About the program
BOOK LAUNCH @ BUDDY SHOP/CHICAGO CULTURAL CENTER
Almighty & Insane Books presents Towers of Steel, Concrete & Glass: Drawings by Kareem Davis + Richard Willis
Discussion and book signing with Kareem Davis, Richard Willis, Faheem Majeed, and Robyn Jablonski
Known worldwide for its architecture, Chicago is host to an abundance of historical buildings that exemplify major architectural movements of the 20th century—from the Commercial Style (a.k.a the Chicago School) to the International Style (or Second Chicago School). Kareem Davis and Richard Willis are Chicago artists whose work concerns the urban landscape around them. Their shared enthusiasm for the histories of buildings and other structures around the city betrays a passion for Chicago’s architecture. Davis’s line drawings of residential buildings (from luxury condos to now demolished CHA high-rises) float between architectural renderings and geometric abstraction while Willis’s drawings of water-tanks and water-towers are more expressive in character with added color and imaginative flourishes. Both these artists record and interpret Chicago’s architectural history through their personal expression. This publication is intended to capture these moments of history to share with others, and to be experienced from many perspectives—aesthetic, architectural, historical, social, and personal—while celebrating the work of these artists and the dedication to their city.
Edition of 300
Softcover, 72 pages
Printed by Mission Press Inc, Franklin Park, IL
Letterpress covers by is PRESS, Denver, CO
Hand-bound by Almighty & Insane Books
10.375 x 10.75″ in | 26.4 x 27.3 cm
Kareem Davis is a lifelong Chicago resident. When he is not drawing skyscrapers, he is rendering images of CTA L-trains and buses while enthusiastically informing his viewer of the design and function. In 2021, Kareem had a solo exhibition titled, A Draftsman’s Dream, at Western Exhibitions in Chicago. He has been an artist with Project since 2015 and is also represented by Henry Boxer Gallery in Richmond, UK as of 2021.
Richard Willis is an architectural historian and artist who is a living Google Earth of Chicago and creates both 2-D and 3-D work of buildings, gas stations, CTA buses and trains, and water-towers. Richard is the younger brother of late Chicago artist and musician Wesley Willis, and their work has been shown together at Project Onward and Matthew Rachman Gallery. Willis joined Project Onward in 2011 and currently lives in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood.
Faheem Majeed is an artist, educator, curator, and community facilitator. He is currently Co-Director and Founder of the Floating Museum, which served as artistic directors of Chicago Architectural Biennial 5: This Is A Rehearsal. Willis and Davis’s work is on view at the CAB 5 exhibition at Chicago Cultural Center through February 11, 2024.
Robyn Jablonski is an artist and Creative Director of Project Onward, an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based at The Bridgeport Art Center in Chicago that seeks to promote art as a powerful tool for understanding and valuing the real and potential contributions of our national population with disabilities.
Project Onward with Ricky Willis and Kareem Davis
Chicago, United StatesWebsite
Project Onward exists to give artists with disabilities a visual voice to tell their stories and change the perceptions of the world. Project Onward is a studio and gallery dedicated to the creative growth of adult artists whose lives are impacted by mental illness and developmental disabilities. Our non-profit studio is inclusive and we embrace artists with a wide range of life experiences. Some are self-taught artists who have Autism, while some are formally-trained artists who have bipolar disorder. There are other artists with challenges that are equally complex. However, all of them willingly explore the innermost recesses of their minds to create powerful works of art.
Chicago Cultural Center
78 East Washington Street, Chicago, IL
The Chicago Cultural Center serves as one of the main exhibition venue sites for CAB 5, featuring projects from more than 80 participants from ten countries.
Opened in 1897, the Chicago Cultural Center is a Chicago landmark building operated by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and is home to free cultural exhibits and programming year-round.