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“Imagine: A Spring Exhibition Featuring IPS Students” at Garfield Park Arts Center, March 5-27

Tomorrow’s artists are having their work exhibited today, as the Garfield Park Arts Center (2432 Conservatory Dr.) launches their month-long spring exhibition of artwork from students at IPS schools. 

The exhibit, titled “Imagine: A Spring Exhibition Featuring IPS Students,” runs March 5-27 and features artwork from K-12 students from eight district schools. 

The budding artists’ artwork stretches across media, from acrylic and watercolor paints, drawings, collages, mixed media, photography, digital art, sculptures, and some 3D pieces. 

This year marks the second year of the exhibit, started by Garfield Park Arts Center Manager Kavita Mahoney to display the work of students. She wanted to give students a place to display their art and hopefully inspire some of the next generations of artists. So she contacted David Newman, the Fine Arts Coordinator at IPS, and worked together to find an appropriate month to create and display student artwork.

They settled on March as a time when students would be in school and art classes, able to create some of their best work. 

“I’ve really seen that disconnect between student art being taken as seriously as professional art,” she said. “And it’s really empowering for students to have an opportunity like this to have their artwork displayed in a professional exhibition space. It also shows that this whole field of work in the arts isn’t too far off, and it can be a reality for students doing creative work.”

While the Arts Center remains open to the public, the pandemic has led to the cancellation of some of the associated events, like an orchestra and other performances from student arts of a more visual, live type. However, the current circumstances put an end to that.

“Last year we had quite a few students come out and perform, and we had field trips where the students would come look at their work,” she said. “Unfortunately the pandemic has made that impossible.”

But still, the art lining the gallery’s walls brings a smile to Mahoney’s face and knowing the gallery, open to the public, will still display new art from all over the city. 

“This is something I’ve always wanted to do here, and we are proud to be able to partner with IPS to showcase this artwork in our gallery,” she said. “We wanted to do something in the same vein that we did with our monthly exhibits with professional and up-and-coming emerging artists.” 

Participating IPS schools: 

  • Matchbook Learning at Wendell Phillips School 63
  • Clarence Farrington School 61
  • Jonathan Jennings School 109
  • Henry W. Longfellow Medical/STEM Middle School 28
  • Thomas Gregg Neighborhood School
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson School 58
  • Center for Inquiry School 27