Intuit spotlights Tarik Echols with first solo exhibition and opens accompanying exhibition series with art studios

December 2, 2022

Intuit spotlights Tarik Echols with first solo exhibition and opens accompanying exhibition series with art studios

Drawing with repeated lines and shapes in black, yellow, white, blue, green and pink, with swatches of pink, green and red watercolors in the background
Tarik Echols (American). Home 239, 2014. Watercolor and crayon on paper, 22 x 30 in. Collection of Jennifer Mannebach

Tarik Echols: Open: Dec. 9, 2022–May 14, 2023
Creative Growth Art Center: Selections from the Collection: Dec. 9, 2022–Jan. 29, 2023

Dec. 2, 2022—CHICAGO—Tarik Echols: Open, the Illinois artist’s first solo exhibition, opens at Intuit with free admission and extended hours on Friday, Dec. 9, accompanied by the first of three supporting exhibitions in partnership with the art studios Creative Growth Art Center, Project Onward and Arts of Life.

Tarik Echols: Open presents a breadth of drawings made by the artist between 2011 and 2020. Evident in the pieces on exhibition, Echols builds upon patterns of repeated words, letters and symbols to create drawings rich with color and visual movement. Jennifer Mannebach, Echols’ former arts facilitator at Little City, notes the words “open,” “home” and “mother” are “a few of his favorite words,” as the artist often repeats these in many of his drawings. Though Echols primarily creates with crayons and watercolors, he occasionally collages found materials into his works of art, incorporating layers and textures as seen in the pieces Open 35 (n.d.) and Speckled Trout (2011).

For more than 15 years, Echols has participated in day programs run by Little City, a nonprofit organization in Palatine, Ill., that serves children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through residential programs, employment services, horticultural programs and art-making at the Center for the Arts.

“Intuit has previously shown Echols’ artwork in group exhibitions, and we’re excited to present a more in-depth look at his work in Open,” said Alison Amick, curator of the exhibition and chief curator at Intuit.

Throughout the run of and complementing Tarik Echols: Open, Intuit is pleased to partner with the art studios Creative Growth Art Center (Oakland, Calif.), Project Onward (Chicago) and Arts of Life (Chicago) to co-curate and exhibit works by each studios’ respective artists. Creative Growth Art Center: Selections from the Collection—opening alongside Tarik Echols: Open—is curated by Tom di Maria, the art studio’s director emeritus, and features works from the museum’s collection by notable Creative Growth artists, such as Dwight Mackintosh, Donald Mitchell and Judith Scott.

“Intuit has long recognized the incredible talent of Tarik Echols, and we are pleased to be mounting his first solo exhibition. The opportunity to highlight the work of artists working in similar studio settings alongside the Echols exhibition adds a depth of context and opens a window to the richness of creativity happening in these art studios,” stated Debra Kerr, president and CEO at Intuit.

The exhibitions Tarik Echols: Open and Creative Growth Art Center: Selections from the Collection open to the public with free admission and extended hours (11 a.m.–8 p.m.) on Friday, Dec. 9. Intuit will host accompanying public programs throughout the run of Tarik Echols: Open, which closes May 14, 2023.


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.