Jeni Ensslin photos for theYOUjournal
by Jeni Ensslin & theYOUjournal Staff
BLACK (N) (V) (ADJ), a month long series of engaging opportunities for dialogue surrounding the experience of living as black and living alongside those who are black, kicked off with the VIP event Sunday night at the Karcher Art Gallery in downtown Waukegan.
The event marks the start of Black History Month.
Curators of the show, Waukegan artists Nicole Romany and William Jerard (aka Jerard Coleman) hope to pair classic elements of art with engrossing and familiar experiences of the black community.
On Saturday Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. the Karcher Art Gallery will feature William Jerard’s docu-film “Black – (n) (adj) (v).” The film promises to dig deep into the ever-evolving culture of blackness. Jerard, a world traveler who is set to embark on another trip to India, sits down in the film with more than 40 people who identify with the term “black.” Visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/157597327942896/
The BLACK show was created to have spaces of intrigue, safety and comfort, while guiding visitors through art from the worlds of canvas, music, film, oration, photography & culinary delights.
According to the BLACK Facebook page, “In these havens of expression, the attendees will be challenged to explore and evolve their definitions and preconcieved notions of the black experience.”
Show curator William Jerard displayed some of his works, along with Yvonne Pitts of North Chicago who focused on multimedia and works that feature photos of her own family. In all, seven artists, most with ties to Waukegan, were represented at the show which includes 45 pieces of art.
Works include multidimensional and mixed media, photos, canvas, and wood-burns. Also included in the month long event are a film, oration and “culinary delights.”
Romany and Jerard wanted to do something unique for Black History Month, thus the BLACK show was born. Artists who featured works in the show were asked the question “What is your idea of black?” This culminated for the show an array of beautiful, poignant, significant and uplifting works all rolled into one.
Other themes important to project organizers are community inclusion, collective expression and familial ties.
Also included in the month long event will be the film screening – Feb. 6 at 7 p.m.; a symposium – Feb. 13 at 5 p.m.; a round table – Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. (during the February ArtWauk); and an artist workshop – Feb. 27 at 2 p.m.. The close of the show will take place Sunday Feb. 28 at 5 p.m.