AIA Credit: 1.5 LU

Artists Amanda Williams, Jessica Stockholder, and David Hartt share their recent projects and consider the intersections between architecture and art. The conversation focuses on how architecture and the built environment inspire the panelists, and how their work engages public space in innovative and unexpected ways. Yesomi Umolu, a curator and writer who oversees exhibitions in the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago, will moderate the discussion.

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Amanda Williams is consumed with how combining art and architecture might help make all parts of the city thrive. Color is a central preoccupation in her work, with an evolving palette that is largely derived from the urban landscapes she traversed as a child growing up in Auburn Gresham, Chicago. Deeply invested in understanding the relationship of color, race, and space, Williams uses vivid, culturally derived colors to paint foreclosed and abandoned houses on Chicago’s South Side as a way to mark the pervasiveness of neglected and undervalued Black city space. A 3Arts Foundation awardee and recipient of a Joyce Foundation scholarship, she is a former Eidlitz Travel Fellow to Ethiopia and was a featured artist in Chicago Artists Month. Williams has exhibited and lectured at institutions including the Studio Museum in Harlem, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Syracuse University, and the University of Michigan, and she is a member of the board of the Hyde Park Art Center. A graduate of Cornell University’s School of Architecture, Williams is an Adjunct Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where she recently received an excellence in teaching award.

Jessica Stockholder works at the intersection of painting and sculpture. Her work, which probes how meaning derives from physicality, sometimes incorporates the architecture in which it was conceived, blanketing the floor, scaling walls and ceiling, and spilling out of windows, through doors, and into the surrounding landscape. Stockholder has exhibited widely in North America and Europe, at such venues as the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Dia Center for the Arts in New York; the Centre Pompidou in Paris; the Open Air Museum in Belgium; and the Venice Biennale. Her work is represented in collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. The recipient of grants including the Lucelia Artist Award from the Smithsonian American Art Museum and a Guggenheim Fellowship, Stockholder joined the University of Chicago’s faculty as Chair in 2011, having previously served as Director of the Yale School of Art Sculpture Department. She received her BFA from the University of Victoria in Canada, her MFA from Yale University, and honorary DFAs from the Emily Carr College of Art and Columbia College.

David Hartt creates primarily photo-based works that often appear in installations. He says his works “serve as intimate portraits of dreams and ideals that have not failed as much as been subtly displaced or altered.” His recent project, Stray Light (2011), includes a video and photographs taken at Chicago’s Johnson Publishing Company, producer of Ebony and Jet magazines and the leading arbiter of African American taste during the latter half of the 20th century. Hartt records the original 1971 interiors, and the images serve as documents of African American cultural history.

As curator, Yesomi Umolu oversees exhibitions in the Logan Center Gallery and other spaces throughout the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts. Specializing in global contemporary art and spatial practices, Umolu has presented exhibitions, commissions and public programs with John Akomfrah, Ursula Biemann and Paulo Tavares, Mithu Sen, Karen Mirza and Brad Butler, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Minouk Lim, Sharon Hayes and Eyal Weizman, among others. Prior to joining the University of Chicago, Umolu was Assistant Curator at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University. Umolu was previously Curatorial Fellow for Visual Arts at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and held curatorial positions at the European biennial of contemporary art Manifesta 8, region of Murcia, Spain and the Serpentine Gallery, London. Her writing has appeared in numerous catalogues and journals, including Art in America, Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism and the Studio Museum in Harlem’s Studio magazine.

This program is presented in partnership with United States Artists.