Grassroots Celebrates 2 Years in Chicago
On April 20th, 2016, Grassroots opened a second storefront in West Loop of Chicago. Since opening, Grassroots Chicago has become a destination location for art-enthusiasts and plays a pivotal role in the art and music culture in Chicago, all while providing fresh hats, apparel and accessories for locals and visitors.
In the first couple months of launching the store in Chicago, Grassroots hosted a Meet and Greet with Opiuo, as well as a pop-up to showcase Sloth Steady, before they opened their own storefront in Chicago. That first Summer in Chicago was spent vending at Spring Awakening, Taste of Randolph, Mamby on the Beach and North Coast. During the time between summer festivals, hitting up Lake Michigan and eating hot dogs, Grassroots held a pop-up with Third Eye Pinecones.
One of the most popping Grassroots events of summer '16 was when Griz posted up in-store for a Meet and Greet. The line of Griz Fam went down the block and around the corner. Manic Focus even stopped by for the occasion.
To kick off the opening of the Movement Gallery in September of 2016, Grassroots brought Chris Dyer to Chicago. Chris has been a long time collaborator with Grassroots and it was an honor to have him as our first artist in the gallery. While he was around town we brought him out to North Coast Music Festival to live paint a giant mural! In the same month, Grassroots called all Umphrey's fans for a Meet and Greet with Ryan Stasik.
The Grassroots Chicago team vended at Freaky Deaky over Halloween weekend in October of 2016. Also in October the Movement Gallery featured Elloo, an artist local to Chicago. Later that fall, Sam Flores was showcased in the Movement Gallery, along with a Minds Matter pop-up, and to wrap up the year was a JC Riviera solo show. Grassroots Chicago ended and began the new year at Reaction New Years Eve.
2017 at the Movement Gallery began with Afrokilla, leaving his mark in the stairwell, and when Vibe Street swung through for a Meet and Greet. In February and March, Grassroots Chicago held several Meet and Greets with the homies Michael Menert, Ganja White Night, Sunsquabi, and Thriftworks who played a mini set.
Following those good times was the 1-year Anniversary party at Grassroots Chicago! With a 4/20 Manic Focus meet and greet plus set, and on 4/22 with the Year of the Bear gallery exhibit. Manic Focus has been a great friend of ours and to have him out to celebrate our birthday was fantastic. For the gallery exhibit, we featured over 40 artists both local and not. A few were artists we've worked with in the past like Chris Dyer and Sam Flores, but majority were hand picked by Don Mega Art.
May was all about the Melty Bros. Aaron Brooks and Vincent Gordon made their mark near the entrance of the store with a Melty Chicago Bear during the same weekend as their exhibit in the Movement Gallery. Grassroots also brought them with to Summer Camp at the end of that month.
June of 2017 for the Grassroots Chicago team was spent in the tent at Spring Awakening, Taste of Randolph and Mamby on the Beach. The Movement Gallery hosted Ali6 in June, Sick Fisher in July and Jason Brammer in August. Grassroots also brought Brammer to North Coast to live paint at the booth. In between vending at North Coast and Riot Fest, the gallery featured (sub)Urban Warrior.
October was a busy month for Grassroots Chicago, from Mute0n in the Movement Gallery to the Zeds Dead Meet and Greet and Pop-up. For Halloween, the Gallery held a show with Junk Yard and Uncle Harvey.
Grassroots vended at Solar Tide and Kooz was featured in the gallery in November. Grassroots ended the year with a bang, featuring Aaron Brooks in the gallery with his first solo show with us! Throughout the midwinter months, the Movement Gallery also hosted a slew of courses with the Cannabis Education Company.
Grassroots Chicago started off 2018 with a group show full of local Chicago artists, many of which had been in the scene together since way back. In the following months, the Movement Gallery continued to feature artists local to the area, bringing Elloo in Febuary, Kawaii Suga and Vincent Gordon in March, and the show "YesYesYes" which featured Blake Jones and Michelle Wanhala in April.
To celebrate 2 years in Chicago, Grassroots debuted Cassady Bell in the Movement Gallery. Grassroots has worked with Cassady in the past to create merch, but this was his first solo show ever. Chicago companies' Lake Shore Dive served up cocktails, Baderbrau brought the beer and Dimo's provided pizza. Local DJs' Qaphela, DJ4one3 and Treepeoh provided tunes for the night.
Lastly, huge shout-out to all those who have supported Grassroots Chicago so far, we see you and we appreciate you! As Grassroots Chicago continues to grow, so will the Movement.
Be sure to follow Grassroots Chicago and the Movement Gallery on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with the latest news!