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Center Days: BOMBA!

July 22, 2023 @ 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Hyde Park Art Center will host its Summer Center Day on July 22! Center Days is a family-friendly day of intergenerational art making activities, artist workshops and talks, open studios, exhibition celebrations, and community collaborations.


**Our parking lot will be closed due to an art installation. Free parking is available at Kenwood Academy Parking Lot located on the corner of Hyde Park (51st street) and Lake Park.

Exhibition Celebrations for Multiples and Multitudes, A Universe of Self-Experience, Destination/El Destino: a decade of GRAFT, and Amuleto

Join us to celebrate our latest exhibitions! Meet some of the artists and curators to learn more about the work featured in our Summer shows. 

About the Exhibitions

Multiples and Multitudes: William Estrada

The Hyde Park Art Center is proud to present Multiples and Multitudes, the first-ever solo exhibition by Chicago-based artist and educator William Estrada. Estrada’s socially-engaged practice has been rooted in Chicago neighborhoods for the last twenty years. Through collaborations with youth, community members, teachers, and other artists, and through his multifaceted art practice, Estrada aims to reimagine public and educational spaces to unite people and amplify local voices. Estrada’s work in the studio and the classroom create space literally and metaphorically for others to express themselves artistically and politically. Multiples and Multitudes will feature artworks in print, photography, performance, and video, as well as works that blur disciplinary boundaries to highlight the diversity of approaches within his practice and his unwavering commitment to political activism through art.

A Universe of Self-Experience [Annual Teen Showcase]

The annual exhibition celebrates new paintings, drawings, photography, ceramics, prints, animation, and multimedia work demonstrated by young adult artists participating in Hyde Park Art Center’s Teen programs. Throughout the 30-week program, teens cultivate their creative voices under the guidance of professional artists. The exhibition is a testament to these young artists’ evolution and dedication, who have taken on the challenge of expressing perplexed thoughts, feelings, and emotions into individual works of art. 

Unanimously titled A Universe of Self-Experience by The Youth Board of Artists (a dedicated cohort of teen leaders at Hyde Park Art Center), the exhibition audaciously recognizes the boundlessness and complexity within the time in which these young artists exist. Through a diverse range of media and styles, more than 40 artists investigate the intertwined vastness and intimate side of self-experience. Some teens connect their work to the shared awareness of the universal human experience, tapping into the social currents that are echoing within their close communities. While other teens reveal the intricacies of their introspective, deeply personal inner universe. The collection of work contemplates the myriad ways everyone perceives, experiences, and discovers their own world.

Destination/El Destino: a decade of GRAFT: Edra Soto

The solo exhibition Destination/El Destino: a decade of GRAFT concentrates on the decade-long series of artworks by Chicago-based, Puerto Rican artist, educator, and organizer Edra Soto, while speculating on the evolution of this work towards establishing more emotionally transformative and healing public spaces. Activating the indoor/outdoor feature of the main gallery, Soto will build an immersive installation of porous sculptures, documentary photographs, drawings and games that create a playful and open environment for discussing cultural hybridity.

Through the GRAFT series of sculptures, wall reliefs and installations, Edra Soto explores vernacular architecture familiar to the artist’s native Puerto Rico to address the adaptability and hybridity of cultural representation. GRAFT makes reference to two common domestic architectural elements: the quiebrasoles, which are distinctly ornate concrete blocks, and rejas, ornamental grilles or screens typically made of wrought iron. Both are arranged in decorative geometric patterns to create shade or act as a protective barrier between the street and the home. Recent iterations of GRAFT include small viewfinders embedded in the void of geometric patterns in Soto’s installations. In peering through the viewfinders, the audience is met with images of Soto’s childhood home, scenes from various neighborhoods, destruction from hurricane Maria, screenshots of television commercials, and magazine advertisements. In previous GRAFT work, all photo documentation has come from Soto’s personal archive. For Destination/El Destino, Soto will collaborate with Puerto Rican and US-based artists to include their photographs and expand the voices and visions represented in the architecture.


Amuleto is a collaboration between the independent art spaces The Franklin, Mayfield, and Hyde Park Art Center to present artwork by artists that address the ideas of the amulet/amuleto: portable objects that are attributed to magical, emotional, or sentimental value. Civilizations have believed in the energy of amulets going all the way back to ancient times. These talismans are often worn to aid or protect their wearer or given a spiritual significance that varies from person to person and is symbolically compared to armor. How do contemporary artists incorporate the alchemy of artifacts in their work?

This exhibition concept originated from the artists Edra Soto, Madeleine Aguilar, and Alberto Aguilar in relation to their own art practices and how they consider found, personal objects to be infused with power from memories generated from the object’s history of use or existence. The exhibition will take place in three companion shows spread throughout the three venues in the spring/summer of 2023 and run simultaneously at the Art Center with the solo exhibition Destination/El Destino: A Decade of Graft by Edra Soto.

Creative Wing Open Studios with Resident Artists
Guida Family Wing

Come and meet the new artists working in our Guida Family Creative Wing! Visit with our  Radicle Residents, Eric Perez, Sofía Fernández Díaz, Kushala Vora, and Rhonda Wheatley, and our Guida Family Creative Wing studio artists, Candace Hunter, zakkiyyah najeebah dumas o’neal, Juarez Hawkins, Malika Jackson, and Irina Zadov.

Art making Activity: Musical Maracas
Mueller Meeting Room

Join teaching artist, Cydney Lewis, and  celebrate the music of Puerto Rico by making your own maracas! We will be using everyday materials to create these instruments to play along with the Bomba performance inspired by our Edra Soto exhibition, Destination/El Destino: a decade of GRAFT.

About Cydney Lewis

Cydney Lewis is a Chicago-based multimedia artist with a distinguished multidisciplinary background. She began in architecture at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, where she received a BS in Architectural Studies; she also attended the L’École D’architecture de Versailles, France. The fluidity of her ability to transform materials reflects her mastery of ballet as well as her endeavors in film. Her art is held in private collections around the world and has been exhibited widely, at venues including the Union League Chicago, Hyde Park Art Center and The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art. She has received various honors, among them residencies with Chicago Public Schools and Lyseloth Musikerwohnhaus Basel, Switzerland, as well as awards including  3Arts Make A Wave, Best in Show at Governor State University and the Black Creativity/Green Art Award from the Museum of Science and Industry. Currently, she is a member of Tiger Strikes Asteroid of Chicago.

Art making Activity: Create Your Own Tin Medallion

Inspired by our Destination/El Destino: a decade of GRAFT exhibition, participants will have the opportunity to create their own tin medallions like those included in our exhibition installation by artist, Edra Soto. The medallions are inspired by the structures and patterns Soto grew up with in Puerto Rico. Teaching artist, Keny de la Peña will lead the art making activity. 

About Keny de la Peña

Keny De La Peña is a Los Angeles raised interdisciplinary artist. They hold an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA in World Arts and Cultures from UCLA. He uses visual and choreographic practices to create spaces where the fragility of history comes into contact with the subjunctive, or the world of the imagined. Through this, exploring the tensions between popular culture, folklore, and myth.

What Time Is It? A Cultural & Civic Archive – Community Art making & Storytelling
Outdoor Entrance

Join interdisciplinary artists Irina Zadov and Najee-Zaid Searcy for a day of community mural painting and storytelling. You’ll be contributing to “What Time Is It?” A Cultural and Civic Archive which documents and uplifts Chicago’s BIPOC & LGBTQIA+ artist, organizers, and healers; and weaves together narratives from the revolutionary summer of 2020 to today. 

The Garden Floating Museum Activation 
In The Parking Lot

The Garden is a monumental remembering of specific plant histories and the ways they continually shape the world. Profoundly linked to the empire, cultivation and trade, this work uses the metaphor of the garden to have conversations associated with movement, belonging, food, colonialism, capitalism, growth and violence. The word, diaspora — ‘dia’ meaning across and ‘spora’ meaning scatter – itself has botanical roots. With an evident disruption of our global supply chains resulting from the pandemic, wars and climate change, how might we make different choices which would diminish neo-colonial tendencies for our future? The Floating Museum places the monument — an already complex, hybrid, and enigmatic object at the center as a catalyst for conversation and a scenographic intervention. 

Project is made in collaboration with Kushala Vora (Hyde Park Art Center Radicle Resident Artist) and was possible with the generous support of the Illinois Arts Council, and the Joyce Foundation.  

Las Bompleneras Unplugged Performance
In Gallery 1 & Plaza

Las Bompleneras Unplugged, a 6 piece all female ensemble, will provide a showcase of traditional and original Afro-Puertorican Bomba and Plena music through song, percussion, and dance. The director of Las Bompleneras Unplugged, Ivelisse Díaz, has over 30 years of experience in studying and practicing Bomba, and 15 years of experience in teaching the musical art form.


Hyde Park Art Center
5020 South Cornell Avenue, Chicago, IL 60615
Chicago, IL 60615 US
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