In The News

The Art of a Community Speaks Across Generations

 This article originally appeared on WBEZ website.

 This event will be recorded for Chicago Amplified 

 The South Side Community Art Center is one of the oldest African American art centers in the nation. The center has housed exhibitions, special events, and studio space for internationally known visual artists and writers such as Richard Wright, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Lorraine Hansberry.

Supported by a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council, The Art of a Community Speaks Across Generations is a series of public conversations about the history of the South Side Community Art Center, its extensive art collection, and the individuals who have been part of the center over the years. Each event in the series brings together two artists of different generations to discuss the history of the center using selected works of art from the center’s vast collection as the point of departure for the conversation.

Barbara Jones-Hogu is a Chicago-based artist associated with the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. She is was one of the muralists who created the important Wall of Respect in 1967 on the south side of Chicago—a public work that inspired the creation of socially, politically, and culturally themed murals across the urban American landscape. Jones-Hogu is a founding member of the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists (AfriCOBRA), a group of Chicago-based artists that came together in 1968 to define a uniquely black aesthetic in visual arts. Her work has been exhibited widely at venues including the Studio Museum in Harlem, Howard University, Cornell University, and the National Center of Afro-American Artists in Boston.

Skyla Hearn is an archivist and photographer. She recently completed her M.L.I.S. degree with a specialization in Special Collections at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Hearn is the 2012–2013 Carter G. Woodson Library Vivian Harsh Collection Fellow in Increasing African American Diversity in Archives. For the past year, she worked at the South Side Community Art Center as a research intern establishing methods to enhance the visibility of the Center’s art collection and archives. She has exhibited her photography and mixed-media images at galleries and organizations in Chicago, Toronto, and Montreal.