Art for an (Un)Common Public

New paintings, drawings, photography, art installations, and performances demonstrate the intense study by teens participating in Hyde Park Art Center’s courses on Art & Restorative Justice and Photography, in addition to our in-house arts mentorship programs: ArtShop and Youth Art Board. Under the supervision of teaching artists and staff, teens exercise their creative voices as they process the current socio-political climate and respond to current events through their artwork presented in the exhibition.

  • April 30, 2017 – July 16, 2017
  • Gallery 5

Lead Sponsors:

The Reva and David Logan Foundation

Featured Artists

Oluwafemi Ajenifuja, Menelik Barberouss, Lauren Calvin, LeShawn Cox, Will Curry, Jiawei (Laura) Gong, Walela Greenlee, Amir Hardeman, Genevieve Liu, Kendall Mensah, Nicholas Pelster Johnson, VaChanta Sims, and Krist Vinotai.

Over the course of 15 weeks, teens worked on self-directed art projects while receiving guidance, critique and feedback from their artist mentors to produce exhibition-ready work. Original works created for this exhibition demonstrate the intense study by more than 20 teens that participated in the 2016-2017 year, offering creative commentary on the politics of identity and today’s socio-political landscape. Beyond program participation, teens contribute a great deal to the Art Center as a whole, inspiring peers, other artists, the Art Center Staff and even general visitors with their energy and perspectives.

Teen programs offer youth access to free training in the visual arts and writing, assisting them with college applications and also providing guidance in building their portfolios by giving them open access to all the resources in the Art Center’s studios. “Through outreach programs like ArtShop, which focus on our surrounding community on Chicago’s South Side, Hyde Park Art Center works to ensure that future artists and cultural leaders have a support system, equitable access to opportunities and resources within the arts, so that our city’s artistic pool is representative of the rich diversity that makes our city great,” said Teen Programs Manager Joshua Slater.

ArtShop is part of a larger education initiative at the Art Center called Pathways, a K-12 learning track that focuses on a core group of South Side schools to develop students’ art-making skills, support them in becoming more engaged learners and facilitate the growth of their creative identities. Through Pathways, Hyde Park Art Center works collaboratively with Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) classroom instructors to develop impactful arts curricula that enable students to learn technical art skills and discover how to express themselves creatively. From classroom instruction to individualized mentorship to field trips and free studio art classes at the Art Center, Pathways provides youth artists with a variety of cultural experiences and diverse peer and mentor groups to deliver an innovative, meaningful learning experience.

The Art Center is dedicated to the idea that students from all backgrounds deserve access to arts instruction and creative learning experiences. Partnerships with like-minded individuals, institutions and organizations ensure that Pathways makes a difference in young artists’ lives. The efforts of those involved combine to create a deep and long-term investment in South Side communities and the students who go to school there, providing scaffolded arts learning from Kindergarten through high school.

Support for Pathways is provided by:

Crown Family Philanthropies
Field Foundation of Illinois
Harper Court Arts Council
Lloyd A. Fry Foundation
Polk Bros. Foundation
Searle Funds at Chicago Community Trust

Education programs are also made possible with the generosity of the Education Advocates:

Tim Brown & Jill Riddell
Sally & John Carton
Peggy Casey Friedman & Martin Friedman
Lauren Moltz & John Clement
Kate Morrison
Kathleen & Robert Sullivan
Linda Erf Swift
Melissa Weber & Jay Dandy



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