Artist Talk: Arkee Chaney

Thursday, October 22, 2020
6-7:30 p.m. central
Zoom Video Conference

Artist Talk: Arkee Chaney

Ceramicist, cartoonist and painter Arkee Chaney will discuss his evolution as an artist and his current artistic practice at a virtual artist talk on Thursday, October 22. Intuit is thrilled to host Mr. Chaney, 76, in celebration of his release from prison in June 2020, as part of the remarkable work of the Illinois Prison Project, which secured the commutation of Chaney’s life sentence.

Chaney’s work provides commentary on African American experiences, politics and racism. In his artist statement, Chaney explains the genesis of the themes in his artwork, “Then one night it was as if a light lit up in my head, condemning me for my actions. Asking me, ‘Why are you promoting the culture of others? Tell your story.’ Since then, that’s exactly what I’ve been trying to do. With my cartoons, poems, ceramics and my paintings. All of these gifts are to be used to tell our story. By doing so, I strongly believe that I’ve tapped into something spiritual.”

Three ceramic sculptures of faces
Three ceramic sculptures by Arkee Chaney

Upon his release, Chaney built an art studio and created an online store where he sells his artwork. He currently serves as an Illinois Prison Project Ambassador.

In November 2016, Intuit previously hosted a panel to discuss Chaney’s work while he was still serving his sentence. Panelists included Sarah Ross, co-organizer of the Prison and Neighborhood Arts Project, and artists Jonathon Romain and Marvin Tate. For the upcoming talk, Chaney will discuss his artwork himself, in conversation with Paula Santos, Intuit senior manager of learning and engagement. Intuit thanks attorney Wendy Bloom for her efforts on Chaney’s behalf.

This event is free to join! To show your support to Intuit, please consider the pay-what-you-can (PWYC) option when you complete your reservation. Your contributions help ensure the sustainability of Intuit’s public programs.

Two hours before the event, Intuit will email the Zoom link to those who RSVP on Eventbrite. Please check your junk folder; unfortunately, these emails are sent there sometimes.

This event is funded in part by the Alphawood Foundation, the Department of Cultural Affairs, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, Illinois Humanities, Prince Charitable Trust, Terra Foundation for American Art and individual donations from Intuit members and supporters.