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Rebecca Zorach, Mary Jane Crowe Professor in Art and Art History, Northwestern University. This event is free and open to the public, with a special invitation to people with a lived experience of homelessness.

  • Date: 9/17/2022 04:30 PM - 9/17/2022 06:30 PM
  • Location 4620 North Broadway, Chicago, IL, USA (Map)
  • More Info: Historic Gerber Building at the Wilson El Station, home of the future Chicago Market, the Uptown Coop


Drawing on research for a 2024 exhibition, this presentation addresses the long history of material reuse by Black Chicago artists. Long before climate change became a looming crisis in most people's minds, before sustainability was a buzzword, Black artists in Chicago were turning to recycled materials for reasons of access and thrift and using them to create remarkable artworks. The talk will take examples from the 1930s and 40s up until the present and recent past, including both renowned artists like Theaster Gates and lesser-known figures like the Depression-era art teacher C. Rosenberg Foster, who invented an art and teaching practice known as "Trashcraft."

Red Line Service is led by people with a lived experience of being unhoused. Red Line Service wields art world resources to build community, generating the sense of belonging and mutual care essential to securing and retaining housing. We collaborate with artists and cultural institutions to expand access to the art world, avowing that art can break the bonds of ingrained social roles and structures and forge new realities in which all can flourish.

Red Line Service: Art Histories is a series of lectures and conversations presented as part of Art Design Chicago Now, an initiative funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art that amplifies the voices of Chicago's diverse creatives, past and present, and explores the essential role they play in shaping the now.

RSVP through the checkout system is required.

A meal will be provided.