Toward Common Cause


On June 3, Mel Chin, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, and Emmanuel Pratt, three artists who received the MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant, gathered to talk about planned installations at Pratt’s Sweet Water Foundation. Chin’s newly announced Chicago Fundred Initiative: A Bill for IL and Manglano-Ovalle’s Well are site-specific interventions planned as part of the multi-site, summer 2021 exhibition Toward Common Cause: Art, Social Change, and the MacArthur Program at 40. The conversation was mediated by Smart Museum curator Abigail Winograd.


Smart Museum exhibition “Towards Common Cause”


This show is part of the programming for Towards Common Cause, an exhibition at the Smart Museum of Art presented in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the MacArthur Fellows Program. The Smart Museum is a free-admission center for contemporary art and education in the University of Chicago campus, in Hyde Park, Chicago.


Mel Chin is an artist known for a broad range of approaches, including projects that require multi-disciplinary, collaborative teamwork and works that conjoin cross-cultural aesthetics with complex ideas, including the Fundred Project. Submissions to Chin’s Chicago Fundred Initiative: A Bill for IL, will be displayed at multiple locations throughout the city beginning in summer 2021 as part of Toward Common Cause. (Source)



Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle is a conceptual artist working across different mediums to create works that focus on issues of identity, class, and the role of the individual in a multiethnic, technologically changing society. This focus often leads to his collaboration with scientists, architects, writers, and composers, allowing him to create technically complex and systematically aesthetic objects. As part of Toward Common Cause, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle’s Well, the latest work in a series of the same name, will be installed at Sweet Water Foundation as a site for gathering, conversation, and reflection on water. (Source)



Emmanuel Pratt is an urban designer creating a model of resident-driven community development in neighborhoods that have suffered the effects of long-term disinvestment. Pratt is co-founder and executive director of the Sweet Water Foundation, a nonprofit organization based on Chicago’s South Side that engages local residents in the cultivation and regeneration of social, environmental, and economic resources in their neighborhoods. (Source)


Abigail Winograd is MacArthur Fellows Program Fortieth Anniversary Exhibition Curator at the Smart Museum of Art.

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