The Underground Museum: “An Artwork in Itself’’
“The low-slung building on Washington Boulevard here might seem like a nondescript storefront sandwiched between a carpet installation business and a lawn mower repair shop.
But in the eight years since it was founded, the Underground Museum has become not only one of the most important destinations for black art in the country but also a crucial gathering place for its working class Arlington Heights neighborhood—with a bookstore featuring works by black writers, poetry readings in the wooden bar and events in its back garden including free meditation, yoga and movie screenings.
As cultural institutions all over the world wrestle with how to bring art to the public during the pandemic, smaller ones like the Underground Museum are also trying to figure out how to continue serving communities that have come to rely on them in other ways.
'It’s not just pretty pictures we’re putting on the wall,' said Karon Davis, an artist who created the museum with her husband, the painter Noah Davis, who was the moving force behind the Underground and died in 2015 of a rare cancer at age 32. 'We’re actually doing a lot of work for the community.'’
Read the full article in The New York Times
Image: Noah Davis, 1975 (8), 2013 (detail)