Author Archives: Marissa Baker

Ralph Arnold: Experiments in American Culture

With contributions from Erin Thomas. “I’m an American artist. That’s how I want to be known.”                                                 … Continue reading

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Yaounde Olu: Atomic Energies and Black Struggle

Yaounde Olu’s Prize Fighters, 1972, one of the ten artworks recovered from the 1978 art theft at the Center, remains in the Center’s collection today. Inspired by George Bellow’s 1924 painting of of a famous fight between Dempsey and Firpo, … Continue reading

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Highlights from the Center’s Art Collection

The Center’s art collection contains over 300 artworks in a range of media, including sculpture, painting, print, photography, and collage. The first artwork to enter the collection was Richmond Barthé’s Shoe Shine Boy. The sculpture was donated by attorney Frank … Continue reading

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The Historic Artists and Models Ball at the SSCAC

The annual tradition of the South Side Community Art Center’s Artists and Models Ball, a night of revelry, theater and music, began as part of the Center’s fundraising efforts in 1939. The Sponsors Committee wanted to create community-wide support for the … Continue reading

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Art for the People: William Walker’s “Wall of Love” at the South Side Community Art Center

In the spring of 1971, the “Wall of Love” was installed on the exterior of the third story of the South Side Community Art Center. The panels were painted by William Walker, the father of the Chicago mural movement, at … Continue reading

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Howard Mallory, 1930-2012

Adorned with pieces of cut glass, car decals, and raffia, the three wide-eyed faces of Howard Mallory’s Untitled stare intently out from a heavy wooden frame. The sculpture was purchased at one of the Center’s annual art auctions and was later accessioned … Continue reading

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Charles White, Chicago’s Native Son

Among the treasures of the South Side Community Art Center collection is Spiritual, painted by Charles White in 1941. Spiritual was one of the last works made by White before he left Chicago for New Orleans.[1] For artists like White, in the 1930s and … Continue reading

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Herbert Nipson’s Contributions to the South Side Community Art Center

The painting “Ghetto,” by Jose Williams, was donated to the South Side Community Art Center’s permanent collection by Herbert Nipson. The painting still bares a hand-written inscription, “Property of Herbert Nipson,” on its stretcher.  The work is but one of many … Continue reading

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1978 Art Theft at the South Side Community Art Center

On the night of April 24, 1978, a rear window of the South Side Community Art Center was broken. The thieves who entered the Center late that night absconded with seventeen works of art, many of which were hanging in … Continue reading

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Greetings from the archives!

Dear Friends and Colleagues, Welcome to the next phase of the “Art of a Community Speaks” blog. I will be contributing to the ongoing research into the South Side Community Art Center’s art collection, the people who have passed through … Continue reading

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