HIGH-SCHOOLERS DEBUT 'NO THUGS' ART AT UIC EXHIBIT
Reversing offensive stereotypes of youth as thugs and creating more accurate portraits of young people are the goals of a four-day art exhibit taking place June 6 - 9 at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago Illini Union, Art Lounge, 828 S. Wolcott St. The exhibit, open to the public, runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Entitled "Young People Today: Who We Are, Things We Do," the exhibit focuses on the lives and interests of six students who attend Manley Career Academy High School, a Chicago public school in North Lawndale on the city's West Side. Created by the students as a platform for self-expression, the exhibit is the culmination of a museum-focused class and workshop in which the students visited Chicago-area museums, chose their own focus, and then built their own exhibit.
"The goal is for these students to continue to create their own stories through exhibits, writing and through other media," said Therese Quinn, UIC doctoral candidate in education and exhibit coordinator. "We need these stories to present counter-images to the ones more commonly presented in dominant culture institutions, especially museums."
Quinn, whose graduate research critiques the ideologies embedded in mainstream cultural institutions, said museums today cater to mostly white, upper middle-class audiences, and tell stories that appeal to that audience. "That needs to change. This project is one way of addressing the issue," she said.
Participants in the exhibit class at Manley were: Jonita Harris, Jimmy Harvard, Deneshia Taylor, Jenetta "Tina" Taylor, Courtney Rolling and Natasha Williams. The class was sponsored by the UIC Center for Youth and Society, which funds projects that address issues of social justice. For more information about the "Young People Today: Who We Are, Things We Do" exhibit and other programs of the UIC Center for Youth and Society, call (312) 355-5190.
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