Gallery owner helps local artists, children

October 22, 2008 1:45:44 PM PDT
Israel Hernandez had a dream to enrich his Chicago neighborhood. He wanted to open a center that highlighted the work of local artists while giving children in the community a place to gain inspiration. He did both with the prospectus art gallery.

A general store in 1991, the building became an important culture resource in the Pilsen community as the Prospectus Art Gallery.

"They told me that I was crazy in opening up an art gallery on 18th Street," said Hernandez. "They told me there's nothing there. If you are going to open up an art gallery why don't you go to the main street?"

But Hernandez resisted the critics and opened his gallery anyway because he had a vision of what it would mean to Pilsen, where he was raised.

"I decided to open up the gallery in the main street right next to the church where the young people could see what's out there...what they can do with their lives," said Hernandez.

Today, 25 Pilsen artists display their work at Prospectus Art Gallery.

It's a labor of love for Hernandez, who worked as a produce truck loader- getting up at 4 a.m.- to help finance the project.

The current exhibit will be displayed through December 20, 2008.

PROSPECTUS Art Gallery
1210 W. 18th St.

Chicago, Illinois 60608
Tel. (312) 733-6797


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