Pigment artists work displayed during 50th Anniversary Black Creativity Gala

Pigment International
3 min readJan 30, 2020

The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) hosted its 37th annual Black Creativity black-tie gala on Saturday, January 25, 2020. The Gala was attended by more than 600 guests who celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition and the Black Creativity program. Works by Pigment artists Barrett Keithly, Jason E. Jones, Blake Lenoir and Raymond Thomas were among the the 200 original works selected by the jury. The jurors, including Pigment artist Paul Branton, reviewed over 700 original works for both the professional and student exhibition.

Jones and Thomas, who have both been seen at Black Creativty joined first time presenters Keithly and Lenoir in in the prestigious art exhibition.

“It’s an honor to be able to continue the tradition of hosting this annual celebration of creativity and achievement,” said David Mosena, president and CEO of the Museum. “The Black Creativity Gala encourages innovators to continue to follow their curiosityand supports the expression of exciting, new perspectivesthrough the arts and sciences.” The 37th annual Gala was co-chaired by Dr. Eric Whitaker, Founder and CEO of Zing Health Inc., Dr. Cheryl R. Whitaker, Chairwoman and CEO of NextLevelHealth Partners, Inc., Joe Dominguez, CEO of ComEd and Cheryl Harris, senior vice president at Allstate Insurance Company.

The evening began with guests enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the 50th annual Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition, featuring works of art from African-American student and professional artists. After cocktails, guests enjoyed food stations from Sodexo inside the Museum’s Rotunda. WGN meteorologist Demetrius Ivory emceed the evening’s presentation. Live musical entertainment from the Chicago Children’s Choir Englewood Neighborhood Choir, DJ Rae Chardonnay, Yanna Cello, Rockstar EV, and Manasseh was featured throughout the night.

The Black Creativity Innovation Studio was also open, providing guests with a chance to get hands-on and create their own glowing badge. In addition to the Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition and the Innovation Studio, guests were able to explore other Museum exhibits throughout the evening, including the Black Creativity: 50 Years exhibit, Numbers in Nature: A Mirror Maze, Science Storms and The Great Train Story.

About the 2020 Black Creativity Program

MSI is honoring 50 years of the Black Creativity Program, which has showcased the achievements of African Americans in art and innovation since 1970. The Museum is celebrating this milestone anniversary throughout Black History Month with a calendar full of experiences and events: 

  • Juried Art Exhibition: The nation’s longest-running exhibition of African-American art features more than 200 adult and youth artworks. Open January 20 –March 1. 
  • Black Creativity: 50 Years: This new temporary exhibit, located on the Museum’s Lower Level 1, takes a look at significant moments in Black Creativity’s history and spotlights people whose work created new opportunities. Open January 20 –March 1.
  • Black Creativity Innovation Studio: This hands-on workshop space invites visitors to explore their inner superhero by creating their own invention. School and community groups can reserve sessions on weekdays, while Museum guests can participate in drop-in sessions on weekends. Open January 20 –March 1. 
  • Career Showcase: An opportunity for students and their families to explore innovative careers by speaking with dozens of professionals in art, science and engineering. February 29, 9:30 a.m. –2:30 p.m.

Find more information visit www.msichicago.org/blackcreativity.



Pigment International

PIGMENT-Intl ® is a multi-media arts collective redefining global arts, culture, and innovation. www.pigmentintl.com