Sep 18th 2021

RAISIN Artist Talk: South Side Chicago Family of Brett Swinney

@ 6018North

tune into Lumpen Radio

Opening Saturday, September 18th, at 4PM

On view through Sunday, December 19th

Keep the Land in the Family: Tales from 342

This conversation will be broadcast on Lumpen Radio on Saturday, September 18 at 4 PM:

Walt and Bessie Theus purchased 100 West 342 Place in 1965 with the intention of providing a home for their four children. For 56 years, the Theus family has made West 342 Place home. For this unique radio broadcast, RAISIN curator Asha Van and RAISIN artist Brett Swinney lay the foundation for the conversation between Caroline Theus Swinney and Walt Theus Jr. to discuss their experiences of growing up in a South Side Chicago home. Caroline and Walt discuss family life, growing up in their neighborhood, and eventually sharing their experiences with their children.


Brett Swinney is an organizer, producer, videographer, curator, photographer, web developer, podcast producer, and musician. He is the Community Arts Engagement Manager for the Arts + Public Life. Prior to Arts + Public Life, he served as: the co-founder/director of the Art Leaders of Color Network and AnySquared Projects; the Production Director for Links Hall; the Volunteer Coordinator for the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, and; the Program Manager for the Chicago Artists Resource. In addition to his career appointments, Brett has organized and curated dozens of gallery shows, performances, and community arts events for the last 25 years. Brett has received awards from the Propeller Fund, SAIC Enrichment Fund, and the Awesome Foundation. Brett earned his M.A. in Arts Administration & Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2014 and a B.A. in Photography from Columbia College Chicago in 2004.


6018North is pleased to announce RAISIN, an exhibition exploring themes from the classic play A Raisin in the Sun (1959) by Lorraine Hansberry. In the 1960s, A Raisin in the Sun was translated into 30 languages, and won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle award in its debut year. Produced in cities around the world, the play has been bringing solidarity to various struggles against injustice; from residential segregation within the United States, migration politics across Europe, class inequality in China, and apartheid in South Africa. With artworks created by Chicago and international artists, the RAISIN exhibition offers local and global perspectives on “home.”

RAISIN features work by: Kioto Aoki (Chicago) / Coletivo Anastácia Berlin (Berlin) / Jared Brown (Chicago) / Marina Viola Cavadini (Milan) / Amy Sanchez Arteaga + Misael Diaz (Cog•nate Collective) (So. California) / Işıl Eğrikavuk (Berlin) / Max Guy (Chicago) / Kyle Bellucci Johanson (Chicago) / Kierah “Kiki” King (Chicago) / Diya Khurana (Mumbai) / Kat Liu (Chicago) / AJ McClenon (Chicago) / Clemens Melzer (Berlin) / Joelle Mercedes (Chicago) / Chip Moody (Chicago) / Joseph Mora (Chicago) / Nahum, Ale de la Puente, Juan José Díaz Infante, and Tania Candiani (Mexico City and Berlin) / zakkiyyah najeebah dumas-o’neal (Chicago) / Alessia Petrolito (Turin) / Delilah Salgado (Chicago) / Aaron Samuels (Los Angeles) / Rohan Ayinde Smith (London) / Brett Swinney (Chicago) / Maryam Taghavi (Chicago) / Gloria Talamantes (Chicago) / Tran Tran (Chicago) / Unyimeabasi Udoh (Chicago) / Nayeli Vega (Berlin) / Amanda Williams (Chicago) / Jakob Wirth (Berlin) / Tintin Wulia (Australia) / Zhiyuan Yang (New York) / Nushin Yazdani (Berlin)

The exhibition is led by curator Asha Iman Veal, curatorial assistants Shannon Lin and Esraa, graduate curatorial assistant Ruby Dudasik, and exhibition associates Alexis Brocchi; in collaboration with the 6018North team Tricia Van Eck and Nathan Abhalter Smith.

RAISIN opens September 17 as a proud partner of the Chicago Architecture Biennial as they present their fourth edition The Available City. A full schedule of public programming will be announced soon, and includes conversations with visual artists, theater scholars, fair-housing advocates, and global migration advocates, as well as original artist-led workshops and performance events.

Our Inspiration

In 1959, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun debuted on Broadway. In this seminal work, Hansberry wrote about the Youngers, a fictional Black American family in Chicago whose late patriarch has left behind a life insurance policy that the family can use to purchase a home and enter the American middle class. Many challenges block this family’s path, and the four adult Youngers debate their options for self-determination within a race-biased society, and whether to move to an affordable yet segregated neighborhood, where they will not be welcome.

In 2021, this exhibition presents multidisciplinary artworks inspired by the local importance and global reach of Hansberry’s narrative.

“A radical Black woman playwright found her excellent work embraced as an arts-based format to encourage dialogue on inclusion and justice in cities across the world,” says curator Asha Iman. “Even after Lorraine Hansberry’s death, the span of her narrative has grown over the past sixty years.”



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