Leadership

The South Side Community Art Center is proud to be governed by a diverse board of professionals, educators, artists, art enthusiasts and collectors who are dedicated to ensuring the center fulfills its mission to preserve, conserve and promote the legacy and future of African American artists while educating the community on the value of art and culture.

“I welcome the opportunity to create, collaborate and honor our history while at the same time forging new paths that will help to ensure that our programming continues to celebrate the rich cultural history of Bronzeville, the African American artist, and the City of Chicago while inspiring and showcasing the next generation of great artists.”

Monique Brinkman-Hill
Executive Director

STAFF

MONIQUE BRINKMAN-HILL

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

JENECA ONIKOYI

executive assisstant and operations manager

zakkiyyah najeebah dumas-o'neal

programs and public engagement manager

LAMAR GAYLES

archives and collections manager

marti worell

membership and audience development manager

LOLA AYISHA OGBARA

exhibitions manager

LENNELL DAVIS

facilities manager

BOARD MEMBERS

BRYAN PERRY

CHAIR

Vice President and General Counsel, for Northern Illinois University (NIU)

JENNIFER HALE

VICE-PRESIDENT

JUDY MATHEWS

TREASURER

Founder and President of Community Interface, Inc.

BILL MICHEL

ASSISTANT TREASURER

Associate Provost and Executive Director UChicago Arts and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts Interim Co-Director, David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art The University of Chicago

PHILLIP M. GANT III

MEMBER

Advertising Executive

TWYLER L. JENKINS

MEMBER

CEO and Chief Strategist of Strategic Events Solutions Founder and CEO of I Am That Woman Movement & Retreat

CHARLIE ABELMAN

MEMBER

Education Leader and Consultant

SUSAN DAVENPORT SMITH

MEMBER

Apostolic Faith Church

REBECCA ZORACH

MEMBER

Mary Jane Crowe Professor in Art and Art History at Northwestern University Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences

Kimberly Y. Chainey

MEMBER

Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary with Aptar

Lance F. Gough

MEMBER

Executive Director of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners

ROBERT GUTTMAN

MEMBER

Retired Corporate General Counsel and “C” Suite Executive. Active Board Member, Pilot Light and Hyde Park Jazz Festival

Emeritus Board Members are former members of the board of directors who have completed his/her service as a director and continue to be associated with the organization as an adviser.

Arcilla Stahl

SSCAC Historian, Collector, Former Director of Supplier Diversity at SBC Ameritech

ROBERT STARKS

Educator, Political Consultant and Activist Professor

MIXED MEDIA AND STILL LIFE

Works in EMERGENCE are diverse in their subject matter and media, but a few themes reappear throughout. Working in abstraction or in the traditionally peaceful genre of still life, artists like William Carter, Allen Stringfellow, and Jonathan Green express themes of interiority or sociability, history or modernity. Notably, Stringfellow and Ralph Arnold both experimented with media and materials and worked extensively in collage, which allowed them to combine abstract design, figurative imagery, and on occasion political ideas.

Viewers typically expect Black artists to focus on particular aspects of their social and political identities within their work. Where might those expectations come from? Still life, abstraction, and collage may express many different things about artists’ interior lives and their visual and social observation, whether connected to public manifestations of identity or not.

William Carter’s mid-century still life Untitled presents a group of vibrantly colored bottles that invite the viewer’s gaze, set against a similarly colorful background with floral elements like grapes and leaves. They give evidence of conviviality and might be interpreted as symbols of social gatherings, but they could also just be a collection of pleasing forms. We might put Carter’s still life in dialogue with that of Jonathan Green, who became close friends with Carter while living in Chicago. Green’s close-up view of an eloquently simple composition presents oranges, a pear, and a lemon in front of two vessels. Works like this piece call the viewer to examine the objects the artist chose to include, to consider how they interact with each other like bodies in space, and to reflect on their meaning within the traditional genre of still life painting.

Collage might suggest the piecing together of identity from different components that might not usually coexist, giving room for more expansive imaginations of meaning than a straightforward representational image might allow. It could also just be an inventive way of combining colors, shapes, and textures. Allen Stringfellow’s Untitled, a collage from 1962, brings familiar motifs from still life—fruit and flowers, desserts and glassware—together with imagery of artist’s models and performers. Layered with paint and tissue paper that frustrate the viewer’s attempt to get clarity on the subject matter, the bursts of form and colors hint at the splashy abstraction of Stringfellow’s untitled, textured painting made from house paint and particulate on cardboard. Here the artist tests commonly found materials to create new textures and plays with the creation of colors and finishes that diverge from “Western” academic painting methods.

In The Waiting, Arnold constructs a large collage from different paper components, lace, and paint. In the piece, elements of European and African art are placed in dialogue with one another, while some figures appear alone and isolated, others in large groups. Without giving easy answers, Arnold implies questions about social issues. Who is waiting, and for what? In his Love Sign II, which bears the words “Love is Universal,” Arnold asserts the equal validity of all types of romantic affection and love, utilizing collage to convey a more straightforward political message.