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Little City Artists to Exhibit in London

Artists from Little City’s award-winning Center for the Arts (CFA) will be among those exhibiting their work at the Museum of Everything in London through October 25

With over 200,000 expected visitors, The Museum of Everything’s Exhibition #4, will feature work from artists at Little City who have autism or other intellectual and developmental disabilities. Exhibition #4 will take place in the historic Selfridges building in London, a high-end department store that was designed by Daniel Burnham, the author of the 1909 Plan of Chicago. Artwork will take over the bottom floor and will be featured in their windows along Oxford Street, which themselves are a major tourist attraction.

Following the public opening of Exhibition #4 on September 2, there will be a digital show available on The Museum of Everything’s website for viewers who cannot attend the event. Items such as prints, mugs and t-shirts showcasing art from the exhibit will available to purchase from their website at that time as well.
Exhibition #4 will include work from four artists who work at Little City’s Center for the Arts (CFA). For over 25 years, the CFA has been dedicated to providing opportunities for artistic expression for individuals with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. Located on Little City’s Palatine campus, the CFA consists of a series of studios that focus on visual arts, painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, the applied arts and time-based media.
“Artists at Little City have an insatiable desire to be in the studio creating art,” said Frank Tumino, Center for the Arts Administrator. “To my surprise, I found this to be more energizing and more inspiring than the most beautiful work being created by the world’s most accomplished artists.”
At the CFA, professional artists act as facilitators to encourage artists to expand their reach and skills. In general, the most talented artists in the CFA are self directed and decide on their own what they want to create, which materials to use and how to approach their art. These artists at Little City have frequent exhibitions where the artists are encouraged to attend and meet the public and speak about their art.
The curators of the Museum of Everything have selected 23 pieces of artwork from CFA artists. Exhibition #4 will feature 10 works by Charles Beinhoff, five by Jeff Burke, four by Tarik Echols and four by Brian Kaplan.
Open 53 by Tarik Echols is one of the pieces being featured in Exhibiton #4
Even though Charles Beinhoff was not a resident at Little City, he went to the CFA studios three days a week for the 15 years prior to his passing in 2007. Charles spent all of his time engaged in art and was always creating. He left behind many portraits of his friends, colleagues and his surroundings. Charles rarely spoke, but he was able to reach out to others through his artwork and writing.
Jeff Burke has been working at the CFA for nearly 10 years and currently comes in one day a week. He can be seen wearing a shirt and tie and carrying a briefcase. Inside his briefcase are stacks of artwork and source materials that he finds inspirational. Jeff’s artwork is based around a few areas of interest including politics, religion, cats, women and footwear, which create interesting stories about life issues.
For 15 years, Tarik Echols has been working in the CFA studios every morning during the weekdays. Tarik’s works usually consists of layered imagery comprised of repeating words or phrases that create strong rhythms. Though he is able to speak, he usually chooses not to. However, he can often be heard humming elaborate melodies of his own which drive the rhythms in his art. Tarik’s original works have been exhibited extensively and will soon be available for purchase online and in multiple states.
The act of laying imagery onto paper is a necessary part of existence, for Brian Kaplan. Brian is very sensitive to sensory stimuli, which makes the CFA studios a difficult location for him, as it is usually filled with music, laughter, bright lights and color. He comes up with his ideas for his artwork independently and tends to create images that encourage the viewer to search within the piece for more.
There will be over 200 items featured in Exhibition #4 and it will run until October 25, 2011. Exhibition #4 will also be the opening VIP event of Frieze 2012, the popular contemporary art fair in London. After the exhibition has traveled, the 23 pieces of art created by individuals from Little City will enter the permanent collection of The Museum of Everything.
Founded in 2009, The Museum of Everything is the only museum devoted to unintentional, untrained and undiscovered artists in Britain. Since inception they have staged three monumental exhibitions, each occurring in different spots in London and then traveling to other cities in Europe.

About Little City
Being a leader for 60 years, Little City continues to be inspirational and transformational in developing its 56-acre therapeutic community in Palatine. From a modest beginning of three homes and 16 residents primarily with Down syndrome, Little City has grown into a recognized leader offering a wide array of innovative services to more than 1,000 clients weekly. In addition to the Palatine location, Little City has a Community Services Office in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood, adult service centers in Palatine and Waukegan, and 15 adult community homes and one children’s group home located throughout suburban Cook and DuPage Counties.

Today, Little City’s comprehensive program portfolio includes vocational training and employment placement, foster care and adoption, home-based family support, health and wellness, recreation and therapeutic activities, disability awareness and community education, a day school and an award-winning arts program. Visit www.littlecity.org.


Tina Maraccini, Director of Communications & Marketing
Phone: (847) 221-7855

“Little City uses an affirming message – that it’s a good world, there’s a place for my kids in the world and Little City will help them find it.”

Rachel, mother of children receiving home-based support services