The Gallery within the Gordon Parks Arts Hall promotes artistic and cultural awareness by exhibiting works of art for the Laboratory Schools, the University of Chicago, and the broader Chicago community. It serves to amplify our aesthetic and intellectual life on campus both by displaying the work of Lab students, faculty, and alumni, and by holding special exhibits. A focal point within the integrated arts environment fostered by Gordon Parks Hall, the gallery provides a forum for promoting visual acuity and for discussing a wide range of questions, both formal and cultural.
The Senior Art Show is a culmination of the student’s work in various mediums, from digital art and photography, to traditional painting and drawing, to three dimensional and installation-based works.
At each level of its program, students not only build skills, but also become more comfortable and confident in meeting the challenges of aesthetic self-expression.
Seniors have been working in various mediums with a diverse range of approaches and styles as evident in this show. Working alongside Lab’s Visual Arts High School faculty: Mirentxu Ganzarain, Benjamin Jaffe, Sunny Neater-Dubow, Ana Romero and Brian Wildeman, as well as Nathan Aldredge in the MakerSpace, seniors have been mentored on various artistic practices and then turned loose to explore their own approach to art making. This creative freedom has allowed students to create work that is uniquely theirs.
When MacArthur Award-winning artist Mel Chin visited New Orleans in 2006, in the wake of Hurrican Katrina, we learned about the lead contamination poisoning the city and the rest of the country for decades. "Hundreds of thousands of children were being exposed each year, with far reaching consequences that played out over lifetimes," the Fundred Project reads. "Mel believed that children should be part of the solution." Through individual drawings for the Fundred Dollar Bill Project, their voices are now represented in a powerful call for a lead-free future.
The Fundred Project is a creative currency to demonstrate how much we value the lives of children and a future free of lead poisoning. Making a Fundred dollar bill is a chance for individual self expression, collectively the Fundreds demonstrate the value placed on healthier communities, lead-free homes, and the imagination of all children.
So far, nearly half a million people have created and sent in their unique Fundreds to the Fundred Reserve Collection. As the Fundred Reserve continues to grow, we want the Fundreds’ worth applied to eliminating lead poisoning. To make sure that happens, we are presenting these drawings to our nation's leaders to support action that deals with this destructive element, once and for all. The entire Fundred Reserve has been donated to the Brooklyn Museum of Art; any Fundreds sent in through spring of 2022 will be added to the official collection at the Brooklyn Museum.
Teachers: Download lesson plans and other resources. See how other teachers have worked with the project in their classrooms.
Parents: Lead exposure affects children’s health. Fundred offers everyone in your family a chance to be represented in support of preventing lead poisoning. The whole family can take part, there is no age limit for making Fundreds.
Students: Draw a Fundred to contribute to a solution. Invite your classmates and the whole school to get involved.
Turtel Onli, MAAT, is an American artist, entrepreneur, author, art therapist, educator, and publisher. Over Onli's career, his work has touched upon a variety of disciplines in fine and applied visual art, producing works in painting, drawing, illustration, publishing, fashion, and multimedia production. Onli has authored and illustrated numerous comic books and graphic novels, including NOG, Protector of the Pyramides, Malcolm 10, Nog Nu, and Grammar Patrol. He is known as the Father of the Black Age of Comics, a movement dedicated to the promotion, creation, and support of Afrocentric comic books and graphic novels. Onli coined the term "Rhythmism" to define and interpret his stylizations, which fuse primitive and futuristic concepts. Now retired, Onli worked as an art teacher in Chicago Public Schools for more than two decades.
Turtel Onli's work will be exhibited in the Corvus Gallery August 30–December 10, 2021. Gallery hours are from 8:30 a.m.–4:30 pm., Monday–Friday. Visitors arriving during the school day are asked to enter through Judd Hall, wear a mask at all times, and present a photo ID at the security desk when checking in.