Hyde Park Art Center Re-opening To Showcase 50 Independent Artist-Run Spaces

Artists Run Chicago 2.0 installation view including miniature exhibition curated by Julius Caesar.  Photography courtesy of Tran Tran.

Via PR

Hyde Park Art Center, the renowned non-profit hub for contemporary art located on Chicago’s South Side, will re-open its doors for limited exhibition hours starting September 1, 2020, with the launch of the Artists Run Chicago 2.0 exhibition, celebrating the work of 50 artist-run spaces and organizations that fuel Chicago’s independent art scene.  Artists Run Chicago 2.0 highlights the incredible work artists around the city are doing in their apartments, storefronts, on the streets of Chicago, and even a barn, challenging the conventional expectations of exhibition, discourse, and community.  Works from each of the spaces will be represented in this exhibition encompassing six galleries, the entire Hyde Park Art Center footprint.

“Following the COVID-19-related closure of the Art Center in mid-March, we are delighted to welcome the community back with this massive exhibition, showcasing the incredible diversity and sheer force of independent art galleries operating in Chicago now,” said Kate Lorenz, Hyde Park Art Center Executive Director. “We will be proceeding with care and the utmost caution to ensure the safety of our staff, community, and visitors. While the experience of visiting the Art Center may be slightly altered for the near future, we are excited to celebrate the work of so many creative artist-run spaces and share it with the public. We are confident that visitors and students will encounter the same sense of creativity, curiosity, and community for which Hyde Park Art Center is known.”

To mark the ten-year anniversary of the original Art Center exhibition, Artists Run Chicago (2009), Artists Run Chicago 2.0 examines the core motivations, trajectories, and philosophies that have made the past decade generative for new models of artist-run initiatives to exist throughout the city and suburbs. As they did in 2009, artists-run spaces have continued to transform storefronts, apartments, warehouses, garages, and nomadic existences into environments in which art can be experienced at its most experimental and intuitive stage.

Installation of Summer Skin w/ Zoe Avery Nelson and Judy Ledgerwood @ PRACTISE (2017), Courtesy of Practise

However, the artist-run model has also found a heightened criticality during this time as well. Despite taking on a multitude of forms and models, these spaces have come to represent a merge between artistic practice and social engagement, in which their small, independent, and hyperlocal status can be constantly modified and tailored to serve the communities they call home, whether through online forums to discuss art or engaging with community activists in support of social justice. In a time in which institutions are reevaluating their missions and relevance in a rapidly changing social landscape, artist-run initiatives have found themselves at the forefront of new conversations around art, challenging conventional expectations of exhibition, discourse, and community, while injecting new models, ideas, and faces into our understanding of what experiencing art can be.

Art spaces represented in Artists Run Chicago 2.0 hail from a wide range of Chicago neighborhoods, from Beverly to Rogers Park, Englewood to Oak Park; here is the complete list: 062, 4th Ward Project Space, 65Grand, ACRE Projects, Adds Donna, AMFM, Annas, Apparatus Projects, Bad At Sports, Blanc Gallery, boundary, Chicago Art Department, Chuquimarca, Clutch, Co-Prosperity Sphere, Comfort Station, Compound Yellow, D Gallery, Devening Projects, Document, Experimental Sound Studio, F4F, The Franklin, Heaven Gallery, Iceberg Projects, Ignition Project Space, Julius Caesar, Lawrence and Clark, LVL3, Mujeres Mutantes, Night Light Studios & Gallery, Ohklahomo, Nightingale, Practise, Prairie, Roman Susan, Roots & Culture, Rootwork Gallery, The Silver Room, Slow, The Suburban, Sweet Water Foundation, table, Terrain Exhibitions, Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Trunk Show, TRQPITECA, VGA Gallery, Wedge Projects, and Western Pole. Artists Run Chicago 2.0 is organized by Noah Hanna and Allison Peters Quinn with contributions from Max Guy and Andi Crist.

Free online public programming accompanies this exhibition, including monthly performances, workshops, and artist and curator-led Art Center tours.  Hyde Park Art Center has partnered with Public Media Institute and Sixty Inches from Center to produce a special Artists Run Chicago 2.0 edition of Lumpen magazine for its 136th volume, distributed for free at Hyde Park Art Center and Buddy, located in the first floor galleries of the Chicago Cultural Center.

About Artists Run Chicago (2009):

Chicago has long been known for cultivating a strong entrepreneurial/Do-It-Yourself spirit in business and the arts. Art organizations like Randolph Street Gallery, N.A.M.E., and the Uncomfortable Spaces in the 1980s and 1990s provided respected role models for independent art initiatives that followed. The 38 artist-run venues that participated in Hyde Park Art Center’s 2009 exhibition were responsible for transforming storefronts, sheds, apartments, lofts, industrial warehouses, garages and roving spaces into contemporary art galleries testing the notion of “exhibition” while complicating the definition of art. Coinciding with the Hyde Park Art Center’s 70th anniversary, Artists Run Chicago reconnected the Art Center to its beginnings as an artist-run space through collaborations with spaces that demonstrated a similar dedication to fostering new projects by new artists.

Now a decade later, only six of the spaces in the original exhibition survive: 65 Grand, Co-Prosperity Sphere, Devening Projects, Julius Caesar, Roots & Culture, and The Suburban (relocated to Milwaukee, WI). Several of the spaces included in Artist Run Chicago 2.0 are celebrating a 10-year anniversary and cite the attention around the early 2000s as impetus for their existence.

Artists Run Chicago 2.0 runs from September 1-November 1, 2020.  The exhibition will be available for viewing Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 12-6pm; Thursdays from 1-7pm; and Fridays from 10am-4pm. There is no admission charge but, to comply with social distance standards, advance reservations are encouraged for 90-minute visits and can be made by visiting


Fall Class Session

In addition, the Art Center is currently piloting a limited number of artmaking classes for adults in a hybrid model of online instruction coupled with on-site studio access. These include Ceramics and Printmaking Independent Study courses incorporating virtual group class time and on-site independent studio time.  Additionally, the Art Center is offering a limited Ceramics “Work from Home” option that will include guidance on how to safely use ceramics in a home studio followed by limited studio access to fire and glaze.  For more information on current offerings, including the incredible range of ongoing virtual courses for all ages, and expanded in-person options for fall. For updated offerings and information about fall registration please visit   

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