Images and ideas of the art and artists in our community. To learn more, visit us at hydeparkart.org

A visitor emerges from “The Beast” by John Preus, our Chicago-based Resident Artist, during our 75th Anniversary Kickoff and preview event yesterday. This striking sculpture is only half the story—to experience it fully, you have to go inside. Visit our website to discover public programming taking place inside “The Beast” through August 3.
#hydeparkartcenteris75
Apr 14, 2014 / 8 notes

A visitor emerges from “The Beast” by John Preus, our Chicago-based Resident Artist, during our 75th Anniversary Kickoff and preview event yesterday.

This striking sculpture is only half the story—to experience it fully, you have to go inside. Visit our website to discover public programming taking place inside “The Beast” through August 3.

#hydeparkartcenteris75

Our Youth Art Board teens got a sneak peek of “The Beast” last night. Join us Sunday to see for yourself!
Apr 11, 2014 / 2 notes

Our Youth Art Board teens got a sneak peek of “The Beast” last night. Join us Sunday to see for yourself!

Progress. “The Beast” is slowly coming to life at the hands of resident Artist John Preus. Experience the project in person this Sunday, April 13!
Apr 9, 2014 / 3 notes

Progress. “The Beast” is slowly coming to life at the hands of resident Artist John Preus. Experience the project in person this Sunday, April 13!

laughingsquid:

Beautiful Photos of Sunsets Captured on Broken Mirrors

We can dig it.
Apr 9, 2014 / 646 notes
Early this week, late at night, it began. The Beast is coming into being at the hands of Resident Artist John Preus. Follow the progress right here as this massive architectural intervention and community space gets built in our gallery, and join us at the opening reception on April 13.
#johnpreusthebeast #hydeparkartcenteris75
Apr 2, 2014 / 1 note

Early this week, late at night, it began. The Beast is coming into being at the hands of Resident Artist John Preus. Follow the progress right here as this massive architectural intervention and community space gets built in our gallery, and join us at the opening reception on April 13.

#johnpreusthebeast #hydeparkartcenteris75

Throwin’ it back to when everybody got to roll around in the shave cave at our Party With An Artist event in 2011. #tbt #throwbackthursday #hydeparkartcenteris75
Mar 27, 2014

Throwin’ it back to when everybody got to roll around in the shave cave at our Party With An Artist event in 2011. #tbt #throwbackthursday #hydeparkartcenteris75

"Plywood is an impressive technology that functions similar to the warp/weft concept of weaving. It is solid wood that is stable by virtue of the fact that each thin layer of wood runs perpendicular to the layer adjacent to it. I am tempted to make a social metaphor, but let that be close enough." - Resident Artist John Preus
Throughout the year, we’ll bring you behind the scenes with our artists, showing you insights into their projects, processes, and personalities. First up is John Preus, our Chicago-based resident artist who’s in our studios working toward his first major solo show, “The Beast,” which will open at the Art Center on April 13. We’ll pair his words with images of what’s in his studio to introduce you to his methods, materials, and musings. We hope you enjoy getting to know him!
Mar 27, 2014

"Plywood is an impressive technology that functions similar to the warp/weft concept of weaving. It is solid wood that is stable by virtue of the fact that each thin layer of wood runs perpendicular to the layer adjacent to it. I am tempted to make a social metaphor, but let that be close enough." - Resident Artist John Preus

Throughout the year, we’ll bring you behind the scenes with our artists, showing you insights into their projects, processes, and personalities. First up is John Preus, our Chicago-based resident artist who’s in our studios working toward his first major solo show, “The Beast,” which will open at the Art Center on April 13. We’ll pair his words with images of what’s in his studio to introduce you to his methods, materials, and musings. We hope you enjoy getting to know him!

1701 53rd Street, our home back in the 80s.
Mar 17, 2014

1701 53rd Street, our home back in the 80s.

Mar 13, 2014 / 1 note

#ThrowbackThursday: Check out this triptych of material mystery, three sculptural works completed by past artist-in-residence Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford in Hall of Khan, his solo show at the Art Center. We’ll give you three guesses as to what these are made out of (hint: one material is chocolate, and another is freeze dried pineapple.)

(Photography by Alice Bucknell, Art Center Intern)

Mar 13, 2014 / 1 note

Q+A With Artist-In-Residence Samantha Hill

concerning her installation exhibit: Topographical Descriptions of the Bronzeville Renaissancea satellite component to the exhibition RISK: Empathy, Art, and Social Practice currently on view at the Glass Curtain Gallery at Columbia College Chicago. 

image 

Alice Bucknell: How does the physical structure of the Bronzeville Renaissance installation relate to other archival, interactive projects you have completed previously?

Samantha Hill: The clothesline structure of the installation I have used before in the Kinship Project, but it was tighter because the history it conveyed was so connected and spanned over 100 years. I would also say that the structure of the Kinship Project presented itself more as an experiment than an artwork. It was less about aesthetics and more about investigation.

This one takes on a whole different interpretation and the structure reflects that. It’s more like music bars, with lots of jumps and open breaks, because it’s so personal. Because of that personalization, it also has more weight.

I want people to really enter in to the space, changing narratives with the postcards…people have done that here, an entire conversation is happening right now between people through post-it notes. They’re all surrounding this one picture of a woman reading a book from the 40s, but now they’ve turned in to their own thing, growing out from the exhibit. Once you put things on the wall, they can always be rearranged. It becomes about conversation and play as much as actual history, and not just about the past. Nothing is static.

AB: That’s so fascinating. For me this raises a lot of questions about authorship and time in relation to historical narratives. Let’s start with the first. So in creating a zone where people can communicate in a way that reproduces history through personal memory, would you consider yourself a curator to that history? To those memories?

SH: I would consider myself less of a curator and more of a collector. The roles I play are physically accumulating the archive of materials, and putting them in a space. I do make some aesthetic decisions, but because of the intimate nature of this project I feel less comfortable in manipulating the organic process of opening up that’s happening here.

Also, there’s more to curators: they shape language and become the connector between the audience and the art. I don’t have that control here, and I want to see what people will do, how people will connect with each other.

AB: By letting the direction of the exhibition be determined largely by your audience, how – if at all – does intention factor in to the way that you see the installation unfolding? Is it successful in your opinion?

The intention here was really for the audience to make this piece theirs. In offering up personal memory, there’s always a risk: it comes loaded with anxieties. Sometimes it’s not even

But another point of risk from point of the author, in allowing people to change the art: adding additional layers and other potential ephemera to transform the structure. In making the project so much about the audience, if they don’t feel involved then it can fail. When people don’t participate, I’ve got to improvise, to understand what makes people feel disconnected from the project and then change that. Nothing goes according to plan – it’s unpredictable how people will react – so I just have to jump in to it and make decisions in the moment.

AB: So going back to the function of time in this exhibit, is there any sort of ending point you can envision?  How do the roles of past, present, and future intersect in this project?

SH: This could really go on forever, with people adding to the wall, presenting new artifacts. The exhibit has gotten to the point where it’s creating itself, building off from itself. Past, present, and future are all interconnected here. Obviously something has to end when a show ends. But I wanted to create a process map that uses the past, to create a present phenomenon of interaction that carves out virtual space in the future. 

As a collector, and from a very anthropological perspective, I’m really interested in tracking these movements as new material pops up along the show walls. Where people choose to comment or contribute is very important to me – concentrations reveal patterns of interest. By opening up the history of Bronzeville and letting people take a part of it, I want to create a culture of conversation that continues into the future.

AB: How would you parse apart memory and historical accuracy? Are both the “truth,” albeit different forms, or should one fit into the purview of another?  What’s the power dynamic between personal and public memory?

SH: For me, memory is history. I understood that in a moment I spent with my father in our kitchen – and what he said to me explained the relationship perfectly. We were talking about the March on Washington in the 60s, and circumstances tha led to the production of the “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. My father was convinced that the March was not intended to be that way, that it was supposed to be a riot, that it was aimed at burning down Washington.

He said to me, “This fact is history to you, but to me – it’s my life.”

That’s when I understood that the two are one in the same. History becomes folklore as we age, memory turns in on itself, other things rise to the surface. Personal memories accumulated become the collective public memory. That’s the kind of history that the Bronzevile Renaissance project is meant to uncover. It’s collaborative and based on participation in the same way that history is.   

AB: What goes on in your office hours?

SH: As part of the project, I spend 11 AM to 3 PM in the gallery every Saturday, working on the physical process of archiving. It’s meant to expose the process, to give it a kind of transparency. I wanted to make myself available to answer any questions that visitors to the Art Center might have, and also present myself in real-time as working on the project. In doing so, I want to demythologize the studio and further break down the barrier between artist and audience.

 

AB: Finally, how do you see this exhibit at the Art Center shaping the direction of your work in the future?

SH: Bronzeville Renaissance is my first solo show, so I’m very excited and grateful to the Art Center for that. Working on this project has given me a new perspective too, approaching the archival process as more personal. I’ve been surprised by the press too, in ways that have made me consider aesthetics, and the relationship between an archive or research project and art. I make art in the same way that people write books. Some people are interested in merging art with different fields and types of knowledge, and some people think that it’s annoying, that art should just have aesthetic pleasure alone.

AB: And that aesthetic factor isn’t necessarily tied to beauty. An object can be beautiful – not visually, but instead by the kind of ideas it offers up.

SH: Besides, what is beautiful? Let’s complicate things.

Mar 13, 2014

Resident Artist John Preus gives a demo of his piece “Sitting Bull,” a rocking chair he created from found wood and salvaged leather.

Flashback to when our current facility was being built in 2006. #fbf #hydeparkartcenteris75
Mar 7, 2014

Flashback to when our current facility was being built in 2006. #fbf #hydeparkartcenteris75

"The archaic fear that one’s own expressions of affection will be seen as irrelevant and/or viewed with total indifference might be the basis of all exaggeration." - Resident Artist John Preus#johnpreusthebeast #hydeparkartcenteris75Throughout the year, we’ll bring you behind the scenes with our artists, showing you insights into their projects, processes, and personalities. First up is John Preus, our Chicago-based resident artist who’s in our studios working toward his first major solo show, “The Beast,” which will open at the Art Center on April 13. We’ll pair his words with images of what’s in his studio to introduce you to his methods, materials, and musings. We hope you enjoy getting to know him!
Mar 4, 2014

"The archaic fear that one’s own expressions of affection will be seen as irrelevant and/or viewed with total indifference might be the basis of all exaggeration." - Resident Artist John Preus#johnpreusthebeast #hydeparkartcenteris75

Throughout the year, we’ll bring you behind the scenes with our artists, showing you insights into their projects, processes, and personalities. First up is John Preus, our Chicago-based resident artist who’s in our studios working toward his first major solo show, “The Beast,” which will open at the Art Center on April 13. We’ll pair his words with images of what’s in his studio to introduce you to his methods, materials, and musings. We hope you enjoy getting to know him!