Say it Loud: You Are Beautiful
By GINNY VAN ALYEA
A few weeks ago Elmhurst Art Museum's John McKinnon shared a new community project to me that felt like exactly what I, and countless others, needed at the moment: a movement to spread positivity.
In 2015–2016 (a lifetime ago!) Chicago-based artist Matthew Hoffman was part of the museum's inaugural Biennial, Chicago Statements, which provided 19 artists with a wide-reaching public platform for their messages, their voices and their revelations that address imbalances of power, access and resources. Through drawings, sculpture, video, photography, text and documentation of public projects, the Biennial intends to raise awareness, encourage discussion and promote the power of individual and collective expression and healing.
Five years later, EAM is collaborating again with Hoffman, known for his You Are Beautiful project, to spread positivity in the community. A new display in the museum’s south windows will add to his permanent outdoor installation on the museum's main building. Visitors are invited to embark on a social distanced walk through Wilder Park.
Participation in the exhibition is also encouraged and is a means of supporting the museum as well as local healthcare workers. Order a yard sign, window cling, or another work from the series to extend the uplifting display to your own community, anywhere in the world. The Museum Store also has the full line of You Are Beautiful gear and outdoor display pieces – I've noticed several of the We're All in This Together signs stuck to buildings around Chicago since hearing about the program. 10% of the proceeds benefit the Elmhurst Memorial Hospital Foundation through July 3rd.
Matthew Hoffman has created large scale public installations for municipalities, museums, and private companies around the world. The large outdoor piece at the Elmhurst Art Museum is one of his 30 outdoor installations currently in the Chicagoland area.