Artists-in-residence will focus on mixed media, alternative art

Berk Oto, Midway Reporter

The Kistenbroker Family Artist-in-Residence program will continue in the 2019-20 school year with a focus on mixed media.

A committee has chosen two artists and is waiting for them to provide a contract to finalize plans for their upcoming residency. The program will consist of shows in fall and winter quarters as well as the continued presence of the artists throughout the school.

“We wanted to bring artists to our community that have a connection with young people, and feel empathetic to the struggle of young people today today,” Sunny Neater, co-chair of the fine arts department, said regarding the goal of the program. “It was really essential to us that both artists were excited about working with kids and have brought ideas of what they can do with young people in our community.”

The first artist, Faheem Majeed, is a South Shore Chicago-based mixed media artist who looks at the material makeup of his neighborhood as an entry point into larger questions about community activism and institutional critique. He transforms things that may otherwise be overlooked, like scrap metal or discarded billboards, into art.

Mr. Majeed has led a multitude of educational workshops for a variety of ages as well as being an inaugural artist-in-residence for the University of Chicago’s Arts and Public Life Initiative in 2012. He is currently a full-time artist that works out of his South Shore studio. Mr. Majeed will likely visit Lab during the Fall.

Shani Crowe, the second artist-in-residence, is another South Shore native best known for her work with hair arranged in intricate corn-rowed styles captured by photographic portraits. Ms. Crowe also taught at the Summer Lab program from 2014-15.

Ms. Crowe expressed interest in having her own studio within the school where students could check in on her work, as well as seek advice about their own artwork.

“I used to take my students to artist’s studios, so they could have conversations with working artists,” Ms. Neater said, “and now we have the opportunity to bring artists to us and welcome them into a really creative community, where not just one class gets to experience them, but everyone will have an opportunity to interact with them.”

The theme of the artist-in-residence program for 2020-21 will be dance, which will focus on the artistic aspects of the activity. According to Ms. Neater, plans for the dance residency are at a preliminary phase.