Open Produce Kenwood art is a surprise hit

Herald Intern

Open Produce, 1635 E. 55th St., is showcasing a group exhibit featuring art by students of Kenwood Academy High School.

The drawings and paintings, which are all based on a botanical theme, were inspired by a December field trip to the Garfield Park Conservatory.

“They spent the whole day walking around and drawing,” said Matt Milkowski, an art teacher at Kenwood, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave. Milkowski came together with Open Produce employee Sean Nicolson to create the student exhibit.

“We are happy to collaborate and have students share their work with the community,” Milkowski added.

The show, which was unveiled on Jan. 17 and will run through Feb. 13, is the first of a series by Kenwood drawing and photography students. Another exhibit featuring work by two photography students will start Friday, Feb. 14.

In addition to having their work displayed and sold, the students receive the profits from their work minus a small fee to cover the frames. “We’re looking to get frames donated,” said Nicholson.

So far, half of the 18 drawings and paintings have been sold and Nicholson is pleased with the popularity of the students’ artwork in the community. “To have that volume of sales isn’t something that I was expecting,” said Nicholson. “None of the work has been sold to friends or family. It’s been sold to customers.”

The success of the students’ series has been rewarding for Milkowski. “I love them,” he said. “I’m incredibly proud.”