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September 14, 2020

How do you find out what kids think and feel about COVID-19? Ask them.

Project 2020 Together, Le Cheile is the new interactive children’s exhibit at The Art Center Highland Park. Children and parents are invited to view the exhibit, read the poems and stories, and see the art collected this past June in Ireland and Italy. Art supplies are available for children to create their own responses to the exhibit, or to COVID-19, and add them to the wall themselves. The walls also have blackboard paint so art can be added directly as the inspiration strikes.

“The exhibit comes to us from The Museum of Childhood Ireland”, says James M. Lynch, Executive Director of TAC and co-curator of this US premiere exhibit, “but they did it during total lockdown. We wanted to make it an interactive place, a location where children and parents could safely visit and have something fun and challenging to do”. Safety precautions are in full compliance with COVID-19 restrictions, with art tools only used once before sanitizing, for example.

Lauren Perlman, co-curator and Founder/CEO of national arts education program Mummies and Masterpieces, introduced the project to Lynch and TAC. “From its inception, this exhibit has bound us together through the words and pictures of children. It will continue to do so as it travels around the globe, inspiring and lending an eye and an ear to the voice of our younger members of society.” Selected works created by the visitors to the gallery will be included in future presentations. The final project will be a multi-national expression of children on the way the pandemic has affected them.

The exhibit was launched online on the 4th of June, 2020, by The Museum of Childhood, Ireland, and represents the work of children’s author Myra Zepf, international art curator, Jessica Boffa, MOCI Executive Director, Majella McAllister, and other volunteer advocates in the fields of child advocacy and arts programming.

TAC will follow all health and safety regulations to assure the safety of exhibit visitors, including accepting work from those who only view the exhibit online. All art supplies will be segregated after use and sanitized, as will all contact surfaces of the gallery, and masks will be required of all visitors.

Exhibit hours are Monday through Friday from 10-4, and Saturdays from 12-4, starting September 12 at The Art Center Highland Park, 1957 Sheridan Road, Highland Park. The exhibit will continue through at least October 31st, with a possible extension. Entrance is free, though donations are requested to support costs of the exhibit. Access the exhibit by the Park Avenue door, on the south side of TAC. Street and public parking is available and TAC is only four blocks from the Central Avenue Metra Station.

For more information contact: James M. Lynch, The Art Center Highland Park, 847-432-1888, Jlynch@theartcenterhp.org


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