Chicago’s historic Fine Arts Building hosts free Second Friday

A lobby performance from the Jazz Institute of Chicago at the Fine Arts Building, photo credit Jenn Udoni - Franco Images
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Open studios events featuring visual art, opera, puppetry and more on the second Friday of each month from 5-9 p.m.

May 10, June 14, July 12, Aug. 9, Sept. 13 and Oct. 11, 2024

Artistic tenants showcase their work throughout the building, including artist Cecilia Beaven, Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, Chicago Opera Theater, the Center for Mad Culture, Exile in Bookville, Alyson Lyon Arts, Oak Street Design, Patrice Olsen Fine Art, Performers Music, and Ann Pickett Studio and Gallery

On the heels of its 125th anniversary last year, Chicago’s historic Fine Arts Building (410 S. Michigan Avenue) presents a monthly showcase of artists throughout the building with its ongoing Second Fridays open studios events, free and open to the public on the second Friday of each month from 5-9 p.m. Upcoming dates are May 10, June 14, July 12, Aug. 9, Sept. 13 and Oct. 11, 2024. For more information, visit

A display from Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival at the Fine Arts Building, photo credit Jenn Udoni – Franco Images

The Fine Arts Building is a home for art in all forms. Second Fridays open studios feature artists and creatives across disciplines, from opera and puppetry to visual art, literature, jewelry and design. Additionally, historic exhibits Art Alone Endures and Staging Ground(5th Floor) share stories of the artists and companies that have called the Fine Arts Building home over the past 125 years. Both the building and historic exhibits are open to the public seven days per week—but Second Fridays offer a unique opportunity to experience the artistic vibrancy of the Fine Arts Building and meet the artists and craftspeople who inhabit Chicago’s premier artistic landmark.

self-guided walking tour of historic sites and artists’ studios throughout the building is available online at, with informational plaques outside notable studios to guide visitors on their journey. Guests will be transported back to a time when notable artists like The Wonderful Wizard of Ozillustrator W. W. Denslow and sculptor Lorado Taft roamed the halls of the Fine Arts Building, and discover why artists from all over the world have made this building their artistic home for over a century.  

he studio of artist Cecilia Beaven at the Fine Arts Building, photo credit Alexander Attea

Regular Second Fridays open studios participants include:

·       Artist Cecilia Beaven (Studio 915)

·       Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival (Studio 433)

·       Chicago Opera Theater (Studio 404)

·       The Center for Mad Culture and Press Here Studio(Studio 419)

·       Bookstore Exile in Bookville (Studio 210)

·       Alyson Lyon Arts (Studio 618)

·       Oak Street Design (Studio 636)

·       Patrice Olsen Fine Art (Studio 610)

·       Performers Music (Studio 904)

·       Ann Pickett Studio and Gallery (Studio 601)

·       The Second Floor Art Gallery (2nd Floor), curated by Stanley Smith of Oak Street Design

·       Original Art Nouveau Murals in the 10th Floor lobby

Visitors view Art Nouveau murals on the 10th floor of the Fine Arts Building, photo credit Jenn Udoni – Franco Images

The Fine Arts Building is a home for art in all forms: from pioneers like Poetry magazine’s founding publisher Harriet Monroe, architect Frank Lloyd Wright, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz illustrator W. W. Denslow, sculptor Lorado Taft and the Chicago Little Theatre, to the ongoing legacies of painters, musicians, booksellers, puppeteers, dancers, photographers and craftspeople who inhabit the building today, the Fine Arts Building is buzzing with more than a century of Chicago creativity and innovation. A Chicago Landmark since 1978, the building features original manually-operated elevators, Art Nouveau murals from the late 19th century and the recently renovated Studebaker Theater, one of the city’s oldest and most significant live theatrical venues. For more information, visit


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