This weekend, I had the lovely opportunity to volunteer at one of Chicago’s oldest community art centers. Located in Brozeville is the South Side Community Arts Center, a place that has been dedicated to the promotion and appreciation of African American art since the early 1940s. The people who work there are truly committed to the cause, working endlessly to keep the place up and running. The center hosts all varieties of artwork by such known artists as Jon Jones, Charles White, Henry Avery, Archibald Motley, Jr. and Marian Perkins. With constant galleries and auctions, the SSCAC is always thriving in activity.
I went to the SSAC with a group of other students, and we helped clean the place out (as it’s very old and has accumulated quite a lot over the years) for a majority of the afternoon. My job was actually interesting; I got to work in the center’s basement and help document the artwork they had stored down there. Basically, I evaluated the style of the piece, searched for a name and date, looked to see if there was a title, and measured the length and width of each work. Words cannot describe how amazing it was to be so close to such creations and learn about the histories behind them. I definitely recommend visiting the center if not to volunteer then at least to visit, for the essence and purpose of the SSAC are just incredible to witness.
By Rivka Arbetter