Three exhibits featuring novel and compelling art works are currently in the spotlight at Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago.

The center reopened recently with the solo exhibition “Cuts and Beats: Cecil McDonald Jr.” as well as “Ground Floor Biennial Exhibition of New Chicago Artists” and “Next Window, Please! Teen Showcase.” “Cuts and Beats” runs through June 12 while “Ground Floor” and “Next Window, Please!” continue through April 3.

Four Magellanic penguin chicks, hatched in May, toured the Shedd Aquarium’s “Oceanarium” section to become familiar with the sights, sounds and smells, staff said. Video provided by aquarium staff.


“All of these exhibitions were scheduled to happen in 2020 but because of COVID, they all had to be pushed back,” said Mariela Acuna, exhibition and residency coordinator for The Hyde Park Art Center. “People have responded positively to the exhibits,” she said, adding visitors are happy to be viewing art live again in the city.

“Cuts and Beats: Cecil McDonald Jr.” features an interesting display of works by McDonald that is inspired by Black culture and history as well as music. “Ground Floor” showcases work by emerging artists from MFA programs at Chicago arts colleges while “Next Window, Please!” highlights work from teens who have studied art via The Hyde Park Art Center’s teen programs.

“The students coming out of the program work in so many different mediums,” Acuna said. “It’s so important especially now to highlight the voices of young people,” she added.

“Ground Floor,” Acuna said, is filled with impressive and unique works from graduates of art programs at schools such as Columbia College Chicago, The School of The Art Institute of Chicago and other educational institutions.