Thursday 17 June 2021
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Inside Scoop: The Art Institute’s Monet exhibit, skating at Maggie Daley Park, Art on the MART and rooftop curling at The Gwen

Claude Monet, Cliff Walk at Pourville, 1882. The Art Institute of Chicago

Monet and Chicago at the Art Institute

The famed Chicago Art Institute is home to one of best, most expansive art collections anywhere in the world. You can honestly lose an entire day at the Art Institute of Chicago. Multiple days, really, if you have the time. And now it’s time to catch a special exhibition the Chicago Tribune called “a stunner” and “intoxicating.”

The Art Institute itself features 33 Monet paintings and 13 drawings, constituting the largest collection of his work outside of Paris, and this represents the first exhibition to explore Chicago’s pioneering connection to the great Impressionist artist.

Among the more than 70 paintings in the exhibition are several beloved major works as well as rarely seen still-life pieces, figural scenes, seascapes and landscapes. Monet and Chicago requires a $7 ticket in addition to general admission, and purchasing in advance is highly recommended.

The exhibit runs through Jan. 18. The Art Institute is located at 111 S. Michigan Ave in Chicago.

Skating in Maggie Daley Park

While ice skating at the famous McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Chicago’s Millennium Park won’t be possible this year due to COVID restrictions, the Chicago Park District will offer skating in the neighboring Maggie Daley Park at the skating ribbon, providing a unique kind of a winding ice track with the same beautiful city backdrop. Reservations (which can be made up to two weeks in advance) and masks will be required to skate. 337 W. Randolph. For details, visit

Art on the Mart

Free art displays are always good. Especially something of this size in Chicago. Art on theMART is a permanent public art installation that is unprecedented in scale, utilizing more than one million lumens to illuminate the 2.5-acre façade of theMart (formerly the Merchandise Mart) every night for 30 minutes at 7 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. through Dec. 30.

The innovative software-driven platform allows curators to create an ongoing, timely and engaging exhibition of imagery from various artists. Just in time to celebrate the holidays, the Joffrey Ballet will debut a moving-image work of art featuring production images from its acclaimed production of the Christmas classic The Nutcracker set to music from Tchaikovsky’s beloved score, and the Art Institute of Chicago will present images from two of its current exhibitions, Monet and Chicago, and Bisa Butler: Portraits.

The best views are on the Riverwalk between Wells and Lake Streets, so bundle up and enjoy this unique experience. Spectators are required to wear masks and follow distancing guidelines. For more info, visit

Rooftop curling at The Gwen

It’s time to bundle up and try something unique. How unique? Try curling atop The Gwen hotel. Upstairs at The Gwen is one of Chicago’s most popular rooftop venues, featuring craft cocktails, shareable small plates, Art Deco-infused architecture and some fabulous views.

Now add in a custom-designed, iceless curling rink to show off your skills in the newly popular Olympic sport. Admission for The Gwen curling rink is $25 per person, which includes the choice of one cocktail and 30 minutes of curling play time.

The Gwen is located at 521 N. Rush Street in Chicago. For reservations, call 312-896-2888 or visit