All posts tagged: Krista Franklin

Locating Your Practice in ‘A Johnson Publishing Story,’ with Samantha Hill and Krista Franklin

“We had so many good times. I grew up with Johnson,” a fellow visitor to A Johnson Publishing Story told me of the more than fifteen years she had spent working with the Johnson Publishing Company. As we took in the many books and objects on display from the Johnson Publishing Archive, she shared how she had started as a young secretary on Johnson’s executive floor, then worked as an executive secretary for the company’s children’s publication Ebony Jr., before going on to serve as a Midwest director for community relations, visiting Black churches and other institutions in Oklahoma, Missouri, and beyond to promote Johnson Publishing subscriptions and charity initiatives. And when we stopped in front of a zippy red alligator embossed vinyl-sheathed typewriter, I was surprised by how evocative such an object could be when she remarked, “Oh, I remember these! IBM at the time made these Selectrics in black, steel gray, and putty, but Johnson had them made custom in red alligator. I hammered away at one just like this.” John H. Johnson started …

The Silver Room That’s Gold: An Interview with Eric Williams, Pt. 2

This is the second part of an interview with The Silver Room owner Eric Williams, just in time for the 9th Annual Sound System Block Party. Did you catch part one? If not, check out ‘The Silver Room That’s Gold: An Interview with Eric Williams, Pt. 1’. Tempestt Hazel: What I think is so great about The Silver Room is that it allows for such diverse programming to happen in it. Having readings, exhibitions, music, clothing, etc. around those themes seems natural. Eric Williams: It is. And it’s not all me. A lot of times it comes from other people who understand that the space is available for a different kind of voice to be spoken. If they get what the space is they approach me [with an idea] and I say, “Yea, let’s do it.” That way, I’m not always depending on myself to come up with what’s next. TH: Roughly how many shows have you had here? EW: Maybe 20? Hebru Brantley, Krista Franklin and Tyrue ‘Slang’ Jones [have each] had a show …

The Silver Room That’s Gold: An Interview with Eric Williams, Pt. 1

Maintaining a successful art space is no easy task. Those of us who are regulars within the Chicago arts circuit have seen a fair share of galleries, alternative spaces and performance venues come and go. When you find one that stands the test of time it most likely means they’re onto something. After thirteen years of providing a platform and outlet for many up-and-coming or local superstar artists, musicians and artisans–and even the general public through Grown Folks Stories–it’s safe to say that Eric Williams, the owner of The Silver Room, has struck gold (or silver).  He has done this through embracing versatility and flexibility, therefore allowing his business and even his own career path to transform and grow when necessary. In light of the 9th Annual Sound System Block Party happening this Saturday, July 16th, I sat down with Eric to get the full story of how he went from stock broker turned successful street peddler, to the owner of a place that has given new meaning to the term multi-functional. (Note: This is …