Kerry James Marshall + Cheryl Lynn Bruce

Artist | Actor

Kerry James Marshall


Kerry James Marshall

Kerry James Marshall is a painter and draughtsman whose work addresses notions of identity, color and society. He is well known for paintings that focus on black subjects historically excluded from the artistic canon, and has explored issues of race and history through imagery ranging from abstraction to comics. Marshall said in a 2012 interview with Art + Auction that “it is possible to transcend what is perceived to be the limitations of a race-conscious kind of work. It is a limitation only if you accept someone else’s foreclosure from the outside. If you plumb the depths yourself, you can exercise a good deal of creative flexibility. You are limited only by your ability to imagine possibilities.”


Marshall was born in Alabama in 1955, and grew up in Watts, Los Angeles. He is a 1978 graduate of the Otis College of Art and Design and currently lives and works in Chicago. He is the recipient of several awards, grants and fellowships including the MacArthur genius grant in 1997 and the Wolfgang Hahn Prize (2014). He was appointed to President Barack Obama’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in 2013, and his work is currently on view at the 2015 Venice Biennale: All the World’s Futures. The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago will present Kerry James Marshall: Mastry, a major museum survey of Marshall’s work, in 2016.


His work was featured in a major traveling survey, Painting and Other Stuff, at Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen;  Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen;  Antoni Tapies Foundation, Barcelona and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2013-2014). Recent solo exhibitions include Kerry James Marshall: In the Tower, National Gallery of Art, DC (2013), Front Room Series, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Missouri (2013) and Who’s Afraid of Red, Black and Green, Secession, Vienna (2012). Previous travelling solo exhibitions include Camden Arts Centre, London (2005) and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2003). Marshall has received the Wolfgang Hahn Prize (2014) and was appointed to President Barack Obama’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in 2013. His work is featured in museum collections including The Art Institute of Chicago; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; National Gallery of Art, D.C.; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney, New York.


Cheryl Lynn Bruce


Cheryl Lynn BruceCheryl Lynn Bruce made her professional debut in Goodman Theatre’s Death and the King’s Horseman and has performed on stages across the US, Europe, and Mexico. She created the role of Elizabeth Sandry for Steppenwolf’s Tony Award-winning production The Grapes of Wrath and has performed selected works by Suzan-Lori Parks at University of Chicago’s Renaissance Society and at the famous Steirischer Herbst Festival in Graz, Austria.


Bruce received both a Jane Addams Hull House Association Woman of Valor Award and a coveted 3Arts Artist Award with an unrestricted grant in support of her work in theatre arts. She co-created text and narrated the photography exhibition Congo/Women Portraits of War which began its international tour following a Chicago premiere. For her 2010-12 Yale University research residency, Bruce developed a performance project based, in part, on the life and times of Edward Alexander Bouchet, Yale’s first Black doctoral graduate in Physics. Named Inaugural Fellow of the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media-Columbia College Chicago in Spring 2006, Cheryl Lynn Bruce received both grant and research support for the development of a performance project based on the life and times of Black colonial slave poet Phillis Wheatley.


As an educator, Bruce created and directed plays with music and dance for Youth Drama Workshop, the summer enrichment program she co-founded with Goodman Theatre in 1995 exclusively for ‘tween age residents of Dearborn Homes in Bronzeville. As a director, she has mounted productions for Columbia College, University of Illinois-Chicago, Indiana University, De Paul University, Congo Square Theatre Company, and at ETA Creative Arts Foundation.


Bruce’s featured stage appearances include performances at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Writers Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory, Goodman Theatre, Missouri Repertory, and more. Her film credits include Stranger Than Fiction, The Fugitive, and The Second Voyage of the Mimi series. Her television credits include Prison Break, There Are No Children Here with Oprah Winfrey, Separate but Equal and To Sir with Love II (both with Sidney Poitier), and Crime of Innocence, for which she shared a Best Ensemble Emmy.