Hyde Park Art Center, the renowned non-profit hub for contemporary art located on Chicago’s vibrant South Side, announces a major new group exhibition, The Language Between Worlds, featuring works by five artists that examine the racial inequality learned through systems that create American society, on view July 16 - October 29, 2022. Curated by Art Center Director of Exhibition & Residency Programs, Allison Peters Quinn, the exhibition includes artists Nyame Brown, Nicole Marroquin,Jessica Vaughn, and the Art Center’s former resident artists Chris Pappan (2019/20) and Bethany Collins (2016/17).
In this exhibition, the artists devise their own language of symbols, visual cues, and narrative structures that highlight the racial inequality woven into American society. Written and coded methods of communication are tools these artists employ in their paintings, drawings, textiles and prints to translate important lessons of protests and cultural preservation. Whether fact or folktale, the stories they choose to tell are revived through a modernist or conceptual approach and directly connect the past to the future, while challenging the author of history itself.
The title of the exhibition references Ta-Nehisi Coates’ nonfiction book Between the World and Me (2015), in which Coates’ tender narrative written to his son teaches the human toll of racial disparity and discusses the various systems in place that support a segregated America. Similarly, the artists in the exhibition borrow historic texts and materials that represent values-based behaviors—from Brer Rabbit and Homer’s Odyssey to newspapers, maps and manuals—and expose embedded systems of inequity, while suggesting methods to circumvent said systems.
Peters Quinn explains the genesis and urgency of curating this exhibition, “I began working on this show during the years of the Trump administration when examples of white privilege were obvious, unescapable, and detrimentally emboldened. It’s important that this show features voices of Black and Brown artists who approach the subject of racial injustice from perspectives of enlightenment, correction, speculation, and hope. Through the work, the artists challenge aspects in American education and social traditions that perpetuate discrimination, while offering space to chart a new path towards racial equity.” She goes on to point out the consistent connection between the Art Center’s curatorial practice and residency program, “As a white curator, I am grateful to have had conversations about race during the process of making this show with thoughtful and critical artists such as Pappan and Collins from the art center’s Residency program. The Residency program strives to support art practices that have a relationship to community and a demonstrated commitment to dismantling inequities through their work. Both of these artists are clear examples of the integrity that we look for in our resident artists’ work.”
The Language Between Worlds is generously supported by Abakanowicz Arts and Culture Charitable Foundation.
Admission, hours, and COVID-19-related safety protocols
Exhibition admission is free and allows walk-ins. Masks are required to enter the building. Hyde Park Art Center views its community's health and safety as the number one priority and is utilizing the guidance from the City and State to inform its safety protocols. For latest exhibition hours and COVID policy, visit https://www.hydeparkart.org/plan-your-visit/.
About the 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 and production 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 quirky artists to establishing a strong legacy of innovative development and emerging as a unique Chicago arts institution with social impact. The Art Center functions as an amplifier for today and tomorrow’s creative voices, providing the space to cultivate and create new work and connections.
For more information, please visit www.hydeparkart.org.
Photo credit: Nyame O. Brown, Galo Canto, 2021, oil on blackboard, 4 x 6 ft. Courtesy of the artist.