ON THE COVER: The New Ed Paschke Art Center

Pictured above: © Ed Paschke, Bocca Rouge, 2000, 20" x 24", oil on linen

The May-August issue of Chicago Gallery News features the new Ed Paschke Art Center on our summer cover. We are thrilled to welcome this new cultural destination to Chicago and look forward to celebrating the life of one of Chicago's most recognized artists. 

The mission of the Ed Paschke Art Center is to preserve and provide public access to the work of the legendary Chicago artist, Ed Paschke. It serves as an educational resource for youth, adults, artists and academics, and functions as an accessible platform for artists to showcase their work. The Center features 2,800 square feet of gallery space and 1,700 square feet of educational space, which also includes a recreation of Paschke’s 2004 studio.  It will provide free public access to the largest collection of Paschke’s works, which were all selected from the holdings of the Ed Paschke Foundation.

The son of Polish immigrants, Chicago-born Ed Paschke spent the majority of his life living on Chicago’s Northwest side.  Growing up, Paschke’s artistic influences included his father, also an artist, and the animation of Disney and cartoons, which led him after high school to pursue both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fine arts at the School of the Art Institute.  During his graduate studies, he became affiliated with a group of artists known as the Chicago Imagists.

Paschke’s work developed an unmistakable confrontational style, which captured the grittiness of urban life and used various forms of media and technology.  Subject matter is depicted using intricate patterns and vibrant colors.  Paschke used color to reach peoples’ nervous system; to him painting was a process of discovery—about solving a problem.   Of his art, Paschke once said, “They either love it or hate it but rarely are they indifferent to it.”

While Paschke has deep artistic Chicago roots, his works are in permanent collections of major American and European museums including the Museum of Modern Art, NY, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C., the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, Centre George Pompidou and the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Board Chair of the Ed Paschke Foundation, Vesna K. Stelcer, recalls that Ed was an amazing original artist and a man devoted to his family.  “Throughout this process of building the Ed Paschke Art Center, which is to honor Paschke’s life and legacy, his spirit and character have been our shining light,” says Stelcer.  “It has been an incredibly humbling experience to work on this Art Center that, all who knew Ed and his work fundamentally agree, 'it's about time.’”  Stelcer believes that the Ed Paschke Art Center is a true reflection of Ed’s generous nature—supporting artists, serving as an educator, being a visionary, and believing his art should be easily accessible to the public.  Stelcer says, “Paschke naturally inspires, challenges and provokes one to be a better person; we are deeply grateful to be able to bring the Ed Paschke Art Center to our community and our city.”

To mark what would have been Paschke’s 75th birthday and the opening of the Ed Paschke Art Center, the park across from the Center will host its inaugural “Paschke in the Park” celebration, which will feature Paschke-inspired community art projects, food and entertainment. The Rabb Family Foundation, which is the major funder of the Ed Paschke Art Center, is sponsoring the free event and according to one of its Trustees, Lionel Rabb, “Ed Paschke was not only a great artist but also was a great person who contributed and supported the communities in which he lived and worked. The Rabb Family Foundation and I are proud to have assisted in making the Ed Paschke Art Center a reality, making Paschke’s amazing art accessible to all and helping to support and encourage the arts.”

Join in the Center’s opening event on Sunday, June 22 (the late artist’s 75th birthday) for the inaugural, free Paschke in the Park celebration, featuring Paschke-inspired food, entertainment and activities. Tours of the new Center also will be available. 


Ed Paschke Art Center

5415 W. Higgins Ave., Chicago, IL 60630

Tel 312-533-4911

Admission is free; open 7 days per week, 10am-7pm

Visit www.edpaschke.org for more details.