Opening Monday, March 7th, from 6PM - 7:30PM
Center Program and Dream Exhibition artists, Teresita Carson Valdéz, Monica Rickert-Bolter, Cydney M. Lewis, and Cecilia Beaven, will discuss their works featured in the Dream exhibition, and what it means to incorporate and transform the cultural heritage within their work and imagine the future and mobility of a cultural aesthetic for a new world. Moderated by D. Denenge Duyst-Akpem.
A professional development program for artists who are ready to raise their practice to the next level, The Center Program offers the unique opportunity to develop new work, receive feedback from art professionals in the field, and work towards an exhibition at the Art Center. Over the course of eight months, a supportive peer network, guest artists, gallerists, critics, and professionals push 20 Center Program artists to answer tough questions and evolve their practice. Guest curated by Asha Iman Veal, the 2021 exhibition will introduce strong, new work that often determine bold new directions for local artists. From conceptual multiplicity, to the body as monument. This year’s Center Program cohort of twenty tremendous artists collectively and boldly proposes their artistic authorship of a better world.
D. Denenge Duyst-Akpem is a space sculptor and award-winning teacher, artist, and writer whose practice and scholarship bridge disciplines of design, ritual, and ecology. She is Associate Professor, Adjunct, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), offering graduate and undergraduate courses, where she received a 2018 Marion Kryczka Excellence in Teaching Award and one of two inaugural Diversity Advisory Group 2016 Teaching Awards for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion, and 2020-21 Visiting Artist-Associate Professor at Kentucky College of Art and Design (KyCAD). She is a 2020 LaBecque Laureate, 2016-17 Rebuild Foundation/U-Chicago Place Lab Fellow, 2014 NEH Institute Fellow, and founding member of Chicago Fashion Lyceum. Awards and grants include Illinois Arts Council and Red Bull Arts. She holds an MFA in Performance from SAIC and BA from Smith College.
Teresita Carson (b. Mexico), is a Chicago-based artist working in moving image, photography, printmedia, fiber, sound and installation. Her films have been screened at film festivals and curated film exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art of San Diego. Recent venues presenting Carson’s work include Adds Donna Gallery, Mana Contemporary, Sullivan Galleries, Moving Image at ACRE, Spudnik Press Collective, Czong Institute for Contemporary Art, Ugly Gallery, and Hyde Park Art Center. She is director of the project space INTERSECT, which exhibits and supports artists making time-based work. She holds a BFA from SAIC and is an MFA candidate at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC).
Monica Rickert-Bolter is a Chicago-based visual artist of Potawatomi, Black, and German descent. Her artwork consists of traditional mediums, such as charcoals and pastels, graphic design, and digital coloring to create expressive characters and tell diverse stories. After her undergrad, Monica became involved with Native nonprofits, where she combined her love of art and education to develop youth programs and resources, including illustrating children’s books. She advocates for cultural representation and serves as a consultant for various institutions and organizations. Her artwork will be featured in upcoming exhibitions at The National Museum of the American Indian and The Field Museum.
Cydney Lewis began in architecture, receiving a BS in Architectural Studies from University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and studying at the L’ecole D’architecture des Versailles, France. Her art is held in private collections around the world and has been exhibited at the Union League Chicago and the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art. She has attended residencies at Tiger Strikes Asteroid Chicago and Lyseloth Musikerwohnhaus Basel, Switzerland. Her awards include 3Arts Make A Wave 2021 and the Black Creativity/Green Art Award from the Museum of Science and Industry. Lewis is a member of Tiger Strikes Asteroid Chicago. https://www.cydneylewis.com/
Cecilia Beaven is a visual artist from Mexico City based in Chicago. Cecilia holds an MFA in Studio-Painting and Drawing from SAIC which she coursed as a Fulbright scholar and a BFA with honors from ENPEG La Esmeralda (Mexico City). Cecilia’s multidisciplinary artwork has been shown in solo shows in Mexico City, Houston, and Chicago, as well as in group exhibitions in the US, Colombia, Sweden, Italy, and Japan. She has painted public murals in several cities such as Hiketa, Paris, Houston, Chicago, Mexico City, Oaxaca, Pachuca, Tepoztlan, and Tijuana, where she was commissioned to paint a segment of the border wall between Mexico and the US in the Tijuana-San Diego region. Cecilia has been awarded a Fulbright grant, the Leroy Neiman Foundation Fellowship at Ox-Bow School of Art (Michigan), the Radicle Residency at Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago), as well as the Center Program Fellowship at Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago).