CCA Partner Member The Peace School is launching a photo campaign to celebrate the beauty of all people and cultures in the 77 Community Areas of Chicago, and they are asking their fellow Members of the Alliance for help! Their goal is to spread peace and love by getting to know and understand each other better as we support positive actions for peace. They thought of you because they want to promote people, groups and businesses that are making their neighborhood a better place to live. (That is DEFINITELY the Members of the Alliance!)
It is easy to participate! Go to a place you love in your community and take a photo with your message of peace. You’ll find details and sample photos below. Your photo will become part of the Peace in Chicago Call to Peace series on social media, featuring one Community Area each day.
Here’s an example from the Swedish American Museum of Chicago, who already submitted their photo, and Ben from the Chinese American Museum of Chicago is the cover image for this post!
Here’s how to participate:
· Make a sign that says: Peace in [community area]
· Take a photo with the sign – here are some samples and ideas:
Celebrate something positive in your community:
· Your photo location could be on your own block or in front of a park, community garden, museum, school, public mural, community center, shop, restaurant… pick a spot in your Community Area you’d like to highlight. (This is a great way to represent your own cultural center or museum if you’d like!)
· Your photo can include one person or you can gather your family, neighbors, coworkers or members of your local organization. Please make sure that everyone in the photo gives permission for the image to be shared (including parent or guardian of children).
· Your sign can be on a piece of paper or on a large poster. It can be simple or artistic. Keep in mind that you’ll want the sign’s message to show up well in your photo.
2. Important! Include a statement in your email giving us permission to share the photo on social media.
3. Feel free to send us your Instagram and FACEBOOK @ handle so we can tag you when it’s time for your photo to be posted in the series. Then please share!
4. You can also send us @ handles of other places in your Community Area you’d like us to tag.
It would mean a lot to have you participate in this special Peace in Chicago Call to Peace as we celebrate The Peace School’s 50th Anniversary in Chicago. Email Lydia Howe with questions at [email protected] Together, let’s plant seeds of peace in Chicago and the world.
VIsiting the korean cultural center of chicago gallery
Their emphasis on using their Museum and Visual Arts Program to share both traditional Korean culture and contemporary artists was evident when our Collaborative Programs Coordinator Abby Foss visited the KCCoC recently. Abby visited the gallery in May to view the exhibition “Gyeol” by textile artist Hyelim Kim. Kim designed an avant garde collection created with both modern and traditional Korean textiles and techniques. Abby was lucky enough to meet with the artist herself, and to tour the gallery with the KCCoC’s Executive Director, Kay Kihwa Rho.
Hyelim Kim, Abby Foss, and Kay Kihwa Rho at Kim’s show “Gyeol.” Photo courtesy of Abby Foss.
Kim utilized a sewing technique, Kkaekki, which is a traditional style of seaming created for the Korean Hanbok, where fabric pieces are cut and pieced together in a way that resulted in beautifully thin and flat seams running throughout all of the garments. “As I walked around the space, the avant garde cuts, colors, and lines created by the Kkaekki technique gave a sense of movement, and the colors themselves shifted slightly as the light caught the different layers within the garments,” Abby said. “My favorite piece was a yellow and purple garment that Hyelim Kim explained had been inspired by the sunset.”
Learning More about the Korean cultural center of chicago’s visual arts program
Inspired by Abby’s visit to the Korean Cultural Center of Chicago’s museum and gallery, I wanted to learn more about how they curate their constantly changing exhibitions. I spoke with Gay-Young Cho, the Director of the Museum and Visual Arts Program at the KCCoC to learn more about the thought process behind their exhibitions and what is so unique about their program.
What is your professional background? How did you come to work for the Korean Cultural Center of Chicago?
My professional background is social psychology, specializing in organizational behavior. However, I have been involved with the art world for over 30 years as an art collector and as a volunteer in various capacities in numerous art institutions. I am a founding member of the Asian Art Council at the Guggenheim Museum in NYC, and was Vice President and Chair of Programming of the Asian Art Council Board at the Art Institute of Chicago. I serve on the Collections Committee of the Field Museum of Chicago. I assumed the role of the Director of Museum at the KCCoC as a volunteer.
Image courtesy of Gay-Young Cho
What kinds of artists do you work with or what kind of art do you look for when you are making your curatorial decisions?
One of the goals of our exhibition program is to promote Korean American artists, thereby we give preference to the Korean American artists working in the Midwest. The foremost criterion we are looking for in our exhibitions is excellence. But another criteria is the subject matter or the use of the material that relates to Korean culture, both traditional or contemporary.
Do you have a favorite exhibition that you worked on recently? If so, can you tell me what was special about it?
The exhibition, “FOUNDATION; Chosuk,” which was held on March 5, 2022. It was a group show of eight emerging Korean American artists who are recent graduates of the School of Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), curated by Dabin Ahn. “Chosuk” is the foundation stone that was widely used in Korean traditional architecture providing structural support for buildings ranging from small Hanok houses to the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty. Bringing together a group of emerging artists, FOUNDATION showcased how each artist structures their practice by employing Culture, Longing, Color, Identity, Process, Memory and Site-specificity as its foundation. There was some fabulous cutting edge art represented in the exhibition!
Guests view the artwork at the “FOUNDATION; Chosuk” exhibition. Photo courtesy of the Korean Cultural Center of Chicago
What do you want people to know about the Korean Cultural Center of Chicago, its museum, and its visual arts program?
Our museum and its visual arts program is “the little engine that could!” As a small museum, we have limited resources; we work with a very small budget and limited staff. The available budget does not match our ambition. Despite this, with our excellent exhibitions we are beginning to make our presence known both in the Korean community and the Chicago metropolitan area.
We also have an interesting collection of Korean cultural artifacts and arts in our museum, including a mock Korean traditional wedding set.
Can you tell me about the Harry Ahn show happening now? What is special about this show? Why would you recommend people come to see it?
When I made a visit to Harry Ahn’s studio, I was quite stunned and moved by his paintings of homeless people. Not only is Harry an amazing and accomplished portrait artist, but in his rendering of the homeless, we are called to recognize the worth and dignity of every human being, knowing that each has untold stories behind their homelessness. When asked why he focused his art on homeless people, Harry explains:
“A homeless wanderer on the street is an endless subject. I want to make people think about the many different ways ordinary people end up on the street. An artist can transform this outcast into a human being worthy of dignity and respect. I was that same homeless wanderer during the desolation right after the Korean War.“
A guest contemplates a painting by Harry Ahn. Photo courtesy of the Korean Cultural Center of Chicago
Ahn’s affinity for people who are struggling came from his own experiences as a refugee in Korea. He was born in North Korea, and was a young teen when the Korean War forced his family to flee to South Korea, leaving them destitute and homeless. In his art, the viewer can see that his remembrance of his refugee childhood has infused his art with both compassion and spirituality, and Harry seeks out the basic human value of each individual.
The exhibition, “I am not worthless, just homeless,” opened on June 3rd and will be showing through June 30th. The viewers will be moved to see what Harry saw in these homeless people.
Finally, what do you have coming up soon?
We are taking a summer break to focus on upgrading our collections and inventory system; we recently installed new collections management software, and are in the process of revamping our system to make our collections and exhibitions widely accessible online.
We are planning an exhibition, “Earthly Eloquence: Korean Contemporary ceramics.” This exhibition will be timed to coincide with the opening celebration of the Bisch Hall Performing Arts Theater, to be completed next year.
Another future exhibition we are exploring is art made with “hanji”, Korean paper.
Harry Ahn’s “I am not worthless, just homeless,” will be showing through June 30th at the Korean Cultural Center of Chicago Gallery, 9930 Capitol Dr, Wheeling, IL, 60090.
Special thanks to Gay-Young Cho, Kay Kihwa Rho, and Abby Foss for their help with this article. Image used in header is courtesy of the Korean Cultural Center of Chicago.
Marie Rowley, Marketing and Communications Manager
The Cultural Grants team seeks Chicago-area individuals to serve as grant application reviewers. Candidates must have arts and culture experience and be available for approximately 40 hours over several weeks. There is compensation for service. The application takes about 10 minutes to complete. You can help decide what arts and culture projects receive grants from DCASE!
We have a limited number of tickets, so to ensure that all Core Members have the ability to access this Member Benefit, we are giving out the Zoo tickets in two rounds this time. From now until August 5, 2022 all Core Members are allowed to request up to 200 tickets. If there are any tickets left, the second round of tickets will be open to all members (including Partner Members) on a first come, first serve basis. This will be announced on August 5, 2022 during the August Town Hall.
EDIT JULY 1: Thanks to many Members responding very quickly to our initial post, we are able to release ALL remaining Brookfield Zoo tickets ahead of schedule. Any Member (Core or Partner) may request any amount of zoo tickets, and they will be distributed on a first come, first served basis until they are gone.
The goal of the Brookfield Pass Program is to provide free access for Core Member communities to Brookfield Zoo. Please make sure to keep the follow Guidelines and Information in mind when requesting and distributing your tickets:
Information about the tickets
Each ticket provides free admission to Brookfield Zoo for one adult or one child
Tickets do not include free parking or admission to special exhibits
Tickets expire on March 31, 2023
Zoo tickets are a Member Benefit, so a Member must be current on dues for 2022 to receive tickets. (If you cannot pay dues now or must pay in installments, that can be arranged.)
Any promotion of the program should include recognition of Chicago Cultural Alliance and Brookfield Zoo.
Core Members are the responsible party for distributing the zoo tickets to their community by allowing 4 tickets per family.
Zoo tickets are not allowed to be distributed in bulk to organizations unaffiliated with the Chicago Cultural Alliance.
We expect Core Members to distribute tickets in such a way that they are not available for someone to sell illegally.
It’s time to start thinking about Journey Chicago, our annual festival of intercultural events hosted by you, our Members! Journey Chicago will take place throughout October 2022. Journey Chicago strengthens our mission by promoting our Members to a large audience, fostering cross-cultural dialogue, and supporting our Members with micro-grants for their events.