Sep 27th 2018

Bronzeville Historical Society and OPEN Center for the Arts collaborate to present an Art Design Chicago event, part of the Chicago Cultural Alliance’s program series. Join community-based artists in Bronzeville and Little Village as they discuss the contributions of fiber arts to social movements like The Great Migration and Immigration from Mexico to Chicago. The program will begin with a discussion on how specific fiber-based works from Nettie Nesbary, Lettie Sabbs, Lilly Torres, and Adriana Peña connect the past and present social movements by telling stories of their history, culture, and families.

Art Design Chicago is a spirited celebration of the unique and vital role Chicago plays as America’s crossroads of creativity and commerce. Led by the Terra Foundation for American Art, this citywide partnership of cultural organizations explores Chicago’s art and design legacy with more than 25 exhibitions and hundreds of events throughout 2018. Learn more at

In the spirit of the citywide initiative, Chicago Cultural Alliance presents a program series that examines the art and design contributions of immigrant communities in five gateway neighborhoods: Albany Park, Bronzeville, Chinatown, Humboldt Park, and Greektown. Rooted in cultural heritage and local neighborhoods, each event offers art and design perspectives that highlight often-overlooked and ever-changing creative culture in the neighborhoods.

Additional Information:

African American Historians and Quilt Makers Nettie Nesbary and Lettie Sabbs are twin sisters born in Chicago and began quilting in 1998. Their heritage quilt depicts a portrait of their great, great maternal grandparents who were born into slavery in Mississippi and also symbols that run-away slaves would look for to signal the way to safe passage.

Artist Lilly Torres is a Chicago native, raised in the Little Village neighborhood. Lilly is a self-taught artist that focuses on textiles, painting, ink and wood burning. Her art work is influenced by abstract expressionism, surrealism and graffiti. Lilly will discuss environmental justice in Little Village.

Artist Adriana Peña is a Chicago-based artist. Although her work is inspired largely by the love of Mexico, it is also an expression of her personal belief and admiration as well as respect and love for nature. Adriana share details about Mexican traditional embroidery in a new society.

Skyla Hearn, Chief Archivist of the DuSable Museum of African American History, will lead the conversation. Following the discussion, a pop-gallery with the artists’ works will be available for viewing.

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