Homemade, with Love: More Living Room

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Image of a gallery with home furnishings, colored lights, and a painted "Art Studio" sign. Two Black women sit a table beneath the sign to welcome young people to the gallery for studio art days.
Homemade, with Love: More Living Room, installation at Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois, 2020. Photo by Julia Nucci Kelly

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Portrait of a young Black woman smiling in an art gallery, Before her is a brightly colored quilt and in the background art is installed on the walls with comfy furnishings for sitting, like a home setting.
Blair Ebony Smith, DRIVE Post-doctoral Fellow in Art Education and curator of Homemade, with Love: More Living Room, installation at Krannert Art Museum, 2020. Photo: L. Brian Stauffer

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Photo of black girls talking in a circle during Black Girl Genius Week Champaign 2019 (Urbana Middle School, Urbana, IL), October 2019. Photo by Jen Everett
Black Girl Genius Week Champaign 2019 (Urbana Middle School, Urbana, IL), October 2019. Photo by Jen Everett

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Work from SOLHOT session at Urbana Middle School, Urbana, IL, March 2019. Screenprinting with Paulina Camacho
Work from Saving Our Lives, Hear Our Truth [SOLHOT] session at Urbana Middle School, Urbana, IL, March 2019. Screenprinting with Paulina Camacho

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SOLHOT Art from Franklin Middle School, c. 2017.
SOLHOT Art from Franklin Middle School, c. 2017.

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Image of girls talking in a circle during Black Girl Genius Week Champaign 2019 (Urbana Middle School, Urbana, IL), October 2019. Photo by Jen Everett
Black Girl Genius Week Champaign 2019 (Urbana Middle School, Urbana, IL), October 2019. Photo by Jen Everett

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"Greatful to be a black girl in this world," SOLHOT Art from Franklin Middle School, c. 2017.
"Greatful to be a black girl in this world," SOLHOT Art from Franklin Middle School, c. 2017.

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"Just Because" Ritual, SOLHOT Art from Franklin Middle School, Champaign, IL.
"Just Because" Ritual, SOLHOT Art from Franklin Middle School, Champaign, IL.

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Notes on Black girlhood by Dr. Porshe’ R. Garner, SOLHOT Art from Franklin Middle School, Champaign, IL.
Notes on Black girlhood by Dr. Porshe’ R. Garner, SOLHOT Art from Franklin Middle School, Champaign, IL.

Exhibition

On view
Aug 27, 2020 to Jul 3, 2021
Main Level, Contemporary Gallery

What would it mean to co-create and be in a homemade space of interior worldmaking imagined for and with Black girls, women, and femmes as part of their everyday creative livelihoods?

Homemade, with Love: More Living Room is a multimedia installation that brings together interior design, audio and visual art made with Black girls. The exhibition seeks to merge local, national and global critical arts engagement with Black girls to curate a homemade space that centers Black girls’ creativity, design, and lived experience.

What would it mean to co-create homemade space for and with Black girls to activate their everyday creative dreams and livelihoods? Homemade, with Love: More Living Room is an exhibition featuring artists that visualize and sound everyday life, celebration, and creativity with Black girls and Black girlhood in mind and heart. This evolving installation  makes room for celebration, creativity and imagination of Black girls, women, and femmes. Homemade, located in the contemporary gallery, also serves as an active studio art space for critical arts-based making sessions with Black girls and those who love them.

In the fall, we installed past artwork made during Saving Our Lives Hear Our Truth’s (SOLHOT) sessions with Black girls locally at Urbana and Franklin Middle Schools; a portion of Unheard Sounds, Come Through, an installation by St. Louis-based artist Jen Everett; works by Black women artists in Krannert Art Museum’s collection, including Carrie Mae Weems, Margo Humphrey, and Doris Derby; as well as two time-based films by student and filmmaker, Kamari Smalls. In addition, the installation includes personal Gees Build family quilt from the curator, a collection of children 's books and theme-related texts and a listening station with records from her at-home collection.

This spring, we are set to add and install film work by Tiffany Harris, Kamari Smalls, and New Orleans based artist, cyan cian. New film work will particularly explore Black girlhood and our varying relationships to ecosystems, nature, movement and bodily experience. Visual art by Seth E. Davis (mixed-media collage), Nimot Ogunfemi (mixed media collage), and Huey Metropolis (digital illustration) will accompany time-based media to explore themes of Black experience, life and creativity, with particular focus on diverse femme and girl identities.

(Updated: February 15, 2021)

Curated by Blair Ebony Smith, DRIVE Postdoctoral Fellow in Art Education

Ricker Library of Architecture and Art has developed a library guide that includes details about work contained in this gallery, as well as supplementary materials and curator-recommended reading: Library Guide for Homemade, with Love: More Living Room

An illustrated checklist and exhibition notes by Blair Ebony Smith is available for download: Homemade, with Love Checklist

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Hal Fischer Photographs: Seriality, Sexuality, Semiotics

Active

8/26/2021 - 12/22/2021

Organizing institution: Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinios Urbana-Champaign

Primary Curator: Amy Powell


Hal Fischer (United States, b. 1950) is a gay conceptual photographer and an alumnus (BFA ’73) of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Hal Fischer Photographs: Seriality, Sexuality, Semiotics presents a first full retrospective of his work, showcasing all his photographic series, which were created in San Francisco during the late 1970s—the heyday of gay liberation. The exhibition includes a generous selection from Fischer’s earlier work (some of it produced in Urbana), which has not been publicly displayed in decades. This earlier work contextualizes Fischer’s development as an artist, from his student days at the University of Illinois to his creative maturity in San Francisco. Viewing his famous photographic series—Gay Semiotics (1977), 18th near Castro St. x 24 (1978), Boy-Friends (1979), and Cheap Chic Homo (1979)—in light of earlier work makes clear that Fischer’s concerns with portraiture, homoeroticism, formal experimentation, and the tensions between word and image, were present in nascent form at the start of his career. A retrospective view likewise amplifies the viewer’s appreciation of Fischer’s signature visual wit: his images of gay SM iconography document a sexual subculture while also provoking amusement. In the thick of San Francisco’s conceptual photography ferment during the late 1970s, Fischer pursued his image making in three compelling directions simultaneously. Finding himself “at the center of the gay universe,” he began creating more frankly sexual photographs. Second, he focused intensively on the potential of photographic series, wherein visual meaning derives as much from the relationships between and among photographs as from within any single frame. Third, his heady encounter with the linguistic and philosophical concepts of structuralism during this period encouraged Fischer to experiment with the connections between photography and language. Together these developments led to his iconic photographic series Gay Semiotics, in which the subterranean codes and insignia of gay cruising are elevated, not without irony, to a comprehensive sign system. Tongue in cheek, Fischer presents the photographer as an ethnographic explorer, cataloguing and decoding the mating rituals of a distinct urban tribe. His photographs of 1970s gay male life capture a pre-internet era, before online dating profiles, hook-up sites, or Grindr. Fischer’s images subtly reveal how gay men’s visual codes for telegraphing desire resonate with—but also clash with—the visual codes of photography. His work holds special historical interest because he stopped making photographs around 1980. Fischer’s photographs preserve a unique era of sexual experimentation—and, retrospectively, sexual innocence—that ended tragically with the onset of the AIDS epidemic in 1981. This exhibition provides an opportunity to witness and appreciate the full scope of his photographic career. [Guest Curator: Tim Dean, James M. Benson Professor in English]







Exhibition Objects (71)




Exhibition Images (1)





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Paul Kelpe, Man and Machines (Abstraction #5), 1934. Oil, canvas. Commissioned through the New Deal art projects 1943-4-209
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