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Mary Young Indigo Collection on Exhibit

Photo Credit:
Lys Arts Gallery


Has the spring sun settled, and  the fun finally begun? Well Friday, May 5, blessed the City of Chicago with a day of warmth and sunshine in so many ways.  One sun way was the opening ofMary Young, The Indigo Lady,” textile artist’s exhibition, at  Lys Arts Gallery located at 2700 East 83rdStreet. Lys Arts is an arts space, gallery and shop on the Southside of Chicago dedicated to uplifting diverse, interdisciplinary, and experimental artists. And appropriately so Mary Young’s art was presented  in the perfect  setting for her work.


I met Mary Young in February of this year when she wasacknowledged with the ‘Chicago Living Legends Award from Illinois Institute of technology Office of Community Affair’s  and Outreach in cooperation with BronzevilleDive Productions. along with six other noteworthy Chicagoans.  She has provided instruction in textile designteaching youth and adults throughout the city of Chicago. Mary Young says, “ VisualArt is the expression of one’s innermost feelings, emotions, intellect, andcreativity applied to create a physical image of what you wish to say without words.” So, I asked, what about the artists who use words in their art?”


Mary says, “the words become art, even though they say something, their formation, shape, color, placement and actual design are interwoven within the artistic design and serve more visually as a shape than a word.”Mary believes that art is an experience and that all people can express art in some way through the genre they’re called to express or the one of their choice. Clearly everyone is not meant to be an artist as their living or profession, but at one time most human beings partook in the experience of expressing art.


“Just think of singing in the church or school choir, or drawing  in school, studying an instrument or your parents buying coloring books, and paint sets.  At one time I remember when most Blacks eitherplayed a musical instrument or used their voice.  Art was a part of everyone’s life.  Today with the social media phenomena thereis less art and more of that leaving a void.


Do you know that art is the one of things that distinguish us fromthe  rest of the animal Kingdom?


So, thank God for Mary Young  who continues teach Textile Design inspiringand guiding artistry at institutions including University of Chicago CollegiateScholars Program; South-Side Community Art Center; Hyde Park Art Center andArthur Dixon Elementary School. She continues to instruct those interested inlearning the technique she teaches.


In addition to her art Mary is known for her leadership positionsin Arts Administration at cultural institutions throughout the City of ChicagoMary has served on grant panels with the Illinois Arts Council and Departmentof Cultural Affairs and continues to do so on other boards. Mary’s exhibitionshave included galleries across the nation. But she is always happy to showcaseher work in her home city of Chicago.

She is the recipient ofseveral awards including a Study-Abroad Program to Italy, an InternationalArtist Exchange Program to Australia and a Summer Artist Residency with theDepartment of Interior, Parks and Recreation, in Washington, DC. Mary wasawarded an Inaugural Residency in 2015-16 with THE cre.ae.tive ROOM in Chicago,IL, followed by a Merit Scholarship to Ox-Bow School of Art & Residenciesfor Summer 2016 in Saugatuck, MI. More recently she was awarded a TeachingResidency at the Hyde Park Art Center in 2018. Currently Mary is the recipientof four commissions with the Hyde Park Art Center’s “Not Just Another Pretty Face”Program culminating with a Group Exhibition during the Fall/Winter 2019-20 witha catalogue.

The works in the exhibitionat Lys Arts  are those of Mary Young’s  Indigo collection ranging in price from $2000to $400  so go check out the Gallery andbecome a collector.

I spoke briefly with theowner who said, “It seemed the perfect way to kick off the summer,” and indeedit was bringing out, Artists, Faith, Candace Hunter,  Gallery owner Ameera Lys says that Lys Official Summer hours are set! She says, “We are planninglots of events and we are growing our creative community! Updates on hours willbe posted throughout the summer months. Check our socials to stay connected orsign up for our newsletter at www.lysarts.org tostay informed!”

Current exhibition runs through nowthrough July 2023. Don’t delay, go now.


Photo Credit:

About Author:

Visionary Kai EL´ Zabar has worked as CEO of arts organizations and as editor, writer and multimedia consultant accumulating a significant number of years in experience as an executive, journalist,publisher, public relations, media training, marketing, internal and external communications. Kai currently continues her life’s work as Editor-in-Chief Of Chicago News Weekly where she has resumed her column, “E NOTES.” She is ecstatic to be in the position to grace Chicago and the world with a publication that articulates the Black voice.



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