LJA BeanSoup Video

The social movement is an initiative founded by Larissa J-Akinremi. She has been a tutor and mentor for over 30 years and is the product of the “ It takes a village to raise a child.”

Larissa Johnson-Akinremi - Her Legacy by Paula Robinson

"Art is Business" - Post from Paula Robinson- It is with sadness to learn of Larissa's passing 06/14/2021

                                                            Larissa Johnson-Akinremi

I loved that she would get on a plane, a train, or bus
to attend a music festival
she was a great DJ
and once DJ'd for us on aboard  a double-decker trolley
from her portable amplified suitcase
in the Bud Billiken Parade

I loved how her friends were international 
generational 
from her young people at the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club 
to her seniors at Rosenwald Courts 
and that she knew that giving time,
spending time is a gift
that would make you look forward to 
wanting me, having more... until the next time

I loved how she embraced the magic of 
children learning
discovering, and creating art.
teaching is an art form. 
she showed young people that they are
makers and creators of their own dreams
the rain sticks, the dream pillows, the blinged 
hand mirrors were her craft

I loved how she was a lifelong learner
that her enterprise was called "the social move."
the installations that she curated 
the exhibits for Juneteenth 
the underground RailRoad dioramas 
the commemorations at the Great Migration Bridge,
and lakefront tribute for the Chicago's Red Summer 
her outdoor sensory experiences with watermelon tastings
the bird walks in the park 


I loved how she constantly recreated herself
with the color of the day
the earring and dress combinations 
the hairstyle the adornment 
the lips of blue, purple, and green
always of a kiss of mystic 
body paint or henna
permission to be free
but only a small peace tattoo
at her collar bone
inked the deal

I loved how 
everybody's birthday
was too important to miss
I loved how when she needs to see you
and too much time would pass
she would say, where are you
and come to you
she met folks where they were
she was curious and interested in 
space and places that they were 
occupying 
she discovered your world

I loved that she had the fortitude for 
a fight, if it must be had
how she could write you and read you
if need be 
a new job was just a part of her journey
and her cover letters for a job application 
were composed
you might hire her
but you would never employ all of her
nor should you expect to 
and you might only understand that
during the exit interview
she knew who she was

I loved how she had a big family 
a global son that she called her "Sun."
and a Husbae -- her love and comfort
bu also had room for her art family,
her music family, her work family, 
her film family, her new project family
and her next family and now her
heavenly family 

I loved Larissa 
in our Bronzeville Family 
she was our number one daughter 
she was our girl.



ArtSlant Is Shutting Down: Thank You, Goodbye + Archiving

"Art is Business"—The ArtSlant Team 
ArtSlant shut down after twelve years of operation. Co-founder Catherine Ruggles has determined it is no longer possible to keep the site running.

First and foremost: you deserve a heartfelt thank you! From the start, ArtSlant has always been a community built by and for artists, arts professionals, and art lovers. Whether you maintained a member profile or premium artist website, followed the latest criticism in ArtSlant magazine, applied to the ArtSlant Prize, or wrote exhibition reviews, your contributions helped make ArtSlant what it was: a resource that inspired, supported, and promoted artists and writers from across the global arts community.

Georgia Fee, 50 Kisses


Some background
In 2007, Georgia Fee and Catherine Ruggles launched a twelve-year commitment to emerging artists, arts writers, and critics. Beginning in LA as a network for local artists, ArtSlant Magazine ultimately expanded to fifteen cities and countries worldwide, bringing onboard fresh writers, editors, and artists to critique, unpack, reflect on, and generally chronicle art its engagement with contemporary culture. For nine years, ArtSlant also awarded the ArtSlant Prize, celebrating outstanding work from emerging artists. From 2013–2018, ArtSlant hosted a Residency for artists and writers in Paris, founded in honor of Georgia Fee following her passing in 2012.

Georgia Fee took a chance on so many of us, building open pathways to success in an industry that can be hard to break into. ArtSlant Prize winners had their work evaluated by respected gallerists and curators and exhibited at art fairs in Miami and New York City. Many have gone on to have major gallery representation and exhibit their artwork widely. Likewise, countless writers cut their teeth in this small company to go on to edit and write for mainstream art publications, a trajectory we’ve always been very proud of.

Special thanks to our customer service guru, Marcela Rodriguez Aguilar, our exhibition listings champ, Ninna Palmario, and past editors Andrea Alessi, Natalie Hegert, Joel Kuennen, Charlotte Jansen, Andrew Berardini, Stephanie Cristello, Charlie Schultz, Abraham Ritchie, Trong Nguyen, and Sophia Powers.

ArtSlant Prize IX Winners’ Exhibition, SPRING/BREAK ART SHOW, New York City, 2018. With work by David Rios Ferreira, 

Thank you

On behalf of all the staff and editors who have left their marks on the site, we want to extend massive gratitude to each of you who made ArtSlant not only a respected platform for emerging artists and art criticism but also a space for play and experimentation. Without your artwork, artist profiles, blog posts, reviews, and exhibition listings, ArtSlant could never have been the meaningful, engaged community it was. Huge thanks to all the artists who supported ArtSlant through our subscription services. ArtSlant was unique in the world of contemporary art in that it created an opportunity for artists and writers to support each other. We have truly loved browsing through all the incredible artwork you have uploaded and shared on the site and hope we, in turn, played a role in your creative growth.

Save your work
Toward the end of April, Catherine will bring the site down. If you haven’t done so already, please save anything hosted on ArtSlant that you want a record of—be it artwork, blog posts, accolades, or reviews. You can find a record of your artwork, artist statements, prize wins, reviews, and other activities by flipping through the tabs on your ArtSlant profile page. Artists with Premium Subscription websites can look here for info on how to transfer your unique domain name.
Sabato Visconti, Katya Grokhovsky, and daàPo Reo

Archive and Legacy
Now the good news! ArtSlant will live on as a resource in two digital archives: the Library of Congress and the New York Art Resources Consortium (NYARC).

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress welcomes ArtSlant as “an important part of [its web archive] collection and the historical record.” Initially, the ArtSlant archive will be available to researchers at Library facilities and by special arrangement. After one year, the Library may also make the collection available more broadly by hosting it on its public access website. Learn more about the Library's Web Archiving program goals here and check out their web archives.

NYARC
The New York Art Resources Consortium will also include ArtSlant in its web archive collections. NYARC comprises the research libraries of The Brooklyn Museum, The Frick Collection, and The Museum of Modern Art. These libraries are committed to “enabling access to the broadest possible range of print materials related to art and art history,” Now, they are also making archival copies of important web resources for preservation and access purposes.

All of the content included in the web archive collections is made publicly accessible via NYARC’s Archive-It account (full-text search and metadata), within a shared catalog via records they create for websites (called ARCADE—the union catalog of the Frick, MoMA, and the Brooklyn Museum), and via full-text search in the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.
We hope you feel as proud as we do that the art and writing of everyone in the ArtSlantcommunity will live on in these resources. We have been honored to shape and continue what Georgia Fee and Catherine Ruggles began, supporting ArtSlant’s commitment to artists, arts writers, and criticism for over a decade.

JUN 17 THUR “Preserving the House that Art Built.” - The South Side Community Art Center 80th Year Celebration

"Art is Business" Reposted: art.newcity.com/2021/05/26/a-living-institution-the-south-side-community-art-center-celebrates-eighty-years-as-a-force-in-african-american-art/

A Living Institution: The South Side Community Art Center Celebrates Eighty Years as a Force in African American Art

Black artist portrait outside SSCAC/Photo: Jonathan Romain

On the near South Side of Chicago, on the 3800 block of South Michigan Avenue in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood, is a beautiful Classical Revival building that has housed a community-based organization dedicated specifically to Black artists for just over eighty years: the South Side Community Art Center. The artist, curator, and former executive director Faheem Majeed describes the Center as a microcosm of the Black art world and Chicago’s South Side. For eight decades, this art center has championed the work of African American artists while serving as a gathering space for not only artists but the broader South Side community. It’s a legacy that continues, with recent exhibitions featuring emerging and mid-career artists such as David Leggett, Krista Thompson, and James T. Green, as well as Majeed.

Faheem Majeed with visitors/Photo: Abena Sharon

The organization came into being through the same dedicated belief in these artists that have kept it going all these years. In the late 1930s, a group of artists, gallerists, and art enthusiasts created an institution that would support Black artists on Chicago’s South Side. This founding group chose to collaborate with the Community Art Center initiative of the Federal Art Project (FAP), one of the many programs that grew out of the Works Project Administration—the federal New Deal agency established to help citizens and communities throughout the United States recover from the Great Depression. The FAP funded part of the renovations and the salaries of the Center’s first staff. Still, it was up to the organizers and the community to raise the money needed to purchase the building that would give the Center the stability that has enabled it to weather eighty years of change. The South Side Community Art Center is the only FAP-funded art center still operating in its original location.

Peter Pollack, Alain Locke, Eleanor Roosevelt, Patrick Prescott at the SSCAC official dedication

Fundraising began in 1938 and was supported by community leaders and local businesses and was bolstered by the philanthropic efforts of women’s organizations, especially middle-class Black women. The successful fundraising from major donors to people on the street proved the community’s support of the project. In 1940, the South Side Community Art Center was opened, and people were welcomed into the renovated building. In 1941, then-First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, a major supporter of the arts, would cut the ribbon for the official dedication of the building as the site of the Center. Though federal support would end two years later, the South Side Community Art Center resides in that same building, designated a historic landmark by the city and a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It still actively provides space for emerging artists to experiment, collaborate and learn their history.

Artist and educator Dr. Margaret Burroughs during an arts conference at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, 1971. Active in the Chicago arts community, Dr. Burroughs founded the South Side Community Arts Center in 1941 and later co-founded the DuSable Museum of African American History/Photo: Robert Abbott Sengstacke/Getty Images

The most recognized founder was a visual artist and educator Dr. Margaret Taylor-Burroughs. She was in her early twenties when and the other founding members started the Center. So deep was her investment in the South Side Community Art Center that her contributions would extend to collecting funds on street corners, assisting with the physical labor of readying the space, as well as teaching and exhibiting her artwork. Also, the founder of the DuSable Museum, Taylor-Burroughs, set the stage for African American visual art education and an artist-driven scene that is active to this day.

Painting class with Charles White and Gordon Parks, 1942

The South Side Community Art Center has been a key force in African American art as an incubator for many artists who would go on to define African American visual arts production. When lists are made of the great African American artists of the twentieth century, several key figures always appear Elizabeth Catlett,  Gordon Parks, founding members Archibald Motley, and Charles White. These artists, along with locally renowned Chicago art luminaries and fellow founding members Eldzier Corter, William Carter, and Joseph Kersey, were part of the community that taught classes, learned from their peers, and exhibited at the Center formative years. White created many of the early works included in the “Charles White: A Retrospective,” a major traveling exhibition that opened at the Art Institute in 2018, during his time at the Center. Catlett developed and exhibited her linoleum prints alongside those of Taylor-Burroughs at the Center. It was work done through the South Side Community Art Center and his contacts there that would lead to Parks being awarded the Rosenwald Fellowship, which set the trajectory for the rest of his career.

South Side Community Art Center

The building is a unique space. Unlike the white box gallery that most art patrons are used to, the Center’s exhibition space has wide, wooden plank walls and dark, chocolate-colored floors. The walls cannot be repaired and made to look unused between exhibitions. Instead, the walls show the history of the art that has been hung there. When a young artist in the twenty-first century sees their work hanging in this space, they know that the nails holding it up might be in the same hole a nail was placed to show paintings by Motley or a drawing by White. This unique design is the serendipitous result of another piece of Chicago cultural history, the founding of The Institute of Design in 1937 by German immigrant and Bauhaus member László Moholy-Nagy. Two of the New Bauhaus school members, Hin Bredendieck and Nathan Lerner, reportedly working through the Works Progress Administration, designed the Center’s gallery space in the school’s unconventional style.

Faheem Majeed at his exhibition, “From the Center,” 2021/Photo: Abena Sharon

Majeed, whose passion for the Center is contagious, speaks about the South Side Community Art Center's opportunities over his seventeen-year relationship with the organization. He speaks the most eloquently about the intergenerational knowledge that has been shared with him and other young artists when they spend time at the Center and join its decades-long legacy. He calls it “a living institution that connects the future to the past.” This is central to the ethos that has been a part of the institution since its inception. It is a community center based around art, not a museum. It is designed to allow learning through art and gathering and serve the needs of local artists and ensure that the community is served by art.

Zakkiyyah Najeebah Dumas-O’Neal is the organization’s public engagement manager, who, in the way of small institutions, also does public relations work and curation at the Center. She is excited about the breadth of exhibitions and planned programs, which she hopes will bring more artists and cultural workers into the facility and create more opportunities to collaborate with other Chicago arts organizations. This includes artist talks, classes, and three exhibitions: “Just Above My Wall,” curated by Ciera Mckissick, will run through the end of June; a Whitfield Lovell solo exhibition in the summer, in collaboration with Smart Museum and in conjunction with the fortieth anniversary of the MacArthur Fellows Program; and the year wraps up with a Black Women’s Art Collective curated by artist Kyrin Hobson. Her work will help a new generation of artists at the same age and stage in their careers as their now-famous forebears were when they were part of the South Side Community Art Center. The Center will also participate in the Terra Foundation’s Re-Envisioning Permanent Collections grant program, with the forthcoming exhibition “Love is Universal.” The exhibition will examine the intersections of Chicago’s LGBTQ and Black art histories, focusing “primarily on the Black gay male artists who were closely connected with the center between its founding in 1940 and into the 1980s,” according to the Terra Foundation.

A rising artist on the Chicago scene herself (she was a 2019 Newcity Breakout Artist), Zakkiyyah Najeebah Dumas-O’Neal spoke to me about what it has meant to her as a Black woman artist to be a part of an organization that has such a long- and well-established history of women in leadership roles and those who have found artistic success through the Center. “Space itself was spearheaded by a Black woman, Dr. Margaret T. Burroughs, which I believe instilled quite a legacy for other Black women to follow,” she says. She provides examples such as Elizabeth Catlett, Gwendolyn Brooks, Joyce Owens, Yaoundé Olu, and the Black women artist collective “Sapphire and Crystals.” The collective was conceived by Marva Pitchford Jolly (who was a supporter and volunteer of the Center) and Felicia Grant Preston and held their first exhibition at the South Side Community Art Center in 1987.

Eldzier Cortor visit to SSCAC

In the tradition of women’s leadership, in December of 2019, the board named Monique Brinkman-Hill as their latest executive director. Brinkman-Hill is a former member of the board and an avid art collector with a strong background in finance and leadership as a former senior vice president and managing director at Northern Trust and president and founder of MBH Coaching and Consulting LLC. This experience will be useful, as the Center was awarded a $2 million grant from the State of Illinois to renovate the organization and help ensure its continued success in serving the South Side as a community-based arts organization. An executive director with Brinkman-Hill’s level of business knowledge is well-positioned to use the gift for long-term strategic success. “A building that houses so much history must be preserved and maintained,” Brinkman-Hill says. This is exemplified by the theme that has been selected for the Center’s post-pandemic year, “Preserving the House that Art Built.” The kickoff is June 17, and the delayed eightieth-anniversary celebrations will culminate with their Annual Art Auction.

The South Side Community Art Center was founded not only to provide exhibition space for artists, but more essentially to provide darkroom and printmaking spaces, classes for community members, and a space for African Americans producing and interested in cultural production on the South Side of Chicago to gather in their own neighborhood. What is created there goes out into the world in new ways, taking the knowledge gained and the traces of those who came before. The Center has faced McCarthyism, economic fluctuations in the neighborhood where it is located, new organizations that offer competing programs for the community’s youth. Yet, it remains active and supported by the community in which it has thrived for over eighty years.