All of Living is Risk | Opening Reception

  Join us for an opening reception to celebrate and kick off our fall/winter exhibitions alongside curators Rikki Byrd, and Gervais Marsh, with artist Cory Perry!          All of Living is Risk (2nd floor Cortor Gallery) brings together works by Cory Perry (b. 1989, Fayetteville, Arkansas) and Nnaemeka C. Ekwelum (b. 1990, […]

Dr. Burroughs Legacy Day

Join us for a family friendly afternoon of celebrating and learning more about the legacy and art practice of Dr. Burroughs!   We're excited to share this day viewing specially selected works by Dr. Burroughs from the SSCAC Archives and Collections Department, as well as rotational screenings of interviews and talks featuring Dr. Burroughs, and […]

Haus: An Introspective of House Music, Architecture + Queer Culture at 3831

Join us for a special roundtable talk on the iconographic and cultural reference to House as a ‘revolutionary Black Space’!   South Side Community Art Center is thrilled to host an informative and reflective roundtable panel, discussing both the iconographic and cultural reference to House as a 'revolutionary Black Space'.     This dynamic panel […]

Iteration(s), with Jared Brown and Briana Lynn

Briana Lynn & Jared Brown will intuitively combine sound, improvisation, and omni-directional text to create a composition unique to SSCAC.     Meditating on this year's Chicago Architecture Biennial's theme : “This is a Rehearsal,” Briana Lynn and Jared Brown will re-iterate their experimental collaborative composition to the South Side Community Art Center (originally performed last […]


A day celebrating Black artists and your hard work throughout the year! We'll also be joined by artist Cory Perry for a special performance.   The South Side Community Art Center has hosted innovative, ground-breaking, and forward exhibitions and programs throughout 2023, which would not have been possible without the array of Black ingenuity and […]


Join us for our 2nd annual 3831 Holiday Pop-Up, with some of the city’s most talented Black creatives!   Come through to support some of Chicago’s most gifted and talented Black creatives as we move into the Holiday season.     3831 Holiday Pop-Up is a mini pop-up market hosted in our historic Burroughs gallery, […]

Bronzeville in Reel Time with South Side Home Movie Project

Join us for an afternoon of South Side home movies, featuring newly preserved films of Bronzeville from filmmaker Ramon Williams!     In partnership with South Side Home Movie Project, with support from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, SSCAC is thrilled to host a special screening showcasing select cinema reels of Ramon Williams. Ramon […]

Honoring Hunt: Legacies in Chicago Black Metalworkers

Learn about the artistic histories of Black metalworker artists in Chicago!     SSCAC’s Archives and Collections Manager LaMar R. Gayles Jr. will introduce visitors to different metalworkers who have worked throughout Chicago’s artistic landscape. Amongst these makers there will be special attention given to the work of famed, now ancestral artist Richard Howard Hunt […]

Flash, Focus: A Camera Demo Workshop with Latitude Chicago.

Join us for a camera demo workshop to learn the basics of photography! Latitude's Executive Director Colleen Keihm and current Artist in Resident Anwulika Angibo will host a Camera Demo workshop here at the Southside Community Art Center in a special continuing partnership with Latitude Chicago. Guests are invited to bring an analog or digital […]


Join us for a conversation with several Black women creative entrepreneurs traversing fashion, vintage, and design here in Chicago.     SSCAC is proud to host a panel of Black women entrepreneurs whose business models have been crafted to be intentionally centered on fashion, style, vintage, design and jewelry - creating worlds and community within their […]


Join us for an artist talk moderated by Paul Branton! Paul Branton, artist and curator of SSCAC's current exhibition BendingLight, will facilitate an artist talk with the exhibiting artists of SSCAC's current exhibition Bending Light, detailing the exhibition’s themes and subject matter as it relates to explorations of color and identity.   The artists explore the impact of […]


Join us for Art After Hours powered by Gertie, with screenings from filmmakers Rachel Gadson and Briana Clearly!     We're thrilled to host filmmakers Rachel Gadson and Briana Clearly for rotational film screenings as part of Art After Hours Powered by Gertie, for EXPO art week!   Sponsored by Arete Wealth & Masterworks, AAH takes […]


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.