Courtesy of Hebru Brantley.

Courtesy of Hebru Brantley.

Courtesy of Hebru Brantley.

Courtesy of Hebru Brantley.

Courtesy of Hebru Brantley.

Courtesy of Hebru Brantley.

Courtesy of Hebru Brantley.

Courtesy of Hebru Brantley.

Courtesy of Hebru Brantley.

Courtesy of Hebru Brantley.

"Nevermore Park"; courtesy of Hebru Brantley.

"Nevermore Park"; courtesy of Hebru Brantley.

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Chicago

Hebru Brantley’s Empowering “Nevermore Park” Inspires Chicago Youth

Open through December 1 in Chicago is artist Hebru Brantley’s “Nevermore Park.” The immersive art exhibition—focusing on empowerment for black youth—was uniquely designed to transport viewers into the world of Brantley’s imagination, where they will explore the fictional lives of the iconic characters Flyboy and Lil Mama.

Spanning nearly 6,000 square feet, visitors at the show can explore a maze-like universe of deteriorating rocket ships, balloon-filled ceilings, and compositions of assorted objects. In one scene, a desk is surrounded by a hodgepodge of old television screens and other dated electronics. In another, patrons will find themselves surrounded on all sides by silvery reflective surfaces. The exhibition also contains elements like a chalkboard wall reading, “We the people dark but equal,” and larger-than-life sculptures of the Brantley’s characters.

Created with a choose your own adventure concept, visitors at the show will have the chance to make their own path through Brantley’s reimagination of black folklore. Made specifically to break boundaries of both race and generation, the exhibition encourages the creative inside all its guests, while addressing complex ideas surrounding hope, power, nostalgia, and childlike wonder.

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