The Chicago Tribune recently profiled artist Cheryl Pope and Not Without a Fight, a solo exhibition of her work at Rockford Art Museum, in “Artist and former Chicago Golden Gloves winner Cheryl Pope welcomes a fight.”
Pope is an adjunct professor of fashion design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and indeed a Chicago Golden Gloves boxer as well. Her passion for creating ways to elevate voices that need to be heard is evident throughout her works on view in Rockford, many of which were inspired by interviews with students at schools in neighborhoods across Chicago, addressing tough subjects like gun violence and the impact it has not just on youth but also the entire community—conversations that Rockford can relate to.
Reporter Christopher Borrelli interviewed Cheryl Pope and Carrie Johnson, who curated the show, and wrote: Why not a Chicago show for Pope, who is accessible, provocative, approachable, arguably underrated, and not to mention an artist from Chicago, directly addressing the most pressing issues of Chicago? Why a show in Rockford? Because Rockford Art Museum Curator Carrie Johnson was a fan, and like Pope, who now divides her time between Chicago and Brooklyn, Johnson saw the relevance of the work extending far beyond Illinois.
Also highlighted in the article was Fight Night, part of the programming for the show, which takes place in the boxing ring inside the exhibition on Friday, March 1. Hosted by Pope, the one-night-only event features sparring bouts by youth from Patriots Boxing Club with spoken word intervals by poets from We Empower Too. Programming also includes a closing event, Not Without a Fight: Community Day, on Saturday, May 25; held in the museum’s parking lot, the free event features music, local art, kids’ activities and more. Both programs are presented in collaboration with local community groups that reach out to children, teens and young adults.
Cheryl Pope: Not Without a Fight includes free daily admission every day for ages 18 and under, and artwork information is presented in both English and Spanish. Sponsored in part by the Ahlstrand Family Foundation, Anne and David Boccignone, Jean and Dan Clark, Rockford Area Arts Council, and Women’s Art Board, with in-kind support from Event Floral. The exhibition is on view every day through Memorial Day, May 27, at Rockford Art Museum, located inside the Riverfront Museum Park at 711 North Main Street in downtown Rockford.
Read Borrelli’s full article here: https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/ct-ae-cheryl-pope-fight-rockford-0303-story.html