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Hyde Park Art Center presents biennial exhibition ‘Dream,’ part of Center Program

The Hyde Park Art Center, the renowned non-profit hub for contemporary art located on Chicago’s vibrant South Side, announces “Dream,” an exhibition of new works culminating the Art Center’s biennial Center Program, a professional development program for the elevation of emerging and mid-career artists, now in its 10th year. Guest-curated by Asha Iman Veal, this exhibition will occupy the entire first floor galleries from December 12, 2021 – March 20, 2022, featuring works by 20 artists from Center Program’s 2020- 21 cohort.

Emerging together after the stay-at-home year and a long period of self-reliance, this year’s Center Program cohort collectively and boldly proposes their vision for a better world. Each of the 20 artists bring their personhood to nuanced visual conversations on: police brutality, the female body as monument, freedom of protest, conservation, class inequity, human migration, mortality, mental health, and indigenous visibility and rights.

Elaborating on the naming of the exhibition, curator Asha Iman Veal said: “These artists constructively confront reality amid the present moment’s prolonged intensity of societal shift. In different ways, each of the artworks takes on larger questions of what is next when former dreams and ways of being must evolve, hence the title ‘Dream.’”

ASHA IMAN VEAL (Photography by Melody Bilbo)

Veal goes on to share her journey curating the exhibition and working with the cohort: “Center Program enabled me to achieve something that isn’t possible with all exhibitions and projects—to value the time and detail of studio visits and sustained communication with artists, which is important to me as a relationship-based curator. For the span of an entire year and half, it has been a total brain delight to hear from and exchange with 20 unique individuals. I value the process and format of spending time with such deeply thinking artists, as much as the process of installing the public exhibition itself. There is a trust that develops week by week, and month by month, among this entire group, making this a very cool opportunity as a curator to facilitate a group cohesion.”

CYDNEY LEWIS, Clearing My Judgements Away, 2021, hand cut paper with digital drawing.

Participating artists include Cecilia Beaven Gallegos, Dorothy Burge, Cathleen Campbell, Teresita Carson, Jonathan Castillo, Jason Dunda, Sarabeth Dunton, Tanya Gill, Brooke Hummer, Janis Kanter, Mayumi Lake, D. Lammie-Hanson, Percy Lam, Cydney Lewis, Frances Lee, JeeYeun Lee, Susannah Papish, Monika Plioplyte, Monica Rickert-Bolter, and Allison Svoboda.

Veal is the Curatorial Fellow at the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago, and is a Humanity in Action Landecker Democracy Fellow (EU/UK/USA). She is an Assistant Professor Adjunct in the Department of Arts Administration & Policy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Veal’s recent exhibitions include: “Beautiful Diaspora/You Are Not the Lesser Part” at MoCP (2022); “Raisin” at 6018/North and Chicago Architecture Biennial (2021); and Martine Gutierrez at MoCP (2021). Her previous work includes arts projects or research in Chicago, New York, Edinburgh, Vietnam, Juárez, Havana, Tokyo; and she was formerly Associate Festival Producer for playwright Eve Ensler’s V-Day global movement to end violence against women and girls (New York).

For more information on the exhibition and related public programs, as well as COVID-19 protocols, visit

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