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Lawrence Agyei: DRILL

April 5, 2024 - May 11, 2024

Photograph of South Shore Drill Team during a performance. Performers are wearing white pants and dark jackets and twirling wooden rifles.
Lawrence Agyei, from the DRILL series.

Lawrence Agyei: DRILL is the artist’s first solo exhibition featuring portraits documenting Chicago’s South Shore Drill Team. Through photographic acuity, Agyei captures the team’s unwavering focus, confidence, and youthfulness as they prepare for the return of the 2022 Bud Billiken parade following their first halt in performances in 35 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Driven by a personal and artistic ethic to create and maintain relationships with his photographic subjects, Agyei continued his tenure with the team after the parade. The exhibition includes selections from the series taken between 2021-2023.

Inspired by the work of Dana Lixenburg and Dawoud Bey, this is Agyei’s first project shot completely in black and white. In addition to the artist’s portraits, the exhibition includes ephemera such as costumes and photographs from the South Shore Drill Team and a short film by Agyei titled For the Crib that celebrates the history of the team.

Since its founding in 1980 by educator Arthur Robertson, the South Shore Drill Team has remained an outlet and resource for Black youth on Chicago’s Southwest Side, providing community and arts training that remain with them long after they leave the program. From the 1986 film Ferris Bueler’s Day Off to Barack Obama’s inauguration, the team is one of the most decorated and sought-after performing arts organizations in the city. Lawrence Agyei: DRILL is a celebration and recognition of the team’s rich history, artistic excellence, and commitment to Chicago youth.

The exhibition is organized by independent curator Rikki Byrd. It is supported by Hyde Park Art Center’s Artists Run Chicago Fund in partnership with Art Design Chicago.



April 5, 2024
May 11, 2024
Event Category:


Free Admission

Wheelchair Accessible


Blanc Gallery
View Organizer Website


South Side
In Person
Life-long Learners, Teens, Families
Free Admission, Wheelchair Accessible
Event Topics
Community, Racial Identity, Social Justice




Blanc Gallery
4445 S. MLK Dr.
Chicago, IL 60653
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