A West Side Itinerary

A shadow box altar with a photographic backdrop of girls at a religious ceremony

Your guide to exhibitions on the West Side with Toward Common Cause

Spend an afternoon exploring exhibitions that are rooted in the multiple histories of life on the West Side of Chicago. These installations document community collaborations, rituals and dreams, and illuminate the impact of Latinx heritage in Chicago.

An installation featuring portraits of students, and a series of black and white photographs set against a grey wall.

Hours of operation and reservation policies vary by location, please confirm with each venue prior to visiting.

Stop 1:
Weinberg/Newton Gallery
688 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 606042

Your first stop features newly commissioned works by Amalia Mesa-Bains and Wendy Ewald that reflect on the historical constitution of the Latin American communities in Chicago. Mesa-Bains’ Dos Mundos explores autobiographical elements through a series of shadowboxes. Ewald presents two collaborative photographic projects, including an installation developed in partnership with 15 young people at Centro Romero, an immigrant service organization on the city’s North Side.

Make a reservation

Through December 18, 2021. By reservation only. Open Wednesday 2–6pm; Thursday & Friday 1–5pm; and Saturday 12–4pm.

Stop 2:
Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
800 S. Halsted Street
Chicago, Illinois 60607

Next visit Gómez-Peña’s Casa Museo: A Living Museum and Archive, by pioneering conceptual-performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña. Through sound and image, Gómez-Peña and his ever-evolving performance troupe, La Pocha Nostra, inhabit Jane Addams’s office, the original Hull-House library, Jane Addams’s bedroom, and other spaces throughout the Hull home. The exhibition presents a borderless world where geographic, municipal, gender and other borders are dismantled to allow public institutions to reflect and serve all publics.

Make a reservation

Through May 29, 2022. By reservation only. Open Tuesday–Friday and Sunday 9am–5pm.

A large banner covers the side of a boarded up brick building

Stop 3:
National Public Housing Museum
1322 W. Taylor Street
Chicago, Illinois 60607

On your way to the next museum, be sure to pass by two large vinyl murals by Njideka Akunyili Crosby hanging on the west side of the future home of the National Public Housing Museum. The installation features reproductions of two works: Mother and Child (2016) and “The Beautyful Ones,” Series #9 (2018).

Through March 1, 2022. Outdoor installation open to the public.

Stop 4:
National Museum of Mexican Art
1852 W. 19th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60608

Complete your afternoon with an installation by Amalia Mesa-Bains, titled Circle of Ancestors, and commissioned for Toward Common Cause and featured in the 2021 National Museum of Mexican Art’s annual Día de Muertos exhibition. This installation is dedicated to the artist’s mother, Marina Cornejo Gonzalez Mesa’s family and honors the many contributions they and other Mexican families have brought to the building of Chicago. Also on display in the permanent collection is Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s sculpture New World Order, a miniature ship in a bottle that stands as a satirical ode to historical encounter and colonialism.

Plan your visit

Through December 12, 2021. No reservations required. Open Tuesday–Sunday 10am–5pm.