HYDE PARK — The Hyde Park Art Center is hosting a jam-packed multicultural arts experience this weekend.
The cultural hub, 5020 S. Cornell Ave., is hosting its quarterly Center Days 1-4 p.m. Saturday with art-making, community discussions and workshops for all ages, as well as four exhibitions, including the solo debut of Chicago artist William Estrada.
Many activities throughout the day are focused on Puerto Rican culture, including a maraca-making workshop to celebrate Puerto Rican music and live performances of Afro-Puerto Rican bomba music.
Visitors can also partake in a community mural painting, as artists highlight Chicago’s BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities and reflect on social justice issues, or make their own tin medallion in a workshop. There will even be a floating garden exhibit in the center’s parking lot.
Estrada’s exhibition, “Multiples and Multitudes” will be on display at the Hyde Park Art Center until Oct. 29. Estrada’s work is in collaboration with fellow artists and figures within the city.
“Taking the form of video works, prints, installations and sculptures, these artworks will be activated by the artist during impromptu and planned performative events throughout the run of the exhibition that invite community members to participate and make art,” the Hyde Park Art Center said in a statement.
Musical highlights will include Las BomPleneras Unplugged, a Chicago-based ensemble of six women that showcases Afro-Puerto Rican bomba and plena music through song, percussion and dance that invites audience participation.
The performance will be a part of the “Destination/El Destino: a decade of GRAFT” exhibition, curated by Chicago-based Puerto Rican artist Edra Soto. Soto started the “GRAFT” series to address her struggles of migrating to the U.S. while staying connected with her family back in Puerto Rico.
“So much of her work is rooted in the architecture and cultural elements of her home, and she has often activated her structures with musical collaborations over the decade of exhibiting them in communities,” said Ciera Alyse McKissick, public programs manager at the Hyde Park Art Center.
The two other featured exhibits are the center’s annual teen showcase titled “A Universe of Self-Experience” and “Amuleto,” a collaboration between the center and independent art spaces that explores portable objects attributed with magical or sentimental qualities.
“Center Days are an opportunity for us to give folks a robust taste of our offerings and for our community to discover what we are currently exhibiting, the artists we are working with, and to find other ways to stay connected,” McKissick said.
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