Everyone’s an artist at UIC Free Art School

Lisa Lee, director of the UIC School of Art & Art History, says art is essential to democracy.

Free Art School will be “playful,” says Lisa Lee, director of the School of Art & Art History.

“We believe that everyone is an artist,” says Lisa Lee, director of the UIC School of Art & Art History.

In keeping with that philosophy, the UIC Free Art School will offer free noncredit classes this summer in art and art history, taught by known artists and scholars, to students of a wide age range and any level of experience.

The program, funded by a $35,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, will run from July 6 through Aug. 10.

It will include studio workshops, tours, a graffiti institute, social practice projects and “participatory art interventions — an eclectic range of courses that reflects the urgency of our historical moment,” Lee says.

“The atmosphere of the school will be playful, but it embraces a cornerstone of democracy — the right to artistic expression and cultural rights for all people.”

Instructors will include UIC faculty members Hannah Higgins, Dan Peterman, Jennifer Reeder, Matthew Metzger, Catherine Becker, Elise Archias, Faheem Majeed and adjunct Kevin Coval, as well as artists Theaster Gates, Alberto Aguilar, Miguel “Kane One” Aguilar, Krista Franklin, Christine Sun Kim, Jason Lazarus, Riva Lehrer and John Yau.

Enrollment requires no application and will be on a first-come, first-served basis, except when an instructor asks to teach a particular age group or those with special learning needs. Classes will vary in size and take place in several locations on campus and across Chicago.

“This is an art school that demands a very different type of engagement,” Lee says.

“It will invite students to use their intelligence in unusual ways, to explore the new and curious. It will require a willingness to discuss issues and to make things with strangers.”

Class descriptions and registration are available online. New classes will be added each week and new sessions may be added as classes fill.

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