the Art Center
1957 Sheridan, Highland Park
Once a year the Art Center in Highland Park turns into a huge resale shop, offering thousands of artworks, many beautifully framed, at ridiculously low prices. Collected at the center year-round, the pieces are donated by folks of frequently impeccable taste and run the gamut from student work and posters to originals by name-brand artists. You’re guaranteed to find a bunch of stuff you wouldn’t hang in your dog house, but there’s also a lot that’s weirdly fascinating and some real treasures. Get there the day after the opening-night gala for the best selection, or in the final days for the best deals—there are always plenty of bargains, but toward the end they usually slash the prices in half.
This year the sale runs July 30-August 19: Monday-Thursday 9 AM-4:30 PM, Friday 9 AM-3 PM, Saturday 9 AM-4:30 PM. Tickets for the opening night gala, July 30 from 7:30 to 10 PM, are $65-$150 and buy access to an auction and an early-bird preview at 6:30 PM. Starting July 31, admission is free.