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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Art @ the Y


New Americans: Our Mutual Improvement & Social Elevation

On view at Murphy Gallery in the University YMCA from October 23, 2014 to December, 2014.

The University YMCA is pleased to present New Americans: Our Mutual Improvement & Social Elevation by Jason Patterson.

Please join us for Jason Patterson’s art show opening begins at 7pm on Thursday, October 23 in the Y’s Murphy Gallery, 1001 South Wright Street, Champaign, Illinois. Jason will give an artist’s talk at 7:30pm. New Americans will be on view in the Y’s Murphy Gallery through December 2014.

This series of work is a stylized, contemporary examination of images of African Americans emerging from the decades following the Civil War. This collection of portraits is fabricated after tintypes, Daguerreotypes, cartes-de-visite prints, and ambrotypes, and is set in frames modeled after that period's interior design and architecture. These works are drawings, rendered with chalk or soft pastel and varnished to emulate their photographic source and reference the portrait paintings of the mid to late 19th century, which represented class and standing. This group of objects intends to glorify that new age for African Americans, focusing on the freedom, hope, and happiness many former slaves and free-born Black citizens saw ahead of themselves after the Civil War. This work is not meant to tell a comprehensive history. It is an idealized history. A life that should have been opportune to all, but was only seen by few.

About the artist: Jason Patterson is a Midwestern American history artist. Working predominantly in portraiture, his work objectively reviews The American Narrative.

All Art @ the Y events are free and open to the public. Art @ the Y is an initiative of the University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright Street, Champaign.

Parking Nearby:
Parking lot on 6th between Daniel & Chalmers - Free after 5pm.
Parking garage on 6th & John - Free after 5pm.
Street parking on Wright, Chalmers, & 6th Streets for 75¢ per hour.
Municipal lot on Green & 5th Streets for $1 per hour.


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