Black History Exhibition Features Chicago Artist Raub Welch

February 1, 2016 | by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs

Raub Welch works in many different media, with a focus on mixed media collage.

His work spans a variety of styles, including abstraction and narrative work that focuses on black culture.

As part of Black History Month, Elmhurst College will host The Endangered Species: A Visual Response to the Vanishing Black Man, an exhibition of Welch’s works that uses, as he describes it, “the unsettling power of juxtaposition to retell the truths of black manhood.”

“We as a society have graduated to a misguided comfort when it comes to defining the black man: dutiful, aggressive, industrious, thoughtless, strong and, most incorrectly, simple. As creatures, we (black men) carry a narrative too ghastly and nightmarish to ever qualify as merely ‘simple.’ The larger issue (and perhaps the focus of my exhibit) is that we have completely divorced the concept of beauty from the black man.

“My exhibit aims to interrogate these prejudices, reassess our own predispositions, and redefine the black male as an entity that is beautifully complex, and longing for humanity.”

Welch has shown his work in many exhibitions across the United States, including solo exhibitions in Chicago at the DuSable Museum of African American History and the South Side Community Art Center. In addition to his work as an artist, Welch is an art collector and the owner and principal designer of Very Raub Interiors and Events, a gallery and design space in Chicago.

The Black History Exhibition runs through Friday, March 18. It can be viewed days and evenings in the Founders Lounge of the Frick Center. A reception with the artist will be held on Wednesday, February 17, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Founders Lounge, with an artist’s talk at 5:00 p.m. Both the exhibition and reception are free and open to the public. For more information, call (630) 617-5186.

The Black History Exhibition is one of about a dozen art shows that Elmhurst College hosts each academic year in two campus venues. In addition, the College’s A.C. Buehler Library permanently houses the College’s unparalleled collection of Chicago Imagist and Abstractionist art, which explores the vibrant, often outrageous, yet precisely crafted works of Chicago artists between 1950 and the present. For more information, please contact Suellen Rocca at (630) 617-6110 or srocca@elmhurst.edu.

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