All posts tagged: South Side Community Arts Center

Jenn Freeman, Po’Chop, and The People’s Church of the G.H.E.T.T.O

In 2017, I followed  burlesque dancer and performing artist Jenn Freeman, also known as Po’Chop, on Instagram while researching Jeezy’s Juke Joint, a renowned Black and Brown burlesque show. I was researching it with the hopes of being a performer, not an audience member. As a queer-married intersectional feminist, I saw burlesque as an outlet to express my sensuality and expand my art practice. However, in my research I didn’t find classes for Black women. Fast forward to August 2019. I received a direct message from Po’Chop on Instagram requesting to commission some of my portrait drawings for an exhibition about the empowering divine Black energies of Audre Lorde, Jackie Ormes, Elder Lucy Smith, and Beauty Turner. Po’Chop receiving a referral from a gallery I previously worked with aligned me to the motherload of manifested interactions. During our conversation about the commissions, we talked about the hurdles of Black feminist scholarship and the joys of performing it through our artistry.  The first time I saw Po’Chop perform was the first day of our phone call. …

Locating Your Practice in ‘African American Designers in Chicago: Art, Commerce and the Politics of Race,’ with D. Denenge Duyst-Akpem

A century’s legacy of Black designers working at the nexus of the quotidian, politics, history, and market capitalism is brought into focus through African American Designers in Chicago: Art, Commerce and the Politics of Race, on view at the Chicago Cultural Center until March 3, 2019. The show’s objects and design content show generations of Black designers fusing a shared past and visions of the future within their historical contexts. This chronicle highlights designers and artists producing in many mediums including Charles Dawson, Charles White, Jay Jackson, Zelda “Jackie” Ormes, Charles Harrison, LeRoy Winbush, William McBride, Sylvia (Laini) Abernathy, and Emmett McBain. Particular emphasis is given to how 20th century Black designers and artists in Chicago reframed the conception of the Black consumer within the market economy. By the same token, the concerns, aesthetics, pressures, and values of Chicago’s dynamic Black communities are embedded in each object. Dr. Margaret T. Burroughs expressed this responsiveness when discussing the origins of the South Side Community Arts Center, quoted in the exhibition materials: “As young black artists, we looked …

Sixty in 60: Episode 2 – South Side Community Art Center

Sixty in 60 EP 2 South Side Community Arts Center from Andrew Roddewig on Vimeo. In May of 1941, Eleanor Roosevelt officially dedicated the South Side Community Art Center(SSAC) at 3831 South Michigan Avenue as part of the Federal Art Project. Since that date the SSCAC is the only remaining Federal Art Project community center to remain, in operation. For over seventy years the SSCAC has been a home to artists ,and few people are more aware of the home atmosphere then current Executive Director, Faheem Majeed. Faheem was an unofficial Artist, in residence before becoming Executive Director. Faheem believes that the SSCAC is home to everyone and is always willing to talk about the center, the history of the neighborhood or anything that comes to mind. Faheem sat down and talked with us about the SSCAC and his philosophy behind operating one of the most significant yet often overlooked cultural centers in the city. The South Side Community Arts Center hosts a wide variety of exhibits and last month featured installations, projections and performances …