Next Window, Please

Every year at the Hyde Park Art Center, six professional artists mentor over 150 student artists to develop their artistic voices over the course of 30 weeks. During the 2019-2020 year, the young artists experienced the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the powerful wave of organized protests for racial justice that resulted from the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, among many others. Several photographs in the exhibition, produced by young artists in the Advanced Photography course led by artist Jonathan Castillo, document the days between March and May of 2020 from the perspective of young Chicago artists, whose voices demand to be heard. The photographs include intimate captures of birthday celebrations during quarantine without large parties but filled with loving gestures, upside down cars and boarded up businesses that document the aftermath of a Spring and Summer of protests in Chicago, and important reflections of what it means to be a young Black American today. These powerful images will be compiled into a publication, which will be available to purchase through the Art Center’s website. The exhibition’s title, Next Window, Please is borrowed from a photograph taken during the Spring 2020 Advanced Photo class of a drive-through window filled with notes asking customers to move forward. The photograph and title speak to the current moment on so many levels. They are about our desire to move forward and to our new relationship with windows, digital or physical, that keep us safe and together at the same time. 

The exhibition will also include documentation of the community engaged work that the Art Center’s Youth Board of Artists (YBA) organized this Summer. Alexis Thomas, a senior at Kenwood High School organized an art supply drive at the Art Center to distribute art making supplies to young artists in underserved communities. YBA, in an effort led by Nicole Alcalde Hester, a Junior at Ogden High School wrote and published statements of solidarity in support of the MCA’s Teen Creative Agency, a group that has challenged the institution’s response to the urgent demands for racial justice and the institution’s relationship with CPD. Darius Lamar, a junior at Kenwood High School, developed the collaborative South Island Brand as a space for young Black artists to collaborate, share resources, and develop creative projects together. These and the many other initiatives led by YBA are lessons in solidarity as well as important reminders to the rest of us to take action where we see injustice and to find power in our collective voices. This exhibition is a celebration of young artists and their power.

Image credit: Stevia Ndoe, We the People (detail), 2020, Digital photograph.

  • February 22, 2021 – April 3, 2021
  • Gallery 5

Education programs made possible through the generosity of Hyde Park Art Center’s Advocates: The ATHENA Fund, Brininstool + Lynch, Stephanie Comer & Rob Craigie, Rachel Conant, Carol Duncan, Nancy Fishman, Martin Friedman & Peggy Casey Friedman, Helyn Goldenberg & Michael Alper, Brooke Hummer & Grove Mower, Jill & Michael Lowe, Mark Mandich, Shirley & Walter Massey, Gary Metzner & Scott Johnson, Lauren Moltz & John Clement, Kate Morrison, Robert & Kathleen Sullivan, Linda Erf Swift, The Tracey Family in memory of Matthew Tracey, Melissa Weber & Jay Dandy, and Karen G. Wilson.

Lead sponsors:  

Next Window, Please

Featured Artists

The exhibition features new work by: Nicole Alcalde-Hester, LaDasia Bryant, Tiara Coleman, Jahmeela Collins, Doloriae Daniels, Noah Demus, Darius Donald, Alexander William Fair, Jade Foreman, Paris Gusta, Kyli Hawks, Shelby Holloway, Amirah Ibrahim, Amir Johnson, Ari Karafiol, Lorenz King, Ethan Larbi, Abby Moon-Sarudi, Sophia Morris, Stevia Ndoe, Justice Plunkett, Nakyia Posey, Tzoe Rivera,  Alexis Thomas, Skye Wang, and Alyssia Zepeda.

Next Window, Please is organized by Exhibitions and Residency Coordinator, Mariela Acuna and Teen Programs Manager, Alex Herrera.

About Teen Programs

Hyde Park Art Center teens represent over 20 high schools, including: Amundsen HS, Carl Schurz HS, Chicago Virtual Charter,  Dyett HS, Excel Academy Roseland, Hyde Park Academy HS, Johnson College Prep, Kenwood Academy, Lindblom HS, Lincoln Park HS, Little Black Pearl, Morgan Park Academy, Ogden HS, Simeon HS, St. Rita HS,  St. Ignatius HS, Tilden HS, UIC Academy, Walter Payton HS, Whitney Young. Guest speakers, visits from teen-program alumni, and field trips are common during teen programs at Hyde Park Art Center to expose students to the arts across Chicago. Teens are led by teaching artists: Ari Guerra, Lavie Raven, Jared Brown, Jonathan Castillo, Tony Smith, Rhonda Wheatley and assisted by studio mentors Lamiah Gholar and Noah Polk. The programs allow students a structured independence that encourages them to build confidence and creativity. At the root of the coursework is an interdisciplinary approach that emphasizes comradery. This year’s teen programs consisted of six classes, each with distinct ambitions: Teen Photo, TEA Hangouts, Youth Board of Artists, Advanced Teen Photo, ArtShop, and Advanced Teen Track. Teen Programs are run by the Art Center’s Teen Program Manager, Alex Herrera assisted by Ari Guerra.

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