Art Collection

 The Clark family began collecting art more than ten years ago, centering the collection on the work of emerging Black artists in North America and beyond. Collecting art from emerging artists is a form of supporting and advancing the development of the artists’ careers. Just as significant is the empowerment this form of support offers to contemporary social and cultural movements, of which the art is often a part, being that the work is usually a reflection of what is happening in the present moment.

Thematically much of the collection speaks to issues of representation and collective memory, confronting systems of power and recorded history which have constructed versions of race, ancestry, migration, gender, sexuality, and class that warrant contestation. Many of the artists engage their work as visual and social activism, aiming to provoke viewers into civic participation, if not full-blown activism. Throughout the Clark Collection, history, politics, identity, and popular culture are disrupted by artists who create with eclectic materials in mediums spanning the visual arts.

The majority of the Clark Collection is on display in the Clarks’ private residences, with the exception of a few pieces—most notably the portraits of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, which are on display in the National Portrait Gallery. These portraits were painted by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, respectively.

January’s Artist of the Month: Myrlande Constant

Myrlande Constant is a Haitian textile artist born in 1968 specializing in Vodou-themed flags. Constant was born in Port-au-Prince, where she learned the art of beading while working with her mother in a wedding dress factory. After quitting that job because her employers wouldn’t pay her, she took a severance pay of knowledge and bags filled with beads – and went on to become one of the most celebrated artists for making Drapo Vodou. Constant started making Vodou flags in the 1990s in an entirely male environment and ultimately became the first woman in Haiti to apply the tambour technique...

January’s Artist of the Month: Myrlande Constant

January’s Artist of the Month: Myrlande Constant

Myrlande Constant is a Haitian textile artist born in 1968 specializing in Vodou-themed flags. Constant was born in Port-au-Prince, where she learned the art of beading while working with her mother in a wedding dress factory. After quitting that job because her...

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Artists Find Home in Chicago’s Innovative Art World

Artists Find Home in Chicago’s Innovative Art World

Some of my great friends and favorite artists are featured in an article by Harper’s Bazaar about Chicago’s transformative art scene. Chicago is widely known as a “laboratory for architectural innovation and experimentation” for its architecture and art. Living in the...

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October’s Artist of the Month: Ayana V. Jackson

October’s Artist of the Month: Ayana V. Jackson

 Ayana V. Jackson is an American contemporary artist, photographer, and filmmaker who is among the most talented artists working today. She was raised in East Orange, New Jersey, where her family has lived for generations. Jackson’s family dates back to Lawnside, the...

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August’s Artist of the Month: Marcellina Akpojotor

August’s Artist of the Month: Marcellina Akpojotor

A young artist whose work I admire immensely is Marcellina Akpojotor. She is from Nigeria and her art explores female empowerment and the roles of women in African society. She says she was drawn to art from an early age and spent a lot of her childhood observing her...

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July’s Artist of the Month: Clotilde Jiménez

July’s Artist of the Month: Clotilde Jiménez

A visual artist I admire is Afro-Latino, Honolulu-born, Clotilde Jiménez, who grew up in North Philadelphia.  He was raised in a tough neighborhood, but thanks to his mother, he used his artistic talent to move out of the city and enroll in college. Clotilde received...

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May’s Artist of the Month: Lauren Halsey

May’s Artist of the Month: Lauren Halsey

Lauren Halsey is one of the most exciting young artists working today. She produces standalone artworks in sculpture and mixed media, and site-specific installations, particularly in the South Central neighborhood of Los Angeles where her family has lived for several...

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November’s Artist of the Month: Vaughn Spann

November’s Artist of the Month: Vaughn Spann

Vaughn Spann is one of the most talented artists working today, and he already is off to a great start in his artistic career despite being so young. His current work centers around paintings that seek to explore abstraction, figuration, and formalism in new ways and...

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October’s Featured Artist: McArthur Binion

October’s Featured Artist: McArthur Binion

So many people have become captivated by the minimalist abstract paintings of McArthur Binion, but he is also an inspiration for me and countless others with the ways he’s dedicated to serving as an educator and mentor and seeks to lift up the next generation of Black...

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July’s Artist of the Month: Kehinde Wiley

July’s Artist of the Month: Kehinde Wiley

This month’s featured artist is one whose paintings and growing body of work have become instantly recognizable to so many of us who are passionate about the arts. Kehinde Wiley has an incredible talent for reinterpreting past artistic styles and traditions, making...

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Art Collection

The Clark family began collecting art more than ten years ago, centering the collection on the work of emerging Black artists in North America and beyond. Collecting art from emerging artists is a form of supporting and advancing the development of the artists’ careers. Just as significant is the empowerment this form of support offers to contemporary social and cultural movements, of which the art is often a part, being that the work is usually a reflection of what is happening in the present moment.

Thematically much of the collection speaks to issues of representation and collective memory, confronting systems of power and recorded history which have constructed versions of race, ancestry, migration, gender, sexuality, and class that warrant contestation. Many of the artists engage their work as visual and social activism, aiming to provoke viewers into civic participation, if not full-blown activism. Throughout the Clark Collection, history, politics, identity, and popular culture are disrupted by artists who create with eclectic materials in mediums spanning the visual arts.

The majority of the Clark Collection is on display in the Clarks’ private residences, with the exception of a few pieces—most notably the portraits of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, which are on display in the National Portrait Gallery. These portraits were painted by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, respectively.