The full list of artists can be found below. More details about the new exhibition are available at towardcommoncause.org.
“This project began three years ago with a sense of purpose that has only grown more urgent,” said Abigail Winograd, the MacArthur Fellows Program 40th Anniversary Exhibition Curator at the Smart Museum. “Art is a vital social resource, especially in times defined by division, pandemic, and vitriol.
“In the midst of multiple calamities, I have been afforded the unimaginable privilege of working with this group of artists as they met and mentored youth, forged alliances to confront the disproportionate impacts of environmental pollution, and prepared to share their creative vision with all of us across Chicago. Their work has kept me from giving in to despair and offers a daily reminder that there is beauty and goodness in the world, that individual and collective action can change people’s lives.”
Toward Common Cause will use the idea of “the commons” to explore the current socio-political moment, in which questions of inclusion, exclusion, ownership, and rights of access are constantly being challenged across a wide array of human endeavors. It will be realized through collaboration with multiple exhibition sites as well as programmatic partners in neighborhoods across the city.
In addition to the Smart Museum, on-campus exhibition venues will include the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts and the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society. Other planned sites include the DuSable Museum of African American History, the National Museum of Mexican Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Newberry Library.
“The MacArthur Fellows Program is so pleased to support this ambitious exhibition as a way of connecting the work of MacArthur Fellows with local communities in the city of Chicago, MacArthur’s home city,” said Marlies Carruth, MacArthur Fellows program director. “Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the MacArthur Fellows Program, which recognizes and supports creative pursuits across all fields and disciplines, the exhibition will address themes and issues that reach across disciplines and approaches. In the face of today’s unprecedented challenges, Toward Common Cause makes a strong case for the vital role of creative thinking in imagining a better, more equitable future.”