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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Two Latina girls stand near papers prompting them to think about representation. One bends down to write with a marker on the poster paper. The other stands and watches. Both have long dark hair and are middle school age.
  1. Apr 12, 2022 to Jul 9, 2022