Exhibits highlight African-influenced art, movements

Jacqueline Y. Smith holding a book on the American Negro Exposition

“Cavalcade of the American Negro” by Jacqueline Yvonne Smith, an UIC museum and exhibition studies alumna, will be exhibited this fall.

The University of Illinois at Chicago’s African American Cultural Center is kicking off its 2017-18 program themed, “Afro-Geographies,” by hosting two exhibits that will be on display and open to the public through the fall semester.

WHEN:

Sept. 6

Open House 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Opening reception 3:30 to 5 p.m.

WHERE:

UIC African American Cultural Center

Addams Hall, Rooms 200 and 209 2nd floor

830 S. Halsted St.

DETAILS:

The center’s exhibits include a premiere of “Polymathic” by Chicago-based artist Damon Lamar Reed and will include a reprise of “Cavalcade of the American Negro” by Jacqueline Yvonne Smith, an UIC museum and exhibition studies alumna. Both exhibits are part of the center’s 2017-18 program theme, “Afro-Geographies.” The theme focuses on the intersections that people of African descent must navigate toward self-identity within past, present and future histories and experiences.

“Polymathic” meditates on human versatility and Reed uses diverse media including print, mosaic, poetry and music to create various artistic styles to help the onlooker discover themselves and their potential. Reed, a public arts artist and rapper, became the first artist in 2013 to receive the “Gem of the Community” award from Archi-treasures, an arts-based community development organization, and honored in 2016 at the Voice of the People annual gala for his commitment to excellence.

“Cavalcade of the American Negro” uses objects, images and historical narrative to explore the legacy of the Chicago’s 1940 American Negro Exposition. The exposition in the Chicago Coliseum marked 75 years of African-American freedom from slavery. The exposition featured accomplishments of black Americans to public audiences.

Smith, who received her master of arts degree from the College of Art, Design and Architecture in 2015, first curated the exhibit at the center in Spring 2015. Smith, an emerging art history expert whose research focuses on the black arts movement, has worked on a number of projects for UIC special collections.

The exhibits and program admissions are free and open to the public. More information is available at (312) 996-9549 or online.