Summer Center Day

Saturday, Jul 22, 2023 1 – 4 pm

5020 S. Cornell
Chicago, IL 60615

Hyde Park Art Center, the renowned non-profit hub for contemporary art located on Chicago’s vibrant South Side, will host the summer installment of its quarterly series Center Days, an all-ages program filled with artmaking activities, workshops, and artist talks. This program takes place Saturday, July 22 from 1-4 PM featuring four exhibitions, artmaking, storytelling, performances, and open studios. The event is free and open to the public, and pre-registration is encouraged at

Quarterly Center Days are curated by Ciera McKissick, Hyde Park Art Center Public Programs Manager, as a means of introducing the community to the myriad ongoing offerings at Hyde Park Art Center for all ages, interests, and skill levels; the JulyCenter Day programming includes:

Exhibition Celebrations for Multiples and Multitudes, A Universe of Self-Experience, Destination/El Destino: a decade of GRAFT, and Amuleto


Artists and curators are available to visitors to discuss the artworks, processes, and inspiration behind the Art Center’s latest exhibitions. Multiples and Multitudes is the first-ever solo exhibition by Chicago-based artist and educator William Estrada, whose socially-engaged practice has been rooted in Chicago neighborhoods for the last twenty years. This year’s annual teen showcase, A Universe of Self-Experience, features works created during the Art Center’s 30-week teen program that explore the boundlessness and complexity of the time in which these young artists are coming of age. Destination/El Destino: a decade of GRAFT brings together the decade-long series of artworks by the Chicago-based Puerto Rican artist, educator, and organizer Edra Soto. The series features vernacular architecture from the artist’s native Puerto Rico to address the migration and hybridity of cultural forms. Amuleto is a collaboration between the Art Center and independent art spaces The Franklin (run by Soto) and Mayfield that features works exploring the amulet/amuleto: portable objects that are attributed magical, emotional, or sentimental value.


Artmaking Activity: Musical Maracas

Mueller Meeting Room on the first floor


Teaching artist Cydney Lewis leads a maraca-making workshop to celebrate the music of Puerto Rico. Visitors are invited to use everyday materials to create their own unique and colorful maracas to play along with the Bomba performance from 3-3:30PM.


Artmaking Activity: Create Your Own Tin Medallion

D'Angelo Library on the 1st floor


Teaching artist Keny de la Peña offers participants the opportunity to create their own tin medallions like those included in Destination/El Destino: a decade of GRAFT, inspired by the structures and patterns Soto grew up with in Puerto Rico.


Community Artmaking & Storytelling: What Time Is It? A Cultural & Civic Archive

Outdoor entrance


Interdisciplinary artists Irina Zadov and Najee-Zaid Searcy host a day of community mural painting and storytelling. Participants will be contributing to What Time Is It? A Cultural and Civic Archive which documents and uplifts Chicago's BIPOC & LGBTQIA+ artists, organizers, and healers, by weaving together narratives from the revolutionary summer of 2020 to now, including the Black Lives Matter movement, the nationwide uprisings, the pandemic and more.


The Garden Floating Museum Activation

Parking lot


The Garden, a traveling installation currently residing in the art center’s parking lot, is a monumental remembering of specific plant histories and the ways they continually shape the world. Profoundly linked to the empire, cultivation and trade, this work uses the metaphor of the garden to have conversations associated with movement, belonging, food, colonialism, capitalism, growth and violence. The word, diaspora—‘dia’ meaning across and ‘spora’ meaning scatter—itself has botanical roots. With an evident disruption of global supply chains resulting from the pandemic, wars and climate change, the event questions how people might make different choices which would diminish neo-colonial tendencies for the future. The Floating Museum places the monument, an already complex, hybrid, and enigmatic object, in the Art Center’s parking lot as a catalyst for conversation and a scenographic intervention. This project is made in collaboration with Art Center Radicle Resident Artist Kushala Vora and made possible with the generous support of the Illinois Arts Council and the Joyce Foundation. 


Las Bompleneras Unplugged Performance

In Gallery 1 & its adjacent outdoor plaza


Las Bompleneras Unplugged, an all female sextet, will provide a showcase of traditional and original Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba and Plena music through song, percussion, and dance. The director of Las Bompleneras Unplugged, Ivelisse Díaz, has over 30 years of experience in studying and practicing Bomba, and 15 years in teaching the musical art form.


Creative Wing Open Studios with Resident Artists


The resident artists working in the Jackman Goldwasser Creative Wing open their studios to the public. Radicle Residents include Eric Perez, Sofía Fernández Díaz, Kushala Vora, and Rhonda Wheatley. Guida Family Creative Wing studio artists include Candace Hunter, zakkiyyah najeebah dumas o’neal, Juarez Hawkins, Malika Jackson, and Irina Zadov.

About Center Days

Once every quarter, Hyde Park Art Center is activated throughout for the public, neighbors, and families, with intergenerational art making activities, artist workshops, artist talks, open studios, curatorial tours of its exhibitions, community collaborations, and music. Center Days are free and open for all.


About Hyde Park Art Center

Hyde Park Art Center, at 5020 South Cornell Avenue on Chicago’s vibrant South Side, is a hub for contemporary arts in Chicago, serving as a gathering, production, and exhibition space for artists and the broader community to cultivate ideas, impact social change, and connect with new networks. Since its inception in 1939, Hyde Park Art Center has grown from a small collective of artists to establishing a strong legacy of risk-taking and experimentation, emerging as a unique Chicago arts institution with social impact. Today, the Art Center offers a diverse suite of programs for artists and art lovers of all backgrounds, ages, and stages in their careers including: contemporary art exhibitions in six galleries; open-access community-based school with 1,500 annual enrollments; weekly arts education to 1,000 elementary school students in public schools; weekly and summer teen programs for 100 teen artists; professional-advancement programs for artists; a local and international artist residency; and public programs that connects residents with Chicago art and artists. The Art Center functions as an amplifier for creative voices of today and tomorrow, providing the space to cultivate new work and connections. For more information, visit