50 Years Later, Chicago Artists Are Getting Their Due

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The show’s curator, Rebecca Zorach, said she saw the exhibition, which she started working on five years ago, as an opportunity to belatedly give South Side artists the wider recognition they deserve. “The Time Is Now!” is part of a series called South Side Stories, which is backed by a grant from the Terra Foundation’s Art Design Chicago, a joint effort of more than 60 organizations with over 25 exhibitions and hundreds of public programs in the city. (The Terra Foundation is a privately run nonprofit that supports art exhibitions and projects.)

“It started as a broad survey of the South Side but then inescapable themes emerged like politics, unity, struggle, displacement, gentrification, and we decided to start focus on some of those,” Ms. Zorach said.

The Smart has been on the South Side since 1974, but its new director, Alison Gass, arrived at the museum last year and said she was determined to show the work of artists from a range of backgrounds.

“We’re humbled to work with these artists who have been excluded from the canon and haven’t gotten their due,” Ms. Gass said. “We are course-correcting.”

The Smart’s efforts go beyond a handful of exhibitions. Many of the museum’s paid docents are from the South Side, whose residents have long been underemployed; the university’s art history department is working closely with the museum to shift its curriculum to include artists who have typically been excluded from art history courses in Western universities.

Source : https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/08/arts/design/smart-museum-chicago-black-artists.html

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50 Years Later, Chicago Artists Are Getting Their Due
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