Located on the second floor of the building that is 1550 N. Milwaukee (an important distinction due to the fact that the first floor is, misleadingly, a furniture store), Heaven Gallery is indeed a rapturous place to see the artwork of Chicago's counterculture. A not-for-profit gallery that opened in Wicker Park's Flat Iron building in 1997, it moved to its current location three years later, where it remains dedicated to showing new forms of art, as well as new artists.
A critic's choice award winners many times over, Heaven shows work that has been banned elsewhere, as in Isaac Lueng's "The Impossibility of Having Sex with 500 Men in a Month." The gallery has featured art based on the alphabet (and more specifically, examining how else letters can be used as a form of communication), using hand-drawn lettering and typography. Past exhibits have also included "Who Makes Self-Portraits in 2004?" that featured...um, self-portraits, and "Digital Disobedients," which consisted of artists using the Internet to make political statements and comment on society as a whole.
Heaven has co-hosted major international film and technology festivals. Noted for its bi-monthly video screening, Heaven Gallery features the latest creations from independent film and video makers. The capacity for these events is 300 people, so make sure you go early. When the weather is pleasant, the screenings are held on the outside deck. As far as views of heaven go, you certainly can't beat that.
Centerstage Reviewer: Jon Graef