Work of John Hay students featured this month

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West Side students who participated in Changing World’s in-school and after-school programs will get to show off their art projects in a gallery setting this month in Downtown Chicago.

The art exhibit will feature projects from students in schools across Chicago and Evanston, including Austin’s John Hay Community Academy. A free reception will be held tonight.

Meida McNeal, Changing Worlds’ manager of performance arts learning and special projects, said the “Creating Art-Building Connections” exhibit has been done before but not for the last couple of years.

McNeal said Changing Worlds wanted to bring it back to have a bigger platform for the work that was created by students.

“It’s rekindling something we sort of put down for a bit,” she said.

McNeal said the exhibit is an opportunity to bring some of the best work from the diverse work students are doing and feature it in a gallery setting.

“It’s an opportunity to have your work seen beyond the classroom and beyond the school,” she said. “That’s something that’s really helpful for our students.”

Kay Berkson, founder of Changing Worlds and exhibit organizer, said the artwork ranges from paintings and collages to print and mixed-media pieces.

She said one group from the Iraqi Mutual Aid Society, who wanted to work on their writing and English skills, wrote powerful poems.

Changing World’s teaching artist Carron Little said the organization is doing a lot for the young people of Chicago, and the exhibit is a vital experience for the children.

“I think it’s so important for educators to do public exhibitions of student work because it makes them feel so valued and so special,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to recognize their talent and celebrate that.”

The exhibit will be on display at the Main Lobby Gallery, 55 E. Monroe St. through June 26. (Enter at 125 S. Wabash Ave.) Changing Worlds will have an opening reception Thursday, June 5 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.



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