The Center Program at the Hyde Park Art Center is an opportunity for artists to receive feedback, formulate new work and have a final exhibition in the main gallery over six months. The facilities and staff at HPAC offer a supportive atmosphere for artists to engage in conversation and further their studio practice. The twenty-four artists in the 2015 Center Program span various disciplines and media. The culminating group exhibition is playful and vibrant, as well as informative and candid.
The intrigue of the exhibition is in the juxtapositions found between the artists, based on medium, concept and context. A strong example of this is the work by Michelle Collazo-Anderson, Regin Igloria and Ivan LOZANO. Anderson’s piece, “Hips, Legs & Feet” is made from upholstery fabric, canvas and exterior house paint. The pieces vary in size and color but appear uniformly similar in structure and purpose: They stand tall, serving as a foundation and balancing the composition. The vibrancy of the piece is complemented by Igloria’s “Travel Tble and Cart,” which is made from wood and features sketchbooks, a banner and wheels for mobility. It is reminiscent of childhood forts, lemonade stands and the craft that went into sustaining a journal. Igloria’s sketchbook is opened to a page that has the word, “Unbeknownst” scrawled on white paper. Opposite these works is the mixed media piece “NARCOMANTAS (HANGED MEN TRIPTYCH)” by LOZANO, which hangs from the gallery ceiling by rope and vinyl. The vinyl features a collage of low resolution digital images of men who were hanged. LOZANO’s work asks the viewer to reexamine their expectations of the remainder of the show and approach each piece with fresh eyes.
Elliot J. Reichert is a Chicago-based curator, critic, and editor. He is a currently Curator of Contemporary Art at the Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana Unversity, and Hatch Projects Curatorial Resident at the Chicago Artist Coalition. Formerly, he was Art Editor of Newcity and Assistant Curator at the Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University. His writing has been published in The Brooklyn Rail, the Journal of Visual Culture, and Newcity.