Hebru Brantley is known for his narrative art work, with a nod to reclaiming history. The local artist has created exhibitions for local art galleries, as well as Art Basel in Miami.
Now Brantley is set to open Nevermore Park, an immersive art experience in Pilsen on Thursday, Oct. 24. Brantley said it is a natural progression of his work.
“As my name grew, the exhibitions grew,” he said. “I would create each time on a larger scale.”
He said the aim of it is to feel very submersive, like going to Universal Studios and getting on the Harry Potter ride.
“It will have a similar atmosphere with the creative integrity people have come to expect with my work,” he said.
Brantley said he wants people to be submerged into the world of Flyboy and Lil Mama, and to have a lasting impact on the people who experience it. “They can expect to be transported into the world of Nevermore and experience this alternate space,” he said. “It is a revisionist space with a bit of fantasy and sci fi.”
Brantley said the exhibition will fire on a lot of different fronts and will have something for everyone. “You’d be hard pressed not to be engaged in some way,” he said.
The lore around his character, Flyboy, comes from the Tuskegee Airmen. He said he used history to benefit the narrative.
“I just had this thought and idea, ‘what were some of the most important moments for black people?’” he said. “Tuskegee Airmen, that’s a triumph. So, I started there.”
Brantley said he wanted to make his art and the exhibition as approachable as possible. He added that he really wants to affect the people on the South Side of Chicago. And, to use Nevermore Park as a way to inspire them to think creatively and not limit themselves.
“I think this is my love letter not only to my people but to Chicago, the South Side,” he said. “This is some cool ish and people should check it out.”
Nevermore Park will be located at 949 W. 16th St.
Cost is $28. For tickets, visit http://www.nevermorepark.com.
This article originally appeared in the Chicago Defender.