John Wangendo and Yancey Hughes

On View October 7- November 5, 2023


News: Daily Northwestern

John Wangendo

John Wangendo, a portrait artist based in Skokie IL, and originally from Kenya. Though my background is in banking I always knew that I had the talent to draw and wanted to become an artist one day. So during the 2020 Covid pandemic and with my work affected by the lockdowns, I decided that it was time to put my talent to good use. Being from Kenya, I found it natural to tell the story of my people through portraits that portrayed their culture. I also decided to tell the story about the millions of African kids whose lives are scarred by war, hunger, and disease but go on to better their lives through education mostly funded by well-wishers. It is a story of overcoming the odds. Most of my stories are told through the eyes of the subject.


"John Wangendo is a self-taught artist originally from Kenya who I’ve found to be a rare gem. He works in pencil and charcoal primarily and tells stories from various African countries through their people with a special emphasis on the children. His work is realistic and highly detailed. People always stop to look at his work because it’s so humanistic, dynamic, and moving. I discovered John through Evanstonmade. He was recently featured in this year’s BIPOC and NAACP exhibits held here at the Evanston Art Center and was quite successful in sales! John is certainly an emerging and rising star!”


Fran Joy, independent curator

Yancey Hughes

Yancey Hughes has been a photographer in Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, New York & now most recently Chicago. 

He believes in a small dose of experience but inspiration and curiosity will see you through. 

He shares with us a wealth of enthusiasm as well as an abundance of knowledge of photography. His deep love and appreciation of the happy accident speaks volumes, for which he declares can only take place with patience and practice; by putting yourself in a position of opportunity. The key is to be flexible and think creatively no matter what reality throws you. 

“An inspired photographer always makes the most of what is given.” 


"Yancey Hughes is a world-traveled and now a local photographer with a wonderful studio at Noyes Cultural Art Center. I had viewed a lot of Yancey’s work previously with dynamic social justice themes and events. Then I came upon this wonderful African series with a rather random request at this year’s NAACP exhibit held here at the Evanston Art Center. This Ethiopian journey was different from any of the previous photography that I had seen by Yancey. I am pleased to introduce Yancey's work and bring this particular series to the Evanston Art Center’s Lobby Gallery. Let’s join Yancey in a journey through Ethiopia from his lens.”


Fran Joy, independent curator


Artwork Pictured (L to R): John Wangendo, Through my Eyes (detail), Yancey Hughes, Ethiopia 3 (Detail)



This exhibition will be held in the Main Second Floor Gallery of the Evanston Art Center (EAC). Masks are optional but strongly recommended for students, visitors and staff.

Gallery Hours

Monday–Thursday: 9am–6pm

Friday: 9am–5pm

Saturday–Sunday: 9am–4pm


Artwork sale proceeds benefit both the artist and the Evanston Art Center. If you are interested in purchasing artwork on display, please contact Emma Rose Gudewicz, Director of Development and Exhibition Manager, at [email protected] or (847) 475-5300 x 102.

This project is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and EAC's general membership.

Exhibition Category