"To me, art is ritual, an attempt to interpret higher expressions of life. My work is expressed through both realistic and symbolic forms, in an attempt to inform the viewer of a cultural continuum. It is created through the manipulation of form, design, color, collage and assemblage."
Arlene defines herself as a Visual Artist, Curator, Educator, Muralist, and Cultural Activist. In her journey, she became a classroom teacher, university administrator, faculty member and student affairs, unit head; a grant developer and institution builder of cultural organizations; a collaborator and mentor. She endeavors to integrate her creativity into service and the beautification of the community.
In recent years, Arlene has curated, lead and participated in several public art murals and installation projects: “Seeds of Our Culture”, 64th St. Mural Project, collaboration with Rahmaan Statik Barnes, 2017; a lead artist with Dorian Sylvain and Raymond Thomas for “Sankofa for the Earth” a Gathering Space in the Burnham Wildlife Corridor, Chicago Park District, 2016; Lead Artist/Designer and project manager for “Up from the South”, Mural for the Bronzeville Great Migration curriculum project for NEIU’s Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies, 2012; Phoebe Hurst Elementary Mural Project with Kiela Smith (CPA group) 2009.
She was a guest curator for DuSable Museum’s “AfriCOBRA Art & Impact”, a series of exhibitions with the SSCAC & University of Chicago’s Logan Center, 2013; and the Conference Planning Chair for the “Role of the Arts in Neighborhood Revitalization”, at the Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies, 2002
Arlene was a featured panelist for “Social and Cultural Impact of Women Artists” at the 4th Midwest Women Artists Symposium, Bradley University, 2017; and “Wall of Respect Symposium”, SAIC & SSCAC, 2016. She is a contributing author for “Rise of the Phoenix - Voices from Chicago’s Black Struggle, 1960 – 1975”; and the Smart Museum’s exhibition catalog, “South Side Stories, the Time is Now! Art Worlds of Chicago’s South Side, 1960 – 1980”. Published artworks are included in: “Roads, Where there are No Roads” by Angela Jackson, Northwestern Press, 2017 (Cover Art); “Revise the Psalm – Works Celebrating the Writing of Gwendolyn Brooks”.
This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist