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Best Visual Artists To See In Chicago

Walk in virtually any neighborhood in Chicago and you'll likely see artwork ranging from murals on buildings to large-scale sculptures and paintings. It helps that Chicago has a thriving art scene, with galleries devoted to just about any type of art dotting the city and suburbs. The Windy City is also home to numerous artists, including the following five whose works are worth a look. If you're looking for additional Chicago-based artists, read this article.

Pilar Acevedo
(Photo Credit: Pilar Acevedo/

Pilar Acevedo

Pilar Acevedo combines both painting and sculptures to create her artwork. Acevedo's artwork can also include an assortment of objects, including dolls and toys, and poetry. Born in Mexico City, Acevedo now lives in the Chicago area. Acevedo received a bachelor of fine arts in painting and drawing from The School of the Art Institute and is currently a freelance artist and graphic designer. You can see Acevedo's work in the exhibit "Fragmentos: Pilar Acevedo" at the National Museum of Mexican Art located in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood through July 13, 2014.

Zachary Cahill

What is the connection between art and wellness retreats? Zachary Cahill explores this connection in his latest work, "USSA 2012: Wellness Center: Idyllic—affair of the heart," which you can see in person by visiting the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago through August 3, 2014, in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood. The exhibit features painted work transferred to a vinyl banner. Cahill has given talks about his works and plays bagpipe music on his phone in front of his artwork; you can catch the next performance on April 25 at 4:30 p.m. "Idyllic" is part of Cahill's USSA 2012 project, and you can see another aspect of the project at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago from April 29 to September 16, 2014.

Iris Goldstein
(Photo Credit:

Iris Goldstein

For a unique take on sculpture, consider checking out Iris Goldstein's work. Her sculptures incorporate bright, vibrant colors and an assortment of materials, including plaster, aluminum screening and paint. Part of her education was in Chicago, and she received her master's of fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Goldstein currently serves as President of ARC Gallery in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood, where you can also see her work in person.

Xavier Nuez

If you're looking for photographs that capture scenes that are off the beaten path, consider having a look at photographer Xavier Nuez's "Alleys & Ruins" collection. Nuez's photographs of alleys were taken in an assortment of U.S. cities, including New York City, Houston, Detroit, Chicago and St. Louis. For examples of his other works, check out Nuez's website. Born in Montreal, Quebec, Nuez now calls Chicago home. You can catch his work during the 2nd Fridays Gallery Night event at his studio in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood.

Jason Reblando

What does a retired bank chairman have to do with ancient clay tokens? In photographer Jason Reblando's exhibit "Our work: Modern Jobs - Ancient Origins" at The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, plenty. Reblando used tintype photography to create an interesting connection between modern jobs and their beginnings thousands of years ago. Although the exhibit has ended, you can still see photographs from the exhibit at Reblando's website. Subjects of Reblando's other works have included youth boxers, Greenbelt cities created during the Great Depression and Lathrop Homes in Chicago. His work has been shown throughout the Chicagoland area. Reblando completed his MFA in photography from Columbia College in Chicago, and has participated in Chicago Artists Month. He splits his time between Chicago and Bloomington, Ill. Reblando will have two exhibits this summer through the City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. The exhibits will be held in the City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower and in the Richard J. Daley Center Pedway. For additional information, check out the City of Chicago's website.

Megan Horst-Hatch is a runner, reader, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in "-er." She is also the president of Megan Writes, LLC. Her work can be found at

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