The Wall of Respect and People’s Art Since 1967—A Symposium

 

Friday, April 17, 5:45–8:15 p.m.
The Art Institute of Chicago, Modern Wing, Nichols Trustees Suite, 159 E. Monroe St.

Saturday, April 18, 9:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
SAIC Columbus Auditorium, 280 S. Columbus Dr.

Free and open to the public. Registration is required for event entry. Seating is limited and on a first come, first served basis. To register, please contact Drea Howenstein at ghowen@saic.edu or Sonja Falke at sfalke@saic.edu.

The Wall of Respect and People's Art Since 1967 is a symposium that launches a two-year critical conversation on the Wall of Respect that leads up to the mural's 50th anniversary.

In the summer of 1967, during a time of political turbulence, the visual artists of the Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC), together with muralist William Walker, painted a group mural on the side of a semi-abandoned, two-story building on the South Side of Chicago.

Known as the Wall of Respect, the highly visible community artwork celebrated black heroes, served as a platform for performance and rallies, and engendered a sense of collective ownership within the neighborhood, inspiring community mural movements around the US and the world.

Leading up to the Wall of Respect's 50th anniversary in 2017, this symposium invites the artists to revisit their creative political acts and to reflect on the Wall's legacy in a public conversation with other artists and educators. Through moderated roundtables, panels, and open discussions, the symposium will address the Wall's contributions to the artistic and political movements of its time and its continuing relevance to current times.

The symposium is funded by the Terra Foundation of American Art, hosted by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the South Side Community Art Center, and supported by the University of Chicago's Smart Museum and Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture, DePaul University, and Guild Literary Complex, in partnership with cultural institutions working in solidarity to honor the original artists in the Wall of Respect 2017 celebration.

 

DePaul University
Guild Literary Complex
Smart Museum of Art
Terra Foundation for American Art
The DuSable Museum of African American History
Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture
South Side Community Art Center
The Earl and Brenda Shapiro Center for Research + Collaboration

 

Friday, April 17

Opening Program and Reception

The Art Institute of Chicago, Modern Wing, Nichols Trustees Suite,
159 E. Monroe St.

5:45–6:15 p.m.

Wine Reception

6:15–8:30 p.m.

Welcome
Drea Howenstein, Associate Professor, Art Education, Sculpture, Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects, SAIC
Rebecca Zorach, Professor, Art History, University of Chicago

Opening Remarks
President Walter E. Massey, SAIC President

Short Remarks
Tracie D. Hall, Deputy Commissioner for Arts + Creative Industries, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE)

Bobby L. Rush, United States Representative, Illinois's 1st congressional district

Daniel K. (Danny) Davis, United States Representative, Illinois's 7th congressional district

Timuel D. Black, Professor Emeritus, City College of Chicago

Acknowledgement of Wall of Respect Artists
Tracie D. Hall, Deputy Commissioner for Arts and Creative Industries, City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE)

Tribute Readings
Sherae Rimpsey, Visual Artist
Roger Bonair-Agard, Poet

Keynote Introduction
Pemon Rami, Director of Educational and Public Programming, DuSable Museum

Keynote
Wadsworth Jarrell, Artist and Founding Member of AFRICOBRA

Reading and Remarks
Haki Madhubuti (Don L. Lee), Poet, Founder and President of Third World Press

Dr. Madhubuti will read Gwendolyn Brooks, and make critical comments on the Wall and historical contexts.

Closing
Cleveland Siddha Webber, Poet and Muralist, with Ancestral Resurrection Ensemble

"Music From the Walls of Universal Alleys to Resurrect Earth..."
Tiona Lindsey—flute, Dawi David Williams—bass, Dervine Trenoir—trumpet, Rhonda Gray—vocals, Aki Antonia—keyboards, Ron Prince—guitar


Saturday, April 18

Symposium

SAIC Columbus Auditorium, 280 S. Columbus Dr.

9:30 a.m.

Welcome and Introductions (Coffee, tea, and pastries)
Drea Howenstein, Associate Professor, Art Education, Sculpture, Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects, SAIC
Rebecca Zorach, Professor, Art History, University of Chicago

9:45 a.m.

Opening Address
"Circling the Wall of Respect: Interpreting the Layers of Participation by Artists, Community, and Documentarists"
Romi Crawford, Associate Professor, Visual and Critical Studies, Liberal Arts, SAIC

10:45 a.m.

Artists' Roundtable
"Teach me, tell me, about…Walls and Boundaries"

Moderator: Faheem Majeed, Artist and Former Director, South Side Community Art Center

Wall of Respect Panelists:

  • Darryl Cowherd
  • Bob Crawford
  • Eddie Harris
  • Florence Hawkins
  • Wadsworth Jarrell
  • Barbara Jones-Hogu
  • Carolyn Lawrence
  • Roy Lewis
  • Norman Parish III
  • Robert Sengstacke
  • Eugene "Edaw" Wade
  • C. Siddha Webber

12:00 p.m.

Lunch and Breakout Sessions with Artists

1:00 p.m.

General Discussion with Wall of Respect Artists
Moderator: Faheem Majeed

2:00 p.m.

Panel: The Legacy of the Wall of Respect
John Pitman Weber, Artist and Author; Bernard Williams, Artist; Arlene Crawford, Artist, Curator, and Educator

Moderator: Rebecca Zorach, Professor, Art History, University of Chicago

4:00-5:30 p.m.

Panel: Pedagogy of Respect
Damon Lamar Reed, Artist and Educator; Nicole Marroquin, Assistant Professor, Art Education, SAIC

Moderator: Olivia Gude, Professor of School of Art and Art History, University of Illinois at Chicago

Three generations of artist educators share examples of work that is rooted in the social and artistic values of the Wall of Respect and other early street muralists while evolving the aesthetics and practice of collaborative artmaking.

Following the presentations, the artists will engage audience members in discussing: How might renewed awareness of the historical, aesthetic, political and spiritual legacies of the Wall of Respect suggest new directions for contemporary art and contemporary pedagogy?

6:00 p.m.

Closing Reception