Toward Common Cause at the Stony Island Arts Bank

The Stony Island Arts Bank will be reopening after being closed to the public for over a year with a group show as part of the multi-site initiative Toward Common Cause: Art, Social Change, and the MacArthur Fellows Program at 40. The exhibition will be a multifaceted exploration of four areas of inquiry: the natural environment, the built environment, monuments and institutions, identity and representation.

This subchapter of Toward Common Cause at Arts Bank will focus primarily on the question of race that has been examined by artists for decades and include pieces by MacArthur Fellows Carrie Mae Weems, Kerry James Marshall, Gary Hill, Whitfield Lovell, Trevor Paglen, Deborah Willis, Dawoud Bey, Fred Wilson and Nicole Eisenman.

Organized by the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago in collaboration with more than two dozen partner organizations across Chicago, Toward Common Cause uses the idea of “the commons” to explore the current socio-political moment, in which questions of inclusion, exclusion, ownership, and rights of access are constantly being challenged across a wide array of human endeavors.

The Toward Common Cause project is presented in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the MacArthur Fellows Program. Concurrent to the presentation at the Stony Island Arts Bank, additional Toward Common Cause projects will be on display at other organizations on the mid South Side this summer, including the DuSable Museum of African American History, Hyde Park Arts Center, Logan Center for the Arts, and South Side Community Arts Center. Toward Common Cause is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and curated by Abigail Winograd, MacArthur Fellows Program Fortieth Anniversary Exhibition Curator, Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago.

The Stony Island Arts Bank will be open every Sunday from 12 pm to 7 pm. In order to protect the health and safety of all guests, registration and masks will be required to visit the show. Registration via Eventbrite will open on July 1, 2021.

For more information about Toward Common Cause, visit

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