It’s a new, popup gallery, called Artopia: The Immersive Art Experience, 401 N. Morgan St., that includes murals by Chicago street artists and other works spread through a 32,000-square-foot warehouse.
Chicago’s murals & mosaics
Part of a series on public art in the city and suburbs. More murals are added every week.
Unlike actual street art, you have to pay for admission here, $30 for kids and $40 for adults. Masks are required. A self-guided tour is about an hour long.
One mural, by Travis Talsma — who goes by T.R.A.V.I.S.T.Y. — is part of a section of the exhibition featuring a neon-glowing mushroom forest and a crashed alien spaceship.
“The whole process is to play with your imagination,” says Talsma, 29, whose work usually can be found on the sides of buildings and CTA viaducts. “It’s kind of like a haunted house.”
The murals in the show were painted on large plywood panels to create a sort of maze to walk through.
Another work, by Brian Keller, who goes by BRAIN KILLER, features a seven-eyed, purple “alien and demon-like” creature.
Keller, who got some help from his son Bryson, 14, was brought in by John Schroeder, the art director for the exhibition, which opened April 16. More than 6,000 tickets were quickly sold, selling out the first three dates, according to Schroeder.
Schroeder, 30, an artist himself, says he came up with the idea as a “haven for creativity” for a Chicago art community hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A lot of us were still stagnant, idle for so long,” he says.
Megan Kind, another artist featured in the exhibition, created a mural in her signature style — figures with no mouth or nose.
“I always focused on emotion portrayed through the eyes,” Kind says. “The nose and mouth can be a distraction from what’s really happening.”
Kind’s “psychedelic” piece features a gray, long-haired figure staring into the distance.
Schroeder says he hopes to keep the exhibition going till at least June, adding more art along the way.