Convergence 2019 in Review
Convergence is CAPE’s annual exhibition of visual, digital, and performing art created by hundreds of public school students across Chicago. This year’s Convergence exhibition was held in May and June at the Great Space at UIC.
The work featured at Convergence this year was envisioned, constructed, and critiqued as part of CAPE’s Artist/Researcher Partnerships (A/RP) program. A/RP is led by teams of classroom teachers and CAPE teaching artists who collaborate over months and years to design and refine classroom-based projects that weave together arts and academics. These educators and artists are at the forefront of innovation, research, and curriculum design in arts education and the artwork presented at Convergence 2019 highlighted the deep engagement and intensive inquiry CAPE’s A/RP program inspires in students and adults alike.
Typically, work created in classrooms remains within a school and generally out of the view of parents and community members. A key component of CAPE exhibitions is the showcasing of students’ art in a professional public setting and this year we were thrilled to welcome 425 students from 13 A/RP classrooms to the Convergence gallery, where they were able to view their own work in a formal art gallery and take pride in sharing it with a wider audience of exhibition attendees from across the city.
In addition to the opening reception, CAPE and Borderless Studio also co-hosted a day-long event for educators and artists. The symposium, titled Space and Identity in Art and Learning, explored ways in which teaching and making art intersect to create and evolve space inside and outside schools.
Taking a central idea from CAPE’s chapter in the recently published book Negotiating Place and Space through Digital Literacies, symposium presenters and participants unveiled how, in creating space, students, teachers, artists, architects, scientists, and community members also create identity.
This year’s Convergence exhibition featured work from classrooms at Boone Elementary, Camras Elementary, Daley Academy, Durkin Park Elementary, Goudy Elementary, Haley Elementary, Hamilton Elementary, Henry Elementary, Hibbard Elementary, Hoyne Elementary, Murphy Elementary, North-Grand High School, Pirie Elementary, Ravenswood Elementary, Ray Graham Training Center High School, Southside Occupational High School, Telpochcalli Elementary, Vaughn Occupational High School, and Williams Preparatory School of Medicine.
For a more in-depth look at some of the projects featured, check out:
Building Walls to Build Community, from Goudy Elementary
Exploring Artifacts to Understand Ourselves, from Murphy Elementary
Get Moving: STEM+Kinetic Sculptures, from Pirie Elementary