The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presents The Mark Bradford Project, a yearlong audience participation residency connecting the artist with the Chicago community. This project leads up to the Mark Bradford exhibition, the first survey of the artist’s work to date, on view at the MCA Chicago, May 28–September 18, 2011.
Dateline Australia’s video segment, “LA Laid Bare,” about Mark, the exhibition, and the residency project.
Laura Pearson’s review for Time Out Chicago.
“Urban Re-Planning,” by Laura Fox, in Newcity.
Ebony Magazine’s “The Mark Bradford Project Connects Artist + MCA + Community.”
A feature on the exhibition and the residency in The Art Newspaper.
WBEZ’s interview with new MCA Curator Naomi Beckwith includes a conversation about Mark’s work.
Tags: Mark Bradford press exhibition
Art is not something outside of their experiences. It lives right there with them.
The youth have moved from production to presentation, conversing with Mark to explore installation ideas.
YOUmedia encourages critique, conversation, and collaboration. Each time I walk into the space, I see teens gathered in groups chatting together, playing Rock Band as “band mates,” listening to someone’s new audio track, sharing out poetry with mentors. Within all these shared experiences, the youth are listening to each other’s ideas, contributing their own, appreciating differences, and propelling themselves to better understand their own ideas. As part of The Mark Bradford Project, the option of who you could critique, converse, or collaborate with has included some additional faces, including Mark Bradford.
Now, with the culminating exhibition of this work, (Re)Connect, set to open next week, the youth have moved from production to presentation, spending time thinking about how their artworks exist in an exhibition space. Recently, the teens visited the MCA and Skyped with Mark to explore installation ideas. They are hungry for suggestions and information, and seem energized by the various ways that artists choose to display work. They are revising their work and thinking about the experience of the viewer. The youth process this new mode of thinking with great openness and excitement. It is so beneficial, maybe even critical, to have an encouraging environment of critique, conversation, and collaboration already in place, which YOUmedia provides. As I see it, this allows for risk-taking to take place and thus meaningful processes and experience to occur. That’s what I like to call, The Mark Bradford Project.
Check out a slideshow of a recent “Mark Bradford Monday” when youth came to the MCA to explore the exhibition Without You I’m Nothing: Art and Its Audience and spent time talking about their artwork for (Re)Connect with curator Tricia Van Eck.
— Elena Goetz, MCA Coordinator of Youth and Family Programs; Images of (Re)Connect installation at Pop-Up Art Loop Gallery, 205 S. State Street, Chicago, IL; Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA ChicagoTags: YOUmedia (Re)Connect collaboration exhibition Elena Goetz
As an MCA staff member in Membership, one of the best parts of my job is getting the chance to meet and interact with artists as their opening events are planned. Every Members’ Opening is born out of the Development office, and keeping the artist and our members of all levels in mind, we try to create an event that will fully reflect the artists’ work and personality. With Mark Bradford, this experience was particularly fun, and Mark’s infectious inspiration helped fuel our creativity as we started to develop his opening activity months in advance.
Mark began his relationship with MCA staff members by hosting a discussion where he presented his thoughts, passions, and opinions about art and community. While Mark Bradford’s creative residency was still taking shape, he talked about the importance of community and how it influences his art. In planning for the opening he challenged us to reach out to our community in new ways with a specific emphasis on being all-inclusive, to inspire new audiences throughout Chicago. With his ideas in mind, we went to work planning the Mark Bradford Opening with a public component as our centerpiece.
The MCA prides itself on being an active community organization, so we are more than excited to welcome the community to this event by offering a paid ticket option. To highlight the importance of Mark’s interaction with the Chicago community, we have invited the students and teens involved in The Mark Bradford Project, from Lindblom Math and Science Academy and Digital Youth Network’s YOUmedia program at the Harold Washington Library, and their families.
With all this considered, we are very pleased to invite you to the Mark Bradford Opening on May 26 from 6:30 to 9 pm. Member tickets are free, and public tickets are $20. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres from Wolfgang Puck, a cash juice and alcohol bar, and fresh beats from DJ Kid Color. And don’t miss an engaging discussion in the MCA Theater at 7 pm.
In this discussion, you can learn more about the artist behind this exhibition. Kym Pinder, associate professor and chair of the Department of Art History, Theory and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute, facilitates a conversation with Mark, Erika Hanner, Director of Education at the MCA, and students from Lindblom and YOUmedia. Gain behind-the-scenes insight into The Mark Bradford Project, hear the voices of key participants from the Project speak about their interactions with Mark, and understand Mark’s passion for connecting students to art in various communities. I look forward to seeing you at the Mark Bradford Opening for this incredible show and to celebrate art in Chicago!
— Jen Rhodes, MCA Membership Assistant; Images (top to bottom): Mark speaks to MCA staff, photo by Erica Sanko; Mark helping out in the office, photo by Mia Wicklund. © MCA Chicago