Chicago Sights: Harlem Lights Up Chicago

Last week, I had the pleasure of taking my favorite choral teacher out for dinner to just catch up on life. Before dinner though, we had the chance to stop by the Harlem Fine Arts Show during it’s stop in Chicago, and we were both amazed with the raw talent of so many black artists from around the world. It was an honor to be an invited guest of Country Financial, who sponsored a lounge to talk to show attendees about their financial literacy, and their commitment to investing in the arts. As a proud sponsor of the Harlem Fine Arts Show, they featured artist Martha Wade who was creating a painting for a lucky recipient. 

Harlem Fine Arts Show - Chicago

Ms. Wade had another piece of her art on display, and I was taken with it for reasons that I can’t really explain. I loved her use of pennies in it, because pennies are such an overlooked piece of money because they are only worth, well, one cent. My father always instructed us to never discard a penny when we were tidying up our rooms. Call that a lesson that stayed close to my heart, and made me appreciate this piece of work more than Martha Wade would possibly understand. 

Harlem Fine Arts Show - Chicago

Wade’s piece wasn’t the last time that I felt a strong emotional tug by a piece of the artwork housed within these walls. Everywhere I turned there was beauty, and sometimes even scariness. All speaking to the fact that black people everywhere are strong and come back time and time again from so much adversity. The pieces were powerful, to say the least. 

Harlem Fine Arts Show - Chicago

This piece by Sherman Beck, featured the Scottsboro Boys – nine men accused of raping two white women. Given the things that are going on today, I’m pretty sure you know the outcome of the trials that they were supposed to have. He also had several other paintings that were powerful, including a painting of a woman that I thought was Harriet Tubman, but ended up being Biddy Mason. Her story of freedom is pretty epic, and it let’s me know that I only need to put one foot in front of the other in order to realize my dreams. 

Harlem Fine Arts Show - Chicago

This piece stopped me in my tracks because it reminded me so much of my littles, and their imaginations, and willingness to soar! I didn’t catch the name of the artist, because this booth was pretty crowded when I came around to it. 

Harlem Fine Arts Show - Chicago

This would be a perfect piece in my living room. So much class, and sexiness. This piece, and many others made this booth my favorite. The artist, K.A Williams, had pieces bigger than life, and for the moment, bigger than my budget, but I’m going to own one of these pieces in the future. Here’s another of his pieces that I loved as well. 

Harlem Fine Arts Show - Chicago

I’m so glad to have been able to work with Country Financial, because it put this HUGE art show on my radar, and it’s always great to see events where black folks are front and center. It makes me proud. It also showcases the many talents that we have, but aren’t always able to get the platform to share. 

Harlem Fine Arts Show - Chicago

If you’re into art, or even if you aren’t, I suggest making this traveling show a must see next year. You can check out the scheduled stops for next year here, but spoiler alert – the first stop is Nassau Bahamas! 

Which of these pieces catch your eye? 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of COUNTRY Financial . The opinions and text are all mine.


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    Harlem Fine Arts Show - Malcolm X College, November 16-19
    November 8, 2017 at 11:07 pm

    […] but I am LOVER of art, and my mind was blown away last year when I had a chance to attend the Harlem Fine Arts Show in Chicago, as a guest of Country Financial. It was an immersion in some of the best art that […]

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