Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Honoring the Life and Legacy of the late Norman Parish (1937-2013)

From Millenium Arts Salon:
  1. The records of Parish Gallery are now part of the National Archives of American Art and can be accessed online here: https://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/parish-gallery-records-17390?utm_source=dailycampelloartnews .  The Archive includes information about the Gallery’s exhibitions between 1991 when the gallery was established by Norm (as he is affectionately called) until 2013 after his untimely transition. From online you can review background and historical information and browse the list of exhibitions -  beginning with the Gallery’s Grand Opening exhibition to its last exhibition, “Norman Parish – The Artist.”  The Archive includes biographical information about Norm, administrative records, and other details.  There is the option to select and view detail records on site, as well as request printed copies of selected files. 

  1. The Art Institute of Chicago just acquired one of Norm’s paintings! The painting now hangs at the Institute and we understand will be in close proximity to the exhibition, “Charles White:  A Retrospective,” which opens at the Institute on June 8th.  Norm named the work, “Black Pride Whitewashed” (see image attached), which symbolizes the “Wall of Respect,” a 1967 mural on the South Side of Chicago created by artists associated with the Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC) to celebrate Black Heroes and promote civil rights of African Americans in Chicago.  Norm was one of the artists who created the mural.  The title “Whitewashed” refers to an incident where Norm’s portion of the mural was whitewashed by another artist who wanted to be included.  The building was demolished a few years later after a fire.  You may have heard Norm speak about “the Wall” during his reflections about black art and its inspiration for positive action and change.  It is very fitting that over 50 years after the Wall, Norm’s work would hang in the prominent Art Institute of Chicago, where he graduated with a degree in art, and in the city he called home for over 30 years.

Gwen and Norman Parish III (Norm’s son) have worked tirelessly since the gallery’s closing to enable the Smithsonian and The Art Institute of Chicago to acquire these important documents and art work – Gwen worked with the Smithsonian Archives and Norman Parish III with the Institute.  These two phenomenal accomplishments seal Norman Parish’s legacy – he is one of the greatest artist, social activist, and human beings of our time!
I was Norm's neighbor in Canal Square for over a decade and can testify not only about the greatness of this human being, but also about what a supportive, really nice guy he was.