Disappointed in recent HPAC departure

Editor’s Note: This item was sent as an open letter on July 3 to the Chairman and Board of Directors of the Hyde Park Art Center

To the Editor:

As a community of students, artists, and friends we are writing to express our deepest disappointment and frustration with the recent departure, which we assume to have been a dismissal, of Hardy Schlick, the head of the ceramics department.

The manner in which the administration has handled the situation stands in absolute contrast to the values the Hyde Park Art Center (HPAC) supposedly represents: a dedication to service and community. The suddenness of Hardy’s departure, the absence of a public acknowledgment of his enormous legacy, and the lack of transparency in dealing with the community has been shocking.

To many of us, Hardy – more than any building, administrator, or board member – is the HPAC. He has been our teacher and the teacher of our children. He has been an artistic muse, mentor, and advisor. As the head of the ceramics department he has been a skilled and professional studio director. Many of us also consider Hardy a dear friend.

Hardy taught at the HPAC, at its three sites, for over 40 years. He was responsible for designing and developing the beautiful ceramics studio in the present HPAC location – a studio that is the pride of the HPAC and the surrounding community. Most importantly, Hardy built a rich and supportive community of artists of all ages. He has touched the lives of a great many, in Hyde Park and beyond.

Hardy’s abrupt departure has damaged our relationship with the HPAC. The HPAC administrative leadership has demonstrated that it has little understanding of the values of the community that it supposedly serves. Moving forward, we will find it hard to trust that the HPAC administration will deal with its staff, students and friends in a humane and responsive manner.

Signed,

Adam Cifu, Bernhard Ortel, Venus Sinn-Mullins, Zhiyan Yang,
Elena Rizzo, Stefano Allesina, Sheila Sokolowski, Jamie Stalker, Ronald Sutaric ,Christine Sutaric, Wen Zhou, Yoonsun Choi, Mira Krull, Meg Hamele, Dagmar Knorr, Julian Mullins, Beatrice Fineschi, Matthew Stephens, Alberto Cattaneo, Melissa Wong Aagesen, Sean Dwyer,
Loïc Khodarkovsky, Jennie Myers, William Weaver,
Jin Kim,
Xi Zhang,
Paul Marks,
William H Hammett, Kathryn Lindsey, Cara Reese,
Caty Harris, Ruben Waldman, Cathy Gruber, Will Harper, Valarie Harper, Diane Miller, Orit Schwartz, Wyatt Arnold, Erin Smith, Ben Bauman, Marianne Hammett, Elena Sparrow, Julia Borst Brazas, Kate Thompson, Dan Orlikoff, Michele Fiala, Sarah Stein, Tuan Yao, Aretha Fiebig, Penny Visser, Jameson King, Bruce Robbins
Nigel, Van Ha, 
Sally Carton, 
Fen Truit, Craig Truit, 
Michael Khodarkovsky, Insa Blanke, Thea Goodman, Eric Oliver, Aveva Yufit, Nigel Van Ha, Mary Stonor Saunders, Alexander Stonor Saunders, Dorothy Pytel, Ka Yee C. Lee, Joanne Trestrail, Peggy Doyle, Fausto Cattaneo, Julia Allen and Anonymous (5)