Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08



'EMERGENCE: Intersections at the Center' exhibit highlights queer community art
by Kayleigh Padar

This article shared 674 times since Mon May 23, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

South Side Community Art Center's (SSCAC) newest exhibition explores the center's role in uplifting and supporting a community of queer Black creators through a collection of their art from the 1940s through the 1980s.

"Bringing black diasporic art into our understanding of art history is crucial to expand the complexities of our own narratives and histories," said exhibition co-curator LaMar R. Gayles, Jr. "This exhibition is a great way to strip out the Chicago piece of that story, but also how nationally it hits."

"EMERGENCE: Intersections at the Center"—which is curated by Gayles and zakkiyyah najeebah dumas-o'neal, and which runs through Saturday, July 2—showcases photos, paintings, posters, collages and other mixed-media formats created by artists within and connected to the LGBTQ+ community. Some of the artists featured in the exhibition include Ralph Arnold, Richmond Barthé, William S. Carter and Mikki Ferril, among others.

"Some of these artists are well known, and their work can occupy major galleries, but those galleries might not reference them as gay or Black," Gayles said. "Within this exhibition, it was crucial for us to acknowledge the artists' personalities, their perspectives, but also their connections to the communities that are the subject of the show."

SSAC was founded in 1940 and is the oldest African American art center in the United States. Its mission is to facilitate engagement and connection with African American art as well as nurture emerging creators, according to its website. Its latest exhibition explores the center's history of doing this work through a closer look at the lives and artworks of some of its founding members.

Through interviews with artists' close friends and family members, letters and journal entries, Gayles and dumas-o'neal contextualized the art by providing information about the creators' lives and exploring queer analysis of the pieces.

"Some artists have very specific subject matter in their work that's tied to queerness, like one artist was drawing trans figures in their work while other people were playing with gender norms and different facets of sexuality, addressing love as more than hetereonormative action," Gayles said.

Though many of the featured artists wouldn't have identified as LGBTQ+ in a time when it was more dangerous to be openly queer and language surrounding sexuality differed, the exhibit draws out themes of identity, belonging and intersectionality through a focus on the creators' artistic identities.

"At the time, many of the folks weren't openly queer, but people within a certain community knew them to be that way," dumas-o'neal said. "We really thought about the ways we honored their artistic practices and the ways their work informed other artists, and how that connected them to a queer community."

The exhibition also touches on some of the artistic community spaces the artists spent time in, including the vibrant queer nightlife that flourished in the Bronzeville area which dumas-o'neal and Gayles learned had a reputation for being inclusive.

These nightclubs and SSAC-organized social events were some of the few spaces that brought people with various backgrounds together despite segregation in the city, dumas-o'neal said.

"You had a multiplicity of people who were disabled, people who were on the spectrum of queerness occupying the same space," dumas-o'neal said. "It was also an intergenerational and interracial space. These culturally specific spaces where music or art was happening in some form, they tended to cross boundaries. The queer identity bridged different people together in spaces they wouldn't otherwise be in together."

In addition to getting to know the artists featured in the exhibit, dumas-o'neal said she hopes the collection changes visitors' perspectives about archives and inspires "a hunger" for more engagement with queer art and history at The South Side Community Art Center and beyond.

"I hope people take away a certain kind of reverence for the archive, in terms of knowing that archives are never stagnant, and depending on the context, the way an archive or an artist's work is interpreted can evolve," dumas-o'neal said.

For more information about SSAC, visit .

This article shared 674 times since Mon May 23, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Photos of Chicago's Daniel Sotomayor included in new Smithsonian exhibit 2022-06-22
- The Smithsonian's first gallery dedicated to Latino history and culture has opened its doors to the public at the National Museum of American History, NBC News noted. Billed as a precursor to a national Latino museum ...

Gay News

ART 'Immersive Monet' in Chicago starting June 17 2022-06-14
- Vincent Van Gogh and Frido Kahlo have gotten the "Immersive" treatment. Now, it's time for the public to experience Claude Monet and fellow Impressionists. Lighthouse Immersive is shifting its focus to the Impressionist movement of the ...

Gay News

American Art Awards issues national honors for 2022 2022-06-06
- The American Art Awards has selected the 20 Best American Galleries and Museums for 2022. Among other criteria, selections are based on years established, industry reputation, online interest, location, size ...

Gay News

Puerto Rican Arts Alliance holds 'Community Parades and Activism' 2022-06-05
- Puerto Rican Arts Alliance (PRAA) held the a panel discussion—"Community Parades and Activism: LGBTQ Claiming its Space"—June 4 at the PRAA Center. According to its website, PRAA is "a premier ...

Gay News

'Community Parades and Activism: LGBTQ Claiming its Space' on June 4 2022-05-26
- The discussion-centered event "Community Parades and Activism: LGBTQ Claiming its Space" will take place Saturday, June 4, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, 3000 N. Elbridge Ave. An open discussion about LGBTQ/SGL activism ...

Gay News

Howard Brown Health unveils Pride mural at Walsh Park 2022-05-26
- On May 25, Howard Brown Health unveiled a mural celebrating Pride month, in collaboration with local artist David Anthony Geary. The unveiling took place at Walsh Park, 1722 N. Ashland Ave. Wintrust Bank's ongoing community partnership ...

Gay News

Artist Rick Sindt explores queer desire and pornography in 'Skin Remembers' 2022-05-25
- Rick Sindt, a Chicago-based artist who recently moved to St. Louis, explores the discovery and development of queer attraction in his exhibit "Skin Remembers." Sindt transforms pornographic stills, repurposing them into images of intimacy. Sindt recently ...

Gay News

Quiz program 'Wait, Wait' to start taping June 16 at the Studebaker 2022-05-16
- Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, NPR's weekly hour-long quiz program, will resume live audience recordings Thursday, June 16, in a new Chicago home: the historic Studebaker Theater at the Fine Arts Building, 401 S. Michigan Ave. ...

Gay News

BOOKS 'Tinderbox' author to appear in Palatine on June 14 2022-05-13
- Author Robert Fieseler will discuss his debut book—Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation—on Tuesday, June 14, at 7 p.m. at Palatine's Cutting Hall Performing Arts Center, ...

Gay News

57th Street Art Fair marking 75th anniversary on June 4-5 2022-05-12
- The 57th Street Art Fair, the Midwest's oldest juried art fair, will mark its 75th anniversary with an in-person celebration on June 4-5 featuring nearly 200 artists, live music presented by Buddy Guy's Legends, and a ...

Gay News

Chicago Gay Men's Chorus to present 'Unimaginable' on May 20-22 2022-05-11
- The Chicago Gay Men's Chorus will present the spring show "CGMC: Unimaginable," on May 20-22 at three Chicagoland venues. The performances will take place Friday, May 20, at 8 p.m. at Chicago's Athenaeum Center for Thought ...

Gay News

PrideArts to present cabaret nights in May and June 2022-04-27
-- From a press release - CHICAGO — PrideArts Artistic Director Jay Espano (he/him/his) today announced a series of four Monday night cabaret performances by Chicago area musical theater and cabaret artists at the Pride Arts ...

Gay News

The Other Art Fair returns to the Loop 2022-04-25
- The Other Art Fair returned to Chicago April 21-24 at Fulton Market, 1215 W. Fulton Market, for collectors, artists and art lovers with original works of art from more than 100 emerging artists. Just a few ...

Gay News

'It Was Vulgar and It Was Beautiful' explores art collective's part in HIV/AIDS activism 2022-04-23
- In Jack Lowery's book, It Was Vulgar and It Was Beautiful: How AIDS Activists Used Art to Fight a Pandemic, the historian shares how the art collective Gran Fury utilized community-made propaganda to address the HIV/AIDS ...

Gay News

Gay artist couple among Mayor's Medal of Honor recipients 2022-04-21
-- From a press release - CHICAGO—Today, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announced the winners of the 2022 Mayor's Medal of Honor. The Mayor's Medal of Honor is an annual award presented by the Mayor to honorees who have demonstrated a passionate commitment ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.