Toward Common Cause

Environmental racism and its disproportionate impact on communities of color, in rural and urban environments, is the subject of this sub-chapter of Toward Common Cause: Art, Social Change and the MacArthur Fellows at 40. The impacts of environmental racism, exacerbated by infrastructural inequalities including limited access to healthcare, healthcare workers, food, and clean drinking water are realities shared by disinvested and disenfranchised communities across the globe. These realities are highlighted in the work of three artists: Mel Chin, LaToya Ruby Frazier, and Fazal Sheikh.

This exhibition at Hyde Park Art Center is one of many exhibitions in multiple venues organized by the Smart Museum of Art  at the University of Chicago under the umbrella title, Toward Common Cause.  The expansive  exhibition, which celebrates the 40th anniversary of the MacArthur Fellows Program, will encompass a broad spectrum of contemporary artistic practice, including community-based projects realized in public spaces as well as solo and group presentations in multiple museum, gallery, and community spaces. The full list of participating artists is online at the exhibition website,  Toward Common Cause: Art, Social Change and the MacArthur Fellows at 40.

Image above: Fazal Sheikh

  • July 19 – October 23, 2021
  • Kanter McCormick Gallery

Toward Common Cause is presented in partnership with the Smart Museum.

Featured Artists

Mel Chin, Latoya Ruby Frazier, and Fazal Sheikh

The focus of Mel Chin’s Chicago Fundred Initiative: A Bill for IL is the latest iteration of his decade-long Fundred Project whose focus is lead contamination in water, soil, and housing. Lead exposure is an invisible, environmental health threat to children. The Chicago Fundred Initiative: A Bill for IL invites individuals to create their own “Fundred,” a facsimile of a hundred-dollar bill: a form of creative currency that affirms the right of each maker to equal protection against environmental hazard and demonstrates the value of the lives of children. Please download a fundred template, create your own, and bring it to Hyde Park Art Center to be presented in the exhibition before July 1, 2021.

Latoya Ruby Frazier presents a selection from Flint is Family, a project completed over the course of five months in Flint, Michigan documenting the now infamous Flint water crisis.

Sheikh’s Desert Bloom/Conflict Shoreline. These intertwined works were created in Israel’s Negev Desert where Sheikh documented government efforts to remove the Palestinian Bedouins from the northern threshold of the desert. Unlike other frontiers fought over during the Israel-Palestine conflict, this one is not demarcated by fences and walls but by shifting climatic conditions. The threshold of the desert advances and recedes in response to colonization, cultivation, displacement, urbanization, and, most recently, climate change. In his response to Sheikh’s “Desert Bloom” series (part of Sheikh’s The Erasure Trilogy), Eyal Weizman’s essay incorporates historical aerial photographs, contemporary remote sensing data, state plans, court testimonies, and nineteenth-century travelers’ accounts, exploring the Negev’s threshold as a “shoreline” along which climate change and political conflict are deeply and dangerously entangled.

About Abigail Winograd


Abigail Winograd is the MacArthur Fellows Program 40th Anniversary Exhibition Curator at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago. Her scholarly research has focused on the emergence of aberrant abstractions in post-war South America as well as museological approaches to expanding canonical narratives.


Members’ Preview: For Real

Exhibition Opening: For Real

Exhibition Opening: Takeover

Creative Move: Grand Opening Weekend

Talkingpoint: Random Sky

Takeover: Round Table Discussion

Talkingpoint: Jens Hoffman

Home of the Free Reception and BBQ

Exhibition Reception: Material Science

Members-Only Preview: Ruby Satellite

Public Receptions: 3 Exhibitions

Artist Talk: Jennifer Greenburg

Artist Talk: Mario Ybarra Jr.

Talkingpoint: Allora & Calzadilla

Artist Talk: Shane Huffman

Artists’ Talk: Luftwerk

Just Good Art 2006 Auction & Afterparty

HPAC at Argonne Open House

Exhibitions Reception

Film: Space is the Place

Talkingpoint: Fred Lonberg-Holm

Curators’ Discussion: Interstellar Low Ways

Fun for All

Film: The Cry of Jazz (1959)

Opening Reception: Converging Patterns

John Corbett Interviews Phil Cohran

The Ultimate Art-Opera Super Bowl Party

Public Reception: 5 Exhibitions

TalkingPoint: Max King Cap

Live Performance: God’s Punk

TalkingPoint: Lorraine Peltz

Live Performance: God’s Punk

Bulletin Board

Making Something out of Something

For Public Consumption Discussion

Speaker Project Exhibition Begins

For Public Consumption Parade

Speaker Project Concert

Speaker Project Concert

We Ate It Up Opening Reception

Opening Reception for 3 New Exhibitions

Speaker Project Performance: Zelienople

Speaker Project Concert Featuring Vertonen

Opening Reception: Interiority

Talkingpoint: Juan Angel Chavez

Opening Reception: Pedagogical Factory

Pedagogical Factory: How We Grow

Pedagogical Factory: Sounds and Listening

Pedagogical Factory: How We Felt

How We Make a Pedagogical Sketchbook

Smart Art in a Smart House: Chuck Walker

Pedagogical Factory: How We Build

Talkingpoint: Jim Duignan

Pedagogical Factory: How We Listen (pt. 2)

Pedagogical Factory: Distorientation Guide

Pedagogical Factory: How We Fund

Art Thing with Sandra Binion

Curator’s Tour of Another Story

Talk on Seasons

Cocktails and Clay

Artists’ Reception for Impossible Violence

Opening Receptions and Concert for Malachi

Art Thing: Consuming War

Prostrations for Peace


Not Just Another Pretty Face Public Salon

Talk Back: Iraq Veterans Against the War

Reporting from Baghdad

Art Thing Featuring Alice Shaddle

Talk Back: Creating Histories

Talk Back: Buyer Beware

Enemy Kitchen

Not Just Another Pretty Face Public Salon

Exhibition Opening/Reception: Drive By

Artists’ Reception for Current Exhibitions

Art Thing With Chuck Walker

Teacher Professional Development

Art Thing with Danny Mansmith

Art Thing with Howard Fonda

Exhibition Reception

Art Thing with Kelly Kaczynski

Film Screening: Bamboozled

Pow Wow with Hyde Park Art Center

Film Screening: Watermelon Man

Art Thing with Tamasha Williamson

Film Screening: Hollywood Shuffle

Film Screening: Fear of a Black Hat


Viceodance Curator’s Talk

Drawing with Unexpected Materials

Art Thing with Casey Ann Wasniewski

Visual Art Poetry Workshop

Artists’ Reception for Current Exhibitions

Art Thing with HPAC Faculty

Chicago Artists Month Opening Celebration

Art Thing with Monica Herrera

Artists Talk: Emergence: Art Meets Science

Not Just Another Pretty Face Unveiling Soiree

Artists’ Reception for Current Exhibitions

Art Thing with Mark Booth

Live Spoken Performance

Art Thing with Elke Claus

Live Spoken Performance

Art Thing with Lisa Lindsay and Ben Gest

Art Thing with Andy Paczos

Exhibition Reception

Art Thing with Mary Lou Zelazny

Exhibition Begins: Bits and Pieces

Video Art Screening & Discussion

Art Thing with Linda Cohn

TalkingPoint with Britton Bertran

Art Thing with Julian Williams

Artists Run Chicago Opening Events

Exhibition Reception

Roots & Culture: Kimchi Feast

South Side Tweet-Up

Suitable Presents: Cookout and Videos

Art Thing with Matt Harris

Art of Party? Panel Discussion


History of Spaces Panel Discussion

Art Thing with the Artists of Spellbound

Signs of the Apocalypse/Rapture

Art Thing

Art Thing

MoneyBags: Screening-Printing Workshop

Cocktails & Clay

Fun for All

Exhibition Opening Reception

Art Thing

Just Good Art 2009

Art Thing

Exhibitions Opening Reception and Second Sunday

Art Thing

Talk with the Artist: Juan Angel Chavez

Artist Talk: Jason Salavon

Cargo Yard Sale

Artist Talk: Aspen Mays

Second Sunday

Exhibitions Reception

Cancelled: Flow Interrupted Artist Talk

Concert & Puppet Show

Not Just Another Pretty Face Public Salon

Closing Reception & Reading

Artist Talk: Andreas Fischer

Artists’ Reception

Artist Talk Stan Chisholm

Second Sunday

Pedway Tours by Hui-Min Tsen

Roger Brown Guided Tour

Pellot Gonzalez Rios Exhibition Reception

Panel Discussion: What Is a FRAC?

Open Call for Public Objects

Architecture Engineering Ideas Exchange

Pedway Tours by Hui-Min Tsen

Artist-in-Residence Open Studio

Open Call for Public Objects

Curator for a Day

Curator for a Day

Pedway Tours by Hui-Min Tsen

Curator for a Day

Open Studio with Maximo Gonzalez

310 conTEMPORARY Gallery Walk

Second Sunday

Artists Talk: Spatial City

Artist Talk: Jennifer Mannebach

Exhibitions Reception

Ground Floor Artists Talk: Site as Medium

Talk with the Curator

310 Contemporary Gallery Walk

Artist’s Talk: Pat Swanson

Roundtable: What’s an MFA Worth?

Not Just Another Pretty Face: Unveiled

Exhibitions Reception

The Precession Groundbreaking Ceremony

Artist Talk: Kim Piotrowski

Exhibition Reception

The Precession Live Performance

The Precession Live Performance

The Precession Live Performance

Betsy Odom: Sis Boom Bah

Artist Talk: Stephen Lapthisophon

Exhibition Reception

The Precession Closing

Screenology Exhibition Recpetion

Fun for All

Harmony in Three Parts

Big Dig Gig

Big Dig Gig

Artist Talk with Betsy Odom

Artist Talk with Conrad Freiburg

Messin’ with Texas Reception

Barlow Nelson: Silkscreen Prints

Aron Gent: Not Quite as Good Because of You

Mouthing (The Sentient Limb) Begins

Exhibition Reception

Artist Talk with Aron Gent

Exhibition Reception for No Place Like Home

Curator’s Talk: Kelly Kaczynski

Curator’s Tour: Kelly Kaczynski

Large Scale Painting

Neighborhood Writing Alliance Workshop

Christine Mitchell Opening Reception

Curator’s Talk: Blaque Lyte

Curator’s Talk: Keith Herzik

Symposium: The Home in/as Community

Film Screening and Discussion

Exhibition Reception for Bibiana Suarez

Second Sunday

The Memory of Me: Teen Art Workshop

Memory Game Night

Exhibition Reception

Memory Game Day

Conversation with the Artist: Bradley Biancardi

Conversation with the Artist: Bibiana Suárez

Tour with the Curator

Exhibition Reception for Hairy Blob

When the Hairy Blob

Conversation with the Artist: David Leggett

Big Dig Gig

Artist Talk with Melissa Oresky

Exhibition Reception for Ground Floor

Exhibition Reception for Two Histories of the World

The Residency Launch


Panel Discussion: Ground Floor Alchemy

Discussion: Two Histories of the World

Art Center Artists at MDW Fair

Not Just Another Pretty Face Salon

Exhibition Reception


January 13, 2013 Second Sunday

Conversation with the Artist: Tom Torluemke

Minouk Lim Performance: FireCliff 4_ Chicago

Not Just Another Pretty Face Salon

Second Sunday

Tour with the Curators

Second Sunday

Second Sunday

Exhibition Reception

Conversation with the Artist: Allison Ruttan

Exhibition Reception: Abstracting the Seam

Reception for Passages


Art Lab with Horses – Postponed

High Noon Ride and Closing Picnic

Exhibition Reception for Identity Discourse

Open Critique

Exhibition Reception: All New Shows

Slabwork with Amanda Gentry

Sounding Light

Slide Presentation and Talk with Oli Watt


Not Just Another Pretty Face: The Unveiling

February 9, 2014 – Second Sunday

Stompin’ at the Parkway Ballroom

April 13, 2014 – Second Sunday

On Disappointment with Simon Critchley

Story Hour

Yoga & Meditation

Story Slam: Heart of the Beast

Beastly Pecha Kucha

Story Hour

Yoga & Meditation

Story Hour

On The Table Conversations in The Beast

Salsa and Afro-Cuban Rhythms Workshop

Winning Words

Story Hour

B-Boy BBQ and Breakdance Battle

Yoga & Meditation

20×20: Sacrifice

Colin Ward Memorial Potluck: Jamie Kalven

Story Hour

Story Slam

Story Hour

Awareness for the Masai

Bio-Graphing The Beast

Canceled: Colin Ward Memorial Potluck

Saturday School

Bio-Graphing The Beast

Saturday school – Cancelled

Our Public Space

Our Public Space: Off-Site Workshop

Yoga & Camp – Cancelled

Colin Ward Memorial Potluck: Jamie Kalvin

Saturday School: Unscrew-U

Bike Tour of Hyde Park Art Spaces

Story Slam

Radical Educators Meeting

Cancelled: Saturday School: Fort Cardboard

20×20 Presentations: Repair

Open Mic

Artist Meet-and-Greet

Colin Ward Memorial Potluck: John Preus

Saturday School: Radical Physics

LiveBox Screening: Barbecue


Colin Ward Memorial Potluck: Backbone

Saturday School: Poetry Workshop

Project Osmosis: Express Yourself-Portrait


Art on Location

Story Slam: Trauma/Grief

Teen Open Mic

Art on Location Seminar

Colin Ward Memorial Potluck: Jamie Kalven

Saturday School: Junk Drawer Workshop

20×20 Presentations: School

Requiem for The Beast: Closing Reception

Mind The Gap Reception

Reciprocal Practices: Teaching/Making/Art

Exhibition Reception: Ground Floor

The Chicago Effect Gallery Tour

75th Anniversary BBQ Block Party Bash

Exhibition Reception for Current Exhibitions

Clinical Work by Steve Juras

October 12, 2014 – Second Sunday

Institution as Agent

Clinical Work by Steve Juras

November 9, 2014 – Second Sunday

Creative Response to the Chicago Effect

Talk with the Writers: Two Histories of the World

Clinical Work by Steve Juras