A Message for the Phantom Gallery Curators

Curators, please make a note of the submission requirements. 

In order for the marketing consultant to load images the following format must be submitted. Submitting only website links, will not surface, and becomes time-consuming to search, and format for usability. This is also resourceful when our developers are submitting documentation to funding institutions. This will also help you in your future endeavors.

1. Submit the entry fee of $40 per artist (membership fee) online payable to  Phantom Gallery Chicago Network, use the PayPal button on this blog to make payments online.

2. Create a folder with 4 images per artist, including a logo if a group.
 List your name, address, telephone number, email, and web link; this must be done per artist in your group. Save as a  “JPEG” format at 72 dpi, approximately 1200 X 1800 pixels.
Images should be labeled with the first word of the title, e.g., images of artwork titled “Phantom Gallery” should be labeled with your last name phantomgallery.jpeg .
A description of the work and size. If installation what is the square foot of the space. 
No CD entries will be accepted (email zip entries are accepted online only.
Create a bio/resume
Artist Inventory list that includes the name, medium, and size of each entry in the same order as the images appearing on the file and value. 
Group applications must include a statement on how the works are selected by the group to ensure the quality of works submitted.

This information will be used by the marketing consultant when posting to  ARTslant, Blogger, Facebook groups, and other publications.

This price list will also be used for insurance purposes. CNA 

List sponsor information, and logo if applicable, this will be listed on the  Phantom Gallery Blogspot , and WordPress web-link. 
International Art Group Phantom Gallery 2012

Collection Management: The First Step

"Art is Business"- Reference: ART News/Summer 2005 Collection Management Checklist   by Vivian Ebersman, Director of Art Expertise AXA ART Collection Management Series

I am providing this information to artists, collectors, and curators doing business with the Phantom Galleries, as galleries I feel it is invaluable that we continue to gather information and advice from experts in the field. I am currently taking a self inventory of my collection, and my own personal artwork, as part of my estate planning.  Artwork that has betrusted to me for my collection, prior to incorporation."  
AXA Art Collection- page image

  1. Collection management is an ongoing process. Start by documenting and tracking relevant information.
  2. Maintain a file for each work. Records can be paper, electronic, or a mixture.
  3. Attend the exhibitions of the artists you collect. Clip their reviews.
  4. Turn to a certified appraiser when you need specific information about value. 
  5. Decide whether you need Fair Market Value or Insurance Replacement Value. If  you send a work for conservation, obtain the conservator’s report for your file.

ü  Research

ü  Documenting each work

ü  Tracking

ü  Checklist

You’ve assembled a collection. How do you look after it?

First of all this is an ongoing process extending form roper installation and the right inns coverage to planning for subsequent stewardship. A conservator, appraiser, and attorney may all play a role.

Documenting each work

A good first step is documenting and tracking relevant information. Maintain a separated file for each work. Include the purchase invoice with date and seller. Ask the gallery or auction house for available photographs as well as exhibition and conservation histories. Take color photographs of the back and front of a painting and several angles of a three dimensional object.

Record information on the back of the photograph as it will be hidden once the painting is framed. Train your eye to detect all nuances about the baseline condition of each object is there an anomalous patch of paint? Do striations appear in the patina of a bronze sculpture? Date all observations. Finish by completing the checklist on the next page.

 Your records can be paper, electronic, or a mixture. With a simple spreadsheet Microsoft Access database or off the shelf collection management software. You can create reports with ease. Plan to store a copy of your data in a separate location.  Although you may prune works from your collection, keep the records. They are a valuable part of your collection history.

Learn all you can about the content or meaning of each work and the times in which it was made. Research the artist’s biography. Make it a goal to visit exhibitions of artists you collect. Clip and save their reviews from newspapers, magazines and on-line. Follow their stylistic development. Whose works are like theirs? What periods within their work are considered most important? Challenge yourself to grasp the details as well as the larger picture.

You will want be aware of the market conditions for the areas in which you collect. Are values climbing, falling, or remaining stable? This information will guide many decisions, from insurance and gifting to security and estate planning.  Auction catalogues as well as on-line auction databases such as Artnet.com, artprice.com, or AskART.com provide a useful range of pricing for paintings and sculptures. Artfact.com follows furniture and decorative arts as well.

 For a more precise figure turn to a certified appraiser. Specify whether you require fair market value (the basis – with adjustments—for taxes, gifts, and donations) or replacement value (for insurance). Fair Market Value is equivalent to the price likely to be received at auction. Replacement value is usually higher, and can be thought of as an objects’ retail price. It is wise to have a collection re-appraised every five years or so. As the foregoing suggests, good collection management is the rational side of collecting. Yet its rewards are also satisfying, and it yields a fine result: a collection secured for the ages.

Below is essential information to record about each item in your collection. Find a similar checklist at AXA-ART 
  • Artist/Maker
  • Dates of Artist/Maker
  • Title of Work
  • Description of Subject Matter or Type of Work
  • Date of Work
  • Materials
  • Dimensions
Condition: Describe the object’s surface, and carefully note any changes during periodic re-examinations. If you send a work for conservation, obtain the conservator’s report and file it. Note in your record the date of the report and that you have added it to the file.

Inscriptions and Markings: Examine the back as well as the front of every two-dimensional work. Record earlier labels, inventory numbers, artist signatures and all other writing.

Distinguishing Features
Location of object: Especially important if you have more than one residence.

Display: Who framed or mounted it? How is it secured?

Provenance: What is the collection history of the object? To whom did it previously belong? Pay special attention to antiquities and to any work created before 1946 thought to been in Europe after 1932.

Bibliography: Is your work cited in the catalogue raisonne’ (: a systematic annotated catalog; especially: a critical bibliography) of the artist? This will definitely affect valuation, as authentication, frequently depends on a work’s inclusion in the accepted a catalogue raisonne’. Are there other citations?

Exhibition History: If possible file a copy of the catalogue of any show in which a work has appeared. Otherwise make a

copy of the complete reference including dates and location.
Purchase Price and Date
Appraisal History

Loan History: Record exhibition dates, venues and the value placed on the work at the time of the loan. Make notes about its condition report form each location.

Live Painting with Live Music - Tali Farchi & Royce Deans with Reneé Bak...

Frequently Asked Questions Toolkit- 2010

"Art is Business"

Toolkit- 2010

Here are some questions that people have asked us so that they can start their own storefront program.

If you're a city entity
If you're a property owner
If you're an artist
How did you recruit property owners to participate in the program, and approximately how many individual property owners are you working with?

Our goal was to have 26 storefront installations in vacant storefronts in four neighborhoods. We worked with an economic development nonprofit organization in each neighborhood with pre-existing and deep connections with local merchants and property owners.

It was still difficult to get property owners to participate for several reasons.
Some property managers we approached thought it was a great idea but the owners, many of whom didn't live in the neighborhood or City, declined.

Some property owners thought it was a great idea until they had to sign the contract. Then, a few property owners dropped out because we asked them to carry general liability insurance.
Even though we offered to clean up properties in return for their willingness to use the space, property owners didn't jump at the opportunity.

We expanded our initial concept and included under-utilized storefronts and businesses where the display windows were not utilized. We also had the creation of two exterior murals running along the north and south side of our busiest commercial corridor to add additional impact to the Art in Storefronts visual element. That proved to be a very successful decision.

In the end, one property owner provided five windows along a critical commercial corridor.

Are the property owners receiving any compensation for their loan of vacant space?
The property owners received several benefits for providing use of their storefront, but they were not paid to participate. We cleaned their space before installation and left the space cleaner than how we received it. Property owners noted a decrease in graffiti on the properties where artists painted the exterior. And increased attention led to the rental of two properties.

How did you handle liability issues?
We required the property owner to carry general liability insurance. Our project managers, Triple Base, also named the City and the individual artists as additionally insured. The City used its own self-insured policy to cover the value of the art if it was damaged or stolen from the storefront. The art insurance was valued at $500, and the honorarium was paid to participating artists, even though the work had more excellent monetary value. For example, the cost of replacing video equipment would exceed $500. The artists were advised to carry their own liability insurance and additional art insurance.

How much did the extra insurance cost?
The cost of naming additionally insured is minimal. Property owners and the project management team found that each insurance agent dealt with it differently. In some instances, it costs nothing extra. In other cases, it costs between $25 and $100.

How did you recruit artists?
Artists seemed hungry for a program like this, and we received almost 200 applications for only 26 slots.
We issued a press release in conjunction with the Mayor's office to announce the project and posted guidelines online to coincide with the media announcement. We then put the word out through our agency's various e-Newsletters, with a lot of traffic coming from our Gallery Program, Community Art and Education Program, and our Cultural Equity Grants Program. Triple Base also reached out to their extensive roster of artists.

Some feedback we received from the Mission District was that the artists who knew about the program application were those already involved with the Arts Commission. So, for our Chinatown program, we will send out a press release (to both English and Chinese language press) when the application is posted, and we will hold an information session in Chinatown to answer questions about the program and discuss how to make a competitive proposal.

What kind of art was selected, and is it viewed solely from the street?
We prioritized selecting artists who lived or worked in the neighborhood and whose proposals were to create new work that celebrated the surrounding community. The most substantial submissions employed inventive media or full-scale installations and engaged people innovatively and dynamically.
The installations were only seen from the street to maximize viewership and minimize liability issues.

How often do you plan to change out exhibits/artwork? Do you have your schedule already set for the duration of the pilot program?
Since this was a pilot program, we did not plan to install future work in the space. Some property owners have arranged with the artists to keep the installations in the space longer than the extent of our program.
Some artists created programming that corresponded with their installation by holding an art opening at their nearby studio the same night as the launch.

What was your budget?
The entire project was created for $55,000, which covered project management, design and printing of marketing collateral, web design, artist stipends ($500 each), cleaning fees to prepare the windows for installation, and minimal installation and de-installation expenses. The project budget does not include City staff time.

Do you have samples of your contracts?
Yes. Here is a link to a sample artist agreement (Word, 38 K) and a link to a sample property owner agreement (Word, 33 K)

How do I find an artist or artist collective?
Look around at local flyers and marketing materials to find artists who may live or work in your neighborhood. Check out art websites such as Open Studios/Art Span, SFAC or GFTA, Bayview Artists Shipyard, and Fecal Face. Go to local galleries and artist workspaces and inquire.

What is the minimum the property owner should provide?
The property owner should provide a clean, accessible storefront with electricity and a secure door with a lock. The property owner should also provide general liability insurance and a set of keys to allow the artist to enter the space necessary to install their artwork. It is also helpful if the artists can store supplies in the storefront until the installation is complete.

Should the property owner select the specific art?
Many artists want to install work they already have completed and want a place to display it. If an artist wants to create an original work or installation to be placed in the window, then the property owner should be provided with a sketch of the proposal.

Who pays for what?
The property owner should cover the cost of the window and site clean-up and utilities. The artist should cover the cost of creating the art and installation unless the property owner wants to help pay for some of these expenses. No matter how much the property owner agrees to pay to support the project, the artwork belongs to the artist.

How long doe the artwork stays in the window?
The work should stay up as long as it is agreed upon and written into the contract.

What if the artist doesn't want to remove the art?
The artwork should be removed on the date stated in the contract.

What if the property owner wants the art to stay longer?
The property owner should discuss this as an option with the artist and if both parties agree to extend the exhibition time, change the dates in the contract.

What should be included in a letter of agreement between an artist and a property owner?
All agreements should be put into writing and signed by both parties. This includes installation and removal dates, when the property will be cleaned and ready for installation, when the artist can pick up keys to the property, contact information for all parties and participants, insurance coverage, and fees.

IF YOU'REYOU'RETIST: How do I find a property owner to work with?
Walk around your neighborhood and find the vacant storefronts that provide contact information for leasing or renting. In some instances, it may be a property management company. Be sure you have the exact address.

You can also search public records at your local tax collectors office, but storefronts with signage indicate a property owner interested in using the space. Be persistent once you make contact. Provide documentation of Art in Storefronts. They know you're straightforward and have their interests in mind.

If you live or work in a neighborhood, you may also know an under-utilized window, which could work as well, like an insurance or accounting office.

How do you establish the value of your artwork for insurance purposes?
The best way to establish a set value for your artwork is to list all your materials and hours of labor. Also, be sure to take ample photos of the work for your own record.

What have you found successful in lighting the art installations at night?
Lighting the storefronts is a huge benefit, so the installations are visible at night. For several of the Chinatown sites, artists used simple spotlighting. Clamp lights with hoods were the most cost-effective, easy to install, and efficient lighting. The lights can also be placed on the floor to light upwards.

Jamin in Logan Square-PopUp Culture Coach

"Art is Business"

Patron's jamming at the market -

Whether one word or an intricate design, your flag will blow and be witnessed by many.
We were asked to return the flags by October 10th. They will be part of a Chicago Artists Month installation at the Chicago Green Technology Center in East Garfield Park.

For information on where to mail/drop completed flags, a.is.for.evil@gmail.com, www.andreajablonski.blogspot.com

One night I was at the Farmers Night Market in Logan Square. Susan Fox gave me one of the vertical fabrics to create my own prayer flag. I was asked to write, draw, paint, sew, dye, and collage a message about goodwill and community. I was allowed to involve my family and friends – there was no limit to the number of flags I was to paint.

   A prayer flag is a colorful rectangular found along mountain ridges in the Himalayas.
Darchor  (vertical) prayer flags promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom. The flags do not carry prayers up to the gods, a common misconception, but spread these messages on the wind to the world. Darchor is raised by communities and is often found along walkways or paths as a colorful reminder of goodwill.

Gretchen Hasse Featured Artist

"Art is Business"
“I wrote stories before I ever started to draw, and since then my work has been narrative. Currently, I create stories with writing, video, sculpture, photography, and drawing alone or in combination. My inspiration includes travel journals, videos. I produce for social justice groups and life lessons that take a really long time to learn."

Gretchen is currently a key holder at the B13 Gallery in Rogers Park, she was recently gallery sitting during the Glenwood Arts Festival in Rogers Park, where she and I caught up on project we are both doing. We are both members of Borderbend Arts Collective, and
often run into each other during AnySquare open studio, in Logan Square. I first met her at a forth of July party, where she introduced herself and we have been run in and out of art circles together. In 2014 we will be working together on a multi-media project, or installation we have not planned yet, but said yes to it, what ever it maybe.

 Common Ground on Damen/Devon
Gretchen frequently incorporates recycled materials into her two dimensional work, and I is beginning to draw on her  own consideration catalog of older work for ideas and elements in multimedia.
Adjunct Instructor Chicago Area Schools where she taught video production/post production, traditional animation and comic book design at Chicago schools and educational programs, including: • The School of the Art Institute of Chicago• Columbia College, Chicago, • University of Illinois / Chicago Alternative School Network• Chicago Humanities Festival• Chicago Filmmakers,• International Academy of Design and Technology I• SOAR/DCFS After School Program,• Facets Cinematheque, • After School Matters,• Digital Boot Camp.

Excerpt from Gretchen's Blog can be found at   http://gretchenhasse.tumblr.com/
I’m using a lot of recycled material these days. So imagine my delight (actually, you can see it right above) when I found this great packing box in the alley dumpster near my house. Bonus, I can use the top and the bottom for two separate pieces.

One thing about recycled materials is knowing how to prep them so they’re sellable, but not so over-prepped that they lose their trashy charm. With this box, one obvious thing was to deal with the dangerous nails. They wouldn’t come out without ruining the top of the box, so I just bent them back. I’ll probably cover the bent nails with something else when I’m finished with the painting.
I live in a three story house (a co-op) with ten other people. We have gallons of leftover paint, in all colors, inhabiting our basement storage room. So I am set on recycled paint as well. The background for the painting on the front of this is going to be the same color as our front sitting room.

Paul Lorenz - 14 Pianos and a Pencil

Phillip Bernal Design and Fine Art Consultant

"Art is Business"

The following is lists of organizations that I have learned my talents. I will start from the most recent and backtrack. I am currently working the Phantom Gallery Chicago Network in developing an initiative for the 47th Wall, Pop Up galleries, 2013 Miller Beach Arts & Business District, in Miller Beach Indiana, a group of artists, and art organization that has formed an ad hoc committee formulated to develop art incubators for the City of Gary Indiana. Red Dress Foundation: creating elegant parties to support HIV education and prevention. Lakeside Development CDC: An affordable housing advocacy organization in the Rodgers Park area a Ville Pop-up gallery in Andersonville for the holiday season of 2011, TPAN; Test positive awareness: and HIV prevention and healthcare.org serving the inner city. Guild Complex: a literary or furthering the benefits of literature to youth. Unity in Chicago: curated private art gallery with sales funding outreach programs. Alternatives: an org committee to helping at-risk inner-city your and women’s shelter. Leather Archives: a museum and depository dedicated to the sexual history of urban populations. Art against Aids: an annual black-tie art auction at the Drake Hotel to fund Weiss Hospital Aids care programs. Stop Aids Chicago: an A HIV prevention and outreach organization. BNI: Business Network International. a business networking org that helps small businesses gain a foothold in their market.

"Art is Business"
Phantom Gallery Chicago welcomes Phillip Bernal- Owner, Phillip Bernal Design and Fine Art Consultant http://facebook.com/bernaldesign. Phil and I met through Ernie Constantino, Director of Constituent Services, 47th Ward Alderman Pawar’s Office, we serve on the OpenWall Committee, and the subcommittee for Popup Storefront's in the 47thWard: Irving Park, N. Lincoln, Damen, and Lawrence Corridors.  
The 47th Ward has Community Day on Wednesdays from 3pm - 8pm, at 4243 N. Lincoln Avenue, 60618, call ahead for an appointment at 773-549-4555.  Our subcommittee volunteer office hours are on Wednesday from 11am - 3pm in the Ward office.es, this is an advertisement for Phil, he comes on board to coordinate artists and curators this Fall, look for him and our new gallery development on the N. Sheridan area of Edgewater this coming August - September. got a great idea for exhibiting you can contact Phil.
Mobile Phones (773) 370-9499
Website http://www.phillipbernaldesign.com
Email bernaldesign@facebook.com
Facebook http://facebook.com/bernaldesign
Can I say more about him? Sure but look for him in the coming months, proposals for installations can be submitted to the Phantom Gallery Chicago Network for Chicago Artists Month 5' x 5'. at phantomgallerychicago@gmail.com
The successful curatorial candidates will ensure that the following goals of the project are met:
Creatively activate spaces and sites to attract residents and visitors to explore Chicago's visual arts scene.
Showcase works of art that are innovative and engage participants and audiences in dynamic, interactive, and creative ways
Provide opportunities for artists to experiment with approaches not possible through permanent public art commissions.

Tarble Museum Artist in Residency

"Art is Business"

Urban Gateways Center for Arts Education, at South Shore Cultural Center

The Tarble Arts Center, Eastern Illinois University, is applying for an Illinois Arts Council AIE grant to host artist Alpha Bruton for a four-week visual art residency focusing on textile arts and a collaborative installation. The core group, meeting at the Tarble Arts Center, will have a more in-depth exploration of textiles arts and will collaborate with Bruton on her installation at the Tarble. The core group will be youths in grades 6-12. If space allows, older community members may attend core group sessions as well, allowing for intergenerational exchanges.

Crystal City Virginia, Workshop during Art-O-matic . 2012

The Tarble has offered numerous activities involving professional artists in the past three years: exhibitions of contemporary art, artist residencies in area schools (most recent IAC funded residency was fall 2012) and co-sponsorship of artists’ lectures with the E.I.U. Art Department.  

Other arts programming offered at the Center include the three annual Enrichment Programs for area schools, professional development opportunities for teachers, docent-led tours of exhibitions, and year-round community art instruction led by practicing artists. The Tarble also hosts Charleston Community Theatre productions, Embarras Valley Film Festival events co-sponsored with the E.I.U. College of Arts and Humanities, and poetry and fiction readings co-sponsored with the E.I.U. English Department.

Arts in Health Care, Oak Forest Hospital AIR. 2002
The proposed fall 2013 residency will enhance visual arts programming in area schools by hosting Bruton to work with a variety of populations (students, teachers, and community members) in individual textile projects and a collaborative installation. Hands-on studio experiences involving professional artists, teachers, students, and others address the Tarble’s ongoing mission to provide unique arts education programs engaging rural area school populations and the community.
Beidler Elementary CPS, AIR Stagecraft, 2010
A residency involving area schools and community members was included in the Tarble’s education plan for the fall 2013 schedule. In consultation between Curator of Education Kit Morice and the Steering Committee, Alpha Bruton was selected from the AIE Artists Roster to serve as artist-in-residence. Her vast experience facilitating collaborations between professional artists and a variety of populations made her a good fit for the site.
The Steering Committee is comprised of Kit Morice, Tarble Curator of Education, teachers Dirk Muffler/Pathways; Penny Hess/Jefferson School, Kris Marsland/Windsor Jr.-Sr. High School, Judith Hagen, Principal/TLC, Humboldt (On-Site Coordinators, non-core groups); Shannon Johnson, Fine Arts Chair, Coles County Arts Council (Community Coordinator); Amy Borregine (parent volunteer) and Lydia McCollum (student).
Newberry Math and Science Academy, AIR 8th Grade Students 2012
Bruton was selected because she has involved communities in collaborative projects with exciting results. Residency activities will complement and enhance the art curricula in the co-sponsoring schools and complement the Tarble’s long-range plan by encouraging the active involvement of arts organizations, schools, and community members with the Tarble, expanding and enriching the existing arts education programs. The residency also provides continuing education opportunities for teachers through the Teacher In-Service as well as the core and non-core classroom activities.
 Chicago Public Library, SAIC Textile Fiber Arts Department and Community Artists

Renee Baker interview with W.IN.E TV

"Art is Business"

Published on Apr 1, 2013
Ms. Renee Baker, composer, conductor, violinist, violist, founder and artist director of the Chicago Modern Orchestra Project. International and US audiences have enjoyed Ms. Baker's conducting and original compositions, while experiencing her fascinating concert experiences. In this straightforward W.IN.E TV interview, Ms. Baker states she started her own orchestra so she could hear her own original compositions, while exploring other's repertories. She encourages women to see no limits, set no limits, and to enjoy the journey while following their bliss in life. Also, Ms. Baker encourages women to take their rightful place in the arts to help smooth out the rough edges in society.

Sojourner Truth Sculpture Destroyed in Sacramento CA

Repost City of Sacramento Past Perfect Online

Post image for Sojourner Truth ~ 13th & K Update 1/15/13: I am dismayed to report that the Sojourner Truth sculpture was recently vandalized. The sculpture was pushed off of the pedestal and broke in pieces on the ground. It is still unclear whether the sculpture can be repaired. I’ve included a photo of the broken sculpture at the bottom of this post.
Nearly 7′ tall standing with dignity and a flare of her skirt, this unembellished but powerful sculpture is a testament to the woman who inspired her (1).
Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) was a former slave who escaped to freedom and became an activist contributing passionately in the fight for abolition and women’s rights (2). Among many other remarkable events of her life she was the first black person to win a court case against a white man (3), and she once bared her breasts in a meeting room to silence accusations that she was a man (accusations likely stemming from her nearly 6′ stature and non-demure manner) (4).

The Artist:
Through her artwork, Elizabeth Catlett (1919-2012) also spent her life fighting injustices against African Americans and women (5). Targeted during the McCarthy era for her politics, she moved to Mexico and for a period of time was denied re-entry into the U.S. (despite being a citizen) (6).
In a clip of the video called, Sculpting the Truth, she says, “I admire things I think are true. I admire things I think are just.” The social implications of her work was always the primary focus of her art:
“I learned how you use your art for the service of people, struggling people, to whom only realism is meaningful.” (7)
“I have always wanted my art to service my people — to reflect us, to relate to us, to stimulate us, to make us aware of our potential.” (8)
Some of her most popular works include: Malcolm Speaks For Us, The Sharecropper, Negro Es Bello, Survivor, Dancing, Two Generations, Black is Beautiful, Latch Key Child, Madonna, The Singing Head, Recycling Nude, and The Seated Woman (9).
At age 95, she completed one of her last sculptures, a life-size bronze sculpture of gospel legend, Mahalia Jackson (10) [Side note: Sacramento is hosting its first production of the highly acclaimed show, Mahalia: A Gospel Musical, through 9/23].
I think Sojourner would be proud to have been sculpted by Catlett, her sister in truth and justice.

Below is the photo of the recently vandalized sculpture (1/15/13).
Title: Sojourner
Artist: Elizabeth Catlett
Date: 1999
Media: Mexican Limestone
Location: 13th & K

View Pedestrian Art, Sacramento in a larger map
(1) http://cityofsacramento.pastperfect-online.com/36991cgi/mweb.exe?request=record;id=E07395A9-92EE-4E3F-8575-108427269244;type=101
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sojourner_Truth#cite_note-Sojourner_TruthInstitute-3
(3) http://ehistory.osu.edu/uscw/features/people/bio.cfm?PID=79
(4) http://www.sojournertruth.org/History/Biography/BC.htm
(5) http://my.saic.edu/news/89312/In-Memory-In-Memory-Elizabeth-Catlett.htm
(6) http://elizabethcatlett.net
(7) http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/04/arts/design/elizabeth-catlett-sculptor-with-eye-on-social-issues-dies-at-96.html
(8) http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/04/arts/design/elizabeth-catlett-sculptor-with-eye-on-social-issues-dies-at-96.html
(9) http://jassed.com/visual-artists/contemporary-art/140-elizabeth-catlett-celebrates-95the-birthday
(10) http://jassed.com/visual-artists/contemporary-art/140-elizabeth-catlett-celebrates-95the-birthday

Artist of the Month Caryl Henry Alexander

Caryl Henry Alexander


Caryl Henry Alexander is Creative Director at Big Bang Banners.com. She conceives and directs visual arts projects with a focus on creative literacy, community collaboration and arts integrated academic curriculum. Her projects have been successful with multi-generational, multicultural and interfaith communities in diverse settings. Her paintings and installations are exhibited internationally. Ms Henry Alexander is a certified Urban Farmer and she grows organic veggies for her family. Bigbangbanners.com

Artist With a Purpose
"Now is the time to ante up your Creative Currency"

We ask people to write their dreams on a chalkboard and then be photographed holding them. These photos capture each individual’s current reality and future aspirations.
Visitors were invited to create a digital postcard by using their cell phones to take pictures of themselves with their faces in the mural cutouts and share their fun at the event.

We will through this creative engagement support participants in developing a greater understanding of the role that a healthy lifestyle is a key to achieving their dreams.
Coming to Chicago in August 22nd 2013 during the Glenwood Arts Festival- hosted by Marianna Buchwald of the International Art Group. If you are reading this and want to offer up a project, during this seasons Farmers Markets, contact Marianna at, marbuchwald@gmail.com, subject line: Rainbow Plate

Art Exhibit “Which Way Our Children?

An African American Perspective
Closing March 31, 2013
Daily 10AM-4PM

Chicago Temple Gallery
77 W. Washington Street, 2nd Fl.
Chicago, Illinois 60602

Co-Curators: Patricia Devine-Reed invited each artist to respond to, through our art, "What is the future for our children?"

In the 21st century, the world is open to our children and the future, along with seemingly unlimited possibilities. Communications technologies allow instant contact, face-to-face conferencing, and networking anywhere in the world.  Other technologies enable us to utilize the sun, wind, and all the powers of nature, science, and history to create and build nearly anything and sustain a healthy, prosperous life for both people's environments. A vast array of arts and religions stimulates greater creative genius and healthy souls.  Yet, over half the world's children cannot access these rich resources because of poverty, poor education, inadequate food, prejudice, wars, and other violence.  What is the future for our children?  Can we… how do we enable our children, the world's children, to obtain and use global resources for a just world? 

This collage responded to a group traveling exhibition where 36 artists (12 Vancouver Canada, 12 Sacramento California, and 12 Mexico City, Mexico) responded to the theme "ENCOUNTER."

Artist:    Alpha Bruton
Title:      The Encounter: Single Parenting
Dimensions- 36” x 36”
Mixed Media Collage on Wood, 1993

I reflected on current affairs, news of the famine in Ethiopia associated with and believed to be warfare. Looking at the images that photojournalists are documenting in LIFE Magazine and other periodicals, the starving resemblances of babies and the American public ask why they are still procreating in a wartime climate?  Where is the father of these starving children? Again, turning a blind eye and a death ear to the genocide of a group of people, not only in Ethiopia but in the other wartime countries that are being systematically and psychologically humiliated by the enemy.

These acts of forcible genocides are on the unborn child; committed by soldiers, other combatants, or civilians during armed conflict or war or during military occupation, military leaders may actually encourage their soldiers to rape civilians. Moreover, war rape may occur in various situations, including institutionalized sexual slavery forced upon young girls and boys.

 The focal point in my collage is of a young girl being seduced by a glass of wine, a song, a dance, a whisper of seduction, lured into a one-night stand, pre-marital creation, and another generation reproducing itself.

An embrace from a white stranger on Thanksgiving Day as a young African-American mother and child watch their home being burned. In times like these, it is not black or white. Still, a time to show compassion, homelessness will imprint so many children in the 21st century amongst all the technology and social growth as a nation.
Then there stands the image of Lazarus, and what comes to mind is the most powerful scripture, "Jesus Wept."


Artist: Alpha Bruton
Title: "LIKE" Young Brides-Children 1937 – 1939
Dimensions-24” x 24”
Mixed Media Collage on Wood, 2013 (a work in progress)


Finding these images for my collage was purely random. I was looking through a box of vintage LIFE Magazines dated 1936 to 1941; I selected these images because they were used in articles with the caption that read: "The age of parenthood declines as young girls marry." The content disturbed me as I turned the pages of history and saw how off-centered the moral needle was in the United States during the '30s; Incest being the biggest taboo in our "civilized" society.

  "DIONNE QUINTUPLETS 05/17/1937." I selected these images because the girls were taken from their families by the doctor who delivered them, put on display as lab rats for nine years, exploited to the tune of millions of dollars. Even a tourist trade was set up around the town where they were born. But, the tragedy was that the family that fought to get them back failed to protect them. Instead, they became prey to the father and were oppressed by the mother that had no time to bond with them. To control the money, the government paid them to use their babies as a social experiment.  It is 2013, and I'm listening to a news flash where a government system has failed children yet again, as a Judge in Florida is being charged with sentencing youth to years of detention to support his lavish lifestyle at the expense of systematic abuse to hundreds of children.

 "Trends in Premarital Childbearing: 1930 -

1994, a study was done on the percentage of first births conceived out of wedlock have almost tripled since the 1930s, according to the U.S. Census. Growth in the proportion of first births born premaritally grew five-fold to women ages 15 to 29. The comparable figure for African American women doubled, from 43 percent to 86 percent of first births to women 15-19 years.

"STREET SHOWER 07/19/1937", a little black girl playing in the streets, having the time of her life, while others watch on. Faceless, nameless, but as I turned the pages of the LIFE Magazine, no other images of black girls, black women. So I read on and see the face of Wartime children and the caption "Wartime Childhood," emotionless faces, blank stares. I wonder what has happened behind the blankness. I wonder why it takes the torture and unimaginable beating of a child to change laws in the United States to protect them from their own families, which is not black or white, and why even in the 21st century, the moral compose is still not centered.