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The United Colors of Robert Earl Paige at Hyde Park Art Center

Hyde Park Art Center proudly presents The United Colors of Robert Earl Paige, the career-spanning survey of artist, designer, and educator Robert Earl Paige (b. 1936). With multimedia works made between 1964 and 2024, this solo show is the largest presentation of the Chicago native’s work to date, including rarely seen parts of Paige’s collection that explore the artist’s lifelong quest for beauty and equality. The exhibition features public programming made in close collaboration with the community, including a series of public talks with artists and scholars; performance and workshop collaborations with Honey Pot Performance Collective and Hyde Park Jazz Festival; and a series of free community art making activities at the Art Center and unconventional spaces like community gardens, barber shops, laundromats, and churches throughout Chicago’s South Side.


Exhibition Reception
Saturday, April 6, 1-4PM, Free
The Art Center celebrates the opening of The United Colors of Robert Earl Paige with the artist as a part of their quarterly Center Days, which activate the entire building with intergenerational art-making activities, artist workshops, artist talks, open studios, and community collaborations. Visitors are invited to make screen prints inspired by Robert Earl Paige’s work on view in the exhibition.

Expo South Side Night
Tuesday, April 9, 6-8PM, Free
The United Colors of Robert Earl Paige artist, Robert Earl Paige, and curator, Allison Peters Quinn, lead a tour of the exhibition.

The People’s Ring Shout
Saturday, May 4, 1-2:30PM, Free
Honey Pot Performance presents The People’s Ring Shout, a creative writing and movement series inspired by traditional ring shout rituals. Honey Pot Performance collective members reimagine the ring shout to present exercises using collective play, images, video, audio, and reading excerpts to focus on themes critical to Black lives such as representation, love, trauma, quality of life, spirituality, healing, and defining communities of care.

A Landmark of Work: African Americans in Decorative Arts
Thursday, July 11, 6-8PM, Free
How are artists currently using traditional or historical methods of production in contemporary
design? Artists and art historians discuss the pivotal contributions of African Americans to the canon of decorative arts like textile design, jewelry, metalworking, and woodworking. Panelists include artists Robert Paige and Norman Teague and Art Conservator and Researcher Lamar Gayles. The conversation will be moderated by African American Studies Historian Rikki Byrd.

The Existence of Black Art
Saturday, August 1, 1-3PM, Free
Artists, archivists, and curators will discuss the state of Black artists, artist communities, and movements across history and how the overlooked contributions of Black artists have led to movements like AfriCOBRA and the Black Arts Movement, in which Robert Earl Paige was a critical figure. This discussion will speak about the existence, and non-existence, of Black artists in larger art movements, and how artists today are re-contextualizing history and paving their own way for visibility in the contemporary art world. Panelists include Parapluie exhibition artist, the sculptor and muralist Bernard Williams; Antawan I. Byrd, curator; and archivist Skyla S. Hearn. The conversation will be moderated by art historian and Black Arts Movement School Modality Founder, Romi Crawford.

Hyde Park Jazz Festival Collaboration
Saturday, September 28, Time TBD, Free
Improvisation and rhythm are essential to Robert Earl Paige’s process and composition. The Art Center hosts a live concert in the exhibition gallery that will explore the role of musical themes in his work.

Notes From the Woodshed Drop-In Gallery Sessions
Weekly on Wednesdays from June to September, 11AM-2PM, Free
Community Engagement Fellow Keny De La Peña leads free, all-ages art making workshops biweekly in The United Colors of Robert Earl Paige, with drop-ins by the artist to discuss his work, art practice, and life as a designer, educator, and textile maker.

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Robert Earl Paige in Studio at Hyde Park Art Center, courtesy of Hyde Park Art Center