Free and open to the public

Closed for reinstallation

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Opening Celebration: Calling on the Past

Painting of a veiled figure speaking on an ornate telephone

Join the Smart Museum of Art for an evening of art, performance, and conversation in celebration of the special exhibition Calling on the Past. This exhibition invites visitors to experience the Smart’s collection anew, and highlights recent acquisitions on display for the first time by Rasheed Araeen, Amir H. Fallah, Ivy Haldeman, Whitfield Lovell, Lauren Quin, and Kishio Suga. 

The after-hours reception features performances by puppetry artist Samuel J. Lewis II and poet Audrey Petty, a walkthrough with exhibition curator Jennifer Carty, and gallery talks throughout the evening led by our Museum Educators. Plus, food, drink, and conversation. 

FREE, open to the public. Advanced registration encouraged. Walk-ins will be welcome as space allows.  


6 pm Reception begins
6:30 pm Welcoming remarks
6:45 pm Curatorial walkthrough
7:15–8 pm Drop-in talks by select works
8 pm Audrey Petty in-gallery poetry reading
8:30 pm Samuel J. Lewis II performance, with music by Hunter Diamond

Galleries will be open extended hours, 5–9 pm

South Side Openings and Events

This program is presented in collaboration with EXPO CHICAGO as part of EXPO ART WEEK.

On Tuesday, April 11, kick off your evening with a Toast to the South Side at The Study and then explore a few of the other galleries, museums, and exhibition spaces in our dynamic community of arts and culture as Arts + Public Life, DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center, Hyde Park Art Center, Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures, West Asia & North AfricaLogan Center Exhibitions, Neubauer Collegium for Culture and SocietyThe Renaissance Society, and South Side Community Art Center, among others, all open with late hours and other events throughout the evening. 

Logo for EXPO Chicago

About the performers

Audrey Petty is the editor of High Rise Stories: Voices from Chicago Public Housing (Voice of Witness/Haymarket Press) and co-editor of The Long Term: Resisting Life Sentences, Working Toward Freedom (Haymarket Press). Her writing has appeared in such publications as Saveur, Oxford American, Poetry, Callaloo, ColorLines, The Chicago Neighborhood Guidebook (Belt) and the Best Food Writing anthology. She is currently a Fellow at the Invisible Institute and a member of the Prison + Neighborhood Arts/Education Project. 

Samuel J. Lewis II has performed as an actor, poet, vocalist, and as a puppeteer. He calls himself an accidental puppeteer because, in the early 2000s, he came across a vintage Black Americana marionette in an attic, which started him on an unexpected puppetry journey. Sam explores racial issues and negative iconography with that marionette, Jus Hambone. Sam has grown a deep love for puppetry, a dynamic storytelling art form. He also gets to explore his love of theater and music in his work, which brings him so much joy. In late 2018 Sam learned of incredible family history that has taken him back over 200 years. That revelation redirected his practice. He commissioned the creation of puppets to unpack these histories. He has been workshopping with the objects, in a fulfilling collaboration with his two sons while continuing his family research, to write a collection of stories for a full-length puppetry and performance piece titled Finding My Place.  

Hunter Diamond is a creative woodwind and sound artist living and performing in Chicago. A mixture of conceptual, composed, and improvised performances keep him fully embedded in the Chicago creative arts community. In 2021 Hunter founded Curio Records which serves as the primary outlet for his recorded projects. Hunter is currently in post production on several new recordings: a new album from Black Diamond, “MASKS” (a multi-media solo project), and “Metal and Wood,” a series of improvised duets with drummers from around the country recorded between 2019 and 2021.  

Image: Amir H. Fallah, Calling on the Past, 2018, Acrylic on canvas. Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, Gift of the 2018 Northern Trust Purchase Prize, 2018.46.