May 19th 2022

University Galleries of Illinois State University is pleased to present In Living Color from May 19 through August 10, 2022. This exhibition is organized by the Teen Art Group at University Galleries.

Exhibiting artists: Aaron Caldwell, Jess Dugan, Fidencio Fifield-Perez, Jin Lee, Melissa Oresky, Rashod Taylor, and Selina Trepp.

The Teen Art Group was founded in 2018 at University Galleries by director and chief curator Kendra Paitz, with support from the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation—Mirza Arts and Culture Fund. Each academic year, up to fifteen students from Bloomington High School participate in professional development activities, take field trips, and curate an exhibition. The 2021–2022 cohort was led by Kendra Paitz; Monica Estabrook, Bloomington High School art teacher; and Tanya Scott, University Galleries’ curator of education. The group visited artist professor Melissa Oresky’s studio and various studios in the Wonsook Kim School of Art; participated in art-making workshops, meetings, and exhibition tours at University Galleries; curated this exhibition; and developed ideas for educational workshops. The 2021–2022 Teen Art Group was supported by another grant from the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation—Mirza Arts and Culture Fund.

In Living Color presents works by artists the students learned about during the program. First, the students identified issues they were most concerned with, including gender, environment, outer space, anime, portraiture, abstraction, family, and racial issues. Then, the program leaders presented relevant artists and the group discussed. Originally, the group planned to select one artist to invite for a solo exhibition, but as they researched the artists and thought about relationships among the works, they decided to invite several artists to participate in a group exhibition. The students selected each of the works and their placement in the exhibition layout.

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