Denise and Gary Gardner on Why African American Art Matters

Photo courtesy of Whitten Sabbatini for The New York Times
Photo courtesy of Whitten Sabbatini for the "New York Times"

Denise and Gary Gardner have been featured in the New York Times for the inspiring collection of African American artist made work in their South Side home. With more than 100 pieces on display, as well as a few out on loan, the Gardners are champions of current local creatives as well as those from the past. Denise, who serves on SAIC's Board of Governors and the Art Institute of Chicago’s Board of Trustees, is a staunch supporter and sponsor of the current Charles White (SAIC 1937–38) retrospective at the museum. Their ever-growing collection features various works by other faculty and alums of the the School. Such as, Professor of Painting and Drawing Candida Alvarez, Sanford Biggers (MFA 1999), Professor of Fashion, Body and Garment Nick Cave, Elizabeth Catlett (SAIC 1941, HON 2006), and Kerry James Marshall (HON 2017). Gary Gardner told the Times, “Denise is the family curator. I buy what I like. But she’s brought structure and meaning to it.”

Visit the New York Times online see more photos of their beautiful home, selected works from their collection, and read about other significant African American artists.

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