The Crusader Newspaper Group

Hyde Park Art Center Gala honors Theaster Gates and Linda Johnson Rice

The New 411

By Raymond Ward, Chicago Crusader

Chicago Artists and Art Supporters Raise More than $350,000 to Support the Art Center’s Boundary Pushing Programming and Initiatives

Hyde Park Art Center welcomed about 500 guests on November 12 to honor esteemed members of the Chicago Arts community, Linda Johnson Rice and Theaster Gates. The successful and lively event was organized by two co-chair families, Dedrea, Paul, and Ian Gray and Lisa Yun Lee and Josephine Lee Ewing.

Pillars of the Chicago cultural community, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Tony Karman, Walter Massey and Desiree Rogers filled Hyde Park Art Center for a night of cocktails, dinner, and entertainment. The earnings from a paddle raise, a silent auction and the outpouring of generosity from the community totaled more than $350,000. The funds will go to support an array of initiatives including the assurance that the Art Center remains free and open to the public seven days a week.

“The gala’s success is a testament to the Art Center’s exceptional role in the Chicago artistic ecosystem by providing artists and the public a safe place to discuss, create and learn about contemporary art,” said Executive Director of Hyde Park Art Center Kate Lorenz. “I am extremely grateful and humbled to see the support of the Chicago community.”

The gala began with a lively cocktail hour with beverages provided by Lagunitas Brewing, 3 Floyds, and Perrier. Guests bid on silent auction items, explored artists studios, and entered to win an art collection of 5×7 works on paper by over 50 Chicago artists. Following the cocktail hour guests indulged in dinner along with a testimonial by Art Center alumnus Ariel Guerra before the paddle raise, led by Board Chair Richard Wright and gala co-chair Ian Gray.

Following dinner, guests returned upstairs for the Art Center’s official After Party. Guests celebrated with cocktails, dessert, music, and artist activities presented by the Youth Art Board, Alberto Aguilar, James Britt, Jason Dunda, William Estrada, Paul Hopkin, James Jankowiak, Chad Kouri, Sarah Nishiura, Rhonda Wheatley, and Tintin Wulia.

The Hyde Park Art Center is a unique resource that advances contemporary visual art in Chicago by connecting artists and communities in unexpected ways. As an open forum for exploring the artistic process, the Art Center fosters creativity through making, learning about, seeing, and discussing art—all under one roof. The Art Center is funded in part by: Alphawood Foundation; Allstate Insurance Company; Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts; Bloomberg Philanthropies; Chauncey and Marion D. McCormick Foundation; City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events; Crown Family Philanthropies; David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg Arts Foundation; Field Foundation of Illinois; Harper Court Arts Council Agency; Illinois Arts Council; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; The Joyce Foundation; Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince; Morrison Family Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; Polk Bros. Foundation; Reva and David Logan Foundation; Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust; and the generosity of its members and people like you.

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