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Painting by Emajae, a high school student in our 2020 Art & Impact Program with After School Matters

Creating During COVID-19

One of the founding beliefs of Art on Sedgwick is that creating art can help us connect with the best part of ourselves – and can help us draw out the best in each other. In a neighborhood like Old Town, where systemic inequities have created such deep patterns of separation and misunderstanding, our work poses a question: can shared creative spaces and collaborative initiatives clear a path to a better way forward?

While we don't expect a fast or easy answer, we're grateful for the support that allows us to keep our artists working, to have 20 teens engaged in our art program on-line, and to be delivering weekly art activity packets to neighborhood children. THANK YOU! Please enjoy some images and stories that your support has made possible. Scroll to the very end to find our “Create at Home” resources -- including a new painting tutorial for a project inspired by William Walker's "All of Mankind" mural.

Voices from the Neighborhood

Portrait Project with Artist Mary Rafferty

Honoring Memories of Canceled Celebrations
Special thanks to the Related Affordable Foundation, MFGAH Management, 
and to artist Mary Rafferty for making this project possible. 

Updates & News

Step into The Infinite Room Episode 9, The Connecting Point

Chicago is no stranger to the anger currently roiling the nation’s streets, or the systemic inequities that underlie that anger. With so much tortured history, and a present that feels no simpler, how do we create a more hopeful future? Art on Sedgwick sits smack in the middle of a community where all those inequalities lie shoulder to shoulder, neighbor to neighbor – and is creating a path to move forward.

Thank you to Andy White of Lookingglass Theatre Company for hosting this discussion. Guests: Adell Thomas and Charlie Branda of Art on Sedgwick.
Listen to the podcast HERE!
The bright spot in the midst of these challenging months has been an outpouring of support and care from the community. Thank you so much to the BBCE (Best Book Club Ever) and to families from Lincoln Park Cooperative Nursery School for donating books and art supplies to distribute to neighborhood children while they can't come in for classes.  
We're thrilled to welcome artist and educator Jorge Lucero to the Art on Sedgwick board. Jorge currently serves as Associate Professor of Art Education at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  Jorge has exhibited, published, and presented on his work in galleries, schools, publications,  museums, community organizations, performances, and artist residencies in places such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
His most recent project Conceptual Art & Teaching is a platform through which the intersections of contemporary art and education are examined—and generated from—for the sake of a more fully integrated teaching-as-art practice. 

Exhibiting Artist Highlight

Artist, illustrator, and teacher. Hannah is currently working on a graphic novel about the composer Dmitri Shostakovich and his experience in Stalinist Russia. The book explores censorship, authenticity, and the connection between public and private ways of being. Hannah is the programming and communications manager at Art on Sedgwick.
In this exhibition, each piece is a print pulled from my comic strips, but out of context and self-consciously layered. The prints come in very different iterations than the narrative of a comic, and their static repetition cuts the narrative to a few slow moments. The view is often voyeuristic - a stolen look into the subjects’ private world. Along side, there is the carefully curated image of a man in the public eye. My comics themselves live in the newspaper (as do many of the best comics!).

The comic strips are created directly in reaction to my visit to Russia or personal experience with his music. Making this book has entailed finding photos and material in Moscow's Shostakovich Archive, exploring the city of Saint Petersburg, and years of research. Keep an eye out for the finished book and more publications.

- Hannah Dykstra

William Walker Inspired 

William Walker, the artist who conceived Chicago’s first community mural, The Wall of Respect, painted "All of Mankind, Unity of the Human Race", in 1972. It was located on Evergreen and Clybourn, just blocks from our studio. The mural depicts the interrelated cultures of the world and calls on all people to honor each other’s differences while decrying the worldwide loss of leaders to assassination and the suffering caused by atrocities and violence. Tragically, the mural was whitewashed in 2015. 

Create at Home

Check out our growing collection of resources for you and your family on our  "Create at Home" blog for fun activities curated by our artists.
This summer, 20 teens are meeting virtually four days a week in our Art & Impact program. Thank you to Kwabena Foli and Hannah Dykstra for leading the program -- and to artists John Bakker and Silvia Gonzales for visiting and sharing their work. 


Art on Sedgwick's mission is to catalyze connection and opportunity through art in Old town's Sedgwick Corridor. Our artworks, events and classes draw on Chicago's diverse world-class artistic community to inspire a shared imagination for a vibrant, equitable, and inclusive neighborhood.
Art on Sedgwick is a non-profit 501c3 organization. 


Copyright © 2020 Art on Sedgwick. All rights reserved.

1408 N. Sedgwick St. Chicago, IL 60610

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Art on Sedgwick · 1408 North Sedgwick · Chicago, IL 60610 · USA

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