Black Creativity Exhibition Celebrates 50 years of Black Art

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The Museum of Science and Industry is hosting its 50th installation of the Juried Art Exhibition, a celebration of Black Creativity through the visual arts. The collection hosts over 200 pieces from professional and student artists, most of whom are Chicago residents. Since its inception in 1970, Black Creativity has expanded to include scientific contributions of African-Americans. The goal is “to inspire African-American children to pursue educational opportunities and careers in the fields of science, technology, medicine, and engineering through programs… and discover their inventive and creative genius.”

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Neko Harris, the creator of Black Magic and Marveling Marvin, says he focuses on the beauty of the Black physique. He uses negative space and galactic elements as “a metaphor for how Black people are literally “out of this world”; from our ability to endure and adapt to the magic we display in our everyday lives.” Harris believes this exhibit is valuable to Chicago because “it allows a higher platform for our work to be recognized” and provides exposure to those “who would most likely not be introduced to [us] otherwise.” He asserts the idea that “this city needs Black representation to grant future generations the inspiration and reassurance that they, too, can create magnificent works of art that will effectively shape the world.”

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Other artists feast on the inspiration of their predecessors. The influence of legendary artists is seen in pieces like “London Gatewood Study,” created by Richard Duarte Brown. He considers the exhibit to be an opportunity for sons and daughters of the diaspora to reconnect with each other, their ancestors, and themselves. Brown says, “these shows bring us together like the family reunion that is so vital for us to connect and thrive.”

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The exhibition is located at the Museum of Science and Industry in Jackson Park. The exhibition is included in the admission price of the museum. Teachers and students receive free admission to the museum every day, but there are several other discount rates available. The exhibit ends March 1. Visit www.msichicago.org for more information.

-Sabrina Catlett, Contributing Writer

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