Hyde Park Arts Center debuts fall exhibitions

A Super Sunday event attendee looks at Mary Porterfield’s ‘Pushing Back The Sea’ installation at the Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave., Sept. 10. Marc Monaghan

By TONIA HILL
Staff Writer

On Sunday afternoon, Sept. 10, the Hyde Park Arts Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave., celebrated its fall exhibitions with the artists and the public as a part of their “Super Sunday” event.

Exhibitions for the season include Wall of Now: Children of the Wall, Front & Center, Materials Decoded, and Virtue of the Vicious.

The Wall of Now: Children of the Wall, is a mural project featured on the south side of the building facing South Cornell Avenue, and two other walls on the outside of the building.

The idea for a mural was inspired by the upcoming 50th anniversary of the “Wall of Respect” and from conversations had with street artists who said there is a lack of permission walls in the city of Chicago, according to Allison Peters Quinn, director of exhibitions and residency programs.

The “Wall of Respect,” erected on 43rd Street and Langley Avenue, was an outdoor mural project on the south side that was created in 1967 by visual artists. The artists were from a group called the Organization of Black American Culture.

The theme for the mural was “Black Heroes.”

Other sections of the wall were repainted and showcased images from the Civil Rights movement.

In 1971, the wall was damaged by fire and later demolished.

Permission walls are walls that owners have allowed for individual artists to use for their art. The walls are protected and will not be buffed or painted over.

“The plan is to think about what the current issues are today in Hyde Park, and on the South Side and Chicago overall, but what are people concerned about and how we can try to give some opportunity for communication about issues,” Peters Quinn said previously.

Liz Lazdins, Miguel Aguilar, and Rahmaan Barnes are lead artists for the project. Lazdins is a Hyde Park-based artist.

Lavie Raven is a Chicago-based artist whose work is featured on the mural. He is a part of an organization called the University of Hip Hop. His portion of the mural celebrates hip hop as an “international activist phenomenon,” he said.

Artists in the community and teens who are enrolled in Hyde Park Arts Center programs have assisted with the mural.

The mission of the project is also to provide hope and resistance to the present landscape in contemporary politics.

Brothers Akihito (left) and Aoi Shigeno enjoy the koi sock puppets they made during the Super Sunday event at the Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave., Sept. 10.Marc Monaghan

Subjects of the mural will include local hip-hop heroes such as Urbanized Music, Brickheadz breakdancers, and Kuumba Lynx founder Jacinda Villegas, according to the Arts Center.

The Hyde Park Arts Center will also celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the “Wall of Respect” by demonstrating a show of work by William Walker that is owned by Chicago State University.

Walker is one of the founders of the “Wall of Respect.”

The Hyde Park Arts Center was named as a community anchor site for the Chicago Architectural Biennial (CAB) this year.

The CAB is an architecture and design exhibition in North America.

The main exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., is free and open to the public from Sept. 16 through Jan. 7, 2018.

The Biennial’s theme this year is ‘Make New History.’

The CAB will launch this week in conjunction with EXPO Chicago, and Navy Pier’s annual art and design convention. CAB will feature 141 participants from 20 countries.

Community Anchors sites across the city will host Biennial-related programming.

The DuSable Museum of African-American History, 740 E. 56th Place, was also named as an anchor site.

Other sites include the Beverly Arts Center in the Beverly community, the DePaul Art Museum in Lincoln Park, the National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen, and the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture in Humboldt Park.

The mural is one of three exhibitions at the Art Center partially supported by the CAB.

“We’re not paying homage to the Wall of Respect we are continuing that legacy. Many of those original walls, community walls were done illegally they weren’t sanctioned,” Raven said. “It was activists [and] artists who felt that the message needed to be sent about our culture. Many of us grew up watching the Wall of Respect as an example.”

The Hyde Park Arts Center aims to have the “Wall of Now,” be a living mural.

t.hill@hpherald.com