Art Advancing Justice: A Chicago-Based Artwork and Book Sale Raises Money to Build Racial Equity

Terry Evans, “Lake Michigan Morning. Lakefront on north side of Chicago. July 23, 2003,” archival inkjet print on Hahnamuhle paper, paper size 13 x 15 inches, image size 12 x 12 inches. All images courtesy of CAAU Following a horrifying number of anti-Asian hate crimes in recent months, a group […]

Terry Evans, “Lake Michigan Morning. Lakefront on north side of Chicago. July 23, 2003,” archival inkjet print on Hahnamuhle paper, paper size 13 x 15 inches, image size 12 x 12 inches. All images courtesy of CAAU

Following a horrifying number of anti-Asian hate crimes in recent months, a group of artists and activists in Chicago have teamed up for an ongoing fundraiser, Art Advancing Justice. The artwork and book sale is organized by  Chicago API Artists United (CAAU) and launched last week with a wave of support—many of the pieces sold within the first day—with proceeds going toward Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago, an organization that’s been hosting bystander training and other advocacy and civic engagement endeavors as a way to build racial equity.

CAAU director and co-founder Greg Bae tells Colossal that the fundraiser and broader organization grew organically from a network of artists and art writers who had been in conversation prior to uniting formally. “We’ve long been affected by anti-Asian sentiment, both the recent spike, its consistent regularity throughout our lives, and historically—but after the Atlanta shootings some of us got together and decided to mobilize our collective art networks and practices to try to make a direct impact,” he says.

Drawing on the experiences of its sibling organization Chicago Art for Black Futures, CAAU solicited  137 donations from 79 contributors, an unexpected outpouring of support that Bae says quickly raised the fundraising goal from $5,000 to $15,000. “Chicago art communities responded with a lot of love. Our friends and allies, too, are very sick and tired of hate and were happy to support us,” he shares.

Art Advancing Justice coincides with Asian Pacific American Heritage month and runs through May 22. Shop available pieces on the CAAU site, and follow the organization on Instagram to stay up-to-date with its efforts, which include plans to partner again with Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago and other activist projects focused on building anti-racist communities.

 

Ali Aschman, “Locus” (2020), graphite on paper, 16.5 x 23 inches

Kimberly Kim, “Red Bottoms” (2021), glazed stoneware, two objects, each 3 x 5 x 5 inches

Ellen Rothenberg, “SHE IS DEFIANT!” (2008), signed silkscreen poster with a personal dedication, 18 x 24 inches

Hana Jiang, “A Fishy Girl” (2019), woodcut print on rice paper, 11 x 14 inches

Megan R. Diddie, “Time Moves” (2017), colored pencil on paper, 8 x 11 inches

Hương Ngô, “We are here because you were there. Chúng tôi ở đây vì quí vị đã ở đó. Nous sommes ici parce que vous étiez là-bas” (2016-2017), hectograph, 24 x 19 inches

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Terry Evans, “Lake Michigan Morning. Lakefront on north side of Chicago. July 23, 2003,” archival inkjet print on Hahnamuhle paper, paper size 13 x 15 inches, image size 12 x 12 inches. All images courtesy of CAAU Following a horrifying number of anti-Asian hate crimes in recent months, a group […]