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The BIPOC Initiative - Artists Select Artists

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The BIPOC Initiative - Artists Select Artists

The BIPOC Initiative - Artists Select Artists

October 23rd marks the opening date for two new solo exhibitions under the umbrella of the Freeport Art Museum’s Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Initiative. The BIPOC Initiative aims to encourage artists and patrons of color to view the museum as a welcoming venue for artists of color to exhibit their work. Moreover, the initiative seeks to develop an improved relationship with the broader BIPOC community so that a more socially inclusive and diverse audience feels welcome. The overriding goals are to create an environment where the BIPOC community participates in programs and activities and broadens the art exhibited in ways that establish social and racial equity and shares our diverse community's knowledge and contributions.

To achieve this goal, the Freeport Art Museum (FAM) has established a new system for selecting artists whose works will be featured in the main galleries. Over next five years two solo shows per year will be awarded to artists of color selected by artists of color. This systemic change aims to help center Native American personhood, address anti-Blackness, dismantle white supremacy, and advance racial justice.

The inaugural BIPOC artist to show this year is Patrick Earl Hammie, professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana – Champaign. Hammie selected the second artist, Milwaukee-based Tyanna J. Buie, to show concurrently in an adjacent gallery. Each artist is creating new work to install in FAM’s main galleries this October. Buie will select the artist for 2022, establishing the succession of artists for the series. The guiding principle will be that all chosen artists self-identify as BIPOC. FAM’s aspiration is that over the course of five years FAM will become known as an organization that encourages, supports, and reaches BIPOC artists. FAM recognizes this initiative as an essential step towards fulfilling our mission for a more inclusive institution.
FAM has also committed to cultivating a diverse board and staff so that people of color participate in planning, programming, and policymaking for the organization.

About The Artists Patrick Earl Hammie: I Am… Legend is a collection of wall installations and works on paper that study American experiences haunted by racialized angst and terrorism, visualizing how far we go to allay fear and pursue happiness. Referencing Soul Train and early lynching photographs, Hammie explores embedded anxieties and self-heroization, disrupting nostalgia to propose how personal connections to collective experience allows space for empathy and action. Through the lens of the ethno-Gothic, a sub-genre of horror developed in Black speculative culture, Hammie taps into and comments on the fear of the Other to ask: From where and by whom do Americans narrate, remember, and commune with our pasts? What stories do we tell to create meaning for ourselves and inform meaning around others? We have survived the past—how do we imagine the future?

Patrick Hammie, MFA is a painter, draftsman, sculptor, and illustrator. He uses portraits and allegories to examine personal and shared Black experiences and presents stories that expand our understanding of others. Hammie’s art has been exhibited in Germany, India, and South Africa, among other places, in venues such as the California African American Museum, Kunstwerk Carlshütte, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and the Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art. Hammie currently serves as Associate Professor and Chair of Studio Art at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the School of Art + Design. Tyanna J. Buie: EMBODIMENT(S) In response to a previous work titled: I’M SPEAKING: Listen to Black Women, based on the Vice-Presidential debate in 2020, Embodiment(s), is an exhibition that features large-scale works on paper while continuing to explore her connection to images, fragmentation, appropriation, the contemporary condition, social media/commentary, and identity, using Deep-Fake technology and easily accessible tools such as smartphone applications (ReFace, Momento, Giphy), all combined with images and texts solely derived from mass-media, referencing significant black popular cultural moments.

Tyanna Buie, MFA is a Chicago/Milwaukee native. She lives and works out of Detroit, Michigan and specializes in printmaking. Buie works from found family photographs often incorporating collage or drawing into her prints. Buie’s inspiration comes from a family history of incarceration and the mugshots recorded and publicly displayed on digital platforms. She seeks to, “take the power away from what the image means, what it could mean, and give it another narrative.” Buie imbues celebration within these images by, “putting the family on a platform that they never thought they could exist” because of their history. Buie has completed multiple residencies and has been awarded numerous fellowships. Her works are included in major institutions and private collections nationally. In 2020, Buie collaborated with Shepard Fairey on the Voting Rights are Human Rights mural in Milwaukee, WI. Buie is an Assistant Professor/Section Chair of Printmaking at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI.

Freeport Art Museum
10:00 AM - 10:27 PM, every day through Feb 12, 2022.

Artist Group Info


Freeport Art Museum

121 N. Harlem Ave.
Freeport, Illinois 61032