CHICAGO — Woman Made Gallery (WMG) is pleased to host an exhibition featuring art by Sapphire and Crystals, a collective of professional African American women artists in Chicago. It includes new art work addressing the theme, a silent auction during the reception, and a collaborative altar installation.
Conceived initially by Marva Pitchford Jolly and Felicia Grant Preston, the idea that women artists of African descent produce their own shows resulted in the collective’s first exhibition at the historic South Side Community Art Century (SSCAC) in 1987, with the second exhibition following at Nicole Gallery in Chicago’s River North in 1988. Throughout its 25 year history Sapphire and Crystals has held exhibitions at many galleries and art centers within the city and beyond. The individual personal work by each member addressing various themes such as race and gender, limited palettes, and honoring their pasts, exemplifies the diversity within the group. The signature self-portrait silent auction takes bids during the opening reception and presents affordable collecting opportunities for visitors on the first night only. The collaborative site-specific altar installation is an exhibit feature distinct to this collective.
Included are works in a variety of media by Rose Blouin, Makeba Kedem Dubose, Juarez Hawkins, Renee Williams Jefferson, Marva Pitchford Jolly, Joyce Owens, Felicia Grant Preston, Joanne Scott, Patricia Stewart, Dorian Sylvain, Shirley J. Sullivan, Pearlie Taylor, Arlene Turner-Crawford, Rhonda Wheatley, Shahar Caren Weaver, and Shyvette Williams.
Curator, Joyce Owens earned a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. A professor of painting and drawing at Chicago State University, she also curates for the two on-campus galleries. Owens has been sought out to jury fine art exhibitions and art fairs at the Museum of Science and Industry, The DuSable Museum, the Women’s Caucus for Art and The Wells Street Art Fair to name a few. Owens serves on the Advisory Committee for the Department of Cultural Affair’s Chicago Artists Month since 2002. She consults with the Chicago Artists Coalition, and is on the Advisory Board of Woman Made Gallery. Owens is an associate editor for The Journal of African American History.
(Banner Image: artwork by Rose Blouin)