Chicago is home to some of the most notable art museums in the world, so it is no surprise that the city hosts a robust art scene. Chicago’s art scene extends beyond the walls of the Art Institute and the MCA and even beyond its many notable galleries. Almost every neighborhood in Chicago boasts an artistic accomplishment whether it be a museum, a community center, an artist-in-residence, a gallery, or a venue, there is no shortage of creativity bursting from Chicago communities.
The Hyde Park Art Center caters to the Hyde Park community in its mission of stimulating and sustaining the visual arts in Chicago. The Center serves as a gathering, gallery, and studio space for artists and the public, alike.
Founded in 1939, The Hyde Park Art Center began as a small group of “quirky” artist volunteers into a unique Chicago arts institution focused on making a social impact. The Center’s first artistic director, painter Harold Hayden, believed “art should be found where people work and live,” and this became the mission of the Center.
The Center’s mission to cultivate equity and inclusion and foster a love for art and creation in youth was recognized In 1998 when the Clinton administration cited the Hyde Park Art Center as one of sixteen nonprofit organizations to be used as a model when working with vulnerable youth.
The Hyde Park Art Center hosts a rotating series of exhibitions and events. With an emphasis on education, the Center holds classes and summer camps for children and adults in numerous forms of artistic media. The Center also hosts school groups and classes for seniors.
This year’s exhibitions include “Toward Common Cause,” running through October 23 and highlighting the work of artists Mel Chin, LaToya Ruby Frazier, and Fazal Sheikh who explore environmental racism and its impact on communities of color in their work. Other artists and upcoming exhibits featured at the Center this year include A.J. McClenon: Notes From Vega, Moments in Between: Tran Tran, and Future Fossils: SUM by Lan Tuazon.
Plan Your Visit
A visit to the Hyde Park Art Center can last an hour or an afternoon. A quick stroll through the Center’s galleries may suffice, but the Center fills every corner of its space with art and exhibitions created by renowned artists, community members, and final projects presented by the students of its classes and workshops.
The Center currently requires all visitors to wear masks and observe social distancing guidelines. All exhibitions are free and open to the public.