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 an online store. 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 makings of a Chicago-style hot dog – with this card game that doubles as a drinking game created by design company 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, from masks ($ 18) and mugs ($ 6) to sweatshirts ($ 56) and prints ($ 75).
  • But without an online store, you have to visit the Cleve Carney Museum of Art gift shop in Glen Ellyn where Fitzpatrick’s last show “Jesus of Western Avenue” runs through January.


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