• News
    Theaster Gates and Easy Otabor on the creative possibilities of Black art

    What do we know about Theaster Gates? Raised on the West Side of Chicago, he’s an artist known for his innovative blend of materials, civic-minded initiatives and modern spirituality. His work has reached many corners of the human experience, rallying for social justice and encouraging us to consider the world we live in in unique ways. Read more

  • News
    Inspired by sacred music, an artist's 'Black Chapel' is opening in London

    A striking meditative temple made of painted black wood has been built in London's Hyde Park as part of a prestigious annual architecture commission. Conceived by Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates, the "Black Chapel" is the 21st Serpentine Pavilion commission and is meant to provide a space for reflection and healing. It includes a meaningful tribute to the artist's late father, and will also be a site for experimental performances this summer and fall, including a sweeping tribute to the history of sacred music. Read more

  • News
    “Wounded Knee III in Unsettled Ground” Destabilizes Conversations Around the Ground Beneath Our Feet

    The light outside shines into the right-side gallery of the Smart Museum of Art, as exhibit viewers converse about which artwork they like best. As if some force of nature is in conversation with the exhibition, the attic light shines brightly upon all of the artworks in their different mediums (photography, woodcut print, sculpture, weaving), illuminating distinct narratives around environmental determinism: the belief that the environment, especially its physical factors, determine the patterns of human culture and societal development. Read more

  • News
    Alien She: A Review of Diane Severin Nguyen at the Renaissance Society

    For “If Revolution is a Sickness,” Diane Severin Nguyen’s first one-person museum show, on view at The Renaissance Society, the artist has transformed the cavernous space into a curtained theater. Visitors enter through a backstage in which four eerie photographs line the walls. The abstract photographs feature sculptural objects Nguyen creates out of a combination of natural and synthetic material. Pulling aside the backstage curtain, visitors enter the “theater” for the main event, a newly commissioned nineteen-minute video. Read more

  • News
    Review: ‘Two Trains Running’ at Court Theatre is a blast of an August Wilson play, set in the 1960s

    In a week where a regional theater just won a Tony Award for decades of excellence, one hopes for serendipity. And that’s precisely what Court Theatre delivers with a blisteringly entertaining new Ron OJ Parson production of August Wilson’s “Two Trains Running” — Wilson’s 1960s play perhaps best known for the defiant, tragicomic line “I want my ham!”

    Chicago has some high-profile vacancies for artistic directors. If any of those search committees are looking for a locally committed director who knows how to allow for the full poetic expression of a great American playwright’s ideas while also empowering actors and offering an audience a fast-paced, funny and unstinting night at the theater, Parson is that director. Read more

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Exhibitions

All That Light: A Ten Year Retrospective of the AIR Program (2012-2022)

Friday, July 8, 2022 - 6:00 PM to Sunday, September 11, 2022 - 9:00 PM

Exhibition: [Re]Framing Graphic Medicine

Monday, May 9, 2022 - 9:00 AM to Friday, July 15, 2022 - 4:45 PM

Exhibition: Joseph Lindon Smith: The Persepolis Paintings

Thursday, January 27, 2022 - 10:00 AM to Sunday, August 28, 2022 - 4:00 PM

Slavs and Tatars: MERCZbau

Thursday, May 5, 2022 - 9:00 AM to Friday, October 7, 2022 - 5:00 PM

Around Chicago

How to celebrate Juneteenth at the University of Chicago

This year, members of the University of Chicago community have organized events to celebrate Juneteenth, the annual celebration that is now in its second year as a U.S. federal holiday. Juneteenth traces its origins to the reading of “General Orders No. 3” in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865—which brought news of freedom to enslaved people years after President Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

Remembering both Chicago and Robin Metz through poetry

Author Don Evans joined Rick Kogan to discuss his new book, ‘Wherever I’m At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry’ and its release on June 13th at the Logan Center for the Arts on University of Chicago campus. The anthology features various poems and art pieces from over 160 contributors who have experienced life in Chicago in some way, shape or form. Don later highlighted and honored the late poet Robin Metz who co-authored the anthology.

‘i said what i said’: Q&A With Multimedia Visual Artist Jewel Ham

The exhibition, organized by Anthony Gallery in collaboration with the Rebuild Foundation, is part of a yearlong partnership to amplify the work of emerging and established contemporary artists like Ham. The show “invited viewers on an emotional journey that contextualizes the need for an unapologetic expression to be part of our reparational demands.”

Artist Brandon Breaux’s ‘Everyday Black Heroes’ Honors A Modern Hero Each Day

Black artists, activists and educators are recognized this month in the South Side artist's nod to living history at the Stony Island Arts Bank and on Instagram.

12 immersive art spaces that champion Black creativity

Theaster Gates’s Rebuild Foundation transformed the Stony Island Arts Bank – a defunct 1923 neoclassical bank in Chicago’s South Side – into a hybrid gallery, library and community space for neighbourhood residents to share their heritage.

How Chicago’s Rebuild Foundation Is Reaching Locals During Covid-19

UChicago Professor Theaster Gates' Rebuild Foundation has set up a food repository intended to meet the needs of its surrounding community.

Designer Duro Olowu Sees Chicago Through Art

“[Featured in the exhibition] are artists who made things in isolation, with love and integrity and passion, under so many circumstances. Even if the work is political, dealing with AIDS or oppression or subjugation, you feel the need and the passion of all these artists, the idea of leaving something behind, something meaningful and yet very familiar.”

Fifth Third to invest $20 million in South and West side opportunity zones

Such private investments are “critical to our mission of transforming our communities,” the mayor said at an event today to announce the Fifth Third funding.

Where to Find Free Art in Chicago Every Day of the Week

The Smart Museum of Art is free and open to the public every day of the week, writes Urban Matter.

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