Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Franklin

Collaboration with Dan Sullivan

The Franklin is a uniquely designed space that allows artists, curators, and designers to engage with the East Garfield Park community through cultural events. The Franklin is located in the backyard of our home. East Garfield Park is usually described as a “transitional” neighborhood in Chicago. In fact, East Garfield Park property values escalated rapidly prior to the foreclosure crisis of recent times. Since then, many properties have been boarded up and are considered a blight despite often beautiful, if neglected, homes. Crime and drug abuse is rampant and happens openly in the midst of a predominantly working class African American population. At the same time a growing community of artists have moved in for the cheap rents, large studios and convenient location. As homeowners in East Garfield Park, we have had many conversations about these obvious inequities, opposing demographics and the very obvious communication gap between the two communities.

The Franklin Collection: I share a passion and interest with my husband in collecting art. Since we are not wealthy, we started collecting art at local not-for profit auctions and fundraisers that allowed us to have an original work of art and also support the art community. Through these means and exchanging with other artists, our modest collection has grown over the years. We decided to have The Franklin in our backyard because it will give us an opportunity to open our house during opening nights and show our private art collection to the public. We hope, in our small way, to help bridge our community divide through this exhibition space in East Garfield Park.

The Wedding Cake Project at The Franklin: The wedding cake is a Franklin’s tradition, motivated by ideas of social gatherings in my art practice. A three to five-tier cake is made for every exhibition for visitors during opening nights. Each piece comes with a personal recipe card that holds a picture of my wedding day in front of the original cake made by my mother.

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