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Keeping Record

Friday, March 30, 2018 - 6:00pm to Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 5:00pm
Opening Reception: Friday, March 30, 6-9pm


Chicago Artists Coalition is pleased to present Keeping Record, a solo exhibition by BOLT Artist-in-Residence, Derrick Woods-Morrow.

Dear Branni, 

By myself in the darkness with the flashlight you once gave me; I've been searching for a path where I could be both happy and carefree, and attempt to smile amidst everything that is happening in the world around us. A shelter behind closed doors, a home like you once provided.

I want to thank you. A few months ago, I was scared and couldn't process something that happened...

I got pulled over by the cops in a dark alley. No one was there – just us. I thought about how I didn't know what would come next; but; maybe you, my superhero, could stop what might transpire. 

I keep thinking about the the black speedlight that usually sits atop my camera. The one that could easily have been mistaken for something else as the three cops approached my car. It was resting in my glove box. I was scared. I couldn't process all this until a few days later...

…and here I am now still in the dark.

But, maybe you already know this.

Keeping Record brings together fragmented memories and the emotional detritus of coming to terms with the notion of self.  Using history and dialogue as materials, Derrick Woods-Morrow connects stories of his youth with the struggle to understand a deep-seated urge to do violence to bodies - to your body- to his body [Black] – to their bodies.

affect interactions - from the holy vibration to otherwise mundane things - as he reaches back to his past - as a meditation on safe futures

A new essay by Kamilah Rashied will accompany the exhibition.


Keeping Record: Reflections on Safety

Sunday, April 15, 2018
1:00 – 4:00pm

Join BOLT Artist-in-Residence, Derrick Woods-Morrow and the Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus for a brunch & drawing session, as we meditate on concepts of Black safety. Refreshments will be served alongside the artist's solo exhibition, Keeping Record.

The Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus is a grassroots organization led by Black gay, bisexual, and same gender loving men that works to ensure healthcare engagement, eliminate new HIV infections, and achieve undetectability among the men in our community.

THIS EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. We welcome & encourage POC to attend.

This project is partially supported by an Individual Artists Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, as well as a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. 

image: Derrick Woods-Morrow, "Me, photographing Josh, performing for me, performing my childhood, in a Chicago back alley," 2018, Photograph, 24" x 36"

Artist Bio

Derrick Woods-Morrow (b.1990. Brown Summit, NC) is a multidisciplinary Chicago-based artist working in photography, sculpture, installation, and performance. His practice navigates and negotiates sexual identity by fragmenting notions of representation, exploring personhood, memories & reimagining ways to understand power dynamics as they pertain to consent and self preservation.

A recipient of the 2015 Fellowship in the Visual Arts by the College Association of Art, Carol Becker Dean's Merit Scholarship & the Graduate Dean Professional Development Award, Woods-Morrow received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago 16’.

He is an Alum of the Fire Island Artist Residency 2016, Terry Plumming Scholar & Acre Residency Alum 15’, Latitude Chicago Artist in Residence 2017, and is currently a Chicago Artists Coalition 2017-2018 BOLT Resident. He is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Photography and Teaching Artist at the University of Illinois Chicago.

His exhibition highlights include: The Sand is Ours at Lesley University’s Vandernoot Gallery & Rhode Island University’s Chazan Family Gallery (Solo exhibitions); Ground Floor: A Biennial Exhibition of New Art from Chicago, Hyde Park Art Center; STEADY MESS, Bureau of General Services – Queer Division in Manhattan (in collaboration with the Fire Island Artist Residency); Blindspots, Xpace Cultural Centre in Toronto [in collaboration with Toronto Pride]; 50 x 50 Invitational, Chicago Cultural Center; and New Work: New Art at SAIC, Sullivan Galleries, School of the Art Institute of Chicago.