Jun 9th 2023

The NAACP Celebrates Black Artists

@ Evanston Art Center

1717 Central St, Evanston, IL 60201

Opening Friday, June 9th, from 5PM - 8PM

On view through Sunday, June 11th

The Evanston Art Center (EAC) is excited to present a new exhibition, “The NAACP Celebrates Black Artists”, curated by Fran Joy.

“The Evanston/North Shore Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is excited to be a sponsor of an upcoming art exhibit at the Evanston Arts Center. Last year, the branch was a co-sponsor with Northwestern’s Block Museum with an exhibit on the History of Violence and Lynching. During that time, the branch recognized the important need to support local African American artists and their outstanding work. Too often, there is no venue for Black artists. Using our outreach and networking, the Evanston/North Shore NAACP believes that we can help Black artists receive recognition for their gifts, while helping to strengthen the power of art in our community.”

– Rev. Dr. Michael Nabors, President of the Evanston/North Shore NAACP


“I welcome the NAACP to the Evanston Art Center to celebrate Black Artists.

When I was asked to curate this project by Rev Dr. Michael Nabors of the NAACP, it was after a zoom call with curator Janet Dees of the Block Museum at NU, Dr. Nabors, and Dr. Margarite Rose Vendryes, the former professor at York College in NY and the former incoming Dean of the Arts at Tuft’s University in Boston and myself.

Unfortunately, Dr. Vendryes passed away suddenly two weeks after that call. As a curator, I would like to dedicate this exhibit to her memory because of her history and work in collaborating for her historical support and work with Black artists in social justice activism.

I want to thank Paula Danoff, CEO and the Evanston Art Center staff for their continued support and participation with artists and curators of color. I would like to thank Dr. Nabors, Willie Shaw and the NAACP for the support and celebration of Black artists and their contributions to social justice through their art.”

– Fran Joy, Artist, Art Consultant and Curator, Board Member of EAC


Ojo Agi, Raissa Bailey, Sholo Beverly, Ben Blount, Melissa Blount, Alpha Bruton, Paula Cofresi, Matthew Dicks, Debra Flint-Salter, Al Hawkins, Yancey Hughes, J Allen Hyde, Makeba Kedem-DuBose, Crystal McDonald, Tasha Nemo, Yaounde Olu, Sam Onche, Laju Sholola, Jevoid Simmons, T-Mo, John Wangendo, Angela Williams, Eli Williamson

“The NAACP Celebrates Black Artists” will be on display in the Evanston Art Center’s Main Second Floor Gallery + Atrium from May 27 – June 11, 2023, with a reception on Friday, June 9, from 5-8pm. The exhibition and reception and Exhibition Tour are free and open to the public.

Evanston Art Center, a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization, is dedicated to fostering the appreciation and expression of the arts among diverse audiences. The Art Center offers extensive and innovative instruction in broad areas of artistic endeavor through classes, exhibitions, interactive arts activities, and community outreach initiatives.

Evanston Art Center is located at 1717 Central Street, Evanston, IL. Evanston Art Center Gallery Hours: Monday– Thursday, 9 am–6 pm; Friday, 9 am–5 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 9 am–4 pm. First and second-floor gallery spaces are accessible. Limited free parking is available. Masks are optional but strongly recommended for students, visitors and staff.

For more information, please visit us online at www.evanstonartcenter.org or contact Audrey Avril, Manager of Exhibitions, at 847.475.5300 or aavril@evanstonartcenter.org. Visit the Evanston Art Center on Facebook: www.facebook.com/EvanstonArtCenter/, follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/#!/evartcenter, or on Instagram: @EvanstonArtCenter.


EXHIBITION DATES: May 27 – June 11, 2023
OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, June 9, 5-8pm
GALLERY HOURS: Monday–Thursday, 9 am–6 pm; Friday, 9 am–5 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 9 am–4 pm


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