Shifting Boundaries in Review

 In Events

We recently concluded Shifting Boundaries: Community Arts Practice in Public Schools, an exhibition of artwork created by students and families in our after-school program, and we were thrilled with the attendance, the response, and the work presented and generated through the exhibition.

By the time Shifting Boundaries closed, at least 400 people had passed through the doors of the Hairpin Arts Center to engage with video, photography, installations, and performative artwork. In doing so, exhibition guests learned about the roles that community- as a body of people, a philosophy, a strategy, and a goal- can play in the development of innovative, creative, challenging, beautiful art.

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One highlight of Shifting Boundaries was our Family Night, hosted in honor of our younger after-school students and their families from Telpochcalli Elementary and Waters Elementary. Approximately 275 students, parents, artists, and educators attended Family Night and enjoyed sharing stories, artwork, and food. As children laughed, explored, darted around and between spaces that showcased and celebrated their knowledge and creativity, one teacher noted, “Tonight, this is their space.”

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Another highlight of Shifting Boundaries was the 2018 Teen/Artist Summit, where high school students from our after-school programs at North-Grand High School and George Washington High School presented their work and engaged in serious dialogue with professional artists from the Chicago area. The conversations ranged from basic artistic critiques, to discussions about race, class, and gender in art, to Q&As about the practicalities and challenges of becoming a professional artist. One teaching artist told us after the event, “It was such a learning experience for the students to present their work to multiple artists, multiple times through the night. I could see and hear them becoming more confident in how they presented and explained their work as the night progressed. And they got so much good feedback on their work!”

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Shifting Boundaries was an art exhibition that took the entirety of CAPE’s after-school community to envision, create, install, and celebrate. We’re grateful for all the CAPE students, families, teachers, artists, principals, and supporters who made this amazing show possible, and we’re already looking forward to Shifting Boundaries 2019!

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