Hand Drawn Circle
Arts of Life Studio Past and Present
Hand Drawn Circle: Arts of Life Studio Past and Present brings together work by former and current artists who utilize the Arts of Life studio. The exhibition’s title is a nod to one of the key formal components of founding artist Veronica Cuculich’s body of work, which she referred to as “babydolls”: a simplified figure with an often-enlarged circular head that Cuculich returned to throughout her practice. These “babydolls” were often drawn with mandala-like linear elements and stripes of color, visually paralleling many types of religious devotional iconography. The works presented in Hand Drawn Circle comprise a range of approaches to the sacred act of representing thoughts in form.
One of the most universal symbols, a circle has no beginning or end and embodies ideas of inclusivity and unity—ideas paralleled by Arts of Life core values. Founded in 2000 by Cuculich, two co-directors and nine individuals with developmental disabilities, Arts of Life is a nonprofit with a vision to create a working, person-centric artistic community while providing a work environment of equality in Chicago.
Arts of Life continues to advance the creative arts community by providing more than 60 artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities with a collective space to expand their practice and strengthen their leadership.
Arts of Life
Founded in 2000, Arts of Life is a nonprofit studio and gallery with a vision to create a working, person-centric artistic community while providing a work environment of equality in Chicago. Its vision grew from a passion for artistic expression and a need for an alternative system.
Get a closer look
Read about Arts of Life
Learn about the art studio in the article Supporting Artists with Disabilities by Vincent Uribe in the museum’s annual publication, The Outsider.
Opening Reception: Hand Drawn Circle
Thursday, March 23, 2023, 5–8 p.m., Intuit
Art After Work: Nikki Heusman
Thursday, April 20, 2023, 5–6:30 p.m., Arts of Life’s North Shore studio
- Hand Drawn Circle, Chicago Gallery News