Rhonda Brown & University of Chicago Charter School: Woodlawn

Project Overview

Meet the Artist

Rhonda Brown

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A native Clevelander, Brown hails from a family that opened the first for-profit African American gallery in the country, Malcolm Brown Gallery in Shaker Heights, Ohio in 1980. At a young age, Rhonda had the opportunity to meet and spend time with the artists the gallery represented including Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Hughie Lee-Smith, Selma Burke, Carolyn Mazloomi and many others.

Growing up with art all around inspired her to complete a bachelor of fine arts with a double major in painting and drawing and art history from The Ohio State University. Thereafter, she interned at the Cleveland Museum of Art during its 75th Anniversary year and then completed her master’s degree in art history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2005.

Brown’s expressive colorful paintings confront the viewer. Her abstracted human form, palette, and expressive lines communicate solemnity and boldness equally. Brown’s work appears in private collections throughout the country and has been featured in Samella Lewis’s International Review of African American Art, Oprah at Home Magazine exhibitions, and architectural interiors.

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A native Clevelander, Brown hails from a family that opened the first for-profit African American gallery in the country, Malcolm Brown Gallery in Shaker Heights, Ohio in 1980. At a young age, Rhonda had the opportunity to meet and spend time with the artists the gallery represented including Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Hughie Lee-Smith, Selma Burke, Carolyn Mazloomi and many others.

Growing up with art all around inspired her to complete a bachelor of fine arts with a double major in painting and drawing and art history from The Ohio State University. Thereafter, she interned at the Cleveland Museum of Art during its 75th Anniversary year and then completed her master’s degree in art history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2005.

Brown’s expressive colorful paintings confront the viewer. Her abstracted human form, palette, and expressive lines communicate solemnity and boldness equally. Brown’s work appears in private collections throughout the country and has been featured in Samella Lewis’s International Review of African American Art, Oprah at Home Magazine exhibitions, and architectural interiors.

Visit their Website

Portrait by Devina Yoestong

Faheem Majeed & “What Shall I Tell the Children?”

“What will you tell the children? What is the legacy that you will leave?” – Faheem Majeed, Artist

Project Overview

What Shall I Tell the Children

 

What Shall I Tell the Children is a series of photographs, taken by artist Faheem Majeed, of black and white linocut prints produced by Dr. Margaret Burroughs (1915 – 2010) which can be found in vast number Chicago Public Schools.  Burroughs’ print works depicted positive images of women, notable black figures, and scenes of racial unity. For Majeed, these prints represent a time when Burroughs either visited the school to speak with students or donated prints to a principal or teacher to encourage and thank them for their tireless work and commitment. 

 

Burroughs once challenged Majeed as an artist asking “What will you tell the children? What is the legacy that you will leave?” These questions resonated with Majeed and remain top of mind when considering Burroughs’ life. A talented artist and poet, Burroughs had numerous achievements including the creation 100’s of original linoleum block and woodcut prints, numerous poetry publications, founding the DuSable Museum of African American History, the African American Museums Association, the South Side Community Art Center, and the National Conference of Artists. 

 

In addition to teaching out of her home in Bronzeville, which was the original site of the DuSable Museum, she also taught at DuSable High School for more than 20 years.  Teaching and inspiring youth was at the core of her life’s work.  

 

Schools included in this series are Daniel Hale Williams Preparatory School of Medicine Jean Baptiste Point DuSable High School, Wendell Phillips Academy High School, Arthur Dixon Elementary School, and William H. Ryder Math & Science Specialty Elementary School.

 

Meet the Artist

Faheem Majeed

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Faheem Majeed is a builder—literally and metaphorically. A resident of the South Shore neighborhood in Chicago, Majeed often looks to the material makeup of his neighborhood and surrounding areas as an entry point into larger questions around civic-mindedness, community activism, and institutional critique. As part of his studio practice, the artist transforms materials such as particle board, scrap metal and wood, and discarded signs and billboard remnants, breathing new life into these often overlooked and devalued materials. His broader engagement with the arts also involves arts administration, curation, and community facilitation, all which feed into his larger practice. Majeed received his BFA from Howard University and his MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He is a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant (2015) and a Harpo Foundation Awardee (2016). From 2005-2011, Majeed served as Executive Director and Curator for the South Side Community Art Center (SSCAC) and from 2013–2015 he served as the associate director and faculty of UIC’s School of Art and Art History. In 2015, he co-founded the “Floating Museum” which blends creative place-making, activism and exhibition design to creates temporary, site-responsive museum spaces to activate sites of cultural potential throughout Chicago’s neighborhoods. Currently, Majeed is a full-time, practicing artist and creates work in his South Shore studio.

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Faheem Majeed is a builder—literally and metaphorically. A resident of the South Shore neighborhood in Chicago, Majeed often looks to the material makeup of his neighborhood and surrounding areas as an entry point into larger questions around civic-mindedness, community activism, and institutional critique. As part of his studio practice, the artist transforms materials such as particle board, scrap metal and wood, and discarded signs and billboard remnants, breathing new life into these often overlooked and devalued materials. His broader engagement with the arts also involves arts administration, curation, and community facilitation, all which feed into his larger practice. Majeed received his BFA from Howard University and his MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He is a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant (2015) and a Harpo Foundation Awardee (2016). From 2005-2011, Majeed served as Executive Director and Curator for the South Side Community Art Center (SSCAC) and from 2013–2015 he served as the associate director and faculty of UIC’s School of Art and Art History. In 2015, he co-founded the “Floating Museum” which blends creative place-making, activism and exhibition design to creates temporary, site-responsive museum spaces to activate sites of cultural potential throughout Chicago’s neighborhoods. Currently, Majeed is a full-time, practicing artist and creates work in his South Shore studio.

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Portrait by Devina Yoestong

Melissa Ann Pinney & The Bell School

“The Bell School is a 100 year old Chicago Public Elementary School with three programs: Neighborhood, Deaf and Gifted. There are 1,000 students in total. From the beginning I wanted to focus on the children– their games and relationships to one another and to the physical environment, mostly outside of the classroom,” – Melissa Ann Pinney, photographer.

Project Overview

This project looks closely at Chicago’s children as they build their futures within the social, cultural and political milieu of the Chicago Public School system. Schools are a rich setting to explore emerging female identity, a long-time subject of mine that is more important now than ever in this era of #MeToo. I’ve seen how sharing the photographs with the students, parents and teachers builds community. It is an exciting and rare privilege to photograph a diverse population of Chicago’s students during a time when the city is in the forefront of a national conversation about public education, racism and economic inequality.

Meet the Artist

Melissa Ann Pinney

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Melissa Ann Pinney’s closely-observed studies of the social lives and emerging identities of American women have won the photographer numerous fellowships and awards, and found their way into the collections of the major museums in the US and abroad. Pinney’s work first garnered attention when it was included in the Museum of Modern Art’s major 1991 exhibition, Pleasures and Terrors of Domestic Comfort. Her evocative photographs of the stages of life of American women earned her a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1999, which resulted in her first major monograph, Regarding Emma: Photographs of American Women and Girls (2003). Melissa Ann Pinney’s next book, Girl Ascending, (2010) focused on a touchstone moment in the lives of American girls. Pinney’s latest book, TWO, includes 80 photographs and short essays by ten distinguished authors on the nature of two. Ann Patchett edited the book and wrote the introduction.

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Melissa Ann Pinney’s closely-observed studies of the social lives and emerging identities of American women have won the photographer numerous fellowships and awards, and found their way into the collections of the major museums in the US and abroad. Pinney’s work first garnered attention when it was included in the Museum of Modern Art’s major 1991 exhibition, Pleasures and Terrors of Domestic Comfort. Her evocative photographs of the stages of life of American women earned her a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1999, which resulted in her first major monograph, Regarding Emma: Photographs of American Women and Girls (2003). Melissa Ann Pinney’s next book, Girl Ascending, (2010) focused on a touchstone moment in the lives of American girls. Pinney’s latest book, TWO, includes 80 photographs and short essays by ten distinguished authors on the nature of two. Ann Patchett edited the book and wrote the introduction.

Visit their Website

Portrait by Devina Yoestong

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