September 17 – December 18, 2021
on view @ 6018North as a partner program of the Chicago Architecture Biennial
curator Asha Iman Veal
RAISIN is an exhibition exploring themes from the classic play A Raisin in the Sun (1959) by Chicago-born writer Lorraine Hansberry.
Featuring artworks created by Chicago and international artists, the exhibition offers local and global perspectives on “home.”
RAISIN opens September 17 as a proud partner of the Chicago Architecture Biennial as part of the fourth edition The Available City.
Kioto Aoki (Chicago) / Coletivo Anastácia Berlin (Berlin) / Jared Brown (Chicago)
Marina Viola Cavadini (Milan) / Amy Sanchez Arteaga + Misael Diaz (Cog•nate Collective) (So. California)
Işıl Eğrikavuk (Berlin) / Max Guy (Chicago) / Kyle Bellucci Johanson (Chicago)
Kierah Kiki King (Chicago) / Diya Khurana (Mumbai) / Kat Liu (Chicago) / AJ McClenon (Chicago)
Ilja Winther (Berlin) / Joelle Mercedes (Chicago) / Chip Moody (Chicago) / Joseph Mora (Chicago)
Nahum, Ale de la Puente, Juan José Díaz Infante, and Tania Candiani (Mexico City and Berlin)
zakkiyyah najeebah dumas-o’neal (Chicago) / Alessia Petrolito (Turin)
Delilah Salgado (Chicago) / Aaron Samuels (Los Angeles) / Rohan Ayinde Smith (London)
Brett Swinney (Chicago) / Maryam Taghavi (Chicago) / Gloria Talamantes (Chicago) /
Tran Tran (Chicago) / Unyimeabasi Udoh (Chicago) / Nayeli Vega (Berlin) / Amanda Williams (Chicago)
Jakob Wirth (Berlin) / Tintin Wulia (Australia) / Zhiyuan Yang (New York) / Nushin Yazdani (Berlin)
RAISIN (vol 1.) takes place within a three-story house on a residential block in a formerly all-white, now integrated, neighborhood in Chicago. Inspired by themes from the Lorraine Hansberry play A Raisin in the Sun (1959), the exhibition features artworks created by 37 Chicago and international artists, offering local and global perspectives on “home.”
The exhibition is structured on three levels, in direct relation to the architecture of the dilapidated mansion: artists on the first floor offer direct responses to the Hansberry play; the second-floor artworks bring forth nostalgic memories of home; and the third-floor installations interrogate home as a place of identity-based violence. Each artist explores wider themes as well, such as first-time homeownership, gender dynamics within communities of color, generational dreams, and more.
In 1959, Hansberry’s original A Raisin in the Sun debuted on Broadway. In this seminal work, Hansberry wrote about the Youngers, a fictional Black American family in Chicago forced to debate their options for self-determination within a race-biased country, and whether to move to an affordable yet segregated neighborhood where they will not be welcome.
For the past 60 years the play has been produced in cities around the world—shifting in nuance based on the context of various locales. From the historical violence of residential segregation within the United States, to widespread migration opposition across Europe, to regionalism and class inequality in China. Making history, A Raisin in the Sun was translated into 30 languages soon after its first staging.
Hansberry’s narrative serves as the RAISIN inspiration, as well as a departure point for exploring a multiplicity of experiences and conversations.
— Asha Iman Veal
Exhibition project funding support for RAISIN has been provided by:
The Humanity in Action Landecker Democracy Fellowship (EU/UK/US). Founded in 2020, the Fellowship supports rising activists, community leaders, and young professionals in turning innovative ideas into tangible solutions reimagining democratic spaces in times of COVID-19. Humanity in Action provides guidance, programming and supervision through an intense virtual and on-site training program throughout the year. Across borders and beyond their own communities, the Fellows draw upon their existing networks and the new connections they make to implement their projects.
BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Network (EU). The BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt promotes responsible leadership and inspires leaders worldwide to work towards a more peaceful, just and sustainable future. The Network facilitates immersive leadership programs and supports individuals that have shown the ability to inspire others, to lead by example, to drive change and generate impact.
The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events (Chicago). This project is partially supported by an Individual Artist Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, as well as a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Faculty Enrichment Grants (Chicago). SAIC distributes individual Faculty Enrichment Grants to support work on innovative creative and research projects. Selections are based on the strength of the proposal, applicant’s record of creative and scholarly achievements, length of tenure at the institution, and the candidate’s history of awards from SAIC.
Programming partners include: Chicago Architecture Biennial 2021, Public Media Institute + Lumpen Radio, and the National Public Housing Museum.
Thank you for the generous in-kind support ACRE Projects, LATITUDE Chicago, and Roman Susan Art Foundation.
Asha Iman Veal is a Humanity in Action Landecker Democracy Fellow (EU/UK/USA), and is the Curatorial Fellow at the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago. Asha Iman is Assistant Professor Adj. in the Department of Arts Administration & Policy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she proposed and developed the Being a Woman of Color in the Arts course, in addition to leading several undergraduate and graduate courses in various departments. Her recent exhibitions include: Beautiful Diaspora/You Are Not the Lesser Part at MoCP (2022); a solo show of work by artist Martine Gutierrez at MoCP (2021); New Dream Center Program 9 at Hyde Park Art Center (2021). She has been an invited juror for Arts + Public Life at The University of Chicago; Center for the Study of Race, Politics, & Culture at The University of Chicago; Experimental Sound Studio; 3Arts; Arts Work Fund; OxBow; and ACRE. Asha has worked on arts projects or research in Edinburgh, Vietnam, Juárez, Havana, Tokyo, and more; and she was an Associate Festival Producer for playwright Eve Ensler’s V-Day global movement to end violence against women and girls (New York). She is a member of the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Network (global table), and is a new member of the Board of Heaven Gallery (Chicago).
Before transitioning full-time into a career in visual contemporary and multidisciplinary arts, Asha formally studied contemporary narrative and literary practices for many years—seeking stories and creative examples that deepen understanding of contemporary multiculturalism.
(B.A. The Gallatin School at New York University, M.F.A. The New School, M.A. School of the Art Institute of Chicago.)