Around the Corner—Participating School Lydia Urban Academy

Around the Corner—Participating School Lydia Urban Academy

Around the Corner 2015--Lydia Urban Academy artist with "Harmonious Discord"

Around the Corner 2015–Lydia Urban Academy artist with “Harmonious Discord”


Teens “just around the corner” from their adult lives are being given an opportunity to exhibit their work in one of Chicago’s most respected art galleries, Hairpin Arts Center, 2810 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago. This year’s theme:  Dreams for the Future. Artist reception is 1:00-4:00 p.m. Saturday, May 14. The art will remain on display Sunday May 15 1:00-4:00 p.m. Free and open to the public. 

Teen visual artists are from Luther North College Prep, Lydia Urban Academy, Steinmetz Academic Centre High School, and Aspira Early College Prep.   Teen musicians performing at the reception are from Upbeat Music and Arts, a non-profit organization offering music and art classes as well as summer camp for young people. Teen event volunteers are from buildOn, an after-school program at Schurz High School; they will earn community service points for their participation. 

Lydia Urban Academy is a fully accredited, non-traditional, private high school that provides a safe, nurturing environment for students who may have experienced academic adversity in the past. It focuses on educating students who need a small supportive environment.

Lydia Urban Academy participated in last year’s Around the Corner exhibit with a collaborative wood sculpture (“Harmonious Discord,” above) and several paintings.

When I went to Lydia a few weeks ago I saw last year’s works in the office area. If I were a student, I would take pride in the fact that my work was in an art show and is currently on display at my school.

Thank you for your investment in our students and our community…  All of us at Lydia Urban Academy are so grateful to for the opportunity we had to participate in Around the Corner 2015.  Our students were treated with such respect and encouraged to grow as individuals and artists.  To have such positive interactions with adults in the community is priceless.  Thank you for continuing to include us in this wonderful experience as you begin planning the second annual event. ~ Lydia Urban Academy, Karen Anderson

This year’s show will include several photographs from a project “How Would You Change Our World,” which looks at social movement.

Lauren Daniels is the art instructor for a collaborative project. She is a freshman at the Moody Bible Institute and was required to have an internship. As she investigated her options, the more she learned about Lydia the more she liked it. Now her internship is finished, but her enthusiasm remains, and she continues to come to Lydia to teach art.

The students decided they wanted to collaborate on a quote. They did some research and found a quote they could agree on which worked with the “dreams for the future” theme: You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change. Choice. Chance. Change. The author is unknown.

Each artist will take a word or phrase and illustrate it on a canvas. They will decorate each word using their choice of typography and media—acrylics, watercolors, mixed media, and so on.

When the canvases are done, they will all go together to make a bigger piece, like a mosaic.

I was there when they were divvying up the words and assigning them to students. Naturally, there was some discussion about who would take favored words. It was good to see the students interacting and taking an interest in the process.

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I recognized a student who was helping organize name distribution as an artist in last year’s exhibit.

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There was some discussion on the mechanics of putting the finished pieces together—building a frame to put them into? Velcro? It may seem very mundane, but this was the time to consider the logistics of weight and transportation before being locked into a design that might become unwieldy.

The budget is tight at Lydia Urban Academy, and art supplies can be expensive. Two events benefited the school. Groszek Law, Northwest Arts Connection, and Dunning Neighborhood Organization were involved in two fundraising events at Joie de Vivre, a boutique in the Portage Park neighborhood at 6053 W. Irving Park Rd., Chicago. The boutique generously gave 15% of proceeds to Lydia Urban Academy.

The name Joie de Vivre translates to “joy of life.” It is owned by a mother-and-daughter team and specializes in selling home goods, antiques, jewelry, and more—all with an eye towards a vintage European appeal.

After class Lauren and Lydia’s dean of students were discussing materials they would need, and the dean was able to tell her, “Go ahead and buy canvases, because we have money from the fundraisers.”

LYDIA Urban Academy


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