"I never thought I would have the opportunity to see it in person," said Tyion Hardwick, a junior youth leader on the South Shore Drill Team. "To see it in person and to be invited, that made me so excited, so ready to come here today."
Members of the South Shore Drill team were among the 50 students viewing the Obama Portraits Friday. In all, 1,000 South Side residents have been invited to see the paintings free of charge.
"I'm very, very proud that I got to see this," said Armari Lewis, a peewee flag girl on the South Shore Drill Team. "And taking pictures in front of it, it's so wonderful and I can show my friends who didn't see and tell them how much fun I had."
The Obama Portraits kick off national tour at Art Institute of Chicago
"You get to see all of the colors and how it works together, it becomes a big picture," Hardwick added. "It's very interesting."
Enid Kent came with three of her four children who are all members of the South Shore Drill Team.
"I love it because I'm always telling my children to chase their dreams and nothing is impossible," Kent said. "It's easy to see the violence and everything else that's going on, so it's very important for them to see there is life outside, and that Chicago is not a horrible place. The Obamas came out of Chicago, you came out of Chicago. That's what makes Chicago great."
The paintings will be here until August 15. Unfortunately, the free tickets for The Obama Portraits have all been given away. The Art Institute does offer some free access to Chicagoans year round.
For more information and to buy tickets, visit the Art Institute of Chicago website.