09/30/2010 05:17 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Pilsen Art Walk Open House Celebrates 40th Anniversary

The longest running open house for artists in Chicago is celebrating its fortieth anniversary this weekend.

The Pilsen East Artists Open House has been throwing gallery doors open to the public since 1970, when a small group of neighborhood artists invited friends and family to their studios for an intimate look at their creative process.

At the time, Pilsen was a neighborhood struggling with urban decay. But thanks in part to the efforts of John and Annelies Podmajersky, who organized much of the neighborhood's revitalization, crumbling residential properties were converted into artists' lofts and disused alleyways became neighborhood gardens.

Now, the neighborhood is one of the city's most vibrant artistic communities, and the long-running art walk is a testament to its flourishing.

More than 50 artists will participate in this weekend's celebration, a self-guided walking tour spanning six blocks and dozens of spaces. Expect an abundance of free wine and great conversation with neighborhood artists.

What: Pilsen East Artists Open House

When: Friday, Oct. 1, 6 - 10 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 2-3, 12 - 7 p.m.

Where: Chicago Arts District
Headquarters: 1821 South Halsted St., Chicago

Price: Free! (unless you want to buy something...)