Close Encounters: The Portrait Project is an exploration of portraiture by artists with mental and developmental disabilities. The exhibit features paintings and drawings by the artists of Project Onward that depict portrait subjects captured “live” in the studio, as well as self-portraits created in more reflective moments. At once intimate and professional, custom studio portraits provide opportunities for safe, meaningful, and empowering contact between members of the public and an artist with a disability. Self-portraits provide a glimpse into the often complex ways that Project Onward artists see themselves. Both art forms offer the chance for understanding and acceptance by providing common ground between people who might never otherwise encounter each other.
Portrait sittings are available to the public year-round at the Project Onward studio. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (312) 744-8032.