Sketches, grownup fun at OI in fall

Staff Writer

The Oriental Institute will host a variety of events this fall, including inviting artists to sketch at their will, evening events for just the grown ups and discussions on how the Near East shaped the modern world.

Beginning in October, the Oriental Institute, 1155 E. 58th St., will begin offering its fall programming schedule.

Open Sketch programs will allow artists, amateur or professional, to bring their paper and charcoal to sketch from OI’s galleries and exhibits. Participants must be 16 or older. The event is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 5.

At 2 p.m. on Oct. 6, photographer Jason Reblando and multimedia storyteller Matthew Cunningham will discuss the process of collecting stories and creating portraits for the exhibition “Our Work: Modern Jobs — Ancient Origins.” The event will take place in The Marshall and Doris Holleb Family Special Exhibits Gallery of the Oriental Institute Museum

On Saturday, Oct. 19, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 20, from noon to 5 p.m., the Chicago Architecture Foundation will host a free weekend festival opening the doors of some of Chicago’s finest pieces of architecture to the public. OI’s Phoenician boats, snarling lions from Nimrud, pharaohs in chariots and decorations from Egyptian tombs will be on display with additional information provided by docents. Special access tours will allow visitors to areas normally off-limits to the public. First come first served; pre-registration is not required.

The “Sketching in the Gallery” series is a two-hour workshop that will help artists hone their sketching skills under the guidance of local artist Vesna Jovanovic while developing a new appreciation for art and artifacts created thousands of years ago.

The first session, “Sketching in the Mesopotamian Gallery — Faces and Figures,” will take place at 1 p.m. on Nov. 2. The second session “Sketching in the Egyptian Gallery — Simple Perspective,” will take place at 1 p.m., Dec. 7.

The museum will also stay open after hours for an adults-only “Epic Wednesday.”

On Wednesday, Nov. 3, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. adults 21 years or older will be able to engage in hands-on activities that connect visitors with the content and scholarship of the Oriental Institute. Wine, cheese and literature-related events will be presented, along with a poetry reading by Haki R. Madhubuti, founder and president of Third World Press.

Children weren’t left out of the fun: At 2 p.m. on Oct. 6, OI will present “LamaSues: The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins.” Children will learn about artifacts at OI which have hats and what that can tell an archeologist in this Dr. Seuss-inspired program.

Mummies, daddies and kids are invited to attend “Mummies Night” at 6 p.m. on Oct. 26. The pre-Halloween celebration will allow kids to get up close with a mummy and discover painted coffins and a Book of the Dead. Children will be able to try on King Tut’s outfits and see what a mummified priestess looked like when she was alive 3000 years ago. The event is for children ages 4 and up and is free for members and $3 for nonmembers.

Pre-register online and view more events at