By GABRIELLA CRUZ-MARTÍNEZ
The new Howard Brown Health Center, 1525 E. 55th St., and the Hyde Park Art Center hosted a celebratory collaborative gallery night on Feb. 24, to showcase the art of local artists at the Howard Brown clinic and introduce the Hyde Park community to the resources at the health clinic including HIV testing, education about sexual and reproductive health screenings, wellness, elder services, and pediatric services.
The event included a gallery walk through the health center where artwork by artists, students, and teachers from the Hyde Park Art Center was displayed throughout the layout of the Howard Brown Health Center, located on 55th and Lake Park in the second floor of the Deco Arts Building.
The inclusive event gathered a crowd of around 30 attendees of all age groups, that arrived at the clinic to celebrate art and find out more information about the services offered at the clinic. Howard Brown also provided a reception with free candy and condoms as well as HIV testing during the opening.
“The Hyde Park Art Center decided to collaborate with Howard Brown because we thought that it was such a good match of our missions,” said Lisa Jenschke, an artist and member of the Student Advisory Board at the Hyde Park Art Center. “Both of us want to work to provide services to people regardless of their background that’s why we wanted to make this happen.”
The focus of the Howard Brown Walk-In clinic is to provide low-cost, comprehensive health services. On a walk-in basis, patients can be screened for HIV/STIs, receive vaccinations for Meningitis and Hepatitis A/B, TB screening, and pregnancy testing. The walk-in clinic also offers other services, such as Post Exposure Prophylaxis and Testing Together.
Howard Brown also provides primary care for trans and gender non-confirming health, as well as gender affirming care.
The show, titled “An Open Heart: Everyone is Welcome Here,” featured the work of 11 artists and included a wide range of media from mural and graffiti work to photography and weaving.
According to Jenschke, the art will be displayed at the Howard Brown Health Clinic for 6 months and then the two organizations will host another gallery night as a type of ongoing collaborative activity.
“This event tonight is to celebrate the collaboration between the Hyde Park Art Center and Howard Brown and what we’re trying to do is promote local artists in this space and introduce the public to this space,” said Melissa Vargas a resident nurse at Howard Brown. “It’s wonderful that we can make this happen and bring in an audience like this to educate and inform the public while they enjoy the art.”
The Howard Brown clinic has six other locations available in their website. For more information on the Howard Brown Clinic, or to schedule an appointment call 773-388-1600 or visit www.howardbrown.org. The Hyde Park clinic is open on Monday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Thursday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and is closed Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.