Gift ideas for the Chicagophile on your list

Holiday gifts by local artists for Chicagophiles

The Cultural Center’s Buddy store features artwork by Chicago artists, including hand-painted artwork from Southwest Signs. Photo: Monica Eng / Axios

If you’re like us, you’re always on the hunt for “thoughtful” last minute holiday gifts. To help you get a head start this year, we’ve come up with four affordable ways to support local artists while shopping for your favorite Chicago-phile.

Friends store: Showcasing the work of dozens of local artists, the boutique is located at the Cultural Center but also has a online shop. Discover artisanal housewares, t-shirts, toiletries, books, clothing, and even honey collected from the roof of the cultural center.

  • Monica couldn’t resist hand-painted Chicago food posters like the Jibarito ($ 40).

Map of iconic Chicago restaurants: The Chicago Reader printed posters of transportation writer John Greenfield’s Chicago Restaurant Map, featuring a restaurant in nearly every neighborhood.

Chicago Handshake Drinking Game: Test your knowledge of Windy City – like naming all the ingredients for a Chicago hot dog – with this card game that doubles as a drinking game made by design firm Transit Tees ($ 22).

Affordable Art by Tony Fitzpatrick: During the pandemic, Fitzpatrick caused a stir with puzzles of his bird collages.

  • This year, his family launched a whole range of products, masks ($ 18) and mugs ($ 6) to sweatshirts ($ 56) and prints ($ 75).
  • But without an online store, you have to visit the gift shop of the Cleve Carney Art Museum at Glen Ellyn where Fitzpatrick’s last show “Jesus of Western Avenue” runs through January.


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