Teesee’s Town

Dr. Samella Sanders Lewis, 86, (pictured) widely collected and exhibited as an artist (primarily a printmaker) and also revered as an art historian and writer on African Art, stops by the South Side Community Art Center, 3831 S. Michigan, on Friday, 6 p.m

Dr. Samella Sanders Lewis, 86, (pictured) widely collected and exhibited as an artist (primarily a printmaker) and also revered as an art historian and writer on African Art, stops by the South Side Community Art Center, 3831 S. Michigan, on Friday, 6 p.m.-9 p.m., with historian Dr. Richard Long to discuss and sign copies of her book, Barthe: Life in Art, which took 20 years of extensive  research to produce. The literary work traces Richmond Barthe’s life and brilliant career-path as an artist and sculptor from the rural South to Chicago, to energizing New York and finally to Jamaica and Pasadena, Calif. SSCAC is currently exhibiting Dr. Lewis’ works through Aug. 29. Both the exhibit and book signing are part of a series celebrating SSCAC’s 70th anniversary, says Diane Dinkins Carr, SSCAC board president. Funding for the lecture and book signing is provided by Terra Foundation for American Art. And on Saturday, 1 p.m.-4:30 p.m., Drs. Lewis and Long will be at Woodson Regional Library, 95th and Halsted Streets, as guests of the Chicago Public Library and the Vivian G. Harsh Society Inc., whose mission is to raise funds to promote the Collection, make it more accessible and to purchase artwork to beautify the space. The pair will give a spirited lecture on “Connecting with the Traditions of African American Art.” Call SSCAC at (312) 747-8184. Dr. Lewis, born in New Orleans, is perhaps even better known as a historian, critic and collector of art, especially African American art. She’s completed four degrees, five films, seven books and a substantial body of artwork which has received great critical respect. Her artistic and wonderful mind showed itself at age 4 when she began drawing and painting. She pursued an art degree at Dillard Univ. in 1941, but left Dillard for Hampton Institute to earn a B.A. degree, then earned a second master’s and a doctorate in fine arts and art history from Ohio State Univ. Later, she became chair of the fine arts dept. at Florida A&M Univ. and in 1952 was a professor at the State University of New York and at Scripps College in Claremont, Calif. She founded the International Review of African American Art in 1975 and also the Museum of African American Arts. Acting Accolade – Richard Roundtree, best known for his portrayal of private detective John Shaft in the 1971 film Shaft and in its two sequels, Shaft’s Big Score (1972) and Shaft in Africa (1973), comes to Chicago on Oct.11 to receive the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Black Theater Alliance, founded in 1995 as a 501(c)(3) organization by Vincent Williams, who serves as its president. The non-profit entity honors African Americans who achieve excellence in theater, dance and all areas of the performing and technical arts in the Chicago area. The 16th Annual Black Theater Alliance/Ira Aldridge Awards Dinner presented by Target is a professional upbeat program featuring performances from the previous nominated season. The 2010 awards will be staged in Herman Hall Ballroom of the Illinois Institute of Technology, 3241 S. Federal; dinner at 7 p.m., the award presentations at 8 p.m. Among past awardees: Ben Vereen, Jackie Taylor, Joan Gray, Derrick Sanders, Ifa Bayez, Runako Jahi, Ella Joyce, Chuck Smith, Reuben Echols, Lawrence Hilton Jacobs, Eva D, Keir Thomas, Harry Lennix, Chester McGregory, Lydia Diamond, Julian Swain, Dr. Margaret Burroughs, Bethany Thomas and a number of others. Doubly Duty ¼– An afternoon that honors Atty. James D. Montgomery’s contributions to civic and social justice while also raising money for the Timuel D. Black Scholarship Fund to Support Fellowships in African American Studies in the Harsh Collection is Sept. 26. The event begins with a 2 p.m. lecture, “Standing on the Shoulders of our Elders: The Urgency of the Past, Present and the Future,” in the Pritzker Auditorium of the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State St. (The lecture is free, but pre-registration is a must.) It all ends with a Private Reception & Dinner at 4 p.m. in the Winter Garden. Limited seating dinner tickets: $150. For reservations, etc. e-mail susanmotley@mac.com. Special Notice: The contact number listed in this space a couple of weeks ago on “Toni Morrison in Conversation with Oprah Winfrey” at the Carl Sandburg Literary Awards Dinner at UIC’s Forum on Oct. 20 sponsored by the Chicago Public Library Foundation has been changed. Visit www.chicagopubliclibraryfoundation.org or contact Rebecca Spence, coordinator, (312) 201-9830 or rspence@cplfoundation.org. Sponsor tables of 10 begin at $10,000, single tickets at $1,000 and $2,500 will be available soon. Reservations are limited. Congrats to – Judge Leonard Murray, of the Cook County Circuit Court, who was installed as chair of the Illinois Judicial Council at its 28th Installation & Awards Ceremony at the Union League Club. Murray succeeds Judge LaQuietta J. Hardy-Campbell. Other officers installed: Judge Diane M. Shelley, chair-elect; Judge Carol M. Howard, secretary; Judge Dominique C. Ross, assistant secretary; Judge Yolaine Dauphin, treasurer; and Judge William R. Jackson, assistant treasurer. Founded in 1982, IJC addresses problems common to African American judges in Illinois and strives to enhance the image of the judiciary by serving as a collective voice in strong support of its members. Judge Murray, who sits on the bench in the First Municipal District, was appointed an associate judge in ‘07.  Prior to that, he was a solo practitioner with a varied practice focused primarily in litigation. He’s been active in numerous bar organizations, including the Illinois State Bar Ass’n, Chicago Bar Ass’n, Cook County Bar Ass’n and the National Bar Ass’n.  He’s also active in numerous community and civic groups including the James Jordan Foundation and Project LEAP. ‘Casino Magic’ – The magic of “The Spellbinder, Walter King” and Ed Hollis, the Michael Jackson impersonator, take centerstage when South Central Community Services, led by Felicia Y. Blasingame, Ph.D., president and CEO, and Michael Platt, board chair, present “Casino Magic: A Las Vegas Affair” on Aug. 27 in The Venue of the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind. The 15th annual fundraiser, ticketed at $100 per person, also features entertainment, gambling, karaoke, palm reading, buffet dining, dancing and so much more! The evening’s timetable: reception, 6 p.m.; dinner buffet, 7 p.m.; and showtime, 8:30 p.m. Benefit coordinators need to plan for your presence, so they need to hear from you by Friday. Call C. Roundtree, (773) 483-0900, ext. 231, or C. Thomas, ext. 238. Corporate sponsors (to date); AT&T, Risk Management Resources Inc, WVON-AM/1690 and the Chicago Defender. Yep, we’re there! Happy B’Day – to Marcellus Stamps, Diann Bishop, Krystal McAllister, Landis (the make-up artist to the stars), Marvin Gray, Sandra Finley, Phyllis Banks, Richard Porter, Isaiah Washington, Pemon Rami, Johnny Blair, Lun Ye Givens Marsh, Rikki Jones, Roxanne Atkins and Ranoule Tatum. Whazup! Whazup! ¼– DuSable Museum and Carol Adams, Ph.D., its CEO, present “Yanga Fest,” an arts and crafts festival celebrating the free exhibit, The African Presence in Mexico: From Yanga to the Present, Aug. 28-29, featuring DanceAfrica, fine artists, vendor shopping, make-and-take, meet-the-author, bike tours, food and a marketplace. Copyright 2010 Chicago Defender

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