EAM opens ‘A Love Supreme’ exhibition; New show part of Art Design Chicago, a citywide collaboration

The Elmhurst Art Museum (EAM) recently celebrated the opening of its latest exhibition, A Love Supreme. The exhibit and its programming are part of Art Design Chicago, a citywide collaboration initiated by the Terra Foundation for American Art that highlights the city’s artistic heritage and creative communities. It is sponsored by the Terra Foundation for American Art, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and in part by a grant from the League of Chicago Theatres and ComEd, with programming in partnership with Elmhurst University Department of Music.

A Love Supreme: McCormick House Reimagined is co-curated by Norman Teague and Rose Camara. This exhibition is presented in partnership with the Chipstone Foundation.

More about the exhibition

A Love Supreme is a solo exhibition by Norman Teague inspired by legendary jazz musician John Coltrane, with an adjoining group exhibition in the Mies van der Rohe’s McCormick House featuring more than 30 Chicago-based BIPOC artists titled A Love Supreme: McCormick House Reimagined. Teague uses Coltrane’s album A Love Supreme as a cultural touchstone to consider design influences from his life-long home in Chicago, exploring how the power of bold improvisational jazz and unapologetic Black aesthetics have expanded the minds and inspired creative communities of color. Celebrating BIPOC designers and a variety of cultural influences in Chicago at a time when the country is reckoning with representation across industries and disciplines, A Love Supreme comes to the Elmhurst Art Museum now through April 28.

A Love Supreme features new sculptural and installation-based works by Teague, providing a setting to heal, unify, and activate community. Visitors are greeted by a collage of Teague’s personal influences, including John Coltrane, designer Chuck Harrison, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), the Civil Rights era mural the “Wall of Respect,” sculptor Martin Puryear, and others.

With these cultural inspirations in mind, Teague presents new assemblage pieces with used brass instruments embedded in ceramics, and designed objects and sculptures that convey the power of jazz, such as a new, monolithic wood sculpture that references the shape of a horn. Central to the exhibit are African-influenced objects, including a large-scale round house created as a gathering place to celebrate, experience, and discuss Black life and shared culture.

“I believe there is a quest for craft from the imaginations of Black America that needs to be heard, seen, and felt as safe, desired, and beautiful. And it can only come from us,” said Teague. “This turning point of awareness in American history will only get greater as time goes on—and design history will follow.”

In line with his highly collaborative practice, Teague uplifts other creatives while expressing joy through design. For the adjoining exhibition in Mies van der Rohe’s 1952 McCormick House, co-curators Teague and Rose Camara, Charles Hummel Curatorial Fellow at The Chipstone Foundation, asked others, “What is your Coltrane story? Who awakened you personally and artistically?”

Works on display by more than 30 artists include furniture, blown glass, and fiber art pieces that transform the house from the picture of upper-class, white suburban living to an alternative interior reimagined by BIPOC architects, designers, and artists.

The exhibition includes audio components. Headphones and smartphone are recommended to provide a fuller experience.

Upcoming programs and events

The exhibition includes the following special programs (to see all events, visit elmhurstartmuseum.org):

On Saturday, Feb. 3 from 1-2:30 p.m., EAM presents a panel discussion that digs deeper into music, culture, and design influences of exhibiting artists in A Love Supreme, moderated by Ayana Contreras, cultural historian and host of the Reclaimed Soul program on WBEZ and at Vocalo Radio. The panel discussion is followed by a dynamic performance by the Elmhurst University Jazz Combo. Free with museum admission.

On Saturday, Feb. 10 from 1-4 p.m., it’s Family Day at the Elmhurst Art Museum where families are invited to create your own Valentine’s Day card through drawing and painting, inspired by the sights and sounds found in the exhibition A Love Supreme. Free with museum admission.

On Sunday, Feb. 11 from 1-2:15 p.m., the EAM invites residents to enjoy a McCormick House Tour, where you will learn about the special exhibition in the House as well as its unique history and design.

On Thursday, April 18 from 6-9 p.m., the Elmhurst Art Museum presents Muses: An Evening of Jazz, with headliner Grammy-nominated musician Corey Wilkes. Experience personal video materials of Chicago’s South Side history and culture that are typically kept in private collections with UChicago Arts’ South Side Home Movies Project. At 7 p.m., hear a special rendition of A Love Supreme, interpreted by Elmhurst University Faculty Jazz Combo. At 8 p.m., Corey Wilkes will captivate audiences with his mesmerizing trumpet playing and unique vision. Wilkes’ collaborations extend beyond the world of music, as he has also worked with visual artists such as Theaster Gates, Nick Cave, Lucy Slivinski and Rashid Johnson, creating multi-disciplinary performances that blend music, art, and culture.

For more information, visit elmhurstartmuseum.org.