Ground Floor

Ground Floor, an ongoing Biennial exhibition since 2010, brings together work by Chicago’s most promising emerging talent. The exhibition offers a single destination to discover artists, who have recently graduated (in 2019 and 2020) from one of Chicago’s five outstanding MFA programs and whose work demands to be seen and supported. Ground Floor presents art made in the past couple of years in hopes to investigate and articulate conceptual and stylistic trends coming out of Chicago art schools right now. Many of the artists in this year’s exhibition came to Chicago from other cities and countries, attracted by the city’s reputation as a hotbed of experimentation in art and activism. Ground Floor—so named because it provides a crucial platform for young artists and expands the entire lower level of the Art Center, gives exhibiting 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 and vibrant community of artists in Chicago. This year, the exhibition will present for the first time in person the thesis work of ten 2020 graduates, whose thesis exhibitions were largely presented online because of the ongoing pandemic.

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

  • February 22, 2021 – April 3, 2021
  • Gallery 1, 2 & Cleve Carney Gallery

Made possible in part through generous support from:


Image caption: Installation view of Ground Floor on view at Hyde Park Art Center, February 22-April 3, 2020.

Ground 2020

The artists in the exhibition were selected by the Art Center’s Exhibitions Committee from a competitive pool of applicants who were nominated by respected Chicago-based artists, curators, and administrators. The Exhibitions Committee is chaired by internationally recognized artist and Art Center Board Member Dawoud Bey and includes artists and curators, Bethany Collins, Kelli Connell, Brendan Fernandes, Kate Sierzputowski, and Sheridan Tucker Anderson, and Art Center Director of Exhibitions and Residency Programs Allison Peters Quinn.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalog featuring commissioned texts by writer and curator Kate Sierzputowski.

We also recognize the exceptional work by the many artists who were nominated by respected colleagues to apply to Ground Floor. We encourage you to learn about their practices by clicking their names below. 

Aram Atamian, Rohan Ayinde, Cain Baum, Crystal Beiersdorfer, Théo Bignon, Elizabeth Cote, Ishita Dharap, Any Angel, Astro Escudero, Marcella Flury, Adrián García Orozco, Anneli Goeller, Matan Golan, Mary Gring, Rosemary Holliday Hall, Chris J. Han, Holden Head, Rachel Hefferan, Amira Hegazy, Sahand Heshmati Afshar, Rebecca Grace Hill, Hannah Hirsekorn, Maggie Hubbard, Sabrina Huchthausen, Spencer Hutchinson, Selena Ingram, Maggie Jensen, Luan Joy Sherman, Hyun Jung Jun, Reva Kashikar, Dominique Knowles, L Koo, MICHAL KOSZYCKI, Kin Lam Lam, Cristen Leifheit, K.S. Marra, Yvonne Martinez, Travis Mitzel, Eileen Mueller, Judith Mullen, Chloe Munkenbeck, Aimée Nash, Kevin William Norris, Alina Orlov, Alberto Ortega-Trejo, Ricardo Partida, Martha Poggioli, Kathryn Pritchard, Jenny Rafalson, Xavier Robles Armas, Latrelle Maria Rostant, Divyamaan Sahoo, Daniel Salamanca Núñez, Gabrielle Sanson, ANARTISTNAMEDBEN (AANB), Stephanie Schwiederek, Leviticus Shand, WooJin Shin, Andrew Shoemaker, Jake Silby, SOH Meejung, Rob Sohmer, Brett Swenson, Ryo Tomoda, Jennifer Traina-Dorge, Jessica Tucker, Christine Turner, Irene Wa, Mia Weiner, Huixin Xian Estella, Jacobo Zambrano Rangel

Read the Brochure