Bronzeville’s Historic Lake Meadows Art Fair Scheduled for June 25-26, 2005 at Lake Meadows Shopping Center

‘Art Renaissance – Rebirth of the Lake Meadows Art Fair’

CHICAGO, June 8 /PRNewswire/ — Neleh Artistic Expressions will present “Art Renaissance – Rebirth of the Lake Meadows Art Fair” on June 25-26, 2005. The fair will operate from 11am – 7pm on Saturday and 11am – 6pm on Sunday, at the Lake Meadows Shopping Center, 35th & King Drive, in Chicago.

According to Helen West, proprietor of Neleh Artistic Expressions, Art Renaissance is destined to catapult Bronzeville once again as THE destination for fine art within Chicago’s African American community. The revitalization of this art fair, co-sponsored by Shore Bank, has gained phenomenal momentum, with nationally renowned artists and entertainers scheduled to participate.

On Saturday, June 25th, hosted by Gachelle Coffey, Art Renaissance opens with a welcome from 4th Ward Alderman, Toni Preckwinkle, followed with performances by the King College Preparatory High School Jazz Band, The Healing Force Jazz Ensemble, live jazz performances by Ken Chaney and poetry readings by Frances Callaway Parks.

Sunday, June 26th, hosted by Deborah Crable, Art Renaissance will close with Artist and Student Artist Awards & Recognitions, a Special Tribute to honorees Dr. Margaret Burroughs, Sylvester Britton and Melvin King By Clifford Kelly, and live jazz performances by Dee Alexander.

Underlying her commitment to youth and to the community, West will recognize, Student artists who participate in Art Renaissance in a competition for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place scholarships for continuing their art education at one of three venues, the South Side Community Arts Center, Little Black Pearl Workshop, or private instruction by renowned artist, Gerald Sanders. Since opening in November, 2003, West has exhibited and sold artwork by student artists, Timothy Beard, Randall Jones, and Shenella Parker.

Exhibiting artists and authors include Akosua, Marcus Alleyne, Babatunde, LaSheron Bankhead, Gloria Buckley, Donnie Carter, Delle Chatman, Stephanie Coleman, Francine Cummings, Dalushaka, Damali, Donnelly Youth Center, Albert Elumn, Ana Faust, Quinton Foreman, Joseph Frost, Rhonda Gray, Tom Harris, Monica Kelsie, Emmett McBain, Nicole Gallery, Turtel Onli, Dan Parker, Frances Parks, Phillip’s Fine Art, Felicia Grant Preston, Michaele A. Roberts, Ernest Samuels, Marvin Sin, Otis Thompson, Patrick Thompson, Cheryl Toles, World of Sculpture, and Arthur Wright.

Lake Meadows, conveniently located near Michael Reese and Mercy Hospitals, was traditionally a key shopping destination on the near southside. The area suffered years of neglect but has recently enjoyed renewed interest because of its proximity to downtown (only a few blocks directly south of McCormick Place). Urban professionals are leading the resurgence of the area by renovating historic homes along King Drive and surrounding streets. A new tourism center will soon open on the corner of 35th & Dr. Martin Luther King Drive.

The Lake Meadows art fair has a long history, beginning in 1956, when Dr. Margaret Burroughs, founder of the DuSable Museum of African American History, and other organizers premiered the now historic art fair. Over the years, it was instrumental in launching the careers of many now prominent African American artists. This historic tradition is being resumed and will honor Chicago’s art legends with a special tribute by WVON’s Clifford Kelly, to Dr. Margaret Burroughs, Sylvester Britton and Melvin King. All of whom emerged from the Bronzeville community to achieve national fame.

“Now is the time,” says Helen West, “to top off development with a cultural renaissance. Ample free parking and spacious covered walkways insure, the fair will go, on even if it rains.”

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