Charley Krebs: Black and White and Blues All Over

May 21 – June 18, 2016
Reception: Sunday, May 22, 3 ‐ 6pm
Curated by Kim Piotrowski


Charley Krebs has been the cartoonist for Chicago Jazz Magazine (CJM) since its first issue in 2004. His regular feature alternates between traditional one-panel jokes to half-page collage cartoons presenting an illustrated study of Chicago and its prominent music forms, jazz and blues.

Black & White and Blues All Over is the sequel to Krebs’ 2008 RAC career retrospective exhibit, Black & White and Read All Over. This collection of his work in RAC’s FlexSpace Gallery brings together cartoons drawn for CJM’s annual Chicago Bluesfest issue, along with a few other CJM cartoons and those from other print or online entities.

Charley was the editorial cartoonist for the Suburban LIFE Newspapers organization from 1979 to 2006, at times creating 5 cartoons a week for newspapers serving 75 communities. This work was recognized with 17 state and national journalism awards, including the top designation for the years 1997 and 2001 by the Illinois Press Association. He also was the first art director and cartoonist for New City. Along with a great number of other print publications, his work has been more recently featured online for AOL Patch and The Chicago Progressive.

He is a self-taught cartoonist originally from the west side of Chicago – copying characters from the Mickey Mouse Club and story books and then onto his school days emulating the comic books and comic strips of the 1960s. In the 1970s, Charley was the cartoonist (and editor-in-chief) of both his high school and college student newspapers in Cicero. In the 1980s and ’90s, he was an art director in the educational international travel marketplace. He has been a working artist and resident of the Village of Riverside since 1985. In addition to his ongoing work for Chicago Jazz Magazine, Charley is a top-tier staff cartoonist and illustrator for McKinsey & Company Worldwide.

Music themes have been prominent in his work for a long time: his first cartoon sale was a drawing of the Beatles in 1965 to his cousin Jimmy for a nickel.

Charley art