Support for Artists

The Bridge Program &
Visual Arts Certificate Program (VACP)

Fall 2017
Wednesdays 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
October 4 - December 6
Facilitated by Rhonda Wheatley

The Bridge Program fosters generative dialogue among a select group of artists in a seminar-style course designed to push your art practice into new realms. You'll work in an intensive, small-group setting to refine project ideas, better articulate the central concerns of your practice, deepen the conceptual grounding of your work, and situate your practice within a wider art world context. You'll participate in critiques, writing sessions, essay discussions, and a public artist talk at the culminating program showcase in the Art Center's Muller Meeting Room and 4833 Project Space. Advanced artists in all media are encouraged to apply.

Tuition (The Bridge Program only): $285/members $305/not-yet-members


Hyde Park Art Center has partnered with the The Graham School at University of Chicago to offer a Visual Arts Certificate Program (VACP). The VACP was created to help emerging and mid-career artists access practical information and resources that allow them to enhance the success of their current artistic practice. Over the course of five quarters, the program furthers your art practice while developing practical, focused skills in your writing ability, business practices, exhibition strategies and communication techniques. The coursework consists of (1) A studio component from the Art Center (either The Bridge Program or The Center Program) and (2) four courses (Business, Writing, Curating, and Learning). Artists may apply for The Bridge Program as a stand-alone opportunity, or to the VACP, by indicating their choice on the application form. Throughout the program, we aim to foster a sense of community, and to offer artists a positive space to engage in critical dialogue with others working in the arts.

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To apply for the Visual Arts Certificate Program, please fill out the application below. For more information on the program or to register for individual courses, please contact Nikki Yagoda at or 773.702.2768.


Rhonda Wheatley is a Chicago-based artist whose sculptures, paintings, and written works are grounded in the speculative and metaphysical and explore consciousness, healing, and transformation. She’s had solo exhibitions at Hyde Park Art Center and David Weinberg Gallery and group shows at spaces including The Franklin, Gallery 400, and Glass Curtain Gallery, as well as Walter Maciel Gallery in Los Angeles and the Black Fine Art Show in New York City. Wheatley teaches art and writing and leads personal development, journaling, and wellness workshops in schools and art spaces in and around Chicago. She also performs readings from her personal journals and other writings, gives tarot card readings (private and as performance), and practices several energy healing modalities. Wheatley earned a BA in English Literature with a minor in African American Studies from Loyola University, Chicago and an MA in Writing from DePaul University.


Artists may apply to The Bridge Program only; individual VACP courses without The Bridge Program; or the entire VACP (which includes The Bridge Program and all 4 courses).

Applications for fall term are due September 24. 

Questions about The Bridge Program can be directed to Jeannette Tremblay, Director of School and Studio Programs, at 773.324.5520 x1007 or 

Questions about the VACP through the Graham School can be directed to Nikki Yagoda, Assistant Director; External Engagement, at  773.702.2768 or