A South Side Itinerary

Your weekend on the South Side with Toward Common Cause

Toward Common Cause is a collaborative effort that offers the opportunity to spend an afternoon—or a whole weekend—visiting a combination of engaging group and solo exhibitions across the South Side of Chicago. Choose a day, explore one of the project’s main themes, and reflect on the ways in which these MacArthur Fellows are invoking art as a tool for change.

Two people looking at three large color photographs on a gallery wall


These three venues are open on Saturdays. Hours of operation and reservation policies vary by location, please confirm with each venue prior to visiting.

Stop 1:
Smart Museum of Art

The University of Chicago
5550 S. Greenwood Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60637

Start your Saturday at the Smart Museum of Art. As the main gallery venue for Toward Common Cause, this group show foregrounds issues of the natural and built environments. The selected works—by Mark Bradford, Mel Chin, Nicole Eisenman, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Jeffrey Gibson, Toba Khedoori, Rick Lowe, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Julie Mehretu, Fazal Sheikh, and Xu Bing—consider how race and class shape our rural and urban spaces while also engaging art historical questions about the history of landscape photography and painting. Together, these works call into question the local and global power structures and social inequities that plague contemporary society, a reality thrown into stark relief by the global pandemic.

Make a reservation to visit the Smart

Through December 19, 2021. Reservations recommended. Open Thursday–Sunday, 11 am–4 pm.

Stop 2:
Hyde Park Art Center

5020 S. Cornell Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60615

Next, drop by the Hyde Park Art Center and engage more deeply with questions of environmental racism and infrastructural inequalities. Artworks by MacArthur Fellows Mel Chin, LaToya Ruby Frazier, and Fazal Sheikh approach issues—such as industrial pollution and limited access to healthcare, food, and clean drinking water—which are shared by disinvested and disenfranchised communities across the globe.

Before you go—pick up a Fundred and add your own original work of art to the exhibition.

Plan your visit the Hyde Park Art Center

Through October 24, 2021. Open for walk-in visits, no pre-registration required. Open Monday, 10 am–4:30 pm; Tuesday–Thursday, 10 am–7 pm; Friday, 10 am–4:30 pm; and Saturday, 10 am–3 pm.

Stop 3:
South Side Community Art Center

3831 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, Illinois 60653

Your final stop on Saturday is the oldest African American art center in the United States, and a Chicago Historic Landmark. As part of Toward Common Cause, South Side Community Art Center presents the solo show Whitfield Lovell: The Spell Suite. Mining vintage photographs of unknown people for much of his subject matter, MacArthur Fellow Whitfield Lovell aims to, in his words, “illuminate the humanity and richness” of ordinary African Americans who lived between the Emancipation Proclamation and the civil rights movement. Together, Lovell’s Black figures probe the effacement of cultural memory with sensuous tones that activate the legacy of those whose personal histories have been lost.

Plan your visit to SSCAC

Through September 25, 2021. Reservations are not required. Open Tuesday–Saturday 12–4 pm

Gallery installation with a small piano, three flags, and a large scale photograph.


These three venues are open on Sundays. Hours of operation and reservation policies vary by location, please confirm with each venue prior to visiting.

Stop 1:
DuSable Museum of African American History
740 E. 56th Place
Chicago, Illinois 60637

Start your Sunday with a visit to the Roundhouse, where a 1997 installation by Kara Walker makes its historic return to the South Side. Across three decades of making artworks of black cut-out figures, Walker has turned the harm of racism upon itself by refusing to veil the history of slavery in shame or euphemism. Underscoring racism, stereotypes, and bodily desire as black-and-white issues, this installation presents antebellum characters in the style of black paper portraiture, a genre whose use from the mid-17th century through the late 19th century not only overlapped with the history of slavery but also perpetuated extremely problematic stereotypes about Black people. Offered up for reconsideration in our time, these vignettes confront us with powerful questions of how to deal with our nation’s painful past.

Make a reservation to visit the DuSable Museum

Through October 16, 2021. Reservations are encouraged. Open Wednesday–Sunday, 11 am–4 pm.

Stop 2:
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts

The University of Chicago
915 E. 60th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637

Across the Midway, the nearby Logan Center Exhibitions presents an installation that also looks back. A Land of Broken Dreams features an array of media and objects—photography, video, texts, bric-a-brac, and furniture—through which Carrie Mae Weems reimagines the Black Panther Party’s programs for young people in Chicago during the late 1960s and early 70s. Browse, sit, and explore a classroom setting, which is replete with desks, chairs, books, a blackboard, view masters, and posters of historic Black leaders. As a whole, this exhibition probes notions of education and ideals for political parties, revolutions, and their leaders.

Make a reservation to visit the Logan Center

Through December 12, 2021. Reservations encouraged. Open Thursday–Friday 1–8 pm; Saturday–Sunday 12–6pm.

Stop 3:
Stony Island Arts Bank

6760 S Stony Island Ave
Chicago, Illinois 60649

Your Sunday art crawl ends at Stony Island Arts Bank, home to a group show that includes Dawoud Bey, Nicole Eisenman, David Hammons, Gary Hill, Whitfield Lovell, Kerry James Marshall, Trevor Paglen, Carrie Mae Weems, Deborah Willis, and Fred Wilson. This sub-chapter of Toward Common Cause constitutes an artistic reflection on how we see others, how we see ourselves, and how these views are inflected by race, gender, and class, among other considerations. These are questions that currently preoccupy the art world. Yet, they are questions that the artists included in this exhibition have been raising for decades.

Plan your visit to the Stony Island Arts Bank

Through December 19. Open Sunday noon–7 pm; public tours take place at 12:15 pm.