I heard about these open studios via the website Meetup.com, which lists all the get togethers taking place among Chicago’s various groups – from networking groups to social groups to interest groups, etc. I was excited to see what the Fine Arts Building studios had to offer, especially since they cover both visual and performing arts, so it was cool to see a painter’s studio next to a piano player’s space.
I’d never been to the Fine Arts Building before, but it is a beautiful old building right on Michigan Avenue. We stood in the lobby, waiting for the elevator, and when it came we saw an elevator operator, cranking along and transporting people up and down the ten floors of the building. Super cool.
It was a quiet but fun evening, with a handful of art and music studios open for visits. Adam even took up the resident piano teacher on his offer to teach him a song in 10 minutes.
But my favorite stops in the building were the bookstores. One (#904) had troves of sheet music for various instruments, and I’ll definitely be back to leaf through those more thoroughly. The second was the Selected Works bookstore, which is one of those places filled with shelves and books stacked to the ceiling. I love it! But more importantly, the bookstore featured a famous host – Hodge the cat. Sure enough, as advertised, there he was – just lounging around on a stack of books.
The Fine Arts Building hosts open studios every second Friday of the month, so check them out on Friday, February 8th. Personally, I can’t wait to check it out in the summer, so I can experience the Venetian courtyard.
Love the picture of the bookstore. There’s something so welcoming about so many worn books! What a fun place to visit!
Thanks – agree! Love those old bookstores.