Forever Golden Memorial Exhibition - Jason Brooks

Elephant Room Gallery  presents an October 1st - 15th retrospective exhibition honoring legendary graffiti and street artist Jason “The-7-ist” Brooks Blair Golden. The event will memorialize and pay tribute to the 7th year of his passing by sharing previously unreleased works including paintings, drawings, wheat pastes, zines, letters, photos of tags and murals, some of which will be available for sale. The reception on Friday, October 1st from 6 to 10pm is free and open to the public with masks required. The gallery is located at 704 S Wabash Ave. in the South Loop Neighborhood of Chicago.

Brooks Golden FB 
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Brooks Golden Blogspot 

GoFundMe dollars will underwrite event production costs, the archival of his work and will continue to preserve his legacy. In collaboration with Thundercircus and Flatlands Press, donors contributing at certain levels will receive perks including stickers, prints and t-shirts featuring Brooks Golden’s art. 

Before graffiti and street art became a part of the widely accepted pop culture lexicon, Brooks Golden a.k.a. SEVE, was one of Milwaukee’s first prolific graffiti writers and one of the founding members of the FCR Crew. By the mid-1990's, he was one of several local graffiti artists sentenced to unprecedented jail time and fines. Upon his release, he moved to Chicago, becoming an influential part of the emergent Chicago street art scene.

Inspired by American folk art/tales, Hollywood horror imagery, late 70's American punk rock and early 80s hip-hop, Golden’s indigenous and African-American heritage is reflected in the owls and pyramid themes frequently appearing in his work. Adopting the catch phrase "Be Golden”, the artist used visual symbolism, humor and allegory to explore the commonalities of American, Asian and African cultures on the American footprint.

Golden’s passing from Type 1 Diabetes at age 40 left a tremendous void in the Chicago street art and graffiti scene. His proper place in these worlds isn't as a footnote. Help to memorialize the physical and economic sacrifices he endured as a dedicated artist by making a donation or attending this special event. In Golden's words: "You are going to miss out on something very, very awesome if you don’t come to this show.”

Proceeds collected above and beyond event production costs will benefit 3Arts  and The Southside Community Arts Center .

3Arts is a nonprofit organization that supports and advocates for Chicago’s women artists, artists of color, and Deaf and disabled artists who work in the performing, teaching, and visual arts. By providing cash awards, project funding, residency fellowships, professional development, and promotion, 3Arts helps artists take risks, experiment, and build momentum in their careers over time.

The South Side Community Art Center was founded in 1940 by Black artists and advocates as a destination for Black art, and to support the careers and development of Black artists. The Center strives to connect communities to African American art and artists through exhibitions, public programs and artist-centric engagement.

Donation Levels:
$25 & up: Name included on the show's printed and online materials where donors are listed. 
$50 & up: Name included as above and stickers featuring Brooks Golden's artwork. 
$100 & up: All of the above and a "Forever Golden" Event poster. 
$200 & up: All of the above and an event t-shirt. 
$300 & up: All of the above and a limited edition print of Brooks Golden's work. 
$500 & up: All of the above, an invitation to view the exhibition in person or online ahead of the public opening and a printed catalogue/zine of Brooks Golden's artwork.

Many thanks to the following artists and sources for contributing to this effort: 
Elephant Room Gallery
Rose Mesterhazy
Thor Goodlife/ThunderCircus
Oscar Arriola
Eric Von Haynes
James Tomasello
Justin Williamson
 
Brooks Quotes
"Seeing your work from a city bus has a different impact then say, drawing some little thing and hanging it in a gallery. It has a completely different connotation and it broadens the audience quite a bit from being this specific type of person that would see it in a gallery space to everybody, kids, grandmothers, elderly people, teenagers."
 
"It is just about being free and you and your board and the city. We were always getting chased out of every place we went to anyway so this sense of not doing what we were supposed to be doing but doing it anyway was kind of instilled in me really early on—I started skating in 1987. So as an eleven or twelve year old I was already just doing what I wanted to do and running from the law and having a sense of freedom in that in my rebellion."
 
"I don’t want to be told by anyone that I cannot express myself or be a creative person without parameters, which is basically what being a graffiti or street artist is—not having any parameters put onto your creativity. And that is still very attractive to me, and still what it is about today—I still don’t want any parameters. I don’t want to be told that this space is not okay for you to express yourself."
 
"Primarily graffiti writers are my favorite street artists because they risk the most and the reward is little. It is in accolades, they don’t get paychecks or book deals. So it is like a nod and that is why it is important. It is saying, “hey you didn’t waste your time and people are paying attention.”
 
Sources:
  • Andre Mittag 
    • $75 
    • 11 d
  • Kari Kraus 
    • $25 
    • 14 d
  • Jennifer Cronin 
    • $20 
    • 16 d
  • Storefront Records 
    • $100 
    • 16 d
  • Natalie Kling 
    • $100 
    • 16 d
See all

Fundraising team (4)

Kimberly Leja Atwood 
Organizer
Chicago, IL
Eric Von Haynes 
Team member
Friends of Brooks Golden 
Team member
Natasha Barraza 
Team member
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