Best Gallery, Reader's Choice: Roots & Culture
Roots & Culture
Roots & Culture is noteworthy for both what it is and what it isn’t. It is a centrally located storefront space with regular hours and good lighting—not to mention exceptional food at gallery openings, thanks to director and part-time chef Eric May. It’s also a noninstitutional, nonprofit gallery with a community focus and a national scope. It doesn’t have icky blue-chip-collector aspirations or host embarrassing shows by hack interior-design artists, but neither is it furnished with dirty couches and a keg of Old Style. Young artists create immersive installations here, featuring everything from vivid paintings and collages to huge plush animals, photocopied libraries, giant drums, and melted gelatin. There are lots of wonderful free events, including an artist-based film-and-video series curated by Alexander Stewart. With the forgivable exception of one lackluster Columbia College Book & Paper Center grad exhibit, I have yet to see a mediocre show in this space. 1034 N. Milwaukee, 773-235-8874, rootsandculturecac.org. —Bert Stabler
Intuit and Las Manos (tie)
756 N. Milwaukee, 312-243-9088, art.org; 5220 N. Clark, 773-728-8910, lasmanosgallery.com.
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