, like drawing competitions. Allow 1 hour.