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2014: CELEBRATING 75 YEARS OF MAKING CHICAGO’S ART HAPPEN
2014 marks 75 years of Hyde Park Art Center working to advance the visual arts in Chicago.
When we were founded by idealist, creative do-gooders in 1939, the Art Center was made up of a handful of artists and community members who set up shop in a defunct saloon and felt that everyone should have the opportunity to participate in the visual arts. (Ever the trailblazers, they embraced a hippy mentality before hippies even existed). Their openness to creative innovation shaped the organization into an inclusive incubator for artistic risk-taking, which resulted in some really fun parties as well as the formation of internationally recognized artist groups The Monster Roster, The Hairy Who, and The Chicago Imagists in the 1960s.
In 2006, ambitious, pioneering do-gooders transformed the Art Center yet again, and we’re willing to bet that our founders never imagined this is where we’d be 75 years after our first exhibition opening (unless they also had access to psychedelic drugs). Today we continue their legacy of connecting the public to Chicago art and artists while supporting artists’ ability to take risks. It is because of this commitment to our founding values that the Hyde Park Art Center now welcomes 45,000 people annually and has become a nationally recognized model for how an institution can develop its city’s artists while remaining accessible and relevant to its immediate community.
To celebrate our 75th Anniversary and honor our progressive, visionary ancestors, throughout the year our programming points to the role the Hyde Park Art Center has played and continues to play in pushing forward the careers of Chicago artists—past and present, youth to established.
We invite you to look through these pages to learn more about what’s coming up this season and to continue to visit hydeparkart.org to find out more about how you can get involved throughout the year. We look forward to celebrating with you all year long. After all, it is because of lovely people like you that we’re still here.
See you soon!