"Queen Candace" by Murray DePillars

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The first exhibition in decades to bring together many of the most famous artworks created during a black art collective’s formative years will be showcased at Northwestern University’s Dittmar Memorial Gallery this winter.

“AfriCOBRA and the Chicago Black Arts Movement” opens Feb. 12 and runs through March 17 at the Dittmar Gallery, located on the first floor of Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive. The exhibition and several related events are free and open to the public.

AfriCOBRA is an African-American artist collective that began on the South Side of Chicago in 1968. It is among the nation’s longest running artist collectives. Named originally as COBRA (Coalition of Black Revolutionary Artists), the group by 1970 changed its name to the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists. Adding the African reference to the name solidified the group’s connection to the African Diaspora.

Tracy Vaughn, director of Northwestern’s Center for the Study of African-American History, curated the exhibition. She says her goal is to increase the appreciation and understanding of how artistic organizations and particular artists, with strong connections to Chicago, influence African-American visual artistic production on national and international levels.

An opening reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 12. At 6 p.m. a keynote lecture will be presented by Michael Harris, current AfriCOBRA member and associate professor of art history and African American studies, Emory University, in the Wildcat Room, Room 101A, at Norris University Center.

For more information, call the gallery at 847-491-2348 or Norris University Center at 847-491-2300, e-mail dittmargallery@northwestern.edu or visit www.norris.northwestern.edu/dittmar.php.