MAMA GLORIA: IN HER HONOR

A film screening and community gathering in honor of the late Mama Gloria Allen.   Luchina Fisher will screen her film Mama Gloria, in addition to honoring the life and impact of Gloria Allen, a Black transgender icon and activist who dedicated her life to Chicago’s trans community.     Mama Gloria (2020) by Luchina Fisher. 1h …

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Riddim Rite of Passage: A Sound Activation with Ajmal ‘Mas Man’ Millar

Artist Ajmal 'Mas Man' Millar will facilitate a participatory sound activation referencing his Trinidadian heritage. We invite you to join us with artist Ajmal 'Mas Man' Millar for a special rite of passage participatory sound activation using found metal, which the artist uses often within their practice. Traditionally, rites of passages have functioned as a …

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D-Composed Gives Family Edition at South Side Community Art Center!

D-Composed brings their Music in Color experience to life at South Side Community Art Center!   Founded in 2017 by Kori Coleman, D-Composed is a chamber music experience that celebrates & honors Black creativity and culture through the music of Black composers. To date, D-Composed has gained national recognition with appearances on The Colbert Show …

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Metropolis: A City In Black

Metropolis: A City In Black, by Cecil McDonald Jr., is a public installation in the historic bay windows of South Side Community Art Center.   South Side Community Art Center invites you to attend and celebrate the launch of Cecil McDonald's public art installation, programmed alongside the final Bronzeville Art District Trolley Tour! As a …

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THE GESTURE ITSELF IS PROTECTION SPELL

Performative activations from current exhibiting artists R. Treshawn Williamson & Lola Ayisha Ogbara, with special guest artist Jada-Amina.   Borrowed from Lola Ayisha Ogbara’s video work 'Bound For Glory' from her continuing series The Perfect Servant, THE GESTURE ITSELF IS PROTECTION SPELL proposes questions of the body, disruption, labor, acts of looking, and materiality through movement, sound, …

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HOMECOMING: ON THE YARD

HOMECOMING: ON THE YARD 2022   HOMECOMING will be SSCAC's first large-scale outdoor program, intended to be a city-wide call and response to Black artists!   RSVP HERE   HOMECOMING will be SSCAC's first large-scale outdoor program, intended to be a city-wide call and response to Black artists to further celebrate our legacy as the first Black …

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ReSource Symposium: Art and Resourcefulness in Black Chicago

This convening will help shape the research questions, thematic structures, and community connections for the South Side Community Art Center’s “ReSOURCE” exhibition, scheduled for 2024 as part of the Terra Foundation’s Art Design Chicago program.    This symposium brings together artists and academics, agricultural practitioners and community organizers, to learn from one another’s ideas and …

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Dandelion Black Women Artists Talk

Members of the Dandelion Black Women Artists collective will join SSCAC Exhibitions Manager & Curator Lola Ayisha Ogbara in conversation.   RSVP HERE   Our upcoming exhibition 9 Artists/ 9 Months/ 9 Perspectives features work from the Dandelion Black Women Artists collective. These nine Black women artists engaged in collaborative efforts to create artworks that …

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Black Fine Art Month Salon Talk ‘Who’s Got Next’

We're proud to partner with Pigment International, Pigment International for a Salon Talk that explores Black Chicago Art History and legacies, featuring our favorite TikTok historian '6figga_dilla' !     Known on social media as '6figga_dilla', Shermann “Dilla” Thomas is a lifelong resident of Chicago’s Auburn-Gresham neighborhood and his Tik Tok videos on Chicago history …

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G to G Coaching Session: Tax Preparation for Artists and Freelancers

SSCAC is thrilled to partner with ILA Creative Studio for their G-to-G Coaching Sessions, in a 3-part series of artist development resource workshops that intend to help close the gap of limited, sustainable business resources, specific to the needs of Black artists.   You were just paid 7K to create an illustration for a major brand...they …

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G to G Coaching Session: How To Balance Creative Work & Multiple Projects

The second development resource workshop in our series artist development partnership with ILA Creative Studio!     SSCAC is thrilled to partner with ILA Creative Studio for their G-to-G Coaching Sessions in a 3-part series of artist development resource workshops that intend to help close the gap of limited, sustainable business resources, specific to the …

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REWIND & PLAY | SSCAC x Black Harvest Film Festival

Gene Siskel Film Center 164 N State St, Chicago, IL

SSCAC and Black Harvest Film Festival, in partnership with the Gene Siskel Film Center invite you to a complimentary afternoon screening of REWIND & PLAY!      Image courtesy of REWIND & PLAY. 2022, Alain Gomis, USA, 65 mins   In 1969, famed jazz pianist Thelonious Monk performed at the 3,000-seat Salle Pleyel concert hall …

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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.