Dec 12th 2022

Art Exhibition Showcasing Mecca Flats Presented by College of Architecture Alumni

residents who abandoned the American South for a chance at a better life—is spotlighted in an art exhibition by IIT College of Architecture alumni Roland Knowlden (B.ARCH ’20) and Davey Friday (M.L.A.+U. ’22), both multi-talented graduates who are well-acquainted with the city’s art scene.

Knowlden and Friday showcase their artistic talent through drawing and paintings, culminating in Buried Beauty, Broken Block, which is being exhibited at the Roots and Culture Contemporary Art Center, located at 1034 North Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago, until December 17.

Knowlden and Friday met in S. R. Crown Hall, which sits on the land once home to the Mecca Flats, a residential and studio art building that was an important anchor in the Bronzeville cultural community before being razed. Pieces of floor tile and other artifacts from the Mecca have been found on Mies Campus, most recently in a 2018 excavation.

“The influence of their architectural education is rooted in their spatial sensibilities to drawing and painting, but also to their adept vision to see and feel the stories that lie buried beneath the ground,” the exhibition’s description states.

Roots and Culture CAC is open on Fridays from 4–7 p.m. and on Saturdays from noon–6 p.m.