West Side photographer and entrepreneur Ralph Murphy is more of a ringmaster than a gallerist, but what a great circus of the visual arts he’s assembled on the 37,000 square feet that’s the entire third floor of the old Sears and Roebuck Administrative building, in Homan Square (adjacent to Garfield Park). The forty-acre campus of the “Largest Mercantile Plant in the World” is worth a visit all by itself—as is the display of the history of North Lawndale that’s been parked in one of the huge bays where hundreds of young women used to type up invoices for catalog orders. Did you know that the first President of Israel (Golda Meir) grew up in that neighborhood? But there’s a lot of art up there too—mostly the exuberant kind you’d expect to find on the hot streets of a summer art fair—but the huge, endless walls also offer an opportunity for the display of large, serious paintings and sculpture of all size and description. Of special interest to this writer were the visionary, Afro-centric art quilts of Alice L. Alexander and Gwen McGee Boyd. (Chris Miller)
Murphy Hill Gallery, 3333 W. Arthington, 10am -5pm, currently featuring (among other things) the Living Quilts Exhibit of the Phantom Gallery Project.