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Little City’s Masterpiece Artists with Disabilities Featured

Artwork by Little City's artists Tarik Echols and Angelo LaPietra
Artwork by Little City’s artists Tarik Echols and Angelo LaPietra

Artwork from several Little City artists has been selected for Project Onward’s “When I Paint My Own Masterpieceart exhibit, which runs Oct. 16 through Nov. 1 at the Bridgeport Art Center in Chicago in recognition of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The exhibit features artwork from Little City Center for the Arts participants Andy Bell, Tarik Echols, Harold Jeffries, Angelo LaPietra, Wayne Mazurek, Don Nelson and Luke Tauber. All are artists with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Project Onward hosted a reception Oct. 15 for an exclusive first look at the gallery exhibition. Attendees enjoyed live music from DHF Express and a preview performance of Project Onward’s theatrical collaboration with Tellin’ Tales Theatre. Little City artists were present for the event.

The theatrical performance was a preview of “Six Stories Up in the Art Institute, with performances scheduled for two weekends, Nov. 6 to Nov. 8 and Nov. 13 to Nov. 15 at the Athenaeum Theatre 2936 N. Southport Ave. in Chicago. In the play, a magical lion sneaks into the Art Institute, steals the artwork of the masters and replaces it with artwork from artists with disabilities. The show is intended to entertain and showcase the similarities that exist between master artists like Picasso and outsider art created by artists with disabilities. The overall message conveyed is artists with disabilities deserve to be celebrated just as much as the masters of art.

After a public reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, the “When I Paint My Own Masterpiece” exhibit will continue through Nov. 1.  A panel discussion on “Ethics and Opportunity” is scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. It is presented by Project Onward and Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art and will address trends toward entrepreneurship and self-sustaining business models among progressive art studios for individuals with disabilities. Project Onward is hosting a Paint Your Own Masterpiece workshop from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday and offering a screening of the documentary, “Share My Kingdom,” at 3 p.m. Sunday.

“Share My Kingdom” showcases the life and art of three of Little City’s artists, Harold Jeffries, Wayne Mazurek and Luke Tauber. Film makers John Grod, Jennifer Mannebach and Frank Tumino will introduce the film and field questions.

For a full calendar of events, visit www.littlecity.org/calendar.

Wayne Mazurek at "When I Paint My Own Masterpiece" art exhibit
Wayne Mazurek at “When I Paint My Own Masterpiece” art exhibit VIP reception.


"There are so many capable and caring staff at Little City, past and present, who have helped Clifford. He has made a lot of progress in mastering his behavior."

Colleen, Mother of a child living in a ChildBridge Group Home