Hidden Gems: A Celebration of African American Artists & Art

February 3 - 27, 2022 in the Alice Rapoport Center

In celebration of August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean, Goodman Theatre is presenting Hidden Gems: A Celebration of African American Artists & Art throughout the run of the play.

During this month-long celebration, patrons will be able to see weekly art installations featuring some of Chicago’s most revered artists and artisans. The exhibit schedule and artists are listed below, and the event will culminate with an artisan vendor fair on Saturday, February 26 from 3:30pm to 7:30pm. The event is free for Goodman patrons attending performances during this time.

Artist Exhibit | February 3 – 27

Exhibits open one hour and thirty minutes before performances

  • Daimon Hampton

    Daimon Hampton | February 3 - 6

    Artist Meet & Greet: Friday February 4 at 6:30pm

    Daimon Hampton is a writer, artist, and amateur comedian based in Chicago, Illinois. Over the past 10 years, he’s worked on and self-published a diverse array of indie comics including 12 Gauge Stereo, Escape from Babylon, Hold Me Down, The Animal Journal, Beat Samurai, Oh Valencia...

    • Hampton's current comic projects include The Rose Society, an action conspiracy story, Become, an intimate space opera about the power of connection, and Psychedelic, A story about a superhero powered by magic and drugs.

      Daimon Hampton



  • Kinky Collective

    Naimah Thomas | February 10 - 13

    Artist Meet & Greet: Friday, February 11 at 7pm

    “The journey toward healing begins with our own willingness to be vulnerable with ourselves, embrace our mistakes, and remind ourselves that life is a process. “ - Naimah

    • Naimah is a Chicago-based visual artist, art therapist, and licensed professional counselor. She currently works as a licensed professional counselor, registered art therapist, and artist. Naimah’s clinical work and art practice often explore the intersections of art and mental health, primarily in BIPOC communities. Utilizing art to shift narratives around healing, mental health, and creating spaces where exploration and re-imagination are valued.  Most of her visual work is informed by her lived experiences as a Black woman, artist, and therapist. While completing her master’s program she opportunity to work with a range of people across the lifespan in community, correctional, and nonprofit settings. Naimah received her master’s in art therapy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from Columbia College Chicago.

      Most recently, Naimah’s work was featured in a collaboration between La Colombe and ACLU, where her works were featured on various products with a portion of proceeds benefiting Women entrepreneurs. In addition to working with the ACLU. Naimah was invited to collaborate with Mariame Kaba, the founder, and director of Project Nia, Naimah provided the illustration and oversight the design of the recently released zine titled Plight of the Girl: The story of Dorothy Belle Young. In addition, her work was recently highlighted among a host of other artists who have created work responding to recent Black Lives Matter protests. Naimah is a member of For the People Artists Collective, a radical squad of Black and Brown LGBTQIA artists.  Using artivism to uplift and project struggle, resistance, liberation, and survival within and for our marginalized communities and movements in our city and our world.
      NaimahThomasArt.com | @Naima_Creates

      Naimah Thomas



  • Martha A. Wade

    Martha A. Wade | February 17 - 20

    Artist Meet & Greet: Thursday, February 17 at 6:30pm

    Martha A. Wade is an award-winning visual artist from Chicago who has always carried a deep passion for art making. Her painting style utilizes whimsical themes of fantasy and hope, to portray cultural and historical themes in a positive tone. Her artwork has a dreamlike feel, where a sense of movement is created in every piece.

    • You will often find star constellations immersed in Martha’s work, exhibiting how we are all connected to each other, and to the Universe. The art seeks to uplift spirits by giving a glimpse of what people can achieve at our highest potential. Her tapestry of everyday people with rustic elements of fantasy suggest that common ground exists, where everyone is empowered to fulfill their dreams.

      Martha learned to create at the foot of her artist father Eugene “Eda” Wade, who she admired as a young girl longing for a canvas of her own. Eda was among the first artists responsible for the 1960’s mural movement in Chicago. Martha carries her father’s legacy with her today, just as she carried her newborn son across the stage when graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in Business Administration. She parlayed her degree into a successful career in Business Consulting where she learned financial modeling, and litigation consulting. Martha excelled in Graduate School at Columbia College Chicago, where she produced television shows for their college station FrequencyTV, and went on to work as a Producer at WGN-TV.

      Longing for a place to showcase her creative entrepreneurial spirit led Martha to the University of Chicago where she worked alongside a consortium of universities to manage their mentorship program. This is where she learned to fail fast, fail often, as she watched entrepreneurs launch companies that would disrupt technology, and maybe change the world.

      Each of these professional and personal experiences has shaped Martha and increased her passion for art making. Martha has recently found her second calling in Education and worked as a high school Art Teacher before being promptly promoted to Access Counselor.

      During her 20-year career, Martha never stopped creating art. In her latest painting series: Florecer, Martha explores the joys and complexities of being human. In this body of work, Martha explores the connection between her internal self, physical body, and nature. The paintings draw inspiration from the Kundalini spiritual awakening and bring to life vibrant skin tones and plant foliage in oil, acrylic, and mixed media on wood.

      Martha has been lucky to find her passion for painting and be able to pursue her professional career at the same time. She has gone on to create over 200 paintings on wood and canvas. Her work can be found in private homes, galleries, shops, museums, and collections around the world. WadeCreate.com

      Martha A. Wade



  • Blake Lenoir

    Blake Lenoir | February 24 - 27

    Artist Meet & Greet: Friday, February 25 at 7pm

    Blake Lenoir BFA born July 6th, 1991, raised and currently practicing based out of Chicago. As an interdisciplinary visual artist working predominantly with oil based paints and pastels, but having his home skill in graphite and charcoal, and as a poet himself, Lenoir’s work navigates and finds inspiration in the expressionist, dada, cubist, baroque/modern art and surrealist movements.

    • Lenoir’s original work comes heavily based in distortional entendres that he identifies act as an inception of ideas and/or conversations necessary to bring about relief of the given conflict. Lenoir’s work is intended to both be therapeutically comical, yet cynical to the human experiences of interaction aiming to evoke conversational healing, while primarily navigating and focusing with creating work with intention to spark the conversational dispelling of generational and societal curses. blenartistry.com

      Blake Lenoir






Vendor Fair | Saturday, February 26 | 3:30 - 7:30pm

Participating Vendors




D.A.P. Jewelry Collection for Men and Women






Paint the City


Facebook.com/SistaDolls | Instagram.com/Sista_Dolls


Studio Rez

Twenty Thou

Gem of the Ocean

A major revival of the play that begins August Wilson’s epic 10-play American Century Cycle—on the stage where it premiered in 2003.