Chicago's South Side houses treasures far beyond the steamed hot dogs at U.S. Cellular Field. Bronzeville's Guichard Gallery, showcasing art from the African Diaspora, is one of them. For those unfamiliar with the term, the Diaspora includes Africa, the Caribbean and the United States; Chicago artists get plenty of representation here. Guichard focuses on paintings, ceramics, blown glass, sculptures and fine art photography.
Soothing jazz music bounces off the white walls of the majestic three-story space, as guests wander across the shiny wood floors. Flat-screen TVs screen slideshows of crowded openings. Although shows rotate every six to eight weeks, the gallery has a huge inventory of work on the lower level. Andre Guichard, an artist himself, also shows his own work at the gallery.
Bronzeville was the destination for many African-Americans who migrated north to escape the racism of the post-slavery South, and the building that houses the gallery was "a historical landmark—[it was originally the] Supreme Life Annex, which was part of the first black insurance agency, Supreme Life Insurance [founded 1919]," says Guichard.
Centerstage Reviewer: Alicia Eler