You may have noticed some pretty cool art that has taken up temporary residence right smack dab in the middle of the 53rd St. corridor, next to Starbucks, between Harper and Blackstone avenues.
In a stretch of four unused storefronts, there are now artistic displays, an interactive video, a large–scale showroom and a 20–minute short film. Each is designed to reflect a slice of life in Hyde Park.
Through the eyes of various local artists, HyPa, the Hyde Park Alliance for Arts & Culture, and the University of Chicago teamed up to bring eye–catching visual art to 53rd Street.
Artist Jillian Soto works on her installation “Echo Showroom” at the Art Here Art Now storefronts on 53rd St. (Photo by Jason Smith)
André Callot and Danielle Paz, both University of Chicago grads, and grad student Jillian Soto of the Art Institute of Chicago are some of the players in HyPa’s latest initiative—“Art Here. Art Now.”
Here’s what Soto had to say as she gave me a preview of her unique work.
“There’s this sense of art and a lot of memories,” said Soto, as she put the finishing touches on her piece that will offer a perspective on the old Harper Theater. “I wanted to create a showroom atmosphere so people would want to be in the space.”
Peter Zeigler stands in his installation for the Art Here Art Now exhibition on 53rd Street. Zeigler has preserved the space of a former barber shop where President Barack Obama would get his hair cut. (Photo by Jason Smith)
Additionally, a special exhibit by Peter Zeigler, groundskeeper of Harper Court and the former Harper Court Theater, will offer his take on President Barack Obama’s world. Zeigler incorporated a bit of history from the former Dr. Wax Records store and the spot where Obama regularly had his hair cut to create a showpiece honoring businesses that were once mainstays in the area.
And get this. There’s even talk that, potentially, one of the barber’s chairs could become an addition to the Smithsonian. Time will tell.
The official launch of Art Here. Art Now. is Oct. 1, and you’ll hear more about that later, but at least for now you can get a sneak peek of what’s in the works. So, stroll by the exhibits to really enjoy the artistic flavor brewing within the community. You definitely won’t be disappointed.