We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
Playing at the Gene Siskel Film Center at 3 pm. Aug. 12 and 6 p. m. Aug. 16. Pamela Sherrod Anderson will appear after both screenings.
Can this be a grade school on the South Side of Chicago? With its bright yellow corridor walls and its joyous explosion of art? With paintings to the ceiling, sculpture in the halls, and a fanciful metal sculpture outside in front depicting Hide and Go Seek? Yes, it can, and the artwork seems to have a positive impact on the student body, making the Dixon School one of the most successful in the Chicago school system.
The artwork is by local artists, teachers and students. There is also an annual art fair for visiting artists, and an annual silent auction of student works. This happy place is the result of a serendipitous process that began in the 1990s when the school's principal, Joan Dameron Chrisler, received funding for an art teacher. The candidate who showed a portfolio of her student's work got the job.
Some public schools look like war zones. Dixon, in the Chatham neighborhood, looks like a museum. Chrisler explains why no effort is made to "protect" the works of art. The sculptures, including an awesome Tree of Life and all of the paintings, mosaics and bas reliefs, are right there. Dixon has had no problems with graffiti and vandalism. Chrisler explains that trusting the students inspires trust and school pride; by not protecting the artwork, it needs no protection. We see individual teachers introducing new students to the collection, which they can take pride in.