Together We Can Dream

July 18–August 13, 2017

Installation view of Together We Can Dream

This exhibition invites you into a dream, a stream of consciousness that encapsulates snippets of African American history and art.

Inspired by Theresa, the subject of Dawoud Bey's large photograph, and Nick Cave's Soundsuit sculpture, this exhibition invites the viewer to grapple with issues relating to slavery, segregation, and stereotypes. Together We Can Dream has been arranged in a generally chronological manner and was installed to acknowledge the highs and lows of the African American experience in America. This dreamscape questions notions of progressive ideals and unity, especially in cultural institutions. 

Together We Can Dream was curated from the Smart Museum's collection by a group of fourteen teens participating in the Smart’s summer art program. Produced in partnership with the Chicago Housing Authority, the 6-week program explores public art and museums across Chicago. They are led by a team of mentors that includes artist Luis Sahagun, historian Ashley Finigan, Smart Museum Docent Jacqueline Finley, and Smart Museum staff. 

The exhibition is accompanied by original texts produced by the teen contributors in response to the artworks.