artists

How an art icon wants to revitalize Nigeria’s creative ecosystem with a residency for artists

Yinka Shonibare is fascinated by the complexities and the global flows that make up African identities. This is evident in his widely recognized use of “African” wax print fabrics, a recurring motif in Shonibare’s artworks. These designs however are Indonesian batik fabrics produced by the Dutch, and are widely distributed across Western Africa.

“I liked the layers of identity of those fabrics,” Shonibare says. “The fabrics became a metaphor for the contemporary African”. Known for his visual explorations on post-colonialism, globalization and identity, Shonibare’s work examines the transnational mobility and fluidity of African identities and explores the multiplicity of cosmopolitanism.

Understanding the wider cultural significance of Shonibare’s works is imperative to understanding how he aims to redefine Nigeria’s cultural and creative landscape. His political views, themes and explorations are somewhat integrated into the mission and vision of his latest philanthropic initiative, Guest Artists Space (G.A.S) Foundation. Scheduled

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How will Chicago artists make it through the pandemic? 85 years ago the Feds had an answer. Could it work again?

How essential is an artist?

Art, you’ve noticed, has been idle.

The artist, in pandemic Chicago, has been stripped of stages, classrooms, materials. Many, who were already working two or three jobs for supplemental income, were stripped of second and third jobs. Some, seeing little light at the end of the COVID tunnel, have probably given up already.

Even a starving artist can last only so long.

And yet, remarkable as it may be seem in 2020, there was a moment, about a decade long, when this country and its White House, eager to get Americans to work, considered its artists essential.

You live everyday with that legacy.

Consider the South Side Community Art Center, an 80-year old institution in a 130-year old Classical Revival house. It rests in an unassuming lot on South Michigan Avenue. It is tall and austere, warm and a bit removed from its Bronzeville neighborhood,

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