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The Happy Show
Step right up, take a happiness gumball.

Happiness: That’s the point of, well, everything, right? The trick, of course, is finding it.

One man’s quest for happiness is the subject of a decidedly mood-enhancing, nationally celebrated exhibit that has landed at the Chicago Cultural Center this summer.

"The Happy Show" is Stefan Sagmeister’s artistic summary of his ten-year attempt to train his mind to be happy in the same scientific way you’d train your body to run a faster 5K. 

Sagmeister--a graphic designer who has created album covers for The Rolling Stones, OK Go and Talking Heads--tested and compared the results of meditation, cognitive therapy and prescription drugs on his own mind. 

The four-room exhibit chronicles his results through a combination of video, infographics and hand-drawn explanations on cheerful chrome-yellow walls.

Look for slow-motion videos of the artist and friends exploding water balloons, a 20-foot neon sign powered by a viewer-operated stationary bike and gigantic inflatable white monkeys. (Also, check out a 12-minute preview of Sagmeister’s upcoming full-length documentary, The Happy Film.) 

Feeling worn out by the daily grind? You’ll be beaming in no time.

Through Sept. 23 at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.; 312-744-6630 or

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