Art from Project Onward decorates Obama Foundation's walls

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Some Chicago artists are getting major exposure as their work now hangs on the walls at the Obama Foundation's Hyde Park office.

"We're looking for inspiration in all sorts of different ways," said Roark Frankel, Obama Foundation.

Pieces that reflect Chicago, community and the first family's work, made by artists with Project Onward.

"We're very much, we're engaged already in trying to sort out and seek out people and groups that have something to say and want to contribute to our thinking about the center and the foundation," Frankel said.

Located in Bridgeport, Project Onward allows artists with mental and developmental conditions the space and support to create. For some of the artists asked to participate in the foundation project, this is the first time their work has been on display.

"Many of them just stretched themselves and created things that I think they didn't know they could do," said Marsha Woodhouse, Project Onward.

Ferdnando Ramirez did work inspired by the first lady, and hopes the president and first lady will see these themselves.

"I'm happy that they may see it, I'm sure they've seen it and hope they liked it," Ramirez said.

James Allen often finds inspiration from Chicago's trains, but for the foundation offices he offered staffers his perspective of a Chicago gem: the Japanese Garden.

"I'm so honored that I was chosen as an artist. I'm truly honored, just really happy," Allen said.

While the foundation offices are private as they prepare for the Presidential Center, Project Onward's studio and gallery are free and open to the public.
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