2014-15 Artists-in-Residence

Ayana Contreras is an artist that works in sound. Her artistic process revolves around the idea of creative reuse as a means of building community. She hosts and produces a show called “Reclaimed Soul” on Vocalo 91.1fm (a sister station to WBEZ). Each program features an all-vinyl soundtrack from her extensive personal collection, as well as original audio documentaries about people who are using old items for new artistic or cultural endeavors. She also interviews original Chicago Soul artists and musicians. Ayana additionally produces a radio program called “The Barber Shop Show”, broadcast live from a Barber Shop in North Lawndale, which airs on Vocalo and WBEZ. Ayana was a 2011 Dorchester Projects Resident Artist.  Artist Website >>


James T. Green has developed a diverse practice that includes technology based media, performance, video, and object making. His work has been shown in EXPO Chicago (2012-2013), the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (2013), the Chicago Cultural Center (2012), the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2012), and the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago (2013). Green has completed residency programs at Artists’ Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions(2011-2012) and Chicago Artist Coalition’s HATCH Projects (2012-2013). In 2013, Green helped to organize the Filter Photo Festival in Chicago and in 2014 was selected to perform at The Chicago Home Theater Festival. Green is currently a designer at Tribune Interactive.  Artist Website >>


David Leggett is a visual artist and blogger who lives in Chicago. He received his BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design (2003), and a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2007). He also attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2010). His work tackles many themes head on, such as hip-hop, art history, popular culture, sexuality, the racial divide, and the self taking many of his cues from stand up comedians.  David hosts  “Coco River Fudge Street,” a daily drawing blog started in 2010. David has shown his work throughout the United States and internationally, including a solo show at 65 Grand Gallery in Chicago in 2014. He received the visual artist award from 3Arts in 2009.  Artist Website >>




Three the Hard Way 
July 10 - August 23, 2015 

This exhibition takes its title from a 1974 blaxploitation classic in which three action heroes, Fred Williamson, Jim Kelly, and Jim Brown must save the race from a neo-Nazi organization bent on black genocide. The exhibition features the 2014/2015 Arts + Public Life/Center for the Study of Race, Politics & Culture artists-in-residence Ayana Contreras, James T. Green, and David Leggett, all squarely post-Civil Rights children born after Williamson, Kelly, and Brown saved the world. Although we may breathe a collective sigh of relief, the work of these artists suggests there is much to account for since then culturally, politically, and socially. The exhibit begs us to consider how we square nostalgia for a Black Nationalist period with recent events.

Guest curated by Hamza Walker with Tempestt Hazel and Camille Morgan.

Presented by Arts + Public Life, the Center for the Study of Race, Politics & Culture, and Logan Center Exhibitions.

For more information >>

installation and opening reception photos >>