Carlos Rolón.

Photo by Lyndon French.
Courtesy of Carlos Rolón.

Screaming Jay Hawkins

Karl Wirsum
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, 1968.
The Art Institute of Chicago, Mr. and Mrs. Frank G. Logan Purchase Prize Fund.
Courtesy of Karl Wirsum and The Art Institute of Chicago.

Carlos Rolón

Courtesy of Carlos Rolón.

The Robey.

Photo by Adrian Gaut.
Courtesy of The Robey.

Carlos Rolón

Courtesy of Carlos Rolón.

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Blackbird, Western Exhibitions, and Humboldt Park: Carlos Rolón’s Chicago

This week, we’re covering EXPO Chicago and its surrounding events. To give you an insider look at the city, we’re talking to a few exceptional locals who are sharing their favorite spots to dine, drink, relax, and see art at. Below, we hear from Chicago-based artist Carlos Rolón.

You cannot go wrong with any restaurants owned by the James Beard Foundation Award-winning One Off Hospitality Group. Blackbird is my favorite. I may also say, Longman & Eagle, this local spot located in the Logan Square neighborhood (which has garnered a prized Michelin star) is easily one of my favorite restaurants. Make sure to get the Roasted Marrow Bones (Bacon-Shallot Jam, Pickled Kumquat, Sea Salt, Sourdough Toast). If you’re looking for a cocktail or a PBR, my assistants love to go to Skylark located near my studio in the Pilsen neighborhood. You’ll find people from all walks of life and the prices are cheap.

The Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago (now showing “The Time Is Now! Art Worlds of Chicago’s South Side, 1960–1980”); The Art Institute of Chicago (presenting “Hairy Who? 1966–1969”); Western Exhibitions (with a great exhibition entitled “Gut Rehab” by Edie Fake); and the DePaul Art Museum (DPAM), where the former MCA curator, and now Director and Chief Curator, Julie Rodrigues Widholm, has made it a must-go-to destination for quality programming.

You can never go wrong with Chicago’s lakefront. Driving down Lake Shore Drive in the evening brings back great high school memories and the skyline is stunning. Humboldt Park also gives a beautiful, relaxing park walk in a historical neighborhood with a hybrid Puerto Rican culture, Gen X hipsters playing kickball, and many wedding parties taking photos. A mix for everyone with walking trails, places to fish, and things to see. Lots of great little benches to sit along the way, too. Stop in to one of several 105F Hot Yoga locations to sweat out any art toxins.


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