Intuit partners with Project Onward to open What Are Words For?

January 26, 2023

Intuit partners with Project Onward to open What Are Words For?

Mixed media piece with big, blue letters "C.E." at the top and "Counterpoint" at the bottom; a gray, blue and red elephant at the center of the composition; red letters and swatches of color in the top right corner
Luke Shemroske (American, b. 1991). Counterpoint, 2018. Mixed media on canvas, 9 x 12 in. Photo courtesy Project Onward

Opening reception: Feb. 3, 2023, 5–8 p.m.
Exhibition on view: Feb. 3–Mar. 19, 2023

Jan. 26, 2023—CHICAGO—In partnership with Project Onward, Intuit opens the exhibition What Are Words For? with free admission and extended hours on Friday, Feb. 3.

Intuit is pleased to host a series of exhibitions in partnership with the art studios Creative Growth Art Center (Oakland, Calif.), Project Onward (Chicago) and Arts of Life (Chicago), in which the museum invites each studio to co-curate and exhibit works by their respective artists. Creative Growth Art Center: Selections from the Collection featured works of art from the museum’s collection by notable Creative Growth artists. Following this first exhibition’s close on Sunday, Jan. 29, the series continues with the second show of three: What Are Words For?

What Are Words For? is curated by Robyn Jablonski, creative director at Project Onward, and features works by six of the studio’s artists: Catherine Butterfly, William Douglas, Safiya Hameed, Molly McGrath, Luke Shemroske and Lucy Woodhouse. The exhibition centers on the significance of words and language represented in art—What do the words mean? How do they enhance or challenge the images they accompany? Is their presence as significant as their absence? These questions serve as points of entry for audiences to consider when looking at the varied styles of each artist.

“[The exhibition] implores audiences to wander and wonder with these artworks and be present with the images and words presented,” stated Jablonski.

What Are Words For? opens to the public with free admission and extended hours (11 a.m.–8 p.m.) on Friday, Feb. 3, and runs through Sunday, Mar. 19. Accompanying the exhibition, Intuit will host Art After Work on Thursday, Feb. 23, 5–6:30 p.m., at Project Onward (1200 W. 35th Street, 4th Floor, Chicago, IL 60609), where five of the studio’s artists will facilitate an art-making workshop inspired by their artistic practices. The public program is free, and registration will open the first week of February.


A leader in the field of disability arts for its innovative blend of accuracy, artistic excellence and social engagement, Project Onward is a nonprofit studio and gallery in Chicago with a mission to provide artists with disabilities the opportunity to create their work in a safe, supportive studio environment; connect artists with disabilities with the arts community and the general public; and inspire change by using art to promote empathy and reduce the stigma of mental illness and developmental disabilities.

For more information, please visit Project Onward.


Founded in 1991, Intuit is a premier museum of outsider and self-taught art, defined as work created by artists who faced marginalization, overcame personal odds to make their artwork, or who did not, or sometimes could not, follow a traditional path of art making, often using materials at hand to realize their artistic vision. By presenting a diversity of artistic voices, Intuit builds a bridge from art to audiences. The museum’s mission—to celebrate the power of outsider art—is grounded in the ethos that powerful art can be found in unexpected places and made by unexpected creators.

Intuit is open 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday and by appointment on Tuesday and Wednesday. For more information, please visit Plan Your Visit.