Chicago’s Black arts community showcased its creativity in October. Black Fine Arts Month (BFAM) 2023 left an indelible mark on its attendees. The signature BFAM Salon Talk, a highlight of the event, garnered such an enthusiastic reception that one participant was inspired to revisit Pigment’s 2022 article, “A Discourse on Monuments,” emphasizing the event’s impact.
The DuSable Black Museum & Education Center hosted the memorable Signature Salon Talk, where passionate individuals shared their life-defining causes, pointing out art as a central force in their pursuits. Naomi Green, founder & CEO of Blacks in Green (BIGTM), spoke about reclaiming the boarded-up Emmett Till house in her neighborhood—a powerful call for grassroots-driven systemic change. As a proud descendant of Mississippi sharecroppers, Green’s connection to her community’s history is palpable.Torture survivor Mark Clements brought to life the devastating impact of the infamous Jon Burge, while Jen Ash shed light on the vital work of the Chicago Torture Justice Memorial. Clements’ rallying cry, “Remember the torture,” resonated deeply with all in attendance.
Artist Jade Williams showcased the unifying power of art in community-building, exemplified by their project, “Roots and Blooms,” in West Pullman—an honored recipient of the Together We Heal Creative Place award.The Salon Talk closed with a poignant reflection from moderator Debra Crable, echoing the words of Mamie Tillman: “Let the people see what they did to my boy.” Art, as demonstrated throughout BFAM, is an example of the extraordinary ability to give voice to these sentiments, providing us with avenues for remembrance. Danny Dunson’s poignant closing remarks brought a fitting end to this impactful event.
Earlier in the day, Pigment International joined artist Nikko Washington at Kavi Gupta Gallery to celebrate the opening of his exhibition, “For the Old Gods and the New.” Chanelle Lacy’s instrumental role in organizing this event for the second consecutive year was duly noted, and congratulations are in order.
At Nolan Gallery, artists Dana Todd Pope and Jennifer Warren engaged in a vibrant discussion on art, entrepreneurship, and the different paths one can take in the art world. Their insights underlined the importance of a supportive community in any artistic journey, regardless of whether it’s a full-time pursuit.
Sandra Harrison coordinated the Aurora programming in collaboration with the Aurora African American Heritage Group. Thanks to her dedication, Mayor Richard C. Irvin officially declared October Black Fine Art Month in Aurora.
Clayton Muhammad, representing the Office of Community Affairs, presented the proclamation at the event, marking a momentous occasion for the BFAM community.
BFAM 2023 has left an indelible mark on all who attended, reminding us of the power of art to inspire, unite, and effect meaningful change.
Source: Rolling Out