Pyramids of Power: The Black Family

Title:  Pyramids of Power: The Black Family

Site:  Henry Booth House
2328 S. Dearborn Street, Chicago

Artists: Nina Cain and John Yancey

Community Participants: 3 youths from the community

Sponsors:  Chicago Public Art Group and Henry Booth House

Year:  1988

Scale:  12 x 19 feet

Materials: Broken ceramic tile

Information:  This ceramic tile mosaic on the Henry Booth House, a community organization that serves the surrounding public housing, consists of three interlocking pyramids and other symbolic elements to suggest the stability, strength, and structure of family. While the piece honors single-parent households, it also affirms the need for men and women to work together to raise children.

The piece, which incorporates Cain’s signature black-and-white right-triangle borders, was made through the “indirect method” in which shaped tiles are laid out face up on a full scale drawing of the work. The tiles are held together with an adhesive paper on the surface until they are mounted on the wall with cement.