Beer Summit: How’s Harold?

Thursday, Feb 25th 12:30 – 3pm

The Modern Wing of The Art Institute of Chicago, 159 East Monroe Ryan Education Center, Classroom 5 (Room for Indeterminacy)

Thursday, Feb 25th 12:30 – 3pm

Guest Presenters: Josh Rios, James Britt, John Neff, Alberto Aguilar, Ross Jordan

Harold Washington, Chicago’s first black mayor, was a beloved figure and a symbol of Chicago’s racial and political history. David Axelrod, the point person on Washington’s 1987 re-election campaign and subsequently the strategists and White House advisor to President Barack Obama, recounted that Washington credited his election as changing the popular image of Chicago away from the “Boom, Boom, ratatat” of Al Capone mobsters and city bosses. Washington would boast to crowds,“Now anywhere you go in the world…you know what they say to you? They ask, ‘How’s Harold?”

In relation to the closing term of the first black president, Beer Summit: How’s Harold? is a series of presentations that revisits artistic and fabricated images of Harold Washington created after his sudden death from a massive heart attack in the fall the 1987. In 1988 a portrait of Harold Washington in lingerie by David Nelson, a School of the Art Institute of Chicago student, was “arrested” by Chicago aldermen, an incident that sparked a first amendment lawsuit with the City of Chicago that lasted over twenty years. This image, and the events surrounding it, continue to re-emerge as source material in artistic practice. Harold Washington’s image (spirit?) carries on in fascinating ways: re-emerging in 2008 campaign buttons, and as an animatronic at the DuSable Museum of African American History. The maintenance of representations of Harold Washington after his death is closely related to how Chicagoans reflect on their own experiences and also, as he suggested himself, how Chicago imagines its past and its future. To ask, ‘How’s Harold?’ is to also probe the question, ‘How are we?’

Beer Summit: How’s Harold? is presented by Pedestrian Project and Art Institute of Chicago Museum Education Artists-in-resident Alberto Aguilar. Beer Summits are organized by Ross Jordan.Presentations by Alberto Aguilar, James Britt, Ross Jordan, John Neff and Josh Rios.

Alberto Aguilar is an artist residing in Chicago, IL. He teaches at Harold Washington College where he also coordinates Pedestrian Project and initiative dedicated to making contemporary art practice more accessible and available to all. In spring 2015 he was Crossing Boundaries Resident Artist through the Arts Incubator and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics & Culture. He is currently Artists-in-residence for Museum Education at the Art Institute of Chicago.

John Neff produces artworks, organizes exhibitions, and works as a teaching artist. He currently serves as a curatorial board member at Chicago’s Iceberg Projects and as co-director of the Ravenswood Elementary School Curatorial Practice Program.

Josh Rios’s performances, curatorial projects, installations, texts, and screenings generally deal with the contemporary and historical experiences of being Mexican-origin, centering on modern Chicana/o aesthetics and US/Mexico relations. His performances and projects have been featured at the Art Institute of Chicago, Harold Washington College, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Andrea Meislin Gallery, and the Stony Island Arts Bank. In December 2015 he participated in Chicago’s first annual Poet’s Theater Festival. Most recently, he will be featured in a film by the curatorial team le peuple qui manqué as part of their project, A Government of Times.

Visual artist James Britt uses various forms of media to create satirical allegories about popular culture. Through these visual expressions, Britt seeks to cultivate a space where personal and collective conversations occur about the social phenomena represented in his work. The subject matter may change, however his alter ego Semaj L’rae remains ever-present in each narrative, representative of our need for validation and relevancy within a system governed by subjectivity. Britt received a B.A. degree in Sociology and African American/African Studies from the University of Virginia, and a M.Ed. degree in Counseling Education from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Beer Summit: Legacy Inauguration

Beer Summit: Legacy Inauguration

Hyde Park Art Center
5020 S. Cornell Avenue Chicago, IL 60615
Jan. 20th
6-8pm

Guest:
Esmeralda Kale, George and Mary LeCron Foster Curator of the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies at Northwestern University
Jorge Lucero, Assistant Professor of Art Education at The University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

The Barack Obama Presidential Center, as a collection of administrative archives and visual displays, will shape how the Obama era is remembered, but artists and cultural producers have already begun writing the first draft of that history into dynamic Chicago based exhibitions and collections. Exactly a year from Inauguration Day 2017, Beer Summit: Legacy Inauguration continues a conversation initiated by curator, Ross Jordan about visual culture and the legacy of President Barack Obama as research for a future exhibition at Hyde Park Art Center in 2017. Esmeralda Kale, Curator of the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies at Northwestern University (NU), will present an archive of diverse materials by African artists and artisans created during Obama’s campaigns and term in office and his visits to the Continent. The collection represents an unprecedented production of visual cultural material for an unprecedented presidency. Jorge Lucero, Assistant Professor of Art Education at The University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, is curator of the Barack Obama Presidential Library Exhibition, a collection of objects organized by an open call for submissions across Chicago. The inclusive nature of the NU archive and Lucero’s exhibition challenges who is allowed to inform presidential legacy and create the powerful memories that stay in the national imagination.

About The Beer Summits Series:The Presidential Library Project includes a series of conversations and lectures called Beer Summits that explore issues related to the future Barack Obama Presidential Library, artistic production, and issues of politics. The title of these conversations comes from an incident early in Obama’s first term when acclaimed black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates was arrested trying to enter his own home in Cambridge, Ma. Following the arrest President Obama invited Gates and the arresting officer to join him for a beer in the Rose Garden as an example of how to create teachable moments from difficult situations. Major media outlets called the meeting a “beer summit.” The Beer Summits Series are an unsanctioned and unofficial continuation of that first dialogue. Beer Summits are organized by curator Ross Jordan for more information visit  obamapresidentiallibraryproject.com

Special Guests:

kale2Esmeralda Kale is the newly appointed George and Mary LeCron Foster Curator of the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies at Northwestern University. Previously she served as the Bibliographer of Africana and has a total of twelve years of experience developing the collection. She has 25 years of experience as a librarian and has taught and worked at various institutions in Swaziland, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. Kale has served as Chair of the International Relations Africa Subcommittee, the Chair of the Africana Librarians Council, and is the Chair Elect of the Cooperative Africana Materials Project managed by the Center for Research Libraries. She has curated many exhibitions, including the recent exhibit, “From Apartheid to Democracy: 20 Years of Transition in South Africa.” Kale has an M. A. and a Graduate Diploma in Library and Information Science from University College London, England.

Jorge LuceroJorge Lucero is an artist who currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Art Education at The University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. His current work investigates the intersections of contemporary art practices with distinctly pedagogical properties and how those modes of operation propose alternative approaches to making, learning, and civic engagement. Jorge is currently writing and making art about how these educationally-reminiscent forms of contemporary art practice function as permissions for a teaching practice that is also a highly sophisticated art practice.  Lucero’s work has been shown, published, and presented internationally and across the United States. He holds degrees from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Pennsylvania State University.

– See more at: http://www.hydeparkart.org/events/2016-01-20-beer-summit-legacy-inauguration#sthash.8E9AND7x.dpufJorge Lucero, Assistant Professor of Art Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Beer Summit: The black Presidential imaginary @OpenHouse

Beer Summit: The black Presidential imaginary @OpenHouse

Organize  by Ross Jordan and hosted by Robyn Farrell and Drew Roulo
7-8:30pm

In 1933 the thought of a Black President was an absurd possibility, so a seven year old Sammy Davis Jr. appeared alongside Ethel Waters as president elect in the film Rufus Jones for President. Many years later black comedians Richard Pryor and then Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock would continue dramatizing the image of a black president. The reception and screening featured an array of Black Presidents of popular cultural from the blackface to the Anger Translator.

Beer Summit: The Blacksidency and the Black Presidential Imaginary

Beer Summit:The Blacksidency and the Black Presidential Imaginary.
July 30th
5:30-7pm
Chicago Cultural Center
First Floor Garland Room

The Blacksidency and the Black Presidential Imaginary was a conversation about Obama’s presidency in relation to popular cultural imagination of a Black President. This conversation featured artists Nazafarin Lotfi and Alberto Aguilar whose work was in the recent exhibition “The Barack Obama Presidential Library” at the Southside Hub of Production (SHoP) curated by Jorge Lucero.  The conversation compared cultural images of the Obama charismatic character and the ramification of Barack Obama’s presidency. To learn  more about Lucero’s Obama Library project visits jorgelucero.com.

 Alberto Aguilar is an artist residing in Chicago, IL. He teaches at Harold Washington College where he also coordinates Pedestrian Project and initiative dedicated to making contemporary art practice more accessible and available to all. In spring 2015 he was Crossing Boundaries Resident Artist through the Arts Incubator and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics & Culture. He just returned from a family road trip that lasted 7 weeks and crossed 12 of the United States. Learn more about Aguilar at albertoaguilar.org

Nazafarin Lotfi received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011 and her BA from the University of Tehran in 2007. Lotfi’s work has been included in exhibitions nationally and internationally, including Italy, South Korea, Hungary, Germany and Iran. Recent exhibitions include Poiesis at Fernwey Gallery, Chicago, IL; White Light at Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago, IL; Pattern Recognition at Ana Cristea Gallery, New York City, NY; Not Safe for Work at DUVE Berlin, Berlin, Germany.  Learn more about Lotfi at nazafarinlotfi.com

Take Michelle To Work!

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Take Michelle to Work is a project by New York based artist Aisha Cousin. The project capitalizes and complicates Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, this year on April 23, 2015. In Cousin’s words the project is, “designed to spark conversation about the way Michelle Obama’s shift from model ‘feminist career woman’ to model ‘president’s wife’ illustrates the subtle social and psychological obstacles today’s girls will face in their quest to enter the workforce.  This project is one of several by cousin’s that explore important and overlooked aspects of black life during the Obama Era.

Want to get you own Take Michelle to Work doll and learn how to support conversations about gender in the workplace? Click Here and be sure to tweet #takemichelletowork.

In the image above Cousin’s Michelle doll is visiting the office of Ross Jordan, Assistant Director of Exhibitions in the Department of Exhibitions and Exhibitions Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Michelle Obama was a well known figure in Chicago leading up to her husband’s senate and presidential campaigns. She was earning over $300,000 as Vice-president of external affairs and community relations for the University of Chicago Hospitals by the time her husband won his statewide senate seat.

How Michelle Obama has navigated her own professional ambitions, public persona, and her role as a mother have been of national debate that often is a proxy dialogue for the changing landscape of gender roles. Cousin’s project allows the projection of alternative careers and personal narratives for a young Michelle. The conversations that the doll engenders inquire about the false choices many women are asked to make between career, family, and personal fulfillment. Cousin’s re-invigorates this national dialogue, by creating a format were participants can imagine having workplaces that support family life and high powered career development simultaneously.

This year Barak Obama addressed the Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day in this video address.

In 2012, Michelle Obama  visited with the sons and daughters of civil service staff for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.