In conjunction with the exhibition Gary Simmons: Public Enemy (June 13–October 1, 2023) is a special collaborative event between Blanc Gallery and the MCA. Closing out the summer, it features conversations, performances, and dancing from an intergene
Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Gary Simmons: Public Enemy (June 13–October 1, 2023) MCA x Blanc: It’s A Dorian Sylvain Family Affair is a special collaborative event between Blanc Gallery and the MCA. Closing out the summer, it features conversations, performance, and dance from an intergenerational group of Black creatives who have been instrumental in shaping the artistic landscape of Chicago from the 1970s to the present.
The event is inspired by the exhibition All Children Draw, currently on view at Blanc Gallery, as well as by Gary Simmons’s Recapturing Memories of the Black Ark (2014–ongoing).
All Children Draw is focused on the artistic dialogue between three brothers, Kahari, Kari, and Katon Blackburn, and their mother Dorian Sylvain, a stalwart of arts education and participatory mural-making on the South Side. The exhibition explores the continuum of Sylvain’s decades-long practice, which has been nurtured by leaders of the Black Arts Movement, and how it informed her sons’ creative expression as children and formed a foundation for their artistic practices today.
Recapturing Memories of the Black Ark is a participatory artwork made up of a rearrangeable stage and speakers that serve as a platform for programming that highlights the diverse artistic and musical histories of the local area.
MCA x Blanc: It’s A Dorian Sylvain Family Affair is programmed collaboratively between the MCA, Blanc Gallery, and visionary Chicago artists to amplify the voices, sounds, and stories of an intergenerational group of Chicago-based Black creatives. Taking place over a single day at Blanc Gallery, the event is intentionally sited in the historically vital Black neighborhood of Bronzeville—the former home of luminaries such as Ida B. Wells, Louis Armstrong, and Sam Cooke, and the ideal location for this collaboration.