Chicago Art Legends and Legacies
The Art Institute of Chicago not only celebrates the art pieces that line their walls and displays, but they also celebrate the artists who have created them. The museum has done so again by bestowing the Legends and Legacy Award on another great artist. This award is reserved for living African American artists who have achieved national acclaim with careers that have lasted over 50 years. As you can imagine, the list of winners is small due to the long span of time the artist must produce work to qualify. But here are two of the latest winners of this honor.
The most recent winner is an Abstract Expressionist by the name of Ed Clark. Known for using a push broom and vibrant colors, he has studied and created art all over the world. He was born and spent his early years in Louisiana, and then moved to Chicago. After fighting in World War II, he was able to attend the Art Institute on a G.I. Bill. He later traveled to Paris to finish his art education.
His list of friends and colleagues reads like an art textbook – Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Louis Rittman, and he mixed, mingled, and created art together with them. Although Clark’s name may not be as well-known as some of his friends’, he has still created some art innovations. Besides using a push broom to create paintings, he also began shaping canvases. And even though this great artist is in his 87th year, he is still creating to this day.
Margaret Taylor-Burroughs received the Legends and Legacy award in 2010, sadly the same year as her death. But her tenure as an artist and writer were nothing short of amazing. She too was born in Louisiana and moved to Chicago as a child. And we are lucky that she did, as she had a profound impact on the city. She and her husband co-founded the DuSable Museum of African American History, which is the oldest museum of black culture in the United States. As an artist, she won many awards for her 20th-century realism, but she is best known for bringing art to all of the residents of Chicago. She created the South Side Community Art Center, a unique gallery and teaching studio. Later, because of black artists being shut out of many local art fairs, she founded the Lake Meadows Art Fair. She is truly an inspiration to all local artists.