"Art is Business"

Karen Seneferu


Karen Seneferu is one of the most thought-provoking visual artists of our time. Born and raised in Oakland, California, her childhood was fed by revolutionary politics and the Black Panther Party's complimentary breakfast program. She has dedicated her life to working as an educator and artivist. Self-taught in her artistic craft, Seneferu is obsessed with gathering information, imagery, and ideas. Senefuru is grounded in the philosophy that space dictates meaning. What enters that space is dictated by the meaning of the space or can change the importance of the space. 

As founder,  Artistic Director, and curator of The Black Woman Is God, Seneferu seeks to transform the meaning of space for Black women and intergenerational artists. She is interested in these artists speaking and dialoguing with each other as a vehicle of change. She does this by having well-known, emerging, and veteran artists in the same space to show the dynamics of their contributions to the historical legacy of Black women artists to the globe.

In 2021, the virtual exhibition of The Black Woman is God asserted that celebrating Black women is essential to building a more just society and a sustainable future. The project will explore the intersectionality of race, age, and gender and dismantle Black women's stereotypes. TBWG will reach out across global communities to reclaim physical space historically denied to Black women artists. In doing so, generations will reclaim the legacy of Black women artists.

TBWIG exhibitions reconfigure communal trauma, employing African Diaspora traditions and practices, connecting dance forms rooted in cultural, historical, and cosmological recognition in public spaces with recognizable African motifs embedded in the form. The program will provide a bridge to the expressions' meaning, exploring the artists' deep cultural connections to their work. The mission is to assert that we are moving beyond embattled ideologies and communities toward African spiritual growth.

The community connections will address the various artistic mediums of visual and performing arts, workshops, and artist talks, all designed to re-remember that Black people are the first human beings to contribute to global society beyond African culture.

The 2020 Black Woman is God exhibition will explore the intersectionality of race, age, and gender and examine Black women's contributions as artists, healers, and social change-makers. The exhibition will feature over 80 new works by Black women employing painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, film/video, mixed, new media, and performance, showing that when Black women create, they are God.  

2023 Summer Solstice Oasis in The Woods: An Art & Wellness Festival

"Art is Business" Escape to a serene oasis in the woods and immerse yourself in a weekend of art, music, and wellness activities that will rejuvenate you.

"2023 Summer Solstice Oasis in The Woods: An Art & Wellness Festival: This festival is hosted by Junipers Garden, Liminal Grace, Aunt Caryls Art and Herbs, and Phantom Gallery Chicago Network.

Post Discussions:   CREATIVE CONVERSATION on BlogTalkRadio July 5, 2023, 10:30 am EST.
July 5 - July 14, 2023.

For one week, June 12-16, 2023, artists of diverse disciplines and ages will converge at Juniper's Garden for a week-long residency. Their collective goal was to build generational bridges while working with ideas and materials from the land to create installations that answer the question, 

"How we will rebuild our communities to be stronger and recreate sustainable places to live." 

Importantly, this conversation addresses environmental justice's physical and psychological dimensions and impact. The residency occurred in Maryland's Prince Georges's County, the Southernmost region and its remaining rural tier.

On Friday, June 16, 2023, 6–9 pm, as part of the 2023 Summer Solstice Oasis In The Woods: An Art & Wellness Festival at Juniper's Garden, the artists hosted an open house where they presented and offered free and open to the public gallery walks. In addition, they contributed stories of their experiences with the South County ecosystem and the process by which their installations came together. 

About The Host/Artist

Samaria is a musician, farmer, and herbalist. Her music and art are inspired by her relationship with nature and her experience as an adoptee and healer. Samaria's music blends traditional folk with afro-beat, R&B, and hip-hop elements. Most recently, she has been exploring the history, music, and construction of the Banjo. As an herbalist, she works to reconnect her community to traditional ways of healing.

About The Artists
Caryl Henry Alexander

Bittersweet, found wood, metallic copper, fabric

Caryl building the sculpture.

For more than 40 years, Caryl Henry Alexander's Work has harnessed the power of creative collaboration with multi-generational, multicultural, and interfaith communities to conceive, design, and implement community art projects in diverse public settings around the globe. In the studio, Caryl's Work includes painting, printmaking, papermaking, textiles, installations, and sculpture. Her media are both traditional and experimental, often incorporating recycled or found objects and natural plant materials. Out in the community, she combines her roles as a visual artist, teaching artist, curator, researcher, lecturer, writer, and social activist to support communities in clarifying their shared goals and turning their ideas into action. Her long-term focus is on culture, environment, and nature. She has exhibited throughout the US and abroad. Her media are both traditional and experimental, often incorporating recycled or found objects and natural plant materials.

Alpha Bruton

Grandmother's Circle: A Tribute to Sallie Alpha and Crecy Ivory

Smudging Ceremony Performed by Rabiah Al-Nur

Chief Curator Phantom Gallery Chicago Network. The Phantom Galleries are temporary exhibitions in nontraditional gallery settings. The mission of the (PGCN) is to promote the betterment of the visual arts community through the arts, promote personal achievement in striving for excellence and continual growth as an artist, and promote cultural activities in exhibits, workshops; galleries exhibitions; art centers; artists in residence projects. She is the Co-founder of the Visual Arts Development Project (VADP), formed in 1996. Is an art service organization - developing projects as living experiments for sustainable practices and an incubator for personal and collective transformation. Visual Arts Development Project is a community-based art organization that provides children, adults, and emerging artists with resources, workshops, and a venue to show and express their art form.

About The artist GIGI

Gigi is a 200-hr certified yoga instructor and eternal student of life. In 2021, she founded Liminal Grace to help folks navigate life with mindfulness, confidence, and ease. Gigi's teaching reflects these intentions by honoring the nuances and complexities of the human experience while encouraging individual power and curiosity along the way. Liminal Grace offers live yoga and meditation sessions, corporate wellness programming and retreats, and educational mindfulness courses, and hosts mindfulness events and retreats.

About the artist Chantel

Her crochet spread that comforted her during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Chantel (she/her) is a Caribbean-American multidisciplinary artist and spiritual diviner. She has yet to find a medium she won't try at least once and often cycles through periods of focusing on one or three mediums more than others. She is currently focusing on fiber arts and collage. After learning how to knit through TikTok and YouTube University, she is working on replacing her storebought sweaters and knitwear with clothes she knit or crocheted. She learned how to crochet from her mother at a young age and often has at least two fiber projects going at once. She uses collages for emotional expression and has led therapeutic art journaling and collaging sessions for over 7 years. After completing her Master's in Social Work at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, in May 2023, she plans to become an art therapist and incorporate creative self-expression into her therapy practice.

About this event
Oasis In The Woods: An Arts & Wellness Festival is an immersive intergenerational experience where art and nature intertwine to bring you beautiful and thought-provoking nature-based art installations, wellness experiences,s and more.

Phantom Gallery Chicago, Grandmother's Circle

Five Black and Indigenous artists-healers from DC, PG County, and Chicago will reside at Junipers Garde in Brandywine, MD, for the week leading up to the festival. During their residence,y they will build nature-based art installations and wellness experiences inspired by nature, the plan, and the vision of creating a more just and sustainable ecosystem in the face of climate change.

The culmination of the residency was a two-day festival where guests had the opportunity to experience these art installations and wellness experiences, contribute to the land through community art projects, and enjoy good food, live music, and community.

The Pause Portal is a space of presence, reflection, and rest. Step into this liminal space for a mind, body, and soul reset. Before walking through the art installations, pause with Gigi at 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm for a yoga nidra (yogic sleep) to prepare you for your walks. The yoga nidra sessions are meditative experiences that can be done lying down or sitting in a chair. Cushions, blankets, chairs, and more will be provided in the portal.

Caryl Henry Alexander facilitated the Gallery Art walk/Art talk.

Saturday, Gallery Art Walk

Passed on the flame to young artist "Z" during the AIR.

On Friday, June 16, join the artists for an Artist Reception, Gallery Walk, and Artist Panel. This evening on the land, you will meet the artists, hear the stories andWorkpiration behind their work, and experience the installations. Enjoy delicious gourmet pizza and drinks during the reception.

Art Installations and Community Art Project, guests took self-directed walks on the trails at Junipers Garden and experienced the nature-based art installations designed by the artists in residence.

Food Vendors

Green Things Work will offer a plant-based loaded nacho bar, chlorophyll lemonade, seasonal fruit cups, and popsicles. Vonte's Kitchen will offer Grilled Chicken Wings, Crab Cake sandwiches, and Beer Brisket sandwiches with Mac & Cheese or Fried Rice.

Enjoy live music from the DC-based music collective Too Much Talent Band, with one purpose, Make Good Music.

Fire Spinners We experienced an exciting show from fire spinners Umber and Ember.

We celebrated the summer solstice with a massive bonfire, great music, and dancing. Planning is underway for June 21st, 2024 Summer Solstice. 

                                            Folks sat around the fire and watched the flames.

On-site Camping-site was only available on Saturday, June 17. 
Several campers spent the night in the woods at Junipers Garden and woke up on "The Land."

Thank you for all the work that was invested into this project. It is the beginning of a more extensive conversation. 

Sage as a Spiritual Tool
Although burning sage is used by healers and laypeople in traditional cultures to achieve a healing state or solve or meditate on spiritual difficulties, this practice could also have a scientific basis—certain types of sage are best for smudging for cleansing and spiritual purposes, like white prairie sage contain thujone, which is somewhat psychotropic and present in a variety of plants used in cultural, spiritual rituals to boost intuition.

7-mile water trail explores hidden history, including Chicago's only Bla...


The African American Heritage Water Trail encourages people to reflect on history from a different perspective.

Directions:  The African American Heritage Water Trail begins at the boat ramp to the Little Calumet River at the Cook County Forest Preserves’ Beaubien Woods.  It ends at Robbins, approximately 7 miles west. Paddling access is planned for construction near Kedzie in the Village of Robbins. In the interim, put in at Beaubien Woods and take out at the Alsip Boat Launch, a few miles west of Robbins.  To paddle just half of the trail, put in at Beaubien Woods and take out at the Forest Preserves of Cook County’s Little Calumet Boat Ramp. This ramp is on the Upper Little Calumet River and can be reached by paddling into the south side channel that confluences with the main trail 0.5 miles west of the Halsted Street bridge.  Once you have paddled onto the Upper Little Calumet River, the concrete boat ramp will be visible on the west side in 0.5 miles.  You can also put in at the Little Calumet Boat Ramp and take out at Alsip Boat Launch, paddling the other half of the trail.

Historical Importance: This stretch of the river flows through several south-side Chicago neighborhoods and nearly two centuries of African American history—sites and figures who whose impact remains with us today. The Heritage Water Trail honors this history by tracing the remarkable stories of African Americans who settled along the river: freedom seekers who traveled the Underground Railroad, trailblazers who defied discrimination and achieved great feats in their fields, and pioneers in the struggle for civil rights and environmental justice. These acts of courage and fortitude have shaped our nation and left their mark on significant events in African American history, including:

Underground Railroad: Before the Civil War, thousands of people fleeing slavery passed through Chicago or its south suburbs where they found a supportive community willing to hide, feed and help them on their way. Ton Farm was a well-documented stop on the Underground Railroad; and Dolton Ferry and Bridge provided an important passage for hundreds of freedom seekers crossing the river on their way to Canada via Chicago or Detroit.

Civil Rights: Many important pioneers in the struggle for civil rights left their mark here and across the nation. Especially notable people and sites include Bishop Louis Henry Ford, the minister and advocate for whom the freeway was named; Larry Hawkins, the teacher, mentor, and coach; Marshall “Major” Taylor, the first African American international sports star and a world champion bicycle rider; Chicago’s Finest Marina, the oldest black-owned marina in the Chicago region; and the Village of Robbins, unique in its support of African American entrepreneurs and wealth creation.

The Birth of Environmental Justice:  Environmental justice is a civil rights movement demanding reforms to protect people of color who are disproportionately exposed to environmental hazards where they live and work. Altgeld Gardens, one of the first public housing developments in the U.S., is where it all began, under the leadership of local resident Hazel Johnson.

Welcoming Communities:  Altgeld Gardens was originally designed as a model “Garden City”—a self-contained community of residences and green space. In the segregated landscape of Chicago, it attracted the settlement of other black families into surrounding neighborhoods like Golden Gate, Riverside Village, Pangea Lakes and Concordia Place. A bit further down the river is the Village of Robbins, one of the very few towns in the United States governed at its incorporation by African Americans. It attracted black Chicagoans seeking economic opportunities and leisure activities free of white harassment.

For a complete guide to the sites and landmarks along the river, visit the African-American Heritage Water Trail Storymap which you can print and take on your excursion. You can also download the brochure.

JOIN US FOR THE OPENING OF “Prairie Boat” by Artist Christine Perri

"Art is Business" reposted for artist Christine Perri

"Prairie Boat," the gathering space I designed for the Forest Preserves over a year and a half ago, has finally launched. This collaborative project used the skills of woodworker Craig Klucina of Plane-Spoken and various artists, most of whom connected to the Far South Side. In addition, I worked with several organizations besides the Forest Preserves, including Openlands and the Field Museum. My community partner was Imani Village, an organization that serves the surrounding area's health, education, and economic needs. 


"Prairie Boat"

Saturday, June 10, 2023
10 - 11am
Beaubien Woods Boat Launch
(for driving directions, enter "Beaubien Woods Boat
Launch" into Google Maps)

Ribbon cutting with the program to follow A Gathering Space at the Forest Preserves of Cook County's Beaubien Woods.

Stay for Beaubien Woods Celebration Day @ Flatfoot Lake
11am- 3pm
bikes, canoes and kayaks, archery, hikes, arts, food, and more!

Or, for a guided canoe ride on the Little Calumet River, register here https://riverpaddling.eventbrite.com/

"Prairie Boat" A Gathering Space at the Forest Preserves of Cook County's Beaubien Woods "Prairie Boat" funded by Event Partners Experience the beauty of the river and learn about The Underground Railroad, The Birth of the Environmental Justice Movement, Civil Rights, and environmental quality with Wilderness Inquiry's canoe mobile.

Guided canoe ride slots are:

11:00 am to 12:30 pm
12:30 pm to 2:00 pm
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Canoe ride time options are on the registration checkout page, and ticket sales end June 9th, 2023. All are welcome; no paddling experience is required. Reserve your tickets now!


Consider visiting Beaubien Woods Celebration on the same day starting at 11:00 am at Flatfoot Lake. Beaubien Woods Celebration activities include biking, hiking, archery, and more. You can register for Beaubien Woods Celebration here.


Prairie Boat

You will see Prairie Boat at the Beaubien Woods boat launch. "Prairie Boat" is a gathering space newly constructed. It is a space for community gathering, programming, and connection to nature. Prairie Boat is inspired by the African American Heritage Water Trail and native prairie landscapes (a boat in the sea of the prairie). It was created by a group of artists connected with the area, and the design was chosen by a community curatorial committee convened by the Field Museum. Join us for its grand reveal!

The opening of Prairie Boat and the canoe mobile paddling is brought to you in partnership with Imani Villiage, Far South Chicago Coalition, the Field Museum, Forest Preserves of Cook County, and Openlands.

Bronzeville Art District Trolley Tour 2023

"Art is Business" www.bronzevilleartdistrict.com    Bronzeville Art District Trolley Tour 2023 


CHICAGO  – Bronzeville is again a focal point for Chicago's vibrant African American culture. Like Harlem in New York, Bronzeville is a community where Chicago's African American music, Literature, Fine Art, and Theater historically thrive. The Bronzeville Art District (BAD) currently consists of five established visual art spaces working together to focus and drive cultural activities in the community so that a distinctive cultural identity can be crystallized and communicated. 

About this event
Please join us on the 3rd Friday of the month for the Bronzeville Art District (BAD) Trolley Tour 2022! Bronzeville Art District Celebrating 17 years, Every 3rd Friday between June and September, ride the Double-Decker Bus for fine art and entertainment in Bronzeville!

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.

2023 Summer Tour Schedule and Participating Bronzeville Locations:

June 16, July 21, August 18, September 15, 6 pm to 9pm

You can visit galleries, art institutions, or studios and experience unique art and entertainment.

We look forward to seeing you for the 2023 Art Tour Season!
Sponsored by
The University of Illinois Cancer Center
Gift of Hope
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Building Community Foundation
Bronzeville Art District

TBWIG exhibition has challenged patriarchal constructions of Black femininity- Call for Artists

"Art is Business" reposted for Dr. Karen Sereferu 

The original TBWIG exhibition has challenged patriarchal constructions of Black femininity; each has a visual arts exhibition, interpretive panel discussions, artists’ talks, and contextualizing performances that investigate how black women artists produce art, dance, sculpture, and ritual as the highest form of knowledge.  

Ebony Dallas

This soft opening is June 29th in a storefront at 251 Post Street, Union Square. 
The submission deadline is June 19th. 

The exhibition theme this year for 2023 is MOTHERHOOD. We will discuss what MOTHERHOOD means to us. We will investigate the social conditions that profoundly impact Black mothers, and Black mother figures who work towards a collective resistance against a systemically violent society: black mothers gynecologically experimented upon, dating back to slavery, black mothers trafficked and raped, disrupting their ability to claim their own bodies and become caregivers to their children, black mothers incarcerated, addicted forcing them to be absent from themselves and their children, Black mothers so impacted by society, they lose their minds, their homes, and their families, Black mothers who fear for their children while reminding them that their lives have endless possibilities, and Black mothers that assume the roles of MOTHERHOOD without having children or recognition. What are the ways we as artists can honor all the ways Black mothers show up in our Community so that we can move towards healing generational trauma,  and in doing so, we create art as ritual practices that heal us through our divine feminine selves?

Please click the link and fill out the application as soon as possible. 
Those who fill it out will automatically be placed in the main exhibition on October 19, 2023. 
The honorarium for this exhibit is $300.

Thank you in advance for participating in this powerful exhibit. I look forward to seeing all of your work.

Karen Seneferu
Founder and Executive Director
The Black Woman Is God

The NAACP Celebrates Black Artists @ the Evanston Art Center

"Art is Business" Curator Fran Joy invites you to an Artists Talk and Reception. 

Artist Bio: Fran Joy is an artist, designer, curator, and life coach currently living in Evanston. Born and raised in southern Illinois, she moved to New Orleans and the greater Chicago/Evanston area. This life experience, ten years of residence in Los Angeles, and frequent visits to New York City have flavored and colored her passion as an artist.

After studying oil painting, creative writing, and drawing at Columbia College in Chicago, Joy combined her own experimentation with the impromptu training she received from independent artists whose work she admired. Joy is known for her images on social justice, women, spirit images, iconic portraits, colorful abstract landscapes, and large designer wood screens and wall mounts. Her paintings usually begin with an acrylic base on canvas or wood, followed by oil pastels used with various sponges for texture, blending, and intensity.

Joy has exhibited at the Evanston Art Center, the Noyes Cultural Art Center, 1100 Florence Gallery, Curt’s Cafe, Open Studio Project, Garrett Theological Seminary, Artem Gallery, Danon Gallery, Lorraine Morton Civic Center, and Creative Coworking. Her works are in private collections in Evanston; Chicago; New York; Los Angeles; San Francisco; New Orleans; Philadelphia; Seattle; Centralia, Illinois; Arizona; New Mexico; Canada, and New Zealand.

Joy has coordinated various art installations throughout the greater metro area, including co-curating SOULWORKS at the Evanston Art Center, a collection of art by both renowned and emerging artists of color.

Email: fwjoy@icloud.com
Website: http://www.franjoy.com/

Vibrational Sound Narrative, 2019 "Fletcher Fire II"

Chicago Jazz Ensemble at Millennium Park 07
Acrylic on Canvas, 24" x 36"
Alpha Bruton

Fletcher Henderson was very important to early jazz as the leader of the first great jazz big band, an arranger and composer in the 1930s, and a masterful talent scout. Between 1923-1939, quite an all-star cast of top young Black jazz musicians passed through his orchestra. And yet, Henderson's band was little-known at the height of the swing era.

Fletcher Henderson had a degree in chemistry and mathematics. Still, when he came to New York in 1920 with hopes of becoming a chemist, the only job he could find (due to the racism of the times) was as a song demonstrator with the Pace-Handy music company. Harry Pace soon founded the Black Swan label, and Henderson, a versatile but fairly basic pianist, became an important contributor behind the scenes, organizing bands and backing blues vocalists. Although he started recording as a leader in 1921, it was in January 1924 that he put together his first permanent big band. 

He was soon at the top of his field using Don Redman's innovative arrangements. His early recordings (Henderson made many records during 1923-1924) tend to be both futuristic and awkward, with strong musicianship but staccato phrasing. However, after Louis Armstrong joined up in late 1924 and Don Redman started contributing more swinging arrangements, the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra had no close competitors artistically until the rise of Duke Ellington in 1927. By then, Henderson's band (after a period at the Club Alabam) was playing regularly at The Roseland Ballroom. Still, due to the bandleader being a very indifferent businessman, the all-star outfit recorded relatively little during its peak (1927 to 1930).