The exhibition commemorates the ninth installment of the Not Just Another Pretty Face project. The triennial program, created by Hyde Park Art Center in the mid-1990s, allows the Art Center to play matchmaker for artists and potential art buyers. This dynamic project facilitates a fun and accessible commissioning process that builds lasting relationships between artists and patrons, creates a new base of support for artists, and invests in the vitality of Chicago’s cultural community. The completion of each installment is celebrated by an exhibition, a catalog documenting the process, and a lively event to unveil the finished pieces, which will make their way to the patrons’ homes following the exhibition.
The project has been a successful way for the Art Center to cultivate an essential part of the “ecosystem” that artists need to thrive – collectors – by embracing and encouraging the idea of patronage in contemporary art. We believe that artists need not only consumers (i.e., collectors) of their work but also a community of people who know and support them and value what they do.
To date, the Art Center has raised over $900,000—half of which goes directly into the hands of artists, with the other half supporting Art Center programs. Through Not Just Another Pretty Face, 375+ original works of art have been commissioned by 275 new and established collectors interested in investing in Chicago’s artists.