LeRoy Neiman Art Studio for Youth Opens in the Kelly High School, ChicagoOctober 14, 2016
The 2016 school year opened with a glistening new facility at the Thomas Kelly High School in Chicago – the LeRoy Neiman Art Studio for Youth, the newest art center established by the LeRoy Neiman Foundation in partnership with Good Tidings (a Bay Area based non-profit focusing on enriching the artistic, scholastic, and athletic lives of underprivileged youths). This inauguration marks the sixth facility opened by the foundations as well as the third space outside California since the organizations’ initial collaboration in 2002.
Equipped with a kiln, high art tables with seating for 48 students, additional seating at lower tables, and dynamic works by master sports illustrator and artist LeRoy Neiman, the Studio greatly enhances the Kelly High School’s facilities, providing space and opportunity for students to develop their artistic talents.
The Kelly High School offers an excellent academic program for its students, 94 percent of which qualify as low-income. The courses include International Baccalaureate (IB), Advanced Placement (AP), Honors, and Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) tracks, classes in Spanish, Mandarin, and Cantonese, as well as a technical education program in Digital Media and Radio & Television Broadcast Technology. Ninety-seven percent of the graduating class continues on to a secondary degree, with many of these seniors receiving tens of millions of dollars in scholarships annually.
“LeRoy Neiman had numerous heroes – Joe Namath, Bobby Fischer, Frank Sinatra, and his very good friend Muhammed Ali,” said Larry Harper, Executive Director of the Good Tidings. “He also found inspiration in the energy, vitality, wonder, and awe of school children who might not grow up to be celebrities or great artists but whose lives, LeRoy felt, would be enriched by exposure to creative opportunities and exploring the visual arts. We are delighted to work in collaboration with the administration of the Thomas Kelly High School and the Chicago School System to provide a great new art space for the students of Kelly High School.”
Steven Bond of the LeRoy Neiman Foundation added, “Since LeRoy’s death in 2012, the LeRoy Neiman and Good Tidings have continued the work that was dear to the hearts of LeRoy and his widow, Janet Byrne Neiman. We are grateful to the Chicago School system and Larry for their work in helping the students of the Kelly High School.”