CHICAGO –– Woman Made Gallery (WMG) is proud to honor Sapphire & Crystals at WMG’s 27th anniversary gala.
Sapphire & Crystals is a collective of African American women artists in Chicago. 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. Throughout its thirty-two-year history, Sapphire and Crystals has held exhibitions at many galleries and art centers within the city and beyond including ARC Gallery, Artemisia Gallery, Carson Pirie Scott Vergie Buxton Gallery, Wood Street Gallery, Nicole Gallery, Bagit Gallery, Satori Fine Art, Union Street Gallery, South Shore Cultural Center Fine Art Gallery, Woman Made Gallery, and Noyes Cultural Art Center. The individual work by each member addressing various themes such as race and gender, limited palettes, and honoring their pasts, exemplifies the diversity within the group.
Current active Sapphire & Crystals members include Rose Blouin, Juarez Hawkins, Candace Hunter, Renee Williams Jefferson, Makeba Kedem-DuBose, Joyce Owens, Felicia Grant Preston, Patricia Stewart, Dorian Sylvain, Shirley J. Sullivan, Pearlie Taylor, Arlene Turner-Crawford, Rhonda Wheatley, Shahar Caren Weaver and Shyvette Williams.
Members over the years include Dorothy Carter, Joanne Scott, Malika Jackson, Trish Williams, Cheryl Toles, Nicole Malcolm, Janet Sheard, Stephanie Bird, Lillian Morgan-Lewis, Carol James, Akosua Bandele, Evelyn Davis-Frazier, Simone Bouyer, Faith Davis, Debra Dilworth, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Monica Plott Ratcliff, Annie Lee, Dorothy Perry, Beverly Warner, and Patricia Bohannon. (Note that I moved Joanne Scott to the Former Member category since she hasn’t exhibited with us in several years and no one seems to know how to contact her.)
Members who have passed away and are held in memory are Marva Pitchford Jolly, Venus Blue, Renee Townsend and Anna M. Tyler.
The Sapphire & Crystals collective was recently featured in the “Black Metropolis” segment of the series Art & Design in Chicago which aired locally on WTTW (October, 2018). Members were also featured on the arts site Sixty Inches From Center in “The Vessels that Marva Made: An Interview with Members of Sapphire & Crystals,” December, 2018.
Our most recent exhibition was “Looking Forward with Love: Lessons Learned From Our Past,” a Sapphire & Crystals Retrospective, South Side Community Art Center, 2018.
(Collage Image of SAC by Rose Blouin)
Gallery Hours: Thurs–Fri noon–6p.m. | Sat–Sun noon–4p.m. | Admission: Free
Enter through Parking Lot at North Entrance on 21st Street
Dial 271 on Callbox … and then press ‘Call’
Woman Made Gallery is supported in part by grants from The Arts Work Fund; The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events; The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; The Efroymson Family Fund, a CICF Fund; The Illinois Arts Council Agency; The MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; The Joyce Foundation; a major anonymous donor; and the generosity of its members and contributors.