Chicago North & North Shore Edition
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed
Chicago’s premier resource for healthy and sustainable living
Jul 16, 2012
06:00 AM
Fresh Awakenings

Apartheid-era Artist Showcase Kicks Off 23rd Annual African Festival of the Arts Chicago

Apartheid-era Artist Showcase Kicks Off 23rd Annual African Festival of the Arts Chicago

 

A rare collection of 22 paintings by five acclaimed South African artists will be featured during the international exhibit Apartheid to Freedom: South African Artists’ Perspectives, which opens with a reception July 20 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Africa International House (AIH), 6200 S. Drexel Avenue in Chicago.

The exhibit runs through August 20 and is a precursor to the 23rd annual African Festival of the Arts, a destination for family fun that celebrates art, culture, food and music from the African Diaspora over Labor Day weekend August 31 – September 3 in Washington Park, 5100 S. Cottage Grove Avenue in Chicago.

The exhibit’s curator and founder of Color Me Africa Fine Arts, Soraya Sheppard, has teamed up with AIH to showcase for the first time in America original works that capture pre- and post-Apartheid South Africa. The paintings depict and inspire a range of feeling and emotion, from urban life, to the uprisings in Soweto to, finally, freedom in the new democratic South Africa.

During apartheid, artistic practice and the subject matter in paintings effectively depicted the hurt and oppression of South Africa’s majority Black population. Much of the work produced during this period was anything but passive in its visual impact or political message, with one main objective – social change. This change did not come easy. Black artists’ works were rarely exhibited and politically minded artists were persecuted. Much of the township art was destroyed by security forces, leaving a significant gap in the nation’s cultural legacy.

“The exhibit expresses the range of emotion and strife at a time when Blacks were agitating for an end to Apartheid,” says Sheppard, who left South Africa during the uprisings in 1987 in a self-imposed exile. She returned in 1993 to visit family, a promise she kept after Nelson Mandela was freed from prison in 1990. “In South Africa, Apartheid-era art is gaining in popularity as the nation continues to come to terms with its past. It is a statement of a time gone but not forgotten."

Apartheid did eventually gain global attention and apartheid-era art began receiving international support. The exhibit will feature works by Moses Masoko, Ntuli Ndabuko, Jerry Lion, Solomon Sikelela and David Mbele. Masoko will travel to Chicago to offer his perspective on what it was like to be an artist during Apartheid. Masoko’s art reflects both pre- and post-Apartheid.

“Africa International House is honored to host this extremely significant exhibit,” says Patrick Woodtor, executive director of Africa International House USA, Inc.  “AIH is dedicated to the celebration and preservation of African cultures and traditions, with the intent to pass them on to future generations.” 

Add your comment:
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed

Blog Posts

Fresh Awakenings

Chicago’s premier resource for healthy and sustainable living
Take a Hike at a Nearby State Park

Take a Hike at a Nearby State Park

Finding hills to hike, mountains to climb, caves to explore, bluffs, cliffs and waterfalls to enjoy isn’t easy around Chicago but just outside the city’s borders there are actually plenty of places to enjoy these types of outdoor experiences. Some are within an hour driving distance while others are located farther south and west throughout Illinois.

Comments

Welcome Fall Season with Events at a Nearby Forest Preserve

Welcome Fall Season with Events at a Nearby Forest Preserve

Any time we can enjoy nature and the outdoors is a good time for us at Natural Awakenings. Fall holds a special time for us because it usually means a nice respite from the heat and humidity, warm colors and long, quiet walks. We’re not the only ones who feel this way. “The...

Comments

Safe Cycling in Chicago - Dos and Don'ts of Cycling

Safe Cycling in Chicago - Dos and Don'ts of Cycling

Wonder what the rules of the road are in Chicago? Is wearing a helmet while riding a bike in Chicago a requirement? Can you lock your bike anywhere or only in designated areas? The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) just released its 2014 Safe Cycling Guide which answers these questions and more, including what do in case you’re in an accident with your bicycle.

Comments

Fear City Haunted House in Morton Grove Seeks Improv Actors

Fear City Haunted House in Morton Grove Seeks Improv Actors

Fear City Haunted House in Morton Grove is seeking to fill over 100 open slots for improvisational actors, dancers, performance artists and haunters.

Comments

5 Steps to a Healthier Workplace

5 Steps to a Healthier Workplace

Creating a workplace where health and wellness are top priorities doesn’t require huge budgets or lots of time.  Some careful strategic planning, using a full team approach, can yield a healthful work environment ripe for creativity and success. To help you get there follow these...

Comments

About This Blog

Natural Awakenings Blog covers timely topics of interest to our readers regarding healthy and sustainable living (mind, body and spirit). Our free monthly print publication, targeted specifically to Chicagoland residents, including those in suburban Cook County and Lake County, can be found free at distribution centers around the Chicagoland area.

Categories

Recent Posts

Feed

Atom Feed Subscribe to the Fresh Awakenings Feed »