Ground Floor brings together work by Chicago’s most promising emerging talent, offering a single destination to discover diverse artists whose work demands to be seen and supported. Ground Floor—so named because it provides a crucial platform for young artists and fills the entire lower level of the Art Center—is an ongoing biennial project.
With a history of shows like Hairy Who?, a definitive exhibition featuring the Chicago Imagists movement of the late 60s, the Hyde Park Art Center has been at the forefront of encouraging and supporting Chicago-based artistic practice. In keeping with the Art Center’s mission to “stimulate and sustain visual arts in the city of Chicago,” the Ground Floor exhibition raises the question of whether there is a decisive Chicago style evident in art being produced right now.
Based on nominations by respected members of the arts community, Hyde Park Art Center’s Exhibitions Committee of artists and curators select work by the most outstanding recent graduates from each of Chicago’s nationally top ranked Master of Fine Art programs: Columbia College Chicago, Northwestern University, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, The University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Hyde Park Art Center’s Exhibitions Committee is chaired by Dawoud Bey, and includes Huey Copeland, Kelly Kaczynski, Sze Lin Pang, Jason Salavon, and Art Center staff members Allison Peters Quinn, Peter Reese, and Kate Lorenz. The committee receives an average of over 100 artist nominations from faculty artists and curators in Chicago. After reviewing submissions from the nominated artists, the committee rigorously narrows down the candidates to a final shortlist of artists whose work may be included in the exhibition.
Image: Ground Floor, 2012, installation view. Photo by Tom van Eynde.