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February is Black History month and I wanted to highlight the creatives of Chicago, who either live or work predominantly here. Chicago is a city filled with many talented people, which is often overlooked by other major cities, like New York or Los Angeles. Creating art can come in many forms like producing music, painting, sculpture, photography, etc. Here are some that should be highlighted and appreciated not just in February.


three paint brushes
Anna Kolosyuk

Kerry James Marshall

  • Previously taught here at UIC
  • Studied with Charles White in Los Angeles, then moved back to Chicago, where he lives in Bronzeville
  • Known for his large paintings and prominent Black figures

Faheem Majeed

  • Received his MFA at UIC
  • Co-director and founder of Floating Museum
  • Had a solo exhibit at the MCA
  • Until March 27th, you can see his work at the South Side Community Art Center for free

Langston Allston 

  • Works both in New Orleans and Chicago
  • Did a residency at National Public Housing Museum in Chicago
  • Known for his murals around the city and most noticeably, Chicago Bulls Center 

Archibald J. Motley

  • Studied at the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Depicted Black social life in 1920/’30s that were often controversial but vibrant and full of life
  • Referred to as the Chicago Black renaissance (a creative movement) 

Marion Perkins

  • A sculptor who started his career late but taught and exhibited his work at the South Side Community Art Center
  • Another important artist to the Chicago renaissance movement

OBAC group (Organization of Black American Culture)

  • Organization for Black American Culture
  • Wall of respect, which features different mediums of art such as poetry, paint, and photography, celebrating different African American heroes

Justine DeVan

  • Led, contributed, and advised mural projects across the country in the 1960s
  • Know for “Black Women Emerging” a mural in South Cottage Grove

Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly

  • Ceramics professor at Chicago State University
  • Helped empower women, such as collections like Sapphire and Crystals

Art Centers in Chicago

Southside Community Art Center

Hyde Park Art Center

Little Black Pearl

– Cultural arts center is providing opportunities in arts, culture, and entrepreneurship to youth, adults, and families across Chicago

MSI Black Creativity Program Black Creativity – Museum of Science and Industry

DuSable Museum of African American History

  • founded by Margaret Taylor-Burroughs and one of the few independent institutions

Black Ensemble Theatre

South Shore Opera Company 




Maya is currently a Senior at University of Illinois at Chicago. She is majoring in Integrated Health Studies with the goal of becoming a genetic counselor. She joined HER and is excited for all the article she will create. She enjoys staying connected with pop culture and all the new restaurants.
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