Black Creativity exhibition to showcase artists

By Jen Bland

Black Creativity 1994 will showcase African-American artists and their works.994 marks the 23rd year the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) in Chicago has sponsored the Black Creativity exhibition. It is an annual celebration of African-American achievements correlated with Black History Month.

As part of the celebration there will be a juried art exhibition open to African-American artists worldwide. Diane McCain, community programs manager of the MSI, said entries have been received from Africa.

The competition is not limited to just students, McCain said. Novices and professionals alike can enter their works.

“This competition gives everyone the opportunity to strut their stuff,” she said.

This year’s theme is “African-Americans in the Fields of Medicine,” but art entries are not required to incorporate this theme said Jason Harris, media coordinator for MSI.

Artists can submit up to four entries in eight categories. The categories include ceramics, drawings, folk art, paintings, photography, prints, sculpture and textiles. To receive an entry form students can call 312-684-2436.

Harris said most entries are received from the Chicago and Midwest areas. He said more than 100 works are chosen from hundreds of entries.

There is a $15 entry fee and students must send a 35 mm color slide of each work they wish to enter. The works must have been completed within the past three years and not have been previously shown in Black Creativity.

Each slide must include the date completed, the name and a dot indicating the direction and dimensions of the work. The slides will be returned upon notification.

Over $5,000 in prizes and purchase awards will be awarded in the eight different categories. Harris said there have not been any definite decisions made about how much money will be awarded to each winner.

Awards will be presented at a reception and press preview Jan. 26, 1994. All entries will remain on display through Feb. 28, 1994 in the west court of the MSI. Artists must pick up their artwork March 4 through March 6.

Artworks will be judged by Jacqueline Richards, artist and assistant professor of the Fine Arts Department of Illinois State University; Cheryl Sutton, art consultant for Sutton and Associates in Gary, Ind., and Michael Barlow, artist and assistant director for programming, Urban Gateways in Chicago.

McCain said she is not sure what the works will be judged on because she has never worked with this year’s judges before. She said the judging process is a long process.

The judges will review the slides Dec. 18 and notices will be sent to entrants the next week telling them whether their work was accepted or not. Accepted artworks must be at the MSI by Jan. 9 and will be judged for placement the next week.

McCain said many artists sell their works at the exhibition and the exhibition is also attended by gallery owners. She said entrants are asked whether or not they wish to sell their work before it is displayed. The museum does not collect any commission from the sale.

“This gives artists another avenue to display their art,” McCain said.