Promoting Systemic Change, Equity, Social Justice, & Community Engagemen...

Sweet Fruit Falling- Chicago Fringe Opera

126 views  Premiered Jun 12, 2021
Music & Lyrics: Renée Baker

Chicago Modern Orchestra Project
Director: Renée Baker
Vocalist: Dee Alexander
Percussion: Coco Elysses
Saxophone: Luc Mosley

Site-Specific Micro Operas for Chicago
Phantom Gallery Chicago, Bronzeville

Cinematography: George Cederquist
Music Director/Commissioning/Co-Concept: Catherine O’Shaughnessy
Co-Concept/Video Editing: Brad Caleb Lee

A single dream
As I wear the cloth that fits
you say it's fine
you say they're fine
I know I'm alone
Carrying my bowl to gather the fallen fruit
that falls from the lips of others
wondering when all will fit
when I will fit
holding the bowl tightly, waiting for the daily alms offering
to eat and swallow with dignity every morsel proffered
hoping for sweet fruit fallen from the branch
my hope
one morsel to make me well
one morsel to make me pretty
one morsel to make me acceptable
the morsel that signals the end of the day
to look at the trees alone
to sup under the trees alone
to touch the bare earth
to seek others like me, seeking
sweet swee swe
sweet fruit
falling sweet fruit
sweet sweet swe
sweet fruit
falling sweet fruit
fall asleep dreaming
fight sleep waiting
renounce sleep
so the falling morsel won't miss me

Renee Baker© 2021

Bronzeville Art District Trolley Tour 2024!

"Art is Business"

Welcome to the **Bronzeville Art District Trolley Tour 2024!** Join us on **Fri Jun 21, 2024, and every 3rd Friday through September** at **Gallery Guichard and other participating venues** for a fun and exciting evening exploring the vibrant art scene of Bronzeville. Hop on the double-decker businesses and visit the art galleries, studios, and art spaces showcasing the work of talented local, national, and international artists. Immerse yourself in the creativity and culture of this historic neighborhood. Take advantage of this opportunity to discover new artists and support the arts community in Bronzeville. See you there!

Gallery Guichard and Event Space

Ride the Double-Decker bus that will take you to the 5 participating art galleries and art institutions in Bronzeville. Featuring some of the best fine art and entertainment in the city of Chicago. Free and Fun for the entire family! Please share with your art friends and family.


"Art is Business" was reposted by Alpha Bruton and produced by the Kavi Gupta Gallery on January 22, 2024.

Video by Charlie Ahearn, Music composed by T.J. Anderson, Video production by Alitash Kebebe and Charlie Ahearn.

Kavi Gupta amplifies the voices of diverse and underrepresented artists to expand the canon of art history. We foster an evolving conversation among international communities about art and ideas through innovative and ambitious exhibitions, multimedia programming, and rigorous publications. Communities create culture, and representation is a step towards inclusivity and justice. Equity in the art field starts with everyone getting a seat at the table, but it does not end there. We offer a platform to artists whose vitality expands and deepens the cultural conversation, especially if a voice has been marginalized due to their identity, social or political perspective, or aesthetic position.


Kavi Gupta

Kavi Gupta | Editions

Mixed Media Podcast

Kavi Gupta on Instagram


"Art is Business" FRCBP   Report by Daphne Burgess Bowens

The public outreach campaign involves high school students from Luther Burbank High
School, a school within the Sacramento City Unified School District. The project includes a paid
internship program where students will adopt the area around Luther Burbank High School and
develop ideas for improvement. 

This self-directed outreach campaign may consist of options such as performing litter source assessments, conducting business outreach to offer local businesses cigarette and trash receptacles, adopting an area to routinely clean up litter, organizing clean-up events, and beautifying the neighborhood with public art. Students will be led by a paid college student(s) and guided by Keep California Beautiful mentors and local business owners.

The broader community beautification stretches from the Florin Square Shopping Center
(home of the Sojourner Truth African American Museum) along Florin Road and towards Highway
99. The Project will include creative placemaking such as banners, box wraps, murals;
water/sound features; interactive structures; wall poetry; landscaping; and museum signage. The
works of art will provoke thought by providing an educational platform for children, youth, and
families to engage and read the historical content created on the art pieces.

The first Earth Day in 1970 mobilized millions of Americans from all walks of life to birth the modern environmental movement. Since then, Earth Day has evolved into the largest civic event on Earth, activating billions across 192 countries to safeguard our planet and fight for a brighter future.

EARTHDAY.ORG is unwavering in our commitment to end plastics for the sake of human and planetary health, demanding a 60% reduction in the production of ALL plastics by 2040. Our theme, Planet vs. Plastics, calls to advocate for widespread awareness of the health risks of plastics, rapidly phase out all single-use plastics, urgently push for a strong UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution, and demand an end to fast fashion. Join us as we build a plastic-free planet for generations to come!

Pivoting for Access and Engagement: Leveraging Browser-Based VR in Libraries, Archives, and Museums

"Art is Business"   

SCA Virtual Annual General Meeting 2024 Pivoting: Responding to Changes in the Archives.

Impassioned advocate for African heritage preservation and visionary entrepreneur

Aisha L. Abdul Rahman, MLIS, Ph.D.
Archivist & VR Curator
“Wells must be dug today to quench the thirst of tomorrow.”  |

Pivoting for Access and Engagement: Leveraging Browser-Based VR in Libraries, Archives, and Museums. 

 In the ever-evolving landscape of archival practice, innovative solutions are paramount to enhance access and engagement with historical records and materials. In this enlightening session, I will delve into the transformative potential of browser-based Virtual Reality (VR) as a tool to pivot our approach to archival engagement.

Through a live demonstration of my ongoing project at the Sojourner Truth African Heritage Museum, I will showcase the practical application of browser-based VR. This technology can democratize access to archival collections, making them more inclusive and immersive.

In a dynamic and interactive session, I will guide you through the fundamentals of browser-based VR, shedding light on its possibilities and limitations. You'll gain insights into how this innovative technology can revolutionize archival engagement and respond to the changing needs of our field.

Whether you're a seasoned archivist, librarian, or museum professional or simply curious about the future of heritage preservation, this session will offer a unique opportunity to explore browser-based VR's role in archives and how it can be harnessed to foster progress.

Here is the link to the event per your request

SCA AGM 2024 Schedule

April 15-19, 2024

The Society of California Archivists, Inc., exists to support and develop the education of those who collect, care for, and provide access to California's and adjoining areas' documentary heritage and to encourage public interest in and support for archival facilities in public and private institutions.

To this end, the Corporation shall:

  1. act as a vehicle for dissemination of information about archival collections, issues, and methodology to the profession and the public; 
  2. provide a forum for the discussion of matters related to the creation, preservation, and use of historical documents;
  3. develop, offer, and support archival education programs;
  4. cooperate with individuals and other organizations on matters of common concern;
  5. and advocate the identification, collection, preservation, use, and appreciation of historical records and manuscripts.
© Society of California Archivists

Sapphire & Crystals: Freedom’s Muse

"Art is Business" Sapphire & Crystals: Freedom’s Muse reposted Choose Chicago. 

Marva Jolly, My Mama’s Light, ceramic. Photo by Rose Blouin.

Logan Center Exhibitions is pleased to present Freedom’s Muse featuring members from Sapphire & Crystals, a collective of African American women artists in Chicago initially conceived by Marva Pitchford Jolly and Felicia Grant Preston in 1987. This exhibition explores the intersection of art and freedom of expression in celebration of the 36th Anniversary of the collective and the launch of the university’s new Chicago Forum for Free Inquiry and Expression.
“America is composed of all kinds of people, and part of the difficulty in our nation today is that we are not utilizing the abilities and the talents of other brown and black peoples and females that have something to bring to the creativity, the rejuvenation and the revitalization of this country.” – Shirley Chisholm
This year marks Sapphire & Crystals’ 36th anniversary as an active art collective. Our mission is to give voice and opportunity to African American women artists by participating in and increasing our visibility in arts institutions and honoring our history and culture. When our collective was formed in 1987, we declared our freedom from the status quo and demanded a place at the table.

For this exhibition at the University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts, we chose the theme Freedom’s Muse to explore the ideas of freedom, creativity, and self-determination. In mythology, the Muses were nine goddesses who symbolized the arts and sciences. Today, a muse serves as inspiration. We find our Muses in activists, ancestors, and art forms. We find Muses in sacred spaces and special places, and they always encourage freedom of expression and creativity. Shirley Chisholm is certainly one of our Muses. She advocated for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion when she became the first Black woman to be elected to Congress in 1968 and throughout her presidential campaign in 1972. Over 50 years later, our nation continues to aspire to her ideas. These values are also our hope for humanity; thus, we celebrate our Muses.

In this exhibition, Sapphire & Crystal's artists address Freedom’s Muse in painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, quilting, drawing, and mixed media. We hope our individual and collective creative expressions inspire our viewers to muse more deeply about freedom, inclusion, diversity, and respect for all cultures and contributions, to Be and Do as a philosophy of life, to be the change we want to see in the world and Do what is necessary to achieve it.

Many thanks to the artists of Sapphire & Crystals and the Logan Center Staff for their invaluable support. This exhibition makes us proud of our perseverance in living, growing, and creating.

Comprehensive Guide For Artists to Creating Art Labels

"Art is Business" 
 Featured Art of  Alpha Bruton at Gallery Guichard, Feb 2024

THIS ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED IN RevArt: Art labels creating art labels artist guide label design tips DIY art labels RevArt SMART Manager artwork presentation label layout professional art labels artist tools exhibitions.

As an artist deeply embedded in the creative world, I've discovered that one of the most overlooked yet crucial aspects of presenting artwork is the creation of art labels. Throughout my journey, I've delved deep into the nuances of this process, and I'm thrilled to share these insights with you and introduce an innovative tool from RevArt that's been a game-changer for me and many others.

What is an Art Label?
Art labels are the silent narrators of the art world. They are not merely pieces of paper or stickers; they are the conduit between the artist and the observer. These labels carry essential details like the title, medium, dimensions, and the artist's name. More than this, they imbue the artwork with context, background, and story, enriching the viewer's experience and understanding.

Information on Art Label
In my artistic endeavors, a well-constructed art label typically includes the artwork's title, artist name, the year of creation, the medium used, and dimensions. Occasionally, I add a brief description or an inspirational note for pieces with deep personal meaning or complex stories to provide further depth and connection.

Layout and Design Tips
Years of experimenting with various layouts and designs have led me to some key findings:

  • Keep it simple and readable: Choose a clear font and ensure the text contrasts well with the background for legibility.
  • Align with your art's style: The label should reflect your artwork. A sleek, minimalist label complements modern art, while a classic, elegant design might suit traditional pieces better.
  • Consider the material: I've utilized everything from sturdy card stock to subtle transparent labels, depending on the artwork's setting and aesthetic.

Reflecting on my first exhibition, I recall labeling a vibrant abstract piece. The label was a straightforward white card with black text, but I incorporated a border matching the painting's dominant hue. This subtle connection between the label and the artwork significantly enhanced the overall presentation.

Example One

Above is a standard example of an artwork label.

Example Two

Using QR codes on the labels sends the viewer to the website, where they can get more details about the artists and gallery instead of printing this label. The artist must furnish the gallery with all the details and narratives. 

The label uses a traditional style of design to suit the classical painting. 

This label has a description, as its main purpose is to educate audiences. 

Tips for DIYing Your Own Art Labels
Based on my experiences, here are some DIY tips:

Use templates: Myriad online resources offer a good starting point.
Test print: Always conduct a test print to ensure color accuracy and text readability.
Get creative: Don't shy away from experimenting with shapes, colors, and materials to find what best represents your artistic identity.

The price information is optional but highly recommended: it helps artists sell work in the show and retain customers too shy to ask the price. 
The description on the label is more common on museum art labels. 
Let me introduce you to the RevArt SMART Manager, a tool that has revolutionized my approach to creating art labels. This innovative platform simplifies the process in one click, offering customizable templates, layout and design suggestions, and even direct printing options. It's ensured that my labels are professional, consistent, and representative of my art.

Creating art labels might initially appear daunting, but with practice and exploration, it becomes an integral and enjoyable part of presenting your art. With the support of tools like the RevArt SMART Manager, artists are now empowered to create labels that are not just informative but also enhance and complement the artwork itself. Embrace this process, and watch your art labels transform into storytellers, bridging the gap between your vision and the viewer's experience.

Reference Source:
AUTHOR: RevArt Team
PUBLISHED ON: March 19, 2024

Exhibition Tour—The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism | Met...

Sacramento Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. focused on “Education and the Arts.”

2021 Sacramento  Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Honoring Shonna McDaniel's

The annual Scholarship & Awards Event (or Brunch) presented by the Alpha Phi Alpha-ZBL chapter in Sacramento, CA, was a virtual affair in late spring 2021.   The chapter provided local entertainment artists and a presentation of their annual college-bound high school scholars and community leadership honorees.  The scholars were winners of a vetted scholarship competition process, and the community honorees produced notable contributions to the Sacramento community through their businesses and/or individual efforts.

This year's theme focused on “education and the arts,” enhanced by their special guest speaker, Ms. Tatyana Ali (Fresh Prince of Bel-Air).  Ms. Ali is a polished actor, singer, producer, and social advocate who shared her perspective on learning through the arts.  

The Alpha-ZBL members are excited to share this year’s event with you with the hope of your enjoyment of the show.

Congratulations on your achievement/s, and we sincerely thank you for being a major part of our effort! 

Bro. Art McElvy
Event Chairman
ZBL Foundation

In Memory of Joyce Owens R.I.P.

"Art is Business"  
Classic Chicago Magazine   Joyce Owens transitioned on Saturday, February 10th, 2024.

Artist Joyce Owens, 76, showed the ‘positive’ Black experience in her work.
Owens was primarily a painter and dabbled in 3-D art forms and jewelry-making. In an exhibition, the Chicago State University professor wrote: “I decided not to do angry Black men and angry Black women. I painted what I saw.  by Mariah Rush on Feb 13, 2024, 3:11pm CST.

Chicago-based artist, teacher, and curator Joyce Owens Anderson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Philadelphia. Owens’s mother, Eloise Owens, was a trained opera singer who encouraged her daughter to become an art teacher. Nevertheless, Owens attended Howard University, earning her B.F.A. degree in art. Owens then attended Yale University, earning her M.F.A. degree in painting. After working various jobs, including arts and crafts director, art teacher, and producer for Philadelphia’s CBS television station, Owens moved to Chicago, Illinois. She then spent eight years working for WBBM-TV, CBS Channel 2 in Chicago, as the graphic arts coordinator for news. Owens did additional work for the company as a graphic artist, researcher, and news assistant, always painting and exhibiting her art.

@ Tony Smith photo credit

After Owens's solo exhibition at Chicago State University, she was invited to join the faculty. She has taught there since 1996, specializing in studio painting and drawing. Joyce Owens is known for addressing racism, skin color, and black self-determination through her paintings, masks, and installations. Her art materials are primarily acrylic paints on canvas, wood, and paper. Found objects are often incorporated into her two- and three-dimensional works. Owens’s artwork has been shown nationally in juried, invitational, solo, and group exhibitions in galleries and museums. Two of her curatorial efforts were singled out by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs as featured programs during Chicago Artists Month. Some other highlights of her career include being selected as the featured artist for Columbia College’s fifteenth annual DanceAfrica Chicago Festival, inclusion in Daniel T. Parker’s book African Art: The Diaspora and Beyond, “The Art of Culture” exhibition and catalog that also featured artist/art historian, Samella Lewis; and Howard University’s “A Proud Continuum: Eight Decades of Art at Howard University,” a juried exhibition of former Howard art students including Elizabeth Catlett.

@ Fletcher Hayes
We often traveled in the same circles, running into each other at art openings and conversing about our work. I remember coming onto the scene in Chicago and being a featured artist with us when we first met during Chicago Artists Month. We've also been in various exhibitions over the years.  I am so glad to have known her; her energy, smile, and laughter were infectious. 


Young Chicago artist makes history with pieces around the world, and a p...