Chapter Chartered in Chicago by Two
A new chapter of Gamma Xi Phi has come to the Midwest.
Gamma Xi Phi, the nation’s leading fraternity for artists, chartered its Kappa Chapter in Chicago, Illinois, on Saturday, June 12, 2021, with two members: Venise Keys and Dionne Victoria. The local movement began during the height of the pandemic in the Fall of 2020, when informal meetings were held with interested working artists in the community.
Those initial meetings crystallized into an official interest group, organized on April 21, 2021, and fulfilled the requirements for chartering in record time. The former members of The Artists of South Side Chicago are now the fraternity’s tenth single-letter chapter.
“It is a privilege to do community service through the arts with ambitious Black and Brown creators,” said Ms. Keys, who serves as the chapter’s chartering Program Director. “I am excited to give back to our youth who need creative mentors and representations of success in the arts as professionals.”
Gamma Xi Phi was founded on October 7, 2010, by Ramapo College men and women who were interested in creating strong bonds between students pursuing artistic careers. The purpose of the fraternity is to honor the achievements of artists through fellowship, philanthropy, social justice, and service.
Venise Keys (www.artofvenisekeys.com) was raised on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Bradley University in 2013 and her Master of Fine Arts degree with a Graduate Certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Illinois State University in 2016. While finishing her MFA, Venise served as adjunct faculty of art at Illinois Central College and Bradley University. Shortly after, she completed a painting and mixed media artist residency at the School of Visual Art in New York in 2017. Venise lectured her studio research on the role of the Black artist and Black Feminist theory at Dillard University, and it was published in the scholarly journal, Kalfou: Comparative and Relational Ethnic Studies. She currently works in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago as the full-time visual art teacher at Art In Motion Creative Charter School.
Dionne Victoria (www.dionnevictoria.com, www.wehealheal.org) is a Chicago artist who shares that her artwork is a meditative tool to heal and express the internal landscape of the soul in an external world. Her artwork can be viewed nationally, and she has exhibited internationally. Dionne Victoria has exhibited in the United States Library of Congress, as well as in the Museum of Science and Industry on numerous occasions. Currently, her art can be viewed at the Zhou B Art Center, where her studio is located. She is a co-founder of The Healing Academy and currently fuses art with science by teaching middle school science, also at Art In Motion Creative Charter School.
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