Jean Morman Unsworth Art Expressways Gallery
My Story, My Art: Saint Joseph Services Community Center
June 6–November 25, 2015
Artistic Vision / Artistic Expression: A Creative Collaboration with Saint Joseph Services Community Center, Humboldt Park
This project is a collaborative effort between the Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) and the Saint Joseph Services Community Center (SJS) in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood. SJS offers classes and academic assistance to all members of the Humboldt Park community. Working with mostly Latino youth (ages 7–15), SJS provides weekend tutoring and after-school programming, as well as all-day camps during seasonal school breaks. These endeavors aim to keep Chicago children off dangerous streets, and to positively engage them while their parents work long hours. The students LUMA and SJS worked with this year came from five different schools, none of which offer much, if anything, in the way of arts education.
The goal of our program was to inspire students to learn outside of the classroom, and to give them an artistic and literary voice while fostering an appreciation of the world beyond their neighborhood, which is an area blighted by gang activity. The program brought children to LUMA twice to view Gilded Glory: European Treasures from the Martin D’Arcy, S.J. Collection and Gather Up the Fragments: The Andrews Shaker Collection. On a third field trip, the students explored the Chicago Cultural Center and saw the exhibition Stand Up for Landmarks! Protests, Poster & Picture. Through these three exhibitions, the students were exposed to Chicago’s rich cultural heritage. Back at the community center, they were encouraged to discuss what they had seen and incorporate these influences into their own artistic creations, which we are pleased to present in the students’ first museum exhibition.
This program is partially supported by grants from The Cliff Dwellers Arts Foundation and the Kinder Morgan Foundation.
Image: Mariah Aguilar, 6th grade