The NAACP Celebrates Black Artists

ON VIEW: May 27 – June 11, 2023

Header image for NAACP Exhibition 2023, featuring two pencil portraits of African Children in traditional clothing by John Wangendo

Reception: Friday, June 9, 5-8pm. RSVP.

The Evanston/North Shore Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is excited to be a sponsor of an upcoming art exhibit at the Evanston Arts Center. Last year, the branch was a co-sponsor with Northwestern’s Block Museum with an exhibit on the History of Violence and Lynching. During that time, the branch recognized the important need to support local African American artists and their outstanding work. Too often, there is no venue for Black artists. Using our outreach and networking, the Evanston/North Shore NAACP believes that we can help Black artists receive recognition for their gifts, while helping to strengthen the power of art in our community.

Rev. Dr. Michael Nabors


Evanston/North Shore NAACP


I welcome the NAACP to the Evanston Art Center to celebrate Black Artists.

When I was asked to curate this project by Rev Dr. Michael Nabors of the NAACP, it was after a zoom call with curator Janet Dees of the Block Museum at NU, Dr. Nabors, and Dr. Margarite Rose Vendryes, the former professor at York College in NY and the former incoming Dean of the Arts at Tuft’s University in Boston and myself. 

Unfortunately, Dr. Vendryes passed away suddenly two weeks after that call. As a curator, I would like to dedicate this exhibit to her memory because of her history and work in collaborating for her historical support and work with Black artists in social justice activism.

I want to thank Paula Danoff, CEO and the Evanston Art Center staff for their continued support and participation with artists and curators of color. I would like to thank Dr. Nabors, Willie Shaw and the NAACP for the support and celebration of Black artists and their contributions to social justice through their art.

Fran Joy

Artist, Art Consultant and Curator

Board Member of EAC


Ojo Agi, Raissa Bailey, Vilna Bashi, Sholo Beverly, Ben Blount, Melissa Blount, Alpha Bruton, Paula Cofresi-Silverstein, Matthew Dicks, Debra Flint-Salter, Al Hawkins, Yancey Hughes, J Allen Hyde, Makeba Kedem-DuBose, Crystal McDonald, Tasha Nemo, Yaoundé Olu, Sam Onche, Laju Sholola, Jevoid Simmons, T-Mo, John Wangendo, Angela Williams, Eli Williamson


This exhibition will be held in the Main Second Floor Gallery + Atrium 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 Audrey Avril, Manager of Exhibitions, at [email protected] or (847) 475-5300 x 107.

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

Artwork Pictured: John Wangendo, Omo Valley Boy, Ethiopia; Somali Girl