“Relearning, With Mentions” examines the work of Black identified artists utilizing family imagery and found vernacular imagery to explore themes of belonging, memory, and legacy building. This curatorial study is rooted in the visualization and conservation of Black family vernacular archives, histories, and shared experiences. The foundation of this development happened as a result of my own research into my family history and grandfather’s impact on Chicago’s Southside Architectural history. I was eager to learn more about how other artists are utilizing their own histories to formulate current understandings of informal archiving, belonging, and familial geographies through visual means – especially given Chicago’s rich history of Black Migration.
Joelle Mercedes, Darryl Terrell, Alexandria Eregbu, Renata Cherlise, Andrea Coleman, and Ciera McKissick – all based in Chicago, are exploring these familial concerns via collage, experimental video, archival film footage, fiber, and found photographs.
As part of this exhibition, a series of public artist talks and presentations will be scheduled. These public programs will provide opportunities to enforce local inquiry and in support of individuals conducting research or practicing archival work related to themes and concerns of the exhibit.
The public intention of this project seeks to further expose audiences to the work of artists working with archival family material through non-traditional methods.