Exclusive: Banksy Chicago exhibit location revealed, opening bumped to August
The highly anticipated exhibit will be staged at the Epiphany Center for the Arts in the West Loop.
It’s among the hottest tickets in town: the “Art of Banksy” exhibit heading to Chicago.
And now we know when and where it will take place.
The exhibit will be staged at the Epiphany Center for the Arts, 201 S. Ashland Ave., with a new opening date of Aug. 7 (rescheduled from July 1).
“The Art of Banksy” will be housed in the 42,000-square-foot Epiphany Hall, formerly The Church of the Epiphany, a landmark building dating to 1885 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The exhibit will run through Oct. 31.
The news was exclusively revealed to the Sun-Times on Wednesday.
As part of one of the largest touring art exhibitions in the world, the works presented in the show — including the “big three”: “Flower Thrower,” “Rude Copper” and “Balloon Girl” — have been culled from more than 80 of the mysterious street artist’s prints, canvasses, screen prints and sculptures held in private collections.
“All the pieces are from private collectors that Banksy sold to. Nothing has been taken from the street,” said Corey Ross, president & CEO of Starvox Exhibits, which is presenting the exhibit in conjunction with [collectiv presents]. (Starvox is a subsidiary of Starvox Entertainment, the Toronto-based agency behind “Evil Dead: The Musical,” “Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience” and “Immersive Van Gogh.”)
“They’ve been living in private homes or investors’ warehouses. So it’s a view behind the scenes of Banksy’s oeuvre. It’s an amazing opportunity to see this quantity of Banksy works. There’s no city in the world that has 80 pieces in one place.”
The exhibit will span the interior spaces of the Epiphany, with a majority of the works on display in the former church’s main sanctuary, making use of its vaulted ceilings and flying buttresses, Ross said. “We have other works in various small side rooms as well as the catacombs in the basement.”
The exhibit was originally set for a different West Loop location, but plans ultimately fell through as delays in city permit approvals necessitated a move, Ross said. “When we do this show it’s not that major [in terms of construction]. It’s putting up walls to attach the art to and a few other items,” Ross said. “Quite appropriately the city is concerned about safety and fire codes and fire exits, and we just needed to turn around permits and inspections. And it just wasn’t happening [quickly enough]. So we knew we had to move to a space that’s more amenable and easier to launch this project in. We found this amazing place in the Epiphany Center.”
Tickets for the exhibit went on sale in May with the venue still unnamed, and many dates quickly sold out. Ticketholders affected by the new opening date will be notified via email about exchanges or refunds. With pandemic capacity limits lifted, there will be more available each day, Ross said. In addition, a new block of tickets will go on sale at 2 p.m. Saturday (June 25) incorporating the new capacity and new dates.
“We are thrilled to host ‘The Art of Banksy’ as part of the event programming we offer at the Epiphany Center for the Arts,” said David Chase, Epiphany’s co-founder. “Our mission is to instill an artistic, cultural experience in all patrons who cross our threshold, with the hope that each will be inspired to realize their own epiphany. Viewing Banksy’s work with our unique and historical venue as the backdrop will undoubtedly accomplish just that.”
Following its Chicago run, the exhibit, which has already been seen in London, Toronto and Miami, moves to San Francisco for a November showcase.
Tickets ($29.99-$99.99) for “The Art of Bansky” are available at banksyexhibit.com/chicago/.