In 2011, the MCA Chicago engaged MacArthur Fellow and contemporary artist Mark Bradford, whose personal interest in working with teenagers served as a catalyst for a yearlong residency project, connecting several different Chicago communities—students at Lindblom Math and Science Academy, and teenagers in Digital Youth Network’s YOUmedia Chicago program at the Harold Washington Library. With the help of staff at Lindblom, YOUmedia, and the MCA, Bradford spent the year mentoring the teens through the creative process of making conceptual art. The project culminated in an exhibition of the teen artists’ works, which coincided with Bradford’s own exhibition at the MCA in May 2011.
The purpose for the final video was to document Bradford and the teens’ process over the course of the year, and to elucidate the residency’s activities and outcomes. The final video was screened in the MCA’s theater as a part of Bradford’s exhibition opening reception. The audience, whose numbers exceeded the theater’s capacity, connected emotionally to the content, cheering and applauding enthusiastically throughout the piece.