AFRICOBRA: ART and IMPACT
The third of a series of exhibitions focused on the history and aesthetic influences of AfriCOBRA opens at the DuSable Museum. The first two exhibitions at the Southside Community Arts Center and the Logan Center of the University of Chicago focused on pre-AfriCOBRA and AfriCOBRA artists respectively. The DuSable’s presentation will document how AfriCOBRA flourished and expanded to include other artists in Chicago—artists who became official members of the group (some for a short time, some for a much longer period) and other artists who exhibited work in AfriCOBRA exhibitions. Several of these artists became affiliated with the later incarnation of AfriCOBRA (the group that flourished in Washington, DC under Jeff Donaldson’s chairmanship of the Art Department at Howard University)but their early work as part of Chicago AfriCOBRA is less well known.
This exhibition will showcase the community in Chicago that developed around AfriCOBRA through the range of artists associated with the group, including the founders and six later affiliates (Sherman Beck, Napoleon Jones-Henderson, Omar Lama, Carolyn Lawrence, Frank Smith, and Nelson Stevens). Part III will present the significant impact that AfriCOBRA had on the visual arts in Chicago, particularly on the south side, in the period of the Black Arts Movement. These works will demonstrate the development of the idea of “positive images” and the themes of African heritage and solidarity with contemporary movements in Africa (such as the Soweto Uprising), as well as the inspiration of music, particularly jazz, in the visual arts. It also includes a smaller sample of works created in the later 1970s, as AfriCOBRA members moved on to the East Coast—bringing with them, and then adapting and disseminating, the aesthetic and political precepts of the original group.
The AFRICOBRA Gallery Talk on August 8th
- Arlene Crawford
- Robert Douglas
AFRICOBRA closing ceremony on September 29th
Closing Reception (Contemporary Response)
- Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago
- Avery Young
- M’Reld Green
- Aniba Hotep & the Sol Collective
- Nevada Montgomery
- Masequa Myers
This project is partially supported by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events