Front & Center: 2014 Center Program Final Exhibition

Hyde Park Art Center is proud to present the third annual exhibition of work from participants in our flagship artist professional development initiative, The Center Program. Curated by Tricia Van Eck, Director of 6018North, the group exhibition Front & Center unveils artwork by the 2014 class of artists in this program that is dedicated to building critical dialogue for professional artists seeking to advance their work. The exhibition features new artworks in various media by 25 artists from emerging to midcareer levels.

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 2014 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.

  • September 14, 2014 – January 4, 2015
  • Kanter McCormick Gallery & Gallery 5

Front & Center 2014

Featured Artists

Kevin Blake, Juarez Hawkins, Karen Hirsch, Carolyn Cronin Hughes, James Jankowiak, Lisa Jenschke, Steve Juras, Beth Kamhi, Christine La Rue, Victor Lopez, Alyssa Miserendino, Christian Ortiz, Margaret Park, Janet Krehbiel Pieracci, Gonzalo Reyes, Sheri Rush, Caitlin Ryan, Christopher Saclolo, Carla Fisher Schwartz, Casey Smallwood, Dorian Sylvain, Sadie Woods, and Rodrigo Lara Zendejas.

About the Center Program

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.

About Tricia Van Eck

Front & Center is guest-curated by Tricia Van Eck, Artistic Director and Founder of 6018North, a non-profit supporting challenging work that integrates multiple disciplines and audiences to foster artistic experimentation. For 6018North, she recently curated the critically acclaimed Rooting (India); The Knowledge Project at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India and Bling Bling at EXPO Chicago, among many other projects since the nonprofit launched in 2011. Prior to starting 6018North, Van Eck was Associate Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago for 13 years. There she organized more than 70 exhibitions and programs, much of which were experimental, audience engaged, performative, or extended the MCA’s reach into the community. Some of her projects include Theaster Gates: Temple Exercises; Without You I Am Nothing: Art and Its Audience, Tino Sehgal’s Kiss, and many more. She also curated MCA Chicago’s presentations of many traveling exhibitions, and UBS 12 x 12: New Artists/New Work exhibitions, which showcased the work of emerging Chicago artists. Van Eck has been Center Program visiting professional since 2012.



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