Front & Center

19medium

Gallery 1

Hyde Park Art Center is proud to present the second annual exhibition of work from participants in our flagship artist professional development initiative, The Center Program. The Center Program offers a group of artists the opportunity to develop new work, receive feedback from professionals in the field, and work toward an exhibition to be held at the Hyde Park Art Center.

Over the course of six months, a supportive peer network, guest artists, gallerists, critics, and professionals push Center Program artists to answer tough questions, evolve their art, and ultimately produce strong, new work to show. The group exhibition Front & Center unveils artwork in various media by the 2013 class of artists in this program that is dedicated to building critical dialogue for working artists seeking to advance their practice. The exhibition features new artworks in various media by twenty-six artists from emerging to midcareer levels, and will be on view at the Hyde Park Art Center from August 10 until September 21, 2013.

A natural outgrowth of the Art Center’s progressive and scaffolded arts education programs, The Center Program was first piloted in 2012. Conceived as a capstone program for artists who had grown beyond the Art Center’s other offerings, and were ready to push their practice to the next level, The Center Program is the Art Center’s answer to the existence of critical gaps in established professional development offerings for artists. Traditional MFA programs are frequently cost-prohibitive; artists of color are underrepresented; and, many artists who have obtained an MFA find that they simply want more: more time and space to deepen their practice, more critical feedback and guidance, and more exposure. In response to these issues, the Art Center developed The Center Program to offer working artists a unique combination of access to materials and space to develop a rigorous studio practice, inclusion in critical dialogue about their work, guidance from professionals in the field, and a platform to show that work to a broad and diverse audience.

The Center Program is an initiative that is deeply aligned with the spirit of the Art Center’s mission: developing artists at all levels in support of Chicago’s broader arts community. In that vein, the Art Center sought to forge distinctive partnerships with other Chicago institutions and leaders in the visual arts, like The Joyce Foundation, The University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies, and the visiting professionals who provide guidance and feedback to artists in the program. Through these efforts, the Art Center strives to ensure access for artists of color and maintain a standard of excellence that will continue to serve artists beyond their matriculation through The Center Program.

The 2013 class of Center Program artists includes Brit Barton, Michael Burmeister, Corinna Button, Elke Claus, Mary Farmilant, Stephen Flemister, Astrid Fuller, Michelle Harris, Rachel Herman, Malika Jackson, Jaclyn Jacunski, Kate McQuillen, Michael Morrison, Jesus Mejia + Ruth, Christine Mitchell, J. Thomas Pallas, Molly Roth, Jesse Seay, Ricardo Serment, Noor Shawaf, Ashley Allen Short, Edra Soto, Kathryn Trumbull Fimreite, Cynthia Weiss, Dolores Wilber, and Amanda Williams.

The Art Center thanks The Center Program’s 2013 visiting professionals: Dawoud Bey, Juan Angel Chavez, Jim Dempsey, Dan Devening, Jim Duignan, Theaster Gates, Annie Morse, Susan Snodgrass, and Tricia Van Eck.

Front and Center will be on view from August 10 through September 21, 2013, at the Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 South Cornell Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60615; 773.324.5520 and www.hydeparkart.org. Exhibitions are always free and open to the public.

Click here for more information about The Center Program, including 2014 start dates, application materials and deadlines, past Center Program artists and visiting professionals, the Art Center’s partnership with the University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies’ Visual Arts Certificate Program, and scholarship opportunities.

The Center Program is partially supported by The Joyce Foundation.

Image: Michelle Harris, Shelf Arrangement no. 96, 2012, ceramic, wood, brass, dimensions variable