2019 Curators Present Conundrum Conversations


IMMEDIATE RELEASE:




Renee Baker as Guest- Artist in Residency 2019
 

The Phantom Gallery Chicago Network proudly announces Renee Baker as a guest- artist in residency. She will work directly with Phantom Gallery Chicago’s chief curator Alpha Bruton.

Exhibit: We Know Our Blues

Film /Screening

A Natural Born Gambler- Bert Williams
Charleston Parade- Jean Renoir
Both films w
ith new scores by Renee Baker
Recorded by Chicago Modern Orchestra Project


Friday, Jan 4 -  2019
Phantom Gallery Chicago 

Opening 6-9pm

Dinner and wine reception
(RSVP space limited)


What are Creative Conversations?

Creative Conversations are local gatherings of engaged citizens in communities across the country and are part of a grassroots movement to elevate

the profile of arts in America. 


Historic Overton Hygienic Building, 3619 - 3627 S. State Street, Art, and Social Justice, "Examining the State of Our Environment, Nov 1 - Nov 30, 2018.Artist: Toussaint  Warner, Curator: Paula Robinson, Moderator: Larissa A. Johnson


Phantom Gallery Chicago panel discussion in 2007, at the Switch Station Artist Lofts, East Garfield Park, Chicago, IL

Join us on BlogTalkRadio by scheduling a podcast to discuss yourself and your art practice. Submit proposals to phantomgallerychicago@gmail.com. 

Pop-Up Research Station has developed gradually: by hosting curators and artists who have and are exploring  “Temporary Public Art Installations,”  ” Storefront Art Movements,” “Creative Place-making,” and projects that are the impetus for “Tactical Urbanism/Cultural Urban Planning”.… urban movement has come to be known under many names, “Pop-up.”


Our methodology for collecting data is to call the guest artist and ask them, in casual conversation, about their current project and the trajectory of their practice. Investigation: What does it mean to exhibit in temporary installation spaces outside the museum? Unanticipated Impacts? How do the current body of work and the films you are currently screening intersect with the ideas of art and social justice


CALL for Curators 2019
Exhibition -Installation Artists 

Deadline or Post Expiration: Open Call 

Call for papers are ongoing/projects for the art and social justicAction Network.

We Know Our Blues Film installation/screening

"Art is Business" Re-post for Renee C. Baker

2019 Exhibit: We Know Our Blues Film Installation/Screening
A Natural Born Gambler- Bert Williams
Opening - Jan 4 -  Closing -Feb 4, 2019
Phantom Gallery Chicago Network 
Opening 6-9pm
Dinner and wine reception

Exhibit: We Know Our Blues Film installation/screening
A Natural Born Gambler- Bert Williams
Charleston Parade- Jean Renoir
Both films with new scores by Renee Baker
Recorded by Chicago Modern Orchestra Project



A Natural Born Gambler is a 1916 silent film short, the first of only two films starring Broadway comic and singer Bert Williams. The film was Williams' first two-reel comedy and was a film that was expected not to disappoint audiences and was highly anticipated. 

Initial release: July 24, 1916
Director: Bert Williams
Screenplay: Bert Williams
Production company: Biograph Company
Producer: Bert Williams
Cast: Bert Williams, Wes Jenkins

Come and join the Phantom Gallery Chicago as we begin our 2019 open studio's first Friday, exhibits, creative conversations, art talks, and more. Located at the Bronzeville Artist Lofts, 436 E. 47th Street, Suite #205.

Gallery office hours Wednesday- Thursday, 10am - 2pm, or by appointment.  
phantomgallerychicago@gmail.com
773-68106570  for updated information

Creative Grounds & The Future of Social Infrastructure Podcasts

Creative Grounds & The Future of Social Infrastructure 11/29 by Phantom Gallery Chicago Network | Visual Arts Podcasts:


Our democracy lives and breathes in our social spaces. Creative Grounds is an installation that invites to think spatially and geographically utilizing maps and places as visuals to reflect on the cityscape and quality of our social infrastructure – parks, schools, community centers, libraries. Using cartography and inventory less by their technical attributes, and more as tools for visualization of distribution and concentration, this installation contrasts and compares the location of closed public schools in Chicago from 2013 – the largest school closings in the history of the United States – to raise questions about investment and disinvestment, social equity and justice.

Paola Aguirre Serrano is the founder of BORDERLESS — Chicago-based urban design and research studio-workshop focused on cultivating collaborative design agency through interdisciplinary projects. With the emphasis on exchange and communication across disciplines, Borderless explores creative city design and civic engagement proposals that address the complexity of urban systems and social equity by looking at intersections between architecture, urban design, infrastructure, landscape, planning, and civic participatory processes.

Paola is also an active educator, and currently teaches architecture The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and has taught urban design at the Sam Fox School of Design Washington University in St. Louis and social impact design at Archeworks.

"Art is Business"

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down…

"Art is Business"

Catina Robinson-Hale

History Lost by Displacement

@Catina Robinson-Hale


A portion of the photos in my installation was taken during the years of 2000-2001... In 1996, the federal department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) took control of the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA). At that time HUD introduced a radical change of policy, advocating the demolition of “failed high-rise buildings”. Chicago demolished several high-rise buildings in 1996 and 1997. As thousands of families became displaced the footprint of the West and South Side(s) of the city were changed forever. My installation attempts to capture the sense of abandonment and destruction. At the same time highlighting the juxtaposition of buildings tumbling down against the backdrop of the ever-pristine Saint Ignatius Church Bell Tower. I see this as a simple display of how the livelihoods of African American families were literally being torn apart while the almighty Catholic Church stands strong. Upholding the realities of Chicago and “The Tale of Two Cities”.




The larger prints of the installation showcase images of locks and chains. For years I’ve been drawn to the different compositions captured with randomly found locks and chains. Many metaphors can be used to break down the meaning behind the lock and chain. 

I wanted to connect the idea of how the city kept many African American families on “lockdown” in these vertical towers in Black areas of the city for many decades. Those “locks” that were eventually unlocked when (HUD) decided to demolish these “failed high-rise buildings”.


 In the end, it’s no secret that the government had always owed the land. They kept it under lock and key and when the time came, gave the authority to unlock the land for developers. I can imagine the history of these once well-known high-rise public housing buildings filled with families fading with each story told. Almost like a ghost town of communities that Black Families once occupied.


ME TOO Movement and the Negative Attitude CALL FOR ARTISTS

"Art is Business" reposted for Dianna Long, Chicago Urban Art Retreat


The gallery at Chicago Urban Art Retreat Center will be featuring women artists in February and March 2019 who create visual art about issues of special importance to women. In this time of the ME TOO Movement and the Negative Attitude toward women from our president, we need to give a platform to women to be heard on these issues. We also need to support women artists, and let them know we find their work important!
Please save some time in February and March and make a point of getting over to the gallery to check out some amazing art that speaks to our hearts and souls now! 

The gallery is always open on Saturday afternoons and welcomes you to drop by between 1-4p.m.


For an invitation to the opening reception, please send an email to contact@urbanartretreat.com and/or keep checking Facebook.com/chicagourbanartretreat for more information. 
Feel free to refer women artists to our gallery now.
Thanks and good health to you. 

Enjoy your freedom!
Ms. Dianna C. Long, Director & Founder
Chicago Urban Art Retreat Center & Women's Residence
1957 S. Spaulding Ave. Chicago, Il. 60623
(corner of 21st, just 2 short blocks west of Kedzie pink line stop)
(773) 542-9126  messages only
Adults Art Studio Program
Art Therapy Sessions
Peace Park Project
CUARC Orientation:   Noon on Saturdays year round.  email RSVP only
Gallery Hours: 1-4  Saturdays 
Artists Peace Hub: Grow North Lawndale
North Lawndale Area Artists Network
Attachments area

Creative Grounds & The Future of Social Infrastructure

"Art is Business"  Paola Aguirre Serrano




Our democracy lives and breathes in our social spaces. Creative Grounds is an installation that invites to think spatially and geographically utilizing maps and places as visuals to reflect on the cityscape and quality of our social infrastructure – parks, schools, community centers, libraries. Using cartography and inventory less by their technical attributes, and more as tools for visualization of distribution and concentration, this installation contrasts and compares the location of closed public schools in Chicago from 2013 – the largest school closings in the history of the United States – to raise questions about investment and disinvestment, social equity and justice.






Paola Aguirre Serrano is the founder of BORDERLESS — Chicago-based urban design and research studio-workshop focused on cultivating collaborative design agency through interdisciplinary projects. With an emphasis on exchange and communication across disciplines, Borderless explores creative city design and civic engagement proposals that address the complexity of urban systems and social equity by looking at intersections between architecture, urban design, infrastructure, landscape, planning, and civic participatory processes. Paola is also an active educator, and currently teaches architecture The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and has taught urban design at the Sam Fox School of Design Washington University in St. Louis and social impact design at Archeworks.








BORDERLESS — Chicago-based urban design and research studio-workshop focused on cultivating collaborative design agency through interdisciplinary projects. With an emphasis on exchange and communication across disciplines, Borderless explores creative city design and civic engagement proposals that address the complexity of urban systems and social equity by looking at intersections between architecture, urban design, infrastructure, landscape, planning, and civic participatory processes.

THE SHOTGUN SHACK/HOUSE

"Art is Business"  Felicia Grant Preston
THE SHOTGUN SHACK/HOUSE A Family Affair - From the other side of the tracks



The traditional shotgun house is a narrow rectangular residence, usually no more than 12 feet wide, with rooms arranged one behind the other. Its doors are located at each end of the house. The Shotgun house is also referred to as a Shotgun Shack, Shotgun Hut, or Shotgun Cottage. There is much controversy surrounding the origin of the Shotgun House, some saying that its origins can be traced back to Africa, Haiti, or the West Indies, and popularized in New Orleans.  




There is further suggested that there may be a more spiritual reason for its name. In West Africa, it may have been derived from the word “shogun” which is translated to “God’s House”, or from a Dahomey Fon term “to-gun” which means place of assembly. The most common reference to the Shotgun house is, that if you fire a Shotgun through the front door, the shot would pass through each room, and out the back door without hitting anything.





THE SHOTGUN SHACK/HOUSE
A Family Affair - From the other side of the tracks
Felicia Grant Preston

 The typical Shotgun House is wood framed, with wood siding, and is generally associated with poverty. The Shotgun House, which often was considered as substandard housing, has also been referenced as housing for “a poor class of tenant”.  The basic premise behind the shotgun house in our installation is regarding poverty in this country, and lack. We want to use this as a symbol of Lack (without resources). Lack of educational resources, lack of concern, lack of income, lack of humanity, lack of common decency.

Banking on History in Lightning, Art, and Social Justice

"Art is Business" Installation by Renee Baker a Public Conversation and Activations



November 12, 2018 5pm – 8pm, Screening, 
Saturday, Nov 17th, 2-7pm, Screening
Friday, Nov 30th, 5-8pm
December 1st, 2018 Closing

Banking on History in Lightning, Art, and Social Justice Installation Renee' Baker
Using racism as a consumer commodity, Birth of A Nation (1915) spurred drastically the resurgence of NAACP membership, the KKK, and Hollywood and had a stunning impact on real-world history. From newly found justification to harass to the openly complimentary endorsement of then-president Woodrow Wilson, the revival of the KKK, lightning struck with the release of Birth of a Nation in 1915.


The reverberations are still felt today, and the film is still a devastating insight into still tense race relations today. From racist propaganda depicting the KKK riding in to save the South from Black rule during Reconstruction, showing free blacks as heathen savages while depicting the civility of whites, this film, and its embedded bigotry and racism ignited tensions that run high until today.


In 2018, have we debunked the lower form of life" myth propagated in film history for blacks? Does society still hold racist states of mind all the while giving a "thumbs up' to continued violence and devaluation of people of color? Why does racism still count as one of the world's largest commodities?


Black Men Missing Missing Black Men

"Art is Business"

Artist Talk, panel discussion- Overton Hygenic Building, 

3619 - 3623 S. State Street, Chicago IL 5pm - 8pm



This activation features the B&W images of a family of professional photographers. While they captured the moments of life and events for family, friends, and clients this candid shot marks the passages on the other side of the lens documenting the life of family, fatherhood and the fate of our communities. The story illustrated through one family emulates the sentiments of us all. 

The team sought to use the full depth of the gallery space to communicate the passage of time and the inevitable passing of the family patriarch. The perpetual loss throughout our community. 
“The Wakunda proverb suggests: A man who has not prepared his children for his own death has failed his family.”

The theme of Social Justice and the question, where are we now? are answered internally through one family's travails and externally through bold full-color graphic design posters that billboard the exterior boarded windows of the space and illustrate the modern icons of our century. The future is in living color and the photographer's son is an Illustrator.

Team: Artist, Paula Robinson: Project Manager, Michael "Koto" Thomas: Program Manager, Walter Freeman: Design, Production & Installation, Larissa Johnson



FP Commercial, Davis Group Sponsor Phantom Art And Social Justice Installation

"Art is Business"  https://www.laurenlowery.com/lauren-lowery
This Phantom Gallery Chicago space is sponsored by Lauren G. Lowery who is both a Principal and Managing Broker at Finders Plus Real Estate and FP Commercial Advisors based in Chicago, Illinois.
Lauren Lowery,

Hi Alpha, I'm representing an historic and beautiful space at 36th and State Street in Bronzeville. The Overton 3619 South State Street 
https://animoto.com/play/Kw0MKiZQ9JyXbJ29Q8L2IA

For the past decade, the Phantom Gallery Chicago Network has been supported by Lauren G. Lowery who is both a Principal and Managing Broker at Finders Plus Real Estate and FP Commercial Advisors based in Chicago, Illinois. Ms. Lowery is responsible for business strategy, new business development, retailer relationships, and retail advisory services for FP Commercial. Her extensive real estate knowledge provides proper guidance for the company's growth and stability.



Lauren G Lowery is Co-Founder and Chief Archivist at The Modern Dance Music Research and Archiving Foundation based in Chicago, Illinois. The Dance Music Foundation documents and preserves house and dance music artifacts, scholarship and memories to reveal the genre’s significance and impact. Collection Archive duties include curating exhibitions and symposiums at Northwestern University, The Old Town School of Folk Music and Columbia College Chicago, digital restoration and storage collection. Ms. Lowery is primarily responsible for accession and organizing of memorabilia and media using a hybrid of archival technologies. Her extensive knowledge of Chicago History combined with African and African American history provides proper guidance for the foundation's growth.



ABOUT US
The Bronzeville Retail Initiative, Edgewater Development Corporation, Neighborhood Housing Services of Illinois and West Humboldt Park Development Corporation. Ms. Lowery previously managed a portfolio of more than 1.5 million square feet of retail space, has facilitated successful negotiations in over 500 sales and lease transactions and named Top Producer by the Chicago Association of Realtors. 

Ms. Lowery received her Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and a Master of Arts in Inner City Studies at Northeastern Illinois University, Carruthers School.


Ms. Lowery is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, an Illinois State Licensed Managing Real Estate Broker and is a Professional Certificate candidate at NeighborWorks America in Community Revitalization. Ms. Lowery is a former member and award winner of the Chicago Urban League, Metro board, a Silver Star Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and a member of the Society of American Archivists. Ms. Lowery holds a Professional Certificate from the Modern Archives Institute at the National Archives and Record Administration in Washington DC and the immediate past Vice President of the Northwestern University Black Alumni Association.

Art and Social Justice: Examines Prez ft. GeeO-"KICKS"


 "Art is Business" BIOGRAPHY-PREZ  Renard Preston

Renard Preston


 The Chicago native has been paying dues since the late 1990’s with heavy involvement in the local hip-hop scene during his early days as a freestyle battle rapper. Possessing a variety of fast-paced hard-hitting flows, while still being able to deliver a smooth swagger infused cadence, Prez has the ability to adapt to many different styles of hip-hop. His versatility alone separates him from your average “rapper.” 

Originally signed to local hip-hop label 773 Records with then group “Fallin Angels” at the tender age of 18 under the guidance of legendary producer and former Ill-State member Riot One, Prez has been groomed to dominate the industry. After relocating to Atlanta in the summer of 2000, Prez was exposed to the Southern hip-hop domination during the height of its popularity. Being able to see that transformation before his very own eyes, it made Prez broaden his style and take his music to an even higher level. 


While in Atlanta, Prez was a key member of the hip-hop group “Chill Factor,” a collective of Chicago natives who were receiving label considerations from Disturbing The Peace and Def Jam South at the time. Opening up for artists like Mystical, Lil John and the Eastside Boyz and Ludacris, Chill-Factor was on the cusp of penetrating the game. However, the group disbanded after 2005 and Prez moved back to Chicago in the summer of 2008 to pursue his solo career.


 “I had to learn how to be a solo artist…being a part of two groups in my day, I learned how to play my position and compliment the group members. 


When you are a solo artist your entire thought process changes and I accepted the challenge and sharpened my skill set.” Now older, wiser and even better than before Prez is set to take off and take the industry by storm. After being featured at Hustle Simmons’ Hustlepalooza in 2010, appearing on Trailblazer’s MPC Smoker’s Club Vol. 1 mixtape and performing at numerous venues throughout Chicago, Prez is gaining much love and respect from local and national recording artists. “At the end of the day, I do this for my family and I represent my city to the fullest…Chicago MC’s have been overlooked for years, now they have to honor us.” With an “I can’t lose” attitude and tremendous grind, the question is not “if” Prez will be a star…but “when” will this star breakthrough.


PREZ (born Renard Preston) has a unique brand of lyricism, mixed with an undeniable energy and the work ethic that is unmatched.

BLACK MEN MISSING:: MISSING BLACK MEN

"Art is Business", posted for Paula Robinson- Examing the State of Our Environment


BLACK MEN MISSING: MISSING BLACK MEN

Features the B&W images of a family of professional photographers. 

While they captured the moments of life and events for family, friends, and clients these candid shots mark the passages on the other side of the lens documenting the life of family, fatherhood and the fate of our communities.  

The story illustrated through one family, emulates the sentiments of us all.  

The team sought to use the full depth of the gallery space 
to communicate the passage of time and the inevitable passing of the family patriarch. 

The perpetual loss throughout our community. 

The Wakunda proverb suggest: A man who has not prepared his children for his own death has failed his family.

The theme of Social Justice and the question, Where are we now?
are answered internally through one family's travails and externally through bold full-color graphic design posters that billboard the exterior boarded windows of the space and illustrate the modern icons of our century.

The future is in living color and the photographer's son is an Illustrator.

Paula Robinson



Paula Robinson holds a B.S. in Communication Arts from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.   She is a thirty-year entrepreneur and marketing communications veteran, was a vice president at several major communications firms including Burson Marsteller, Edelman, and Burrell before operating her own firm BR&R Communications Inc. and has been recognized with numerous industry awards. She has provided civic leadership as President of the Bronzeville Community Development Partnership (BCDP), a private non-profit community economic development organization revitalizing Chicago's historic African American community as an international tourism destination for more than two decades. 

Robinson is a long time advocate for local artists commissions, Public Art projects, cultural heritage placemaking strategies, and Artist Housing.  Her projects include  Bronzeville Art & Architecture Historic House Tours (Mid-South Planning & Development Commission); King Drive Walk of Fame (Chicago Public Art Commission); Bronzeville Portal (MPEA);  Great Migration Wall Sculpture/McCormick Motor Lobby (MPEA); Gerri’s Palm Tavern Signage Restoration (Chicago History Museum); Major Taylor Trail 111th Street Mural (CDOT/34th Ward);  2016 Great Migration Commemorative/35th Bridge (CDOT/4th Ward);  Sounding Bronzeville, Outdoor Gathering Space (CPD, Field Museum); Innovation Metropolis Classroom 110, Overton School (Creative Grounds).  

She is a fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago, serves on the national board of advisors for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Calumet Collaborative Steering Committee transforming the southeast Chicago lakefront and northern Indiana region. 


Toussaint Werner Bio



Toussaint Werner is an innovative and creative entrepreneur who brings more than twenty years of graphic artistry and design to corporate and community projects.  From assistant art director to an owner of a media group, his fresh, creative approach has established Toussaint as one of the most sought-after graphic designers for national brands such as Sprite and Sony Music Group; as well as community organizations (YMCA- Metropolitan Chicago) and municipalities including the City of Chicago and Atlanta City. His mastery of cutting-edge design tools such as Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, CS3 Suite, has resulted in moving, streamlined and vibrant marketing collateral for each of his clients owner of Calumet Curative’s, a social marketing solutions firm, Toussaint has trained children to create marketing campaigns that address social ills by using traditional and new media technologies.

Toussaint Werner is committed to creating safe and secure environments that nurture individual and community growth. Over the years Mr. Werner has developed expertise through rich experience that include work with some of the country’s leading African American owned production, event, and media entities. His love for community and politics have led him to leadership roles in numerous civic engagement projects, Including NOC (national organizing committee of the Nation of Islam). Chicago Chair of national cares mentoring movement in partnership with Essence Magazine and Susan Taylor. Werner also Servers as the Vice President of Breaking Bread (a community reinvest group in the Chicagoland area)

Mr. Werner also serves as a regular guest as political analysis and community commentary on a host of local and national media outlets.

Ayekoto Thutmose (Michael Thomas)




Ayekoto Thutmose (Michael Thomas) is a multimedia arts curator, native and resident of the historic neighborhood of Bronzeville, Chicago, Illinois, where his eclectic work pays homage to the Black Arts Movement of generations before. 

Owner and curator of Insit Studio (2014-16), Koto worked with community artists to present the No Color (2014), Kings & Killers (2014), and The Original Man (2015) exhibits. The gallery honorably displayed the works of such renowned artists as Fanta Celah and David Anthony Geary. 

At the creatives arts bar, Some Like It Black (2016-17), Koto curated a circuit of seasonal art exhibitions while producing several extended live music performance series, such as the still running and heralded, Young Lion Jazz Session (2016-  ), featuring Chicago’s most celebrated rising jazz phenoms. 

Koto’s current work centers around the development, production, and hosting of cutting-edge documentaries, impactful interviews, and artistic news programs. 


Larissa Johnson




Larissa Johnson is an interdisciplinary artist, social and cultural curator, arts advocate, youth tutor and mentor, and her greatest accomplishment; mother. She is interested in furthering the access of arts, technology, music and dance to young Black Bodies.  Known as a club kid of the 80's, for over 25 years Larissa Johnson has dedicated her life to the arts; ranging from dance, visual arts, fashion, music, and cultural preservation. 

In 2003, she founded  Rhythm’s  Production, a consulting, social marketing and arts advocacy firm that serves as a resource for Chicago DJs and artists and The Social Move in 2011.  

She is was the past coordinator of the 2016 Great Migration Centennial Committee and is working with other organizations such as Blacks in Green and Bronzeville Community Development Partnership, Social Curator for Sounding Bronzeville; a gathering space along Chicago's Lake Shore Drive; Burnham Wildlife Corridor, an affiliate of Deep House Page Chicago, and is part of the pop-up dance and music Excursions family. Larissa is the Creative and Promotions Director for Universal Dance Music, as well as other collaborative projects with Chicago artists, historians, and creatives. Larissa Johnson has been actively involved with the Honey Pot Performance an Afro-Diasporic, woman-focused creative collaborative community for several years in varied capacities, ranging from volunteer, make-up artist, stylist and now serving as auxiliary board member, as well as the Chicago Social Black Culture Map. 

Who gets to tell the Black American Story? We are the cultural stakeholders of our existence and it is extremely important that we record and tell our very unique stories. It validates and affirms our existence.

Rhonda Ingersol Hardy

Rhonda Ingersol Hardy

Rhonda Ingersol Hardy is an artist, entrepreneur, educator and community organizer. Rhonda is president of Designs by Urban Comforts. Her company’s, mission is to promote beautiful urban environments and increased cultural self-awareness for their clients. The company accomplishes this through the sale of handcrafted products that Rhonda designs and produces, and by providing home décor services through its Urban Interiors Designs program. Her work has been exhibited at the South Side Community Art Center and Gallery Guichard, and at the Beverly Arts Alliance.

Rhonda’s professional career also includes leading community development initiatives as an educator at the University of Illinois Extension where she worked extensively in Chicago communities such as Bronzeville, Englewood, and Chatham. After retiring from this position, she lived in Colombia South America for 3 years where she volunteered in at-risk communities. 

She currently serves on the Bronzeville Community Development Partnership Steering Committee, is a member of the Beverly Arts Alliance, serves on the Be the Miracle Youth Foundation Board and donates proceeds from her company’s sales to community development initiatives. She holds BS and MS degrees from the School of Environmental Design from Southern Illinois University has a certificate in interior design from the Professional Development Career Institute and is certified in environmental leadership management from the University of California Berkeley.



Walter Freeman
President and Creative Director
ef Design Group, Inc.




Walter Freeman is the president and creative director for ef Design Group Inc., a 25-year-old creative marketing and print services firm.  ef Design Group Inc. is a creative marketing services firm that specializes in developing visual communication strategies for website development, corporate identities, event & tradeshow graphics, consumer package design, point-of-purchase promotional materials, and political campaigns.

Prior to starting his firm, Walter served as graphics manager with the Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs where he managed a graphic design and photography staff in the public relations office.

Walter has consulted on projects with Lockheed IMS in Washington, D.C., on their national tollway systems projects and managed a team of designers to create interactive proposals for bid.

Walter is credited with providing effective design solutions for several minority business entrepreneurs by helping them incubate their enterprises, providing product development strategies, and establishing new brands and a variety of private label products.
Clients include: Nanophase, Barcardi Rum Imports, Nutra Sweet, Diageo North America Inc., Baxter Healthcare, American Heart Association, Bethel New Life Inc., Chemdal Corporation, Amcol International, Rainbow PUSH, U.S. Postal Service, Bronzeville Visitor Information Center, Loretto Hospital, Loretto Hospital Foundation, Popcorn and More Inc., South Side Community Federal Credit Union, ShoreBank, Aramark, and the City of Chicago Department of Vital Statistics
Qualifications:
• B.A, Fine Arts, Howard University
• Over 25 years of experience as an Art Director

Sponsors: (invited)

Woods Foundation, Illinois Tech Community Affairs Department, PNC Bank/Bronzeville
Alderman Pat Dowell, Rehab Construction Systems Inc,  Leroy Kennedy