After two years of emptiness, the Little City Center for the Arts is exploding with color and life once again.
As the program re-opens for the first time since shutting down in early 2020 due to COVID, artists. new and old, are dusting off their brushes and getting ready for a new experience in the reimagined Center for the Arts.
Longtime artists like Tarik are already leading the way and showing the world the creative talent he and so many others have to offer. Tarik’s work was selected for a monthslong exhibition at the Intuit: Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art in Chicago that will run through May 14, 2023.
New Little City art facilitator Sam Farchione said after two years without a proper outlet, artists like Tarik have a lot to say through their work and Little City’s art program will help get that message heard.
“I’m still meeting a lot of the artists and learning about them, and I am looking forward to working with all of them,” Sam said. “Tarik is fantastic in how his voice comes through in what he does. The artwork really sets up what he is thinking about. If he has a piece of paper and pencil in his hand, he can show you what he is thinking through his art.”
Tarik’s Intuit exhibition, entitled Open, has already made a splash nationally. Popular website, Thrillist, ranked Tarik’s exhibit as one of the 16 best museum exhibits to visit in 2023. Tarik was one of only two Chicago exhibits to make the list along with world-famous Remedios Varo, whose work is being shown in the Art Institute of Chicago.
The newly reopened and reimagined Center for the Arts hopes to be a haven of creativity where artists like Tarik can strive for that recognition and spotlight. The overhauled studio has dedicated spaces for a variety of art such as photography, woodworking, multimedia work, and traditional painting and drawing.
But the renovated Center is also more than just a creative hub. Guests are now welcomed by a gallery where they can browse and even purchase work on-site. Participants will also work in a customer service capacity, online store management, and other business-related roles to develop skills that can help toward community employment while also giving the artists’ work more exposure.
Community interaction will also be part of the new art program, with plans to take students out to local art galleries and museums to learn more about the world of art. Wendy Mayfield, Director of Community Day Services, said they are also hoping to have area artists and experts come to the center for guest speaking and teaching engagements.
“Right now, we are just excited to get classes going again and welcoming people back to the program after a long time away,” Wendy said. “We see a lot of potential for the center and as we start to add more facilitators, we will keep expanding our programming and what we are able to do.”
With artists like Tarik leading the way, Little City’s Center for the Arts newest chapter may be its most colorful yet.