Pigment International
6 min readApr 15, 2024


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The Other Art Fair

Pigment International debuted its two booths at The Other Art Fair with works from EDO’s The Messageseries, alongside offerings by Candace Hunter and D. Lammie Hanson, who both have work in Italy for the European Cultural Centre’s Personal Structures show opening next week.

Work at EXPO Chicago

Students from Gary Comer Youth Center (GCYC) in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, also joined Pigment International to highlight their mural project ‘We Walk Here.’GCYC’s Neighborhood Access Program is focused on beautifying the underpasses and passageways that the students traverse daily from their homes and schools to “The Center”, library, parks and other community spaces. Artist Dorian Sylvain worked with the students in developing the mural designed by artist Blake Lenoir and the students were on hand at The Other Art Fair to further complete the rendering. The mural will be at the BNSF underpass at the intersections of 71st and Cottage Grove. During The Other Art Fair donations were solicited to support the project and a generous donation was made by Rebe de la Paz to cover transportation for the Comer youth.

EXPO Chicago

Members of the Pigment Team attended opening night at EXPO Chicago delivering copies of the new Black Gallery Guide. The centerpiece of Bill Hodge’s booth at EXPO was Norman Lewis’ ‘Exodus’, which also graced the guide’s cover. Hodges’ offerings were of some of the premier Black masters of the 20th century. Bearden’s Prologue to Troy (1974) was offered at a substantial savings, cash and carry only.

Galerie Myrtis took the tact of ‘go big or go home’ at their space pulsating with bold, in your face, contemporary art from Meghan Lewis, Monica Ikegwu, Delita Martin and Ronald Jackson.

The Four Arts Men, Dwight White, Barrett Keithley, Blake Lenoir and Edo toured the Gary Comer Youth Center youth around both EXPO Chicago and The Other Art Fair. Students were introduced specifically to the Black gallerist exhibiting at the show and were able to take in all of the art at both shows.

The Black Trustee Alliance

Pigment attended the Friday opening of the Black Trustee Alliance (BTA) where more than 140 trustees from institutions across the country were in attendance. The theme for their 2024 Convening was The Civic Role of the Museum Trustee. Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) founder, Bryan Stevenson gave the keynote and was at his consummate storytelling best. He talked about the development of Freedom Monument Sculpture Park, which opened in Montgomery in March, under the moniker ‘remembering slavery, celebrating freedom.’ The centerpiece sculpture is Simone Leigh’s Brick House, which Pigment experienced during the 2022 Venice Biennale, where the artist received The Golden Lion. Stevenson sees art as one way we preserve culture and elevate our present. The Sculpture Park rounds out a triumvirate of institutions run by the EJI, under Stevenson’s leadership, which all include triumphant art work — The National Memorial for Peace and Justice and The Legacy Museum. “You learn to think differently about what’s persuasive. “You have to find people where they are and take them on a journey,” he says.

Next was the panel Lessons on Leadership: Black Progress in the Age of DEI featuring Poetry Foundation President & CEO Michelle T. Boone and Angelique Power, President & CEO of the Skillman Foundation. The group then broke out into sessions covering a variety of topics that reflect their mission to approach board governance with an unflinching eye to

DEI. The group, formed following the pandemic and racial reckoning of 2020, is the only group of its kind focused on stewardship of art institutions through a racial justice lens.

Bryan Stevenson, Equal Justice Initiative (EJI)

Black Wealth Initiatives: Art & Cocktails

The St. Regis Hotel was a spectacular backdrop for an event partnering Houston based Art is BondGallery with J.P. Morgan Private Bank. Art is Bond was founded by former Chicagoan Janice Bond. Bond returned to her native Houston to serve as deputy director for the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and opened her gallery in 2022.

The attendees included the civic and business community and of course a host of creatives. Bond spoke eloquently about the need to value and document our art collections, and specifically viewing them as part of an overall financial portfolio. Partners like Chase she offered, have organically formed relationships with galleries like hers to evangelize for the value of Black art.

Her gallery’s mission is to amplify the voices of talented artists from all walks of life giving them a platform to showcase their work.

Pigment International’s Booth at The Other Art Fair

Flourish kick-off event

Flourish — Growing Diverse Creatives held their inaugural event at the 21C Museum Hotel to celebrate the contributions of diverse creatives featured at EXPO Chicago and the broader visual arts community. The event featured a panel discussion with artists Shawn Michael Warren, Nikko Washington, Ronald Jackson, Max Sansing and Brendan Fernandes.

The standing room only crowd of artists, collectors, curators and the art curious filled the room for the food, drink and entertainment. Danny Dunson of the DuSable Black History Museum & Education Center offered opening remarks. Warren shared how Oprah Winfrey sought him out as the artist for her portrait in the National Portrait Gallery after having seen portfolios of more than 270 artists. Jackson talked about the historical significance Black art possesses and his current project to bring storytellers together to advance the Black creative ecosystem. Both Warren and Washington thanked their mothers, who were in attendance for cultivating their creative aspirations.

Flourish develops diverse artists and curators by supplying direct financial resources, mentorship, and services to nurture their creative growth. They collaborate with fine art museums, the business community, and art fairs, striving to create opportunities for underserved Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) creatives and promote diversity and inclusivity within the art world. The group will be taking applications from artists for direct support beginning July 1, 2024.

Sandro: from Elgin Community College (ECC) to World Renowned Photographer

Renowned photographer Sandro hosted New Orleans style jazz by Mario Abney and his band as part of Spring Art Week in Chicago. The photographer shared a presentation of his work, spanning his time as a student at Elgin Community College (ECC) to becoming an internationally known photographer and director. Susan Taylor-Demming, Executive Director of Institutional Advancement at ECC facilitated the meet and greet with their alumni.

Name Dropping | People Watching

Shout outs to all those we saw during art weekend including Diane Jean-Marie of the BTA, Scott Terry from Mahogany Gallery, Roger Washington owner/director of Berlin’s Ronewa Art Projects; Sandi Robinsonfrom the Milwaukee Art Museum; Renée Brummel Franklin from the St. Louis Museum; the founder of Omenai Insider, Diane Dinkins Carr, Robert Paige, Marcus Miller, Thelma Golden, Denise Gardner, Victoria Rogers, James Thornton, The Baltimore Museum of Art; Cynthia Thompson, Toledo Museum of Art; Sol Aponte, Full Frequency Media; Jasmin White, Chase; Eric McKissack, Robin Beaman, Beaman Inc., Megon Hill-Washington, Lisa Merritt, Amina Dickerson, Halima Taha, Yvonne Cook, Patricia and Steve Blessman, Allison and Jim Casselberry, Nari Safavi, Ciera McKissick, AM|FM and CAM Contemporary, Pugz Atomz, Janell Nelson, Monique Brinkman-Hill (SSAC), Linda Nolan, Northern Trust; Clinee Hedspeth, DCASE; and the team from The Englewood Art Collective (EAC); and of course our favorite artist Delita Martin who just launched a line of teas under her DEMA Designs brand. And Dometi Pongo so sorry we missed each other.

Volunteers Rock

Thanks to the many volunteers who worked with us to make this an amazing spring art weekend. From manning the booth, to touring with the students Pigment International is fortunate to have awesome artists, supporters and partners including Sherronda Booker, Allison Casselberry, our intrepid reporter Veronica Harrison, Doug Kenney, Diane Paige, and Chazarhae Williams, Candace Hunter. Thanks to Bimkubwa Hannah for securing a donation for transportation for the students.

And many thanks to the team at The Other Art Fair, Emily Jean Alexander and Julia Rourke, for their partnership with Pigment International.

Read the newsletter in its entirety here.



Pigment International

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