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Book Launch: Art for People's Sake

Join Rebecca Zorach for a discussion and signing of her new book Art for People’s Sake: Artists and Community in Black Chicago, 1965-1975.

Drawing on the Smart’s collection, Zorach will reflect on the prolific creative accomplishments of the Black Arts Movement in Chicago. Books will be available for purchase and refreshments will be provided.

About the book

In Art for People's Sake Rebecca Zorach traces the little-told story of the visual arts of the Black Arts Movement in Chicago, showing how artistic innovations responded to decades of racist urban planning that left Black neighborhoods sites of economic depression, infrastructural decay, and violence. Working with community leaders, children, activists, gang members, and everyday people, artists developed a way of using art to help empower and represent themselves. Showcasing the depth and sophistication of the visual arts in Chicago at this time, Zorach demonstrates the crucial role of aesthetics and artistic practice in the mobilization of Black radical politics during the Black Power era.

Zorach is Mary Jane Crowe Professor in Art and Art History at Northwestern University. In 2018, she curated the Smart Museum’s exhibition The Time Is Now! Art Worlds of Chicago’s South Side, 1960–1980