A painting by JaMaa Gee is displayed ouside of the Austin Town Hall. The piece, Untitled, was created using acrylic paint, marker, and paste. | Shanel Romain

This month, Black creatives across the country will be celebrating Black Fine Art Month. West Side residents can commemorate the month by visiting “Finding Ceremony,” an exhibit inside and outside Austin Town Hall, 5610 W. Lake St., which displays the work of 10 Black and Brown artists through Oct. 22. 

The exhibit is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be a closing ceremony on Oct. 22.

The exhibit is part of the Cultural Asset Mapping Project (CAMP), a community storytelling and data visualization project, according to CAMP’s website. The organization has created a year-long Anchor Curatorial Residency program at Chicago Park District sites across the city that explores “collective ways of being on the neighborhood level.”

Curator Tiffany Johnson, is looking to engage community members through non traditonal art spaces. | Shanel Romain

This year, researcher Tiffany M. Johnson is the curator-in-residence at Austin Town Hall. According to CAMP’s website, the “Finding Ceremony” “examines the tension between safety, care, and (in)visibility of Black and Brown lives in public space.”

“There is this idea around where fine art can be placed and I wanted to challenge that,” Johnson said. “Who are the artists that want to challenge where art can be shown? How do we engage with it and what are the materials that we can use that’ll last at least six weeks outside?”

The exhibiting artists include: Janelle Ayana Miller, Kenya Cree, Eseosa Edebiri, Tavia David, Cai Thomas, Antonia “Toni” Ruppert, JaMaa, Alexy Irving, Edna M. Togba, and collaborators Jade Williams and Cristabel Reynosa-Martinez of The Black Bloom Project.

Eseosa Edebiri created a work of art out of used punch needles, wood, and wire for a piece that sits in a tree called May the Flowers You Sow Grow. | Shanel Romain

Gee created a painting using acrylic paint, marker and pastel, which sits outdoors unframed and hanging, something that he doesn’t typically do with that type of art. Edebiri used punch needles, wood and wire for a piece that sits in a tree called May the Flowers You Sow Grow.

Community members Dushaun Branch, Jasmin Graham, and Emone Moore helped with the exhibit’s design. The Austin-based Forty Acres Fresh Market, Liz Abunaw’s fresh food initiative, has collaborated with CAMP to present DJ sets at the site every Thursday, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Residents are able to view artwork from 10 artists with work created both inside and outside the town hall Monday – Friday through October 22nd from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  October 22nd is the closing ceremony

For more information on the exhibit, visit: https://camp-chiparks.hub.arcgis.com/pages/anchor

CONTACT: shanel@growingcommunitymedia.org