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Live Horse to Serve as Model for Nude Figure Drawing Class

By Sam Cholke | April 25, 2013 6:18am

HYDE PARK — A live horse will drop the saddle and bit for a nude figure drawing class at the Hyde Park Art Center.

As part of four months of equestrian events around the “Hall of Khan” exhibit by resident artist Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford, the art center at 5020 S. Cornell Ave. will bring a live horse into the gallery space for the free drawing class on May 13.

Participants in the adults-only class can bring their own materials to draw and sculpt horses in Gallery One around Hulsebos-Spofford’s installation pieces.

While such classes normally feature live human models, the horse will be brought in in conjunction with Chicago-based artist Hulsebos-Spofford’s “Hall of Khan” exhibit, which examines the horse as an accessory to the powerful in monuments and sculptures.

The exhibit features sculptures and other artwork with horse themes.

Live horses were also brought in for the April 14 opening of the exhibit. For that, performer Elijah Burgher sat nude astride one of them with a sweater tied around his neck and a polo mallet over his shoulder as a tribute to the iconic Polo Ralph Lauren clothing logo. There was also a horse with a sculpture strapped to it.

Strapping the sculptures to the live horse was the most difficult part of coordinating the exhibit, Hulsebos-Spofford said in a statement on his work and residency provided by the Art Center.

“Another challenge during the residency has been allowing myself to watch myself work in the studio and tweak my distillation process to include bits and pieces that have appeared and have been informed by those observations,” Hulsebos-Spofford said. “I’ve had the space and resources to realize a project that was initially approached as a body of work, but I’m now thinking of it more as collection of structural poems.”

There will be a conversation with Hulsebos-Spofford on his work at 6 p.m. May 23 at the Art Center.

Starting June 24, the Art Center will run a one-week summer camp for children age 10 and older. Campers will learn about the anatomy and history of horses and make sculptures and drawings of the animals.

The exhibit will close with a picnic in Washington Park with the Broken Arrow Horseback Riding Club, a multicultural group of cowboys that teaches horsemanship to inner city kids.

For more information, call the Hyde Park Art Center at 773-324-5520.