Hyde Park Art Center is one of the few places in the region with the space, flexibility, audience, and reputation to support Chicago artists by catalyzing ambitious new projects. Our exhibitions help artists through the entire process of making bold work that enrich their careers and spur public discourse on important subjects.

Offering artists, particularly women and artists of color, the resources to dream big with minimal constraints, we invite site-responsive works and encourage experimentation. By doing so, we aim to launch careers, inspire other artists and facilitate conversations about sustainable practices and equity in the field.

Since 1939 we have been at the forefront of contemporary art in Chicago, fostering generations of makers.

“Before I knew that I was an artist, I’d just hang around Hyde Park Art Center. It was the place where culture was happening regularly on the South Side. Eventually, I asked or I may have been asked to think about an exhibition. And it was really that project that created a conceptual shift in me, from feeling like a kind of clay-maker to feeling like I had something to offer contemporary practices. For me, it was a really important first launching pad to my career.” – Theaster Gates, artist




The METAMORPHOSIS of Gabriel Villa

Brammeier Maybe Never 05

Heather Brammeier: Maybe Never


Toward Common Cause


Future Fossils: SUM


New Dream

“[The Art Center] does a really great job incubating artists at every stage of their career.”

-Amanda Williams


Look back at some of Chicago’s most ground breaking exhibitions.



Ground Floor brings together work by Chicago’s most promising emerging talent, offering a single destination to discover diverse artists whose work demands to be seen and supported. Ground Floor—so named because it provides a crucial platform for young artists and fills the entire lower level of the Art Center—is an ongoing biennial project.


Occurring every three years, Not Just Another Pretty Face allows the Art Center to play matchmaker for artists and potential art buyers, facilitating a fun, accessible commissioning process that builds relationships between artists and patrons, creates a new base of support for artists, and invests in the vitality of Chicago’s cultural community.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I show my work at HPAC?

The Art Center welcomes submissions of artists’ work and curatorial proposals for group exhibitions. Submissions are reviewed by the Exhibitions Committee, which consists of artists and art professionals, as well as the Art Center’s Director of Exhibitions and Executive Director quarterly.

Each year, the Art Center unveils 20 exhibitions, presenting at least one of each of the following:

  • a solo show of an ambitious new project by an emerging Chicago artist,
  • a new project undertaken by one of our resident artists
  • an exhibition from an emerging Chicago curator whose work transgresses or questions traditional curatorial conventions
  • work curated by a Chicago artist experimenting with curating as a means of informing their artwork but NOT including their own work in their curated show
  • new work that is conceptually distinctive or unique in use of materials by Chicago artists who are in an experimental stage of their practice
  • an exhibition showcasing work by the Art Center’s own teaching artist faculty exploring a new concept, and/or by established artists who have discovered new techniques in our studio art classes
  • work by established, mid-career Chicago artists on the verge of breaking through to the next level of their careers
  • group shows highlighting new artists who have come up through our Education programs, like The Center Program and Art Shop; and
  • submissions that fulfill one of the above criteria.

Please keep in mind that the Art Center plans its exhibitions program three seasons in advance.

Unfortunately, we are unable to accept submissions at this time. We will begin to accept exhibition proposals again this fall, 2020.

I'm from Hyde Park, does that mean I automatically get a show?

Hi, Neighbor! Please follow our submissions process, which will reopen this fall, 2020.

I own an artwork that is by an artist from Hyde Park. How much is it worth?

We’re so glad you’re supporting local artists! Unfortunately, we are not art appraisers.  Commercial galleries tend to set the prices of contemporary artworks, so your best bet is to do a web search to discover which Chicago galleries sell work like yours, and to approach them directly about appraising your artwork.