Frequently Asked Questions

What is the artist’s role in this project?

We ask artists to allow Art Center staff to present their work to potential patrons, who may commission a new, personal work of art. For artists asked to do a commission, the commissioning process is collaborative and determined by each artist/patron.

Past artworks have ranged from figurative work to abstract sculpture and conceptual installations. We encourage patrons to explore how contemporary art can fit into their personal lives. Likewise, we want artists to be innovative and have fun talking through the possibilities with their patrons. Each piece will be new work created specifically for each artist’s patron based on the pairing’s interactions. Creativity and experimentation are encouraged.

How are artists selected?

Unlike most exhibitions at Hyde Park Art Center, Not Just Another Pretty Face is not curated in a traditional way. The concept that ties the work together is that of “patronage.” Each work included in the exhibition has been newly commissioned by a patron, who takes it home after the exhibition closes in November, 2023. Additionally, the work has been informed by some kind of interaction, collaboration, or conversation between the artist and patron. But the similarities stop there. Decidedly democratic, the exhibition celebrates the diversity of patrons and artists in our community and the breadth of work that can result.

Artists are included by one of two ways:

  1. The Art Center curates a group of artists, which it invites to participate. Their work will be presented at both private and public salons and, if selected by a patron, the commissioned work will be exhibited. At times, these artists know a person who would like to commission their work, and we are happy to help facilitate the process. The Art Center is currently selecting this group of artists for the 2023 iteration of the project.
  2. Alternatively, some artists are introduced to us by patrons who would like to work with them. In such cases, the Art Center still acts as the facilitator of the commissioning process. The work is also included in the final exhibition and catalogue. (Note: since the project is about patronage, the work must develop out of a relationship or interaction between artist and patron. No previously existing works will be included.)

Not all artists will receive commissions and some will receive multiple. We do our best to match up as many artists as possible, and having work represented in salons throughout Chicago has proven to be beneficial to artists regardless of receiving a commission.

What is the process/timeline?

The role of the Art Center is to help match artists and patrons, and facilitate the commissioning process. The Art Center can assist patrons with the decision-making process by suggesting commission possibilities that fit their needs, interests and budget, as well as arrange artist studio visits. Once a match has been made, the Art Center coordinates with both the artist and patron to collect information and commission details (such as price, size, medium, edition, etc). With this information, the Art Center creates a contract, which must be signed by both parties in order to participate in the exhibition and for artists to receive payment.

September 2022-March 2023: Private and public salons are hosted, and artist-patron matches are made
June 2023: Completed artwork is due to the Art Center
September 2023: Exhibition Unveiling Event & Catalogue Release
September 2023-November 2023: Exhibition at Hyde Park Art Center

How will price for the commission be set?

Artists set their own price. The Art Center will receive 50% of the set commission price as a charitable contribution from the patron. The other 50% is paid to the artist to cover the artist’s costs and fees (and anything his/her gallery requires, when applicable). The Art Center can assist in determining an appropriate price, but ultimately pricing is the artist’s decision.

How is payment taken care of?

Typically, the Art Center receives half of the payment up front and the other half by the September 2023 unveiling event. The artist will receive a check for half of their fee at the start of the commissioning process and the other half at the end when the Art Center has received the final payment.

How many artists will be in the exhibition?

We are aiming for between 60 – 80 commissions this year, though there are no limits as to the amount of commissions that can be arranged.

Please contact Marina Vulinovic at or 773.324.5520 x1006 with questions.
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