What we're about

Our Mission Statement:

Everything about our group flows from our motto: "We are stranger's only once".

This group is for art lovers all ilk's. We call ourselves the Chicago Art Critic's Association - "CACA" for short. Its pronounced like a cat having a bad fur-ball moment. Why "critic's" you ask? All art lovers are critics by default! Tell your friends and especially that "jerk at work" you are now a member-in-good standing of the Chicago Art Critic's Association! Watch their jaws drop.

1. Our mission is to attend gallery openings, art fairs & cultural fests, art museum's and art walks in and around Chicago. Plus a few odd-lots! Join us as we discover new talent, visit new & established galleries, munch our way through art fairs, visit museums, meet old and make new friends and - yes - have a wine or beer (or two) while exploring art. What's not to like?

2. My background: As your organizer and fearless leader (coff, coff), I have been enjoying and collecting art since I was a kid - living in of all places: the art district of Santa Fe, NM, Ocean Beach-San Diego, the Historic District of Pass-a-Grille, Fl (before it was discovered), Andersonville, Chicago (before it was discovered) and Europe (it was already discovered!) Bottom line: I've been kicked out of lots of cities, lots of state's, lots of countries and one very nice continent!

3. Have I bored you e'nuf about me? Good! Now I need to ask you for help. Have you a gallery or small museum idea? I would like to co-ordinate an event about once a month-ish (excluding November & December - due to the holidays). I'm a firm believer in the educational aspect of such events (art fairs & cultural fests excluded - they are meant to be fun). As such I hope to target multi-artist gallery openings, showing's and museums - hopefully the latter will be with a docent. I will also mix in some juried art fairs (Old Town Art Fair), culture and music fest's (Gospel Music Fest, Mariachi Music Fest & The Ginza Holiday/Japanese Fest. etc.) I will keep an eye on cost's: An admission-donation fee of $5-20 is fine - not so for $50-100 - however there will be occasional exceptions. Lastly I will try as best as I can, to mix-up the event times (i.e.: weekday evenings, weekend evenings and weekend days.) When appropriate I will co-op with another group. Nothing is written in stone! Got something you wanna plug? Let me know.

4. Event Types:

CACA EVENT'S: All events are "CACA" events unless marked otherwise. CACA Events are events that, in my opinion, not only offer a good art experience but also a good opportunity to Meetup with other art lovers in our group. Some events, especially fairs and festivals are "iffy" due to their size (for example the Old Town Art Fair/Wells Street Art Fair combo) but they have to go some where. So there. It's my web site!

FYI EVENT'S: Events marked "FYI Event" are usually, but not always, member suggested event's that don't fit in as a true CACA event and/or for any of a dozen-plus reasons > time conflict with another event, the month is already full, not generally suitable for a Meetup format, too big, too small, too far from Chicagoland, too costly, short notice or... always a bummer - the sponsors under Federal indictment! Take FYI's for what you will.

POP-UP EVENTS: These are events that are brought to my attention on VERY short notice. When you see an event marked "Pop-Up" you pretty much need to decide your "go/no-go" then and there. A "Pop-Up Event" (like a FYI) is a "take 'em for what you will". And like FYI's, I only list them if I see some value. Or I'm bribed.

CO-OP EVENTS: A "Co-op Event" is one where we are teaming up with another Meetup group in one way or another. Think of it as cross-breeding. It's good for the species.

OPEN TENT EVENTS: These are rare. These are events were large groups are manageable AND offer great artistic value to one-and-all.

INFO ONLY EVENTS: Whatever I want it to be! So there.

5. Finding me: In order to be spotted easily my standard outfit for most events, unless the event requires otherwise, will be a BLAZE ORANGE BASEBALL HAT and, usually, blue jeans. LOOK FOR THE HAT. Overall, it's not an exciting outfit, but it makes me feel pretty! My hair & mustache are koala grey (Some say "salt & pepper" - but they are mean, little people whose mothers don't love them.)

8. Here is a short article on "How To Buy Art" (Chicago Magazine - Sept. 2017): http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/September-2017/How-to-Buy-Art/

9. Like many organizations, we have adopted a non-related org. to support: Ours is the Lincoln Park Zoo. Please visit often! No fur coats... please!

Jim McCarthy, fearless leader

Ps: I am regularly asked about the other groups I organize - I do three... they are:

1. (ART) Chicago Art Gallery, Museum & Fair Openings +
https://www.meetup.com/Chicago-Gallery-Openings-Plus/
2. (WINE) North Shore Wine Group https://www.meetup.com/Highland-Park-Wine-Group/
3. (DOG’S) Dog Trekker's - Wilmette/North Shore Pack
https://www.meetup.com/Dog-Trekkers-Wilmette-North-Shore-Pack/

Upcoming events (1)

NOV 21 (Sat.): Zoolights at Lincoln Park Zoo! TICKETS NOW ON SALE. $5! Cheap!

Dear Members: The LPZ ZooLights fest is one of the best night-time, outdoor events in the city - period. Tickets are now on sale and they go fast. If you decide to go, do not dilly nor dally! So w/o further ado... PLEASE READ THE BELOW CAREFULLY: I have moved our MeetUp time to 7pm as tix for previous RSVP time slots have been sold out. After 7pm, time slots open up. I will be "dead-center" in front of the LION's OPEN ENCLOSURE from 7:15-ish to 7:45pm-ish+. This way if you need to buy a 7:30 ticket we will still be able to connect. From there I will co-ordinate away-teams. DO NOT WEAR WORCHESTER SAUCE COLOGNE or Heinz A1 Sauce. Both are "no-no's" near lions. Tix are $5! See below link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/zoolights-presented-by-comed-and-invesco-qqq-at-lincoln-park-zoo-tickets-120084852025?aff=lpzzoomailemail10012020 Fluff: 1. Every year the Lincoln Park Zoo puts up MILLIONS of lights for their ZooLights Fest! It is a fantastic, not to be missed event. Dress warm, snare a friend or three and make it a go-to-nite for your crew. 2. Tickets are NOW on sale. DO NOT DELAY... they sell out fast. Mark your calendars.. and bring friends! This is a open-air event and s/b a howl! (heehee). 3. WILDLIFE TIP: Be sure to check the Flamingo Pond as they are nesting! This is a rare treat for any Chicagoan. 4. Here is a "Have Fun At Work" Tip: You: Hi ____ what did you do this weekend" Him/Her: Blah, blah, blah... You: It sounds like you had fun... I watched 100-plus Flamingo's nest for their evening bedding. [Then yawn... and walk away slowly....s/he will follow you... like a puppy!] 5. Naturally, all then in-effect mask & social distancing rules will be apply. The lions and tigers and bears (oh, my) are in charge. 6. To repeat: SEEING THE ZOO AT NIGHT IS A TOTAL BLAST! It is not to be missed. 7. This space for rent. Cheap. Jim, Fearless Leader and Cat Herder (2nd class).

Past events (93)

SEP 6th: CANCELLED > Chicago's 42nd Jazz Fest....sorry

Jay Pritzker Pavillion at Millenium Park, Chicago

Photos (380)