Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Art Institute of Chicago Celebrates the Great Migration

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Diana Palomar, Murrell Higgins Duster, Sandra Rand and Shawnelle Logan attend the opening gala for “They Seek a City” exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago on March 2, 2013.

By Sandra C. Davis, Chicago Contributor

CHICAGO, IL –The Art Institute of Chicago in partnership with the Leadership Advisory Committee (LAC), the Art Institute’s African American Affiliate Group, commemorated the lives and struggles of immigrants from Eastern Europe, Mexico and African Americans from the South that shaped the cultural, social and political landscape of Chicago with a stylized opening gala celebration for the exhibition, “They Seek a City: Chicago and the Art of Migration, 1910–1950.”

Held on March 2, 2013, leading philanthropists, politicians, industrialists and arts enthusiasts enjoyed a creative cocktail reception, dinner, exhibition viewing, dessert buffet and gaming lounge.  The night’s entertainment was provided by soul-singer Terisa Griffin, Redmink Productions (retro dance performances) and a jazz band.

“They Seek a City” exhibition, now on view in the Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago through June 2, 2013, highlights the works of pioneering 20th century African American artists: Margaret Burroughs, Eldzier Cortor, Walter Ellison, Archibald Motley, Elizabeth Catlett, Gordon Parks and more.  Several pieces are borrowed from the South Side Community Art Center and the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum.

Leah Hope, award-winning reporter for ABC 7 News Chicago and LAC Leadership Advisory Committee Gala Chair, along with Sandra Rand, celebrated executive/philanthropist and LAC Patron Sponsor and Committee Member kept the eclectic event exciting and vibrant by mingling gracefully throughout the evening with the event planning company Strategic Events Solutions, Inc.

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Gala Co-Chairs Lester and Nancy McKeever, Leadership Advisory Committee Gala Chair Leah Hope, Governor Quinn, Exhibition Curator Sarah Kelly Oehler, and President of the Art Institute of Chicago Douglas Druick

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Leah Hope with Todd Brown and Dana Rice, co-chairs of the Leadership Advisory Committee

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Leah Hope and Honorary Gala Chair Michelle Boone

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Everett Rand, Trustee on the City Colleges of Chicago Board, Co-Founder of the annual Chicago Football Classic and President and CEO of Midway Wholesale Beverage, Inc.; Twyler Jenkins, Strategic Events Solutions event planner; and Tim Rand, Philanthropist, Co-Founder of the annual Chicago Football Classic and Founder of Majority Owner of Midway Airport Concessionaires

The Opening Gala Celebration Committee included Leadership Advisory Committee Gala Chair Leah Hope, Honorary Gala Chairs Governor Pat Quinn, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Michelle T. Boone, Programming Chair Ronne Hartfield, and Gala Co-Chairs Nancy and Lester McKeever.

“They Seek a City: Chicago and the Art of Migration, 1910–1950” is sponsored by the Exelon Foundation, Allstate Insurance, Cari and Michael Sacks, Splash – A Chicago Sun-Times Publication, Verizon Wireless, BMO Harris Bank, Denise and Gary Gardner, Chicago Community Trust, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Cheryl and Eric McKissack and the Macy's Foundation.

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Visit the exhibition website here and make plans to visit! The exhibition is on view until Sunday, June 2, 2013.

About The Leadership Advisory Committee (LAC)
The Leadership Advisory Committee of the Art Institute provides counsel, fresh perspectives and support to the museum on all matters related to the engagement and advancement of African Americans in the life of the institution.

Story submitted by Sandra C. Davis
Sandra is a Purpose-Driven Marketing Communications/Branding Strategist and Writer, who connects people, events, nonprofits, and companies with complementary brands and social causes that share their missions and target markets in order to amplify each entities social impact.  Ms. Davis is the Creative Director of Lioness Communications and a member of the Chicago Ideas Week Cooperative.  On Twitter, follow @Sandraloves.

Photos: All photographs taken by Victor Powell, Powell Photography