Chicago artist, Cauleen Smith, has created some striking films, sculptures, paintings and performance pieces in her lifetime. In fact, she was one of the first artists to be honored with the Ellsworth Kelly Award from The Foundation for Contemporary Art.
What many don't know about Smith is that beyond creating visual art and film, she likes to make lists. The most recent list Smith made developed into a visual art exhibit entitled Human_3.0 Reading List, currently on display at the Art Institute of Chicago through October 29.
These thought-provoking sketches of book covers explore the power of books, which Smith has been known to refer to as "weapons for the mind." (See the photo above featuring her book cover for Things Fall Apart, used with permission from the artist.)
Smith contends that while indeed black women and black men can take to the streets in protest against violence, they must first have a consciousness ... which she believes can be achieved through deep study and reading. The titles she's created in various mediums - sometimes watercolor or graphite - are intriguing and collected for "Doers-Who-Think and believe a better world is possible."
Smith showcases the books that have been most meaningful in her life and which she hopes will empower fellow black women and men in America. From science fiction to poetry and essays, the list is diverse. Smith's all-time favorite and most memorable from the list includes The Fire Next Time.
A few other titles include:
Smith challenges viewers, asking, "Have you read these books? Will you read these books?" She also inquires, "Which titles might be missing?"
What do you think?