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Painting the GospelBlack Public Art and Religion in Chicago$
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Kymberly N. Pinder

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039928

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039928.001.0001

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Urban Street Faith

Urban Street Faith

Murals, T-shirts, and Devout Graffiti

(p.120) Chapter 5 Urban Street Faith
Painting the Gospel

Kymberly N. Pinder

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines contemporary black public art in Chicago, including Bernard Williams's black biblical figures in the apse of Saint Edmund's Episcopal Church. As a principal artist in the Chicago Public Art Group (CPAG), Williams has been the lead restorer for most of murals by William Walker. The Saint Edmund's committee directed the content of Williams's mural at the church in relation to the newly installed stained glass program of important black heroes. Father Richard Tolliver considered murals and stained glass an integral part of his revitalization of Saint Edmund's. Williams also helped restore Frederick D. Jones's mural at the First Church of Deliverance (FCOD) and created a number of local community murals. The chapter concludes with a discussion of Damon Lamar Reed's mural ministry consisting of murals, graffiti, rap music, and T-shirts. Like the conflations of the black Christ with the pastor at Pilgrim Baptist Church and FCOD, Reed's work merges the painted image of Jesus with that of a real black body, the one within the T-shirt.

Keywords:   black public art, Bernard Williams, black biblical figures, murals, stained glass, Richard Tolliver, Damon Lamar Reed, T-shirts, graffiti, rap

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