Past Event

Ad Hoc Playground

Saturday, October 15, 2016 – 11:00AM to 2:00PM
Mary Bartelme Park
115 S Sangamon St, Chicago, IL 60607

Adventure Playground Image 2 Copy

Ad Hoc Playground is a workshop dedicated to the free exploration of materials through child-directed play and improvisation. Materials may include; cardboard boxes, fabric, duct tapes, huge rolls of paper and string. This workshop led by Chicago artists and organizers Laura Shaeffer, Raffa Reuther, Verónica Peñaand will gently introduce themes of risk and freedom by welcoming people of all ages and abilities to play together and discover new possibilities for materials, social sculpture and improvisational performance.

This event is free and open to the public

Born in Decatur, Illinois, visual artist Laura Shaeffer received a BFA from The University of The Arts, Philadelphia Pa. She lived, worked and taught in Berlin, Germany for 13 years after graduating in 1987 and since relocating to Chicago has taught at the Hyde Park Art Center, Co-Founded The Chicago Free School, run independent after school arts programs and camps, and organized and co-produced several independent project spaces in Hyde Park, Chicago. Presently she lives in Oak Park, IL. where she is co-creating a new autonomous studio and collaborative cultural center called Compound Yellow. Laura Shaeffer is a visiting artist at the School of The Art Institute, informal teacher and curator, and community activist.

Raffa Reuther is an interdisciplinary artist born and raised in Washington D.C., now based on the Westside of Chicago. They are currently in the undergraduate program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where they will receive their BFA in May of 2017. Raffa works across many disciplines including fiber, installation, analog photography, performance, printmaking, sculpture, drawing, self publishing, sound, and social practice. The most current body of work Raffa has been working on are what they call “Photoplays” -- a neologism they created to situate their practice in a nest of supportive language. You can find out more about Raffa Reuther and their work at their website:

Verónica Peña is an interdisciplinary artist from Spain based in West Lafayette. Peña’s work explores the themes of absence, separation, and the search for harmony through performance art. Her recent work consists of experimental participatory performances that create shared moments amongst strangers. Peña studied Fine Arts at The Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain, with a concentration on Painting. She earned her Master of Fine Arts degree at Stony Brook University, New York, focusing on installation and performance art.  She has published “The Presence Of The Absent”, a thesis about her body of work. She curates “Collective Becoming: The Urban Caress”, an initiative to make the streets of our cities less hostile. She is currently at work on her new project about freedom, fear, and resistance, “The Substance of Unity.”