Amanda Williams: Thrival

image of American flag with African-American children in blue

Emma Amos, STARS AND STRIPES (1992), collection of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, New York.

Glanzer-Curtis Family Lecture Series

Amanda Williams (B.Arch. '97) is a visual artist who trained as an architect at AAP. Williams's practice blurs the distinction between art and architecture. Her projects use color as a lens to highlight the complexities of the politics of race, place, and value in cities. She is best known for her series, Color(ed) Theory, in which she painted the exterior of soon-to-be-demolished houses on the south side of Chicago using a culturally charged color palette to mark the pervasiveness of vacancy and blight in black urban communities. The landscapes in which she operates are the visual residue of the invisible policies and forces that have misshaped most inner cities.

Williams is an Efroymson Family Contemporary Arts Fellow, a 3Arts awardee, recipient of the 2017 Pulitzer Arts Foundation Design/Build commission in collaboration with Andres L. Hernandez (B.Arch. '97), part of the ensemble selected to represent the U.S. in the upcoming 2018 Venice Biennale of Architecture, a member of the multidisciplinary exhibition design team for the Obama Presidential Center, and a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant. She has current exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Arts Club of Chicago, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Williams recently served as a visiting assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis and is a visiting critic at Cornell University for the spring 2018 semester. She lives and works on Chicago's south side.