Last Friday was the Opening reception for the MFA thesis exhibition at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The show will run until May 16, 2012 at the Sullivan galleries located in the Carson Pirie Scott building off of State St and Madison.
The show is the final hurrah for all the Studio MFA candidates, aside from Fashion, Film and performance the nite was crazy with families, curators and students celebrating all of our hard work!
It was great seeing all the students, faculty and staff together in one place- this week a conference was held at the galleries called “Chicago is having a moment” which discussed possible shifts in where emerging artists are headed in contemporary art.
From the time Ive spent as an artist in Chicago I have definitely tapped into the next generation of Black artists- kids like me who are coming thru these art schools talking about their identities, family histories and relationships to the world around them. Some people think the recharge in identity politics happened after Obama, but I think it is more of those cultural coincidences where people are sort of feeling the same thing and all about to open their mouths about it at the same moment.
Young artists who looked at Obama and said hey, my parents, my life, my experiences are really similar to Obama and the legacy he’s developing-we’re educated, affluent and leaders of tomorrow he really isnt that rare of a success story for us. And if that’s the case, what does that mean? Kids everywhere are piping up about their experiences as accomplished minorities and the cultural negotiations that go on in order to sustain the normalcy of success. Conversations about race, class and gender roles compelling us to make art. And to make sure that art is as equally included in contemporary art realms like any other works.
These ideas have been bubbling up through books like Toure’s Who’s Afraid of Post Blackness and Darby English’s How to See A Work of Art In total Darkness. I fully recommend these texts (Darby’s is certainly more relevant, academic and useful for sure.)
A multitude of other ideas and movements are turning in Chicago these days what with the inception of Apartment galleries and artist run spaces I look forward to us upcoming young artists blowing apart the art scene across all the major cities and beyond, yo!