Ground Floor

Ground Floor—so named because it provides a crucial platform for emerging artists and fills the entire lower level of the Art Center—is an ongoing biennial project. Based on nominations by respected members of the art community, the Art Center’s Exhibitions Committee of artists, and curators select work by outstanding recent graduates from each of Chicago’s Masters 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. The exhibition brings together work by Chicago’s most promising emerging talent, offering a single destination to see work by diverse artists that deserve to be supported.

Participating artists will be announced in August of 2020.

The 2020 Ground Floor exhibition is the sixth iteration of this biennial exhibition at the Art Center.

  • December 6 – February 28, 2021
  • Gallery 1, 2 & Cleve Carney Gallery

Sponsored by:

Ground Floor 2018

The gallery on the left includes installation shots of the 2018 iteration of Ground Floor.

So named because it fills the entire lower level of the Art Center—over 6,000 square feet of gallery space— Ground Floor gives these artists a major public venue in which to display their works at a critical juncture in their careers, helping to build, support and ensure a strong, vibrant and broad community of artists in Chicago. The exhibition also facilitates a unique cross-institution conversation under one institutional umbrella.

At the same time, Ground Floor offers the Chicago community a consistent and dynamic biennial destination where they are introduced to those artists whose work demands to be seen and collected. The Art Center is a neutral ground without any school affiliation and so the perfect host for an exhibition that takes the pulse of current local art production. Ground Floor presents art made in the past couple of years in the hopes of investigating and articulating conceptual and stylistic trends simultaneously coming out of Chicago art schools right now. Many of the artists in this year’s selection have a strong commitment toward voicing political concerns about the current state of society. Several came to Chicago from other countries, attracted by the city’s reputation as hot bed of experimentation in art and activism.

Ground Floor is organized by the Hyde Park Art Center’s Exhibition Committee led by Chair, Dawoud Bey. 

Post expires at 3:48am on Sunday December 6th, 2020