Summer Studios: Free Art Instruction at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art

Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art does a wonderful job of engaging even the smallest children with the big, wide world of art. From babies (check out the MCA’s Stroller Friendly Guided Tours!) to teens, there is something for everyone at this bright museum, located just off Michigan Avenue.

This summer, kids and adults are invited to take part in the excellent (and free!) Summer Studios each Tuesday until August 28 at the Farmers Market (on the MCA Plaza from 11 am-2 pm) and during Tuesdays on the Terrace (in the MCA sculpture garden from 5-8 pm). Each week, participants will explore a different theme from the exhibitions Rashid Johnson: A Message to Our Folks andSkyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity through hands-on art activities.

Summer Studios at the Museum of Contemporary Art

(Translation: Moms and Dads can listen to some of Chicago’s best jazz musicians or pick out some fresh goods for dinner at a farmer’s market while the kids paint, draw, or sculpt!)

Tuesdays on the Terrace features the best of Chicago jazz. Performances are take place from 5:30-8 pm and are hosted by Al Carter-Bey, along with Richton Guy Thomas, Linda Hall, and Leslie Keros, from WHPK 88.5fm.

The Farmer’s Market takes place every Tuesday from 7am to 3 pm, on the plaza. You’ll find a farm-fresh variety of fruit and veggies, cut and potted flowers, baked goods, cheeses, spices, and more.

For more information on any of the above programs, visit the Museum of Contemporary Art’s website at or call 312.280.2660. 

 2012 Summer Studios Schedule:

July 3: From Flat to Fantastic: Inspired by the process of constructing tall buildings, transform two-dimensional materials into standing structures

July 10: Seeing City Sounds: Inspired by sounds and movements that surround our downtown skyscrapers, contribute to a collaborative artwork by drawing the sounds you hear

July 17: Change What You See: Inspired by Rashid Johnson’s process of exploring every day materials in new ways, design lenses that alter the way you see familiar things

July 24: City Reflections: Inspired by the sparkle and reflection of skyscrapers, sculpt a structure using reflective and shiny materials

July 31: Capture Your Stories: Inspired by Rashid Johnson’s interest in storytelling, create a book to hold the stories you write, both real and imaginary

Aug 7: Together Tower: Inspired by the collaborative process of building skyscrapers, work with another person to construct a tower or other standing sculpture

Aug 14: In and Out of Character: Inspired by Rashid Johnson’s use of fantastical characters, invent and draw a new persona on an interactive drawing wall

Aug 21: Transparent Towers: Explore the many layers of pipes, walls, and windows which make up buildings as you create your own transparent cityscape

Aug 28: Body Building: Take inspiration from the colors and designs of buildings around us as you transform your body into a skyscraper

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