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Best Up-And-Coming Artists In Chicago

By Megan Horst-Hatch

When you think of art in Chicago, you might think it's limited to the Art Institute of Chicago or the Cows on Parade that dot the city and suburbs. But what you might not know is that the city of big shoulders is also home to a vibrant art scene that goes off the beaten path and at times, veers into the underground—literally. With Fathers Day coming quickly, what better gift than for them to see their favorite artists locally? Where can you find these artists? The following list will give you the lowdown on where and when you can find out more about these artists.

Andy Paczos
(credit: Andy Paczos /

Andy Paczos
At the Maya Polsky Gallery through August 20
15 W Superior St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 440-0055

Andy Paczos is a literal underground artist. Paczos focuses on the city's industrial heritage, specifically the CTA subway stations. Using oil on linen, Paczos captures in detail both the mundane and the sublime aspects of the underground world that most commuters don't see. His other works are above ground and include glimpses of Chicago from Metra tracks and former offices along Ogden Avenue. Paczos, a Detroit native, earned his masters in fine arts from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago and his art has previously been exhibited at the Hyde Park Art Center.

Related: Best Photography Galleries In Chicago

Kasia Houlihan - Photography
(credit: Kasia Houlijan -

Kasia Houlihan
At Gallery 400 through August 11
400 S Peoria St (MC 034)
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 996-6114

Kasia Houlihan is a Chicago artist to the core. She received her bachelor's degree at the University of Chicago, received her master's degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and calls Chicago home today. Her focus is on photography, videography and sculpture. Her series "That Time When" comprises beautiful designs from pinpricks on watercolor or black velour paper. Houlihan is part of the group exhibition "The Dragon is in the Frame" at the University of Illinois at Chicago which features work inspired by artist Mark Aguhar. Her work has been on display in a variety of exhibits nationwide since 2003.

Melissa Oresky
(credit: Melissa Oresky /

Melissa Oresky
At the Hyde Park Art Center through August 19
5020 S Cornell Ave
Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 324-5520

You can confidently say that Melissa Oresky's art covers a lot of ground. The Chicago-based artist studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago, and her work includes painted collages and animation. Oresky focuses on modern landscapes which have been exhibited throughout Chicago and in galleries in cities such as Madison, Baltimore, Portland, New York City and Berlin. "Trail," Oresky's exhibit at the Hyde Park Art Center, includes 40 of her painted collages and the premiere of her first work in animation.

Jamie Link
(credit: Jamie Link /

Jamie Link

While photographer Jamie Link is based in Chicago, his work is not confined to the city limits. In addition to capturing Chicago's skyline while it is bathed in sunset, Link has photographed the Venus transit, the Colorado Rocky Mountains and Glacial Park. He has also photographed news stories, such as the NATO protest march in Chicago, and corporate events and weddings. His work has been voted as "picture of the day" by and included in National Geographic Society's stock photography website. Link recently earned the Doug and Annie Johnson Photographic Award at Northern Colorado's 21st Annual National Art Exhibition and Sale.

Luis de la Torre

Luis De La Torre
At the Bridgeport Art Center
1200 W 35th St, Third Floor
Chicago, IL 60609
(773) 247-3000

Texas-born Luis De La Torre spent a majority of his childhood in Mexico then moved to Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood at the age of seven. His work reflects both Mexican and American culture and includes a strong emphasis on historical figures. De La Torre uses a variety of media for his works including oil, linen, acrylic and wood. In addition to the Bridgeport Art Center, De La Torre's work has been exhibited at Chicago State University and the Hyde Park Art Center.

Related: Best Art Galleries In Chicago

Megan Horst-Hatch is a mother, runner, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in "-er." She loves nothing more than a great cupcake, and writes at I'm a Trader Joe's Fan. Her work can be found at

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