Street artist gets gallery gig in City Hyde Park

A local artist is getting a second chance at showcasing his art on the City Hyde Park development; only this time, it’s allowed.

Seven pieces of Joel Maxime’s series, “Hair-a-tage” are being displayed on the window panels of the City Hyde Park development, 5105 S. Harper Ave., facing the Harper Avenue side. This isn’t the first time Maxime’s work has been showcased on the side of the newly completed Studio Gang development though.

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Maxime was inspired to beautify the construction site of City Hyde Park last year by taking pieces of scraps from the construction and turning them into his own works of art. Maxime would put up his artwork onto the fence surrounding the construction site in the middle of the night so as not to disturb the workers.

“For an artist, it’s sometimes hard to get your work shown, so with this project, I got to express myself and get some type of reaction from the public,” Maxime said in an earlier interview.

The construction company, Linn-Mathes Inc., ended up loving Maxime’s artwork and kept some of it. They invited the mystery artist, who signed his works as “Crave,” to dinner to get to know him and his art a little more by leaving an invitation up on the worksite.

“I was hesitant to meet them at first because I was afraid I was about to get in trouble,” Maxime laughed. “But then I saw that they had kept a ton of my artwork in its own sort of shrine and my jaw actually dropped.”

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The popularity of the artwork from the workers and the community encouraged Peter Cassel, the director of community development for Mac Properties, to incorporate Maxime and his art into the finished product of the development.

“We are really excited about it—this is what’s great about Hyde Park: people’s energy and contribution to the community,” Cassel said.
Enlarged versions of Maxime’s colorful silhouette pieces now display proudly on the street-level panels of the development. He also got a chance to showcase his original “construction art” at a one-night gallery event Thursday, Jan. 28.

“To get this kind of exposure is surreal,” Maxime said. “It’s the exact kind of vicinity I want my art to be displayed and appreciated at.”

 

[Via: Hyde Park Herald]

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