A is for Artist

Curated by Scott J. Hunter

Once considered individuals requiring separation from the mainstream, persons with neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders are now recognized as valued contributors to the diversity of our communities. This awareness and recognition has taken place concurrently with a growing movement towards examining and addressing the sometimes quite artificial divisions that exist within the community of creative artists, where it has been the norm to segregate persons who have come to making through less traditional paths, and identifying them as “outsider artists,” who are seen as different from those artists whose training has been more academic and institutionally based. This despite the often quite substantial similarities in process, idea, and production that is seen in the works presented between the two groups, and the influence many “outsider artists” have had on modern and contemporary makers and their approaches to creating work. We are now at an important crossroads where it is imperative we consider the artificiality of this segregation, and come to recognize that making art has many routes behind it. Contemporary practices are ones engaged in by a diverse group of individuals, both in terms of training and experience, and developmental circumstance.

With this exhibition, featuring works by artists involved with Chicago-area based programs The Arts of Life, Esperanza Community Services, and Thresholds, and Flying Colors, the arts program at St. Michaels Association for Special Education, on the Navajo Nation in Window Rock, AZ, there is a recognition that the creative activities of artists who have neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disabilities are as deeply representative of the wider community of contemporary practices that define the visual arts in the 21st century, as they are reminders of the capacity for making that is inherent in being human.  Through this survey presentation of drawings, paintings, sculptures, and multimedia productions, A is for Artist seeks to engage both the diversity of approaches that are present within contemporary art at the current time, and to highlight the range of practices artists with neurodevelopmental differences are engaging in, as they pursue their careers as professionals within the creative community of Chicago and the US.

Panel discussion November 18th, 2-4:30pm.

Click here for a preview of the show



October 6 - November 26, 2017

Curator Tour and Reception: Sunday, October 22, 2017 at 2pm

The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art and the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture present a collaborative exhibition, “GALLERY Chicago,” pairing artworks from UIMA’s permanent collection with works by contemporary artists involved in NMPRAC’s programming.

Art is a language that knows no nationality, and “GALLERY Chicago” will highlight one of the visual languages that artists of Ukrainian and Puerto Rican backgrounds share: abstraction. UIMA houses one of the most robust collections of Ukrainian Modernist abstraction from the 1950s-1970s, while NMPRAC is dedicated to the cutting edge practices of contemporary Puerto Rican artists living or working in Chicago.

In “GALLERY Chicago,” these artists of two vastly different generations and ethnic heritages envelop their unique experiences within their formalism. With UIMA in the West Town/Ukrainian Village neighborhood, and NMPRAC located next door in Humboldt Park, this exhibition is also a reflection of the Ukrainian and Puerto Rican communities’ cultural legacies as neighbors.

“GALLERY Chicago” will feature work by Javier Bosques, Ihor Dmytruk, Frances Gallardo, Jacques Hnizdovsky, Wasyl Kacurovsky, Peter Kolisnyk, Ronald Kostyniuk, Lialia Kuchma, Michael D. Mandziuk, Rafael Miranda Mattei, Konstantin Milonadis, Nora Maite Nieves, Josue Pellot, Aka Pereyma, Luis Rodríguez Rosario, Zilia Sanchez, Kristine Servia, Edra Soto, Mychajlo Urban, and Omar Velazquez.

Curated by Robin Dluzen, Stanislav Grezdo and Bianca Ortiz.

This program is a part of the Chicago Cultural Alliance’s Inherit Chicago. Inherit Chicago is a city wide festival of art, ideas and performance at neighborhood heritage museums and cultural centers. Head to for a full list of events!

Register here for the curator’s talk.

October 6 – November 26, 2017 at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art
Curator Tour and Reception: Sunday, October 22, 2017 at 2pm