Redline Portfolio

This is a body of work based upon a Chicago redline map from 1935-1940. The focus is upon the neighborhood of my childhood–the Fernwood/Roseland area. This is also where both of my parents grew up. To the north of my home rested 103rd Street (then the race boundary), to the south 104th and Halsted was a vacant lot and the site of a large race riot over a post-WWII VA housing project and the possibility of African Americans moving into the development…which was torched.

What is the likelihood that a boy learning to ride a bike around that block wouldn’t notice the inherent inconsistency between these two unmarked landmarks and the church he attended on Sunday? His father did…and stayed home.

And so this map image serves as the background to a body of work. It can be covered, but its presence and history remain. How does one find beauty and goodness within that imperfect memory of place? In this manner, the portfolio explores a specific circumstance within the understanding that art is always an act of homage. How do you honor the good and simultaneously acknowledge the evil in an imperfect world?

Redline: Wonderbar II
Redline: Wonderbar I
Redline: Baseball
Redline: Deltova Chair
Redline: Violet
Redline: Violet proof
Base map for Redline series. Linocut after original redlining map of Chicago.
Brick collage, Linocut, vellum, graphite, mounting tissue on paper, 11″ x 15″ overall, 2020.

Buoyancy, charcoal and chalk pastel, 22″ x 30″, 2020