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Martha Wade Celebrates Black Beauty In “We are the Black Gold of the Sun”

Written by on October 22, 2020

Chicago-based mixed-media artist Martha Wade showcases the richness of Black culture and emphasizes hope for the future in new art exhibition “We are the Black Gold of the Sun.”

The exhibition opens at Bronzeville’s Blanc Gallery at 4445 S. Martin Luther King Dr. on Friday, Oct. 23, and will remain on display until Nov. 20. 


“We are the Black Gold of the Sun,” a culmination of mixed-media works on wood, is Wade’s first solo exhibition in six years. The project is highly explorative of the Black experience, especially in the context of this summer’s social uprisings against racism and police brutality.

“I seek to combat the negative images often shown in media when Chicago, and people of color are portrayed,” Wade said. “I paint whimsical themes of fantasy, and portray cultural themes in a positive tone. My paintings depict people achieving dreams, and reaching their highest potential.”

Wade incorporates several motifs signifying strength, greatness, longevity and vitality – including depictions of the sun, stars and strong spirit animals such as bears and whales. Wade also deliberately utilizes the grain patterns of her wooden palettes as skin tones of her subjects, who she depicts alongside colorful cityscapes and background elements.

“Utilizing creative energy to express strength, vulnerability, hope or fear has allowed me to find my voice,” she said. “As a female artist, my work can intimidate or allure – but always tells a story through art.”

Masks are required to enter the Blanc Gallery space and capacity is limited to 15 people at a time. Advance reservations are strongly encouraged, but not required.


Check out the rest of Martha Wade’s works & RSVP to “We are the Black Gold of the Sun” here.

Follow Wade on Instagram and Twitter.

Written by Morgan Ciocca