Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor



ART Contemporary yet timeless exhibition 'Young, Gifted and Black' arrives at Gallery 400
by Henry Roach

This article shared 1002 times since Wed Oct 13, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

To be a Black art collector is to stand on the shoulders of a proud lineage. Throughout history, Black patrons have supported Black artists when nobody else did.

Bernard Lumpkin—a New York City-based art patron, educator and philanthropist—is proud to continue this legacy as his exhibition, "Young, Gifted and Black: The Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection of Contemporary Art," embarks on a national tour. Accompanied by a book of the same name, the exhibition is currently on display at Gallery 400, at the University of Illinois Chicago.

The title itself honors the lineage of Black artists. Lumpkin was reminded of the phrase when he watched actor Chadwick Boseman accept a 2019 SAG award for the film Black Panther."Boseman began his speech: "To be young, gifted and Black. We all know what it's like to be told that there is not a place for you to be featured. Yet you are young, gifted and Black."

The opening phrase, borrowed from singer Nina Simone and playwright Lorraine Hansberry, encapsulated the exhibition's message, Lumpkin said. The book and the exhibition were in place, and he and the curators were brainstorming titles. "That title, at some point, just landed—and just stuck. And I'm glad that people have embraced it," Lumpkin said.

"Young, Gifted and Black" is the first stand-alone exhibition to emerge from the private collection Lumpkin has built with his husband, Carmine Boccuzzi, for 15 years. Writer and critic Antwaun Sargent curated the exhibition alongside artist Matt Wycoff from the collection's more than 400 works of contemporary artists of African descent.

Sargent, whom Lumpkin had known as an authority on Black visual art and culture, was new to Lumpkin's collection, whereas Wycoff had worked closely with Lumpkin for 10 years. Working together, Lumpkin said, they "were able to present a vision which was both refreshing and also very knowledgeable."

The exhibition includes the work of 50 artists and is structured around four themes: Black, Color, Portraiture and Materiality. At Gallery 400, these themes are not separated but intertwined. Lorelei Stewart, director of Gallery 400, explained that the gallery mixed the themes intentionally, as they were given creative freedom when installing the exhibition.

While the Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection holds mostly artwork from the past decade, "Young, Gifted and Black" showcases two successive generations of Black artists. The intergenerational dialogue is central to the conversation the curators put forth with the artwork. In his essay "In Color, On the Land," Wycoff notes that the older generation "is presented as both lineage and foil for the younger; while the younger generation is presented as the fruit of the older generation's struggle for equal representation."

Lumpkin included two generations to emphasize that young Black artists today are working within a tradition of Black art. This tradition includes Black patronage. "I'm always thankful and grateful for the shoulders that I'm standing on as a collector," Lumpkin said.

Before he was a collector, Lumpkin produced educational programming about social issues at MTV News for a decade. Many of these programs revolved around artists, prompting Lumpkin to consider how artists inspire and empower young people.

But it wasn't until 2009, when his father died, that Lumpkin began to re-evaluate the private collection he had been building with Boccuzzi for some years. That year, Lumpkin also left MTV to dedicate himself to the collection, focusing it on young artists of African descent.

Education and social activism, two values Lumpkin learned from his parents, drive his collecting ethos. This includes advocating for the young artists from whom he buys pieces; Lumpkin helps them to both build personal relationships and connect with professional networks. He also supports institutions that also support the artists.

Gallery 400 is consequently one of many university stops on the tour. "I think it's really important for young people to listen to [these artists] in the same way that they would listen to their favorite authors, or a movie, or their favorite musicians," Lumpkin said. "These visual artists have a lot to say to young people about the world we live in now, and what the world can hopefully look like in the future."

Art classes from UIC have visited the gallery to discuss and analyze the art, according to Stewart. Gallery 400, through the efforts of Public Programs Manager Denis Mwaura, has coordinated six educational public programs that place "Young, Gifted and Black" artists in dialogue with Chicago-based artists and scholars. For example, in September, Gallery 400 hosted a discussion with artist Jacolby Satterwhite about how queer desire and Black male desire are represented in his nine-minute exhibition video, "Reifying Desire 5."

Lumpkin finds himself educating through his collection in private as well as in public. Sometimes people don't realize Lumpkin himself is Black and queer until a conversation about the artwork reveals it.

"It's a lot about letting people know, this is who I am, this is my family, this is who I come from, this is my heritage. And also for my children, it's about reminding them who they are, where they come from, what their roots are. And I'm very grateful to be able to express a part of myself in that way," Lumpkin said.

Lumpkin views the concept of "Young, Gifted and Black" as specific, but also timeless. It not only applies to artists, but to curators, museums, exhibitions, and art educators. Lumpkin believes the phrase took on extra meaning during the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020 and 2021.

"Young, gifted and Black is about a movement. It's a movement in the art world and it's a movement in the larger world to acknowledge, to support and celebrate Black talent in all of its forms," he said.

After concluding its Chicago run, "Young, Gifted and Black" will visit five more university venues across America through 2023. The exhibition is available to view at Gallery 400, at 400 S. Peoria St., through Dec. 11. Admission is free. For more information, visit

This article shared 1002 times since Wed Oct 13, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

ART 'Frida: Immersive Dream' coming to Germania Place in 2022 2021-11-30
- Lighthouse Immersive, North America's leading producer of ground-breaking experiential art exhibits, and Maestro Immersive Art announce their newest immersive art installation, "Frida: Immersive Dream." This exhibition will run at Lighthouse ...

Gay News

MCA announces new curatorial leadership 2021-11-18
- The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA) announces the appointments of two new leaders to its curatorial team—Rene Morales, as the James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator; and Jamillah James, as Manilow Senior Curator. Morales and James ...

Gay News

Steppenwolf opens Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center 2021-11-04
- On Nov. 2, Steppenwolf Theatre Company opened its new 50,000-square-foot theater building and education facility, the Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center. Designed by architect Gordon Gill FAIA of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill ...

Gay News

THEATER 'A Michael Martin Tribute' Nov. 11-28 2021-10-27
- Curious Theatre Branch will host a three-week celebration of the solo performance monologues of the late Michael Martin, curated by Kelly Anchors. A Michael Martin Tribute will take place Nov. 11-28 at Pride Arts Center, 4139 ...

Gay News

Mayor Lightfoot, DCASE reveal more fall, holiday event details 2021-10-22
--From a press release - CHICAGO—Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) today announced more details for DCASE fall and holiday traditions as Chicago's vital arts and culture scene continues to safely and fully ...

Gay News

ATTRACTIONS Pizza pop-up, WNDR, Wrightwood 2021-10-22
- —Rewired's pizza pop-up: Rewired Pizza Cafe & Bar, 1102 W. Thorndale Ave., is getting in on the Halloween fun by paying homage to classic restaurant chains and "dressing up" as owner Daniel Barat's favorite pizza chain: ...

Gay News

Alphawood chooses LGBTQ+ individual to head foundation 2021-10-20
- Alphawood Foundation Chicago announced Chirag G. Badlani as its newest executive director, effective Nov. 8. Badlani succeeds Jim McDonough, who retired this month after leading the foundation since 2012 and who will remain Alphawood's legal counsel ...

Gay News

Portrait series 'Still Searching' highlights missing Black women, children 2021-10-19
--From a press release, video below - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. On Friday, Oct. 22, 2021 from 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Damon Lamar Reed, Nicole So Random, and 345 Art Gallery will collaborate to present Still Searching Art Exhibition at 345 Art Gallery in Chicago, ...

Gay News

3Arts awards nearly $1M to women artists, artists of color, Deaf, disabled artists 2021-10-18
--From a press release - CHICAGO, IL (OCTOBER 18, 2021)—3Arts, the Chicago-based nonprofit grantmaking organization, will award Chicago artists with nearly $1 million in unrestricted cash grants during the 14th annual 3Arts Awards, taking place ...

Gay News

LGBT History Month: '40s and '50s instant photography gave LGBT people 'Safe/Haven' 2021-10-15
- Two men dressed in drag for a tea party, and two women cuddled up at the beach. Today these might be benign photographs but, in the early 1950s, they were memories shuttered away from public view. ...

Gay News

ART Van Gogh balloon celebrates installation's extension to Feb. 6 2021-10-11
- Following a maiden flight in Toronto to herald the return of the city's "Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit," Lighthouse Immersive's Vincent van Gogh hot-air balloon made its way to Goebbert's Farm, in the Kane County village of ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Songs for Nobodies 2021-10-07
- Title: Songs for Nobodies. Playwright: Joanna Murray-Smith At: Northlight Theatre at the North Shore Center for the Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd. Tickets: $30-$89. Runs through: Sunday, Oct. 31 You won't find their names in the history ...

Gay News

Chicago Inclusion Project offers anti-racism workshops for arts organizations 2021-10-05
--From a press release - Chicago, IL—The staff of The Chicago Inclusion Project is excited to launch a new workshop and continuum developed by staff members Jessica Vann and Arti Ishak. The workshop, entitled "Being Anti-Racist: An Active Action," is designed ...

Gay News

ART Nick Cave, Bob Faust to unveil 'Rapt on the Mile' on Michigan Avenue 2021-10-04
- The Magnificent Mile has recently installed a monumental, multi-story public art installation entitled "Rapt on The Mile" that renowned artists (and couple) Nick Cave and Bob Faust created. The mural, which now wraps the 679 N. ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Queer/Art,' sports items, Kevin Bacon, Indya Moore 2021-10-03
- Queer|Art—New York City's home for the creative and professional development of LGBTQ+ artists—announced the fall season of Queer|Art|Film, returning in person through Dec. 13, a press release noted. The line-up ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.