18th Street Pilsen Open Studios

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The Hype Behind Open Studios

18th Street Pilsen Open Studios is the hood’s chance to show off to the rest of the city the incredibly high density of artists that work within the radius of Pilsen. Open Studios is a win-win for Chicago. Not only do the regulars from the 18th street community enjoy a weekend-long gathering of all of the familiar faces from the Pilsen coffee shops, but others just visiting also get a rare chance to step inside dozens of artist’s spaces to sample their current works.  The intellectual after parties that follow gallery hours on this weekend are also worth checking out.

The artist-run art walk began in 2003 when artist Hector Duarte and wife Linda Lutton emailed several working artists from Pilsen and organized the group to represent the community as part of Chicago Artist Month. Two years later, Little Village has also joined the line up of arts events in October with the Little Village Arts Fest.  Today Open Studios includes over 60 artists in more than 30 locations (cafes, galleries, spaces) over the span from Western Ave to May St and 16th to 24th St.  Both weekend festivals open Friday and are completely free.

Made In Pilsen III
The kick-off event for Open Studios will be held at Prospectus Gallery Friday evening.  The prideful opener, Made in Pilsen (#3) previews work from 25 participating artists. Like Saturday and Sunday all events are open to the general public.  In order to ensure you hit up any and all open spaces (and a perk of being part of the city-wide art celebration) free trolleys will be running every hour covering the art route. Simply follow the map starting at Colibri Studio/Gallery at 2030 W. 18th St and you will set.

2008 Participating Artists:
Robert Valadez, Salvador Jimenez, Alejandro Jimenez, Gabriel Villa, Angel Silva, Diana Solis, Jeff Abbey Maldonado, Guillermo Delgado, Magda Dejose, Patricia Peixoto, Magali Almada, Roberto Ferreyra, Cesar Casas, Mark Nelson, Montserrat Alsina, Hector Duarte, Omar Valencia, Miguel Cortez, John Pitman Weber, Alejandro Romero, Gamaliel Ramirez, Baltazar Castillo, Roman Villarreal, Patricia Northway, Christopher Wood, Eufemio Pulido, Felipe Figueroa, Alexy Lanza, Victoria Cervantes, Christine Olson, Philippe Gibson, Marivi Ortiz, Maria Gaspar, Pablo Serrano, MarikoVentura, Amir Normandi, Jennifer Hall, Giselle Mercier, Allen Teske, Miguel Angel Ramirez, Mario Jimenez, Expresiones-Artisticas.

Where To Grub?
While in Pilsen, blame the long art walk for your appetite and take advantage of these spots:

Carnitas Don Pedro
1113 W 18th Street  (312) 829-4757
If you show up here in the morning plan to stand in line because their carnitas are that good.

La Cebollita Grill
1807 S Ashland Ave (at 18th St) (312) 492-8443
Centrally located spot for the art walk, with great sopes and tamales in a nice space.

Nuevo Leon Restaurant
1515 W 18th St  (312) 421-1517
Famous for being famous? Maybe, but its good cheap food in an awesome set of walls.

Mundial Cocina Mestiza
1640 W 18th St (312) 491-9908
If you’re feeling a little uppity while on 18th, stop by this joint for a good plate of food.

Taqueria Los Comales
1544 W 18th St  (312) 666-2251
As fast as Mexican food gets, come in pick your table they take care of the rest.

Como Llegar A Pilsen?

On the L: take the CTA Pink Line to 18th
CTA bus #18 bus runs up and down 18th Street, #9 Ashland stops at 18th Street and Ashland.