Jennifer Newsom is a licensed architect, artist, and principal of Dream The Combine, cofounded with Tom Carruthers in 2013. Through her practice, Newsom has coproduced numerous site-specific installations in the U.S. and Canada that explore metaphor, perceptual uncertainties, and the boundary between real and illusory space. Dream The Combine are winners of the 2018 Young Architects Program at MoMA PS1 for their installation Hide & Seek, and the 2020–21 J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize.
Newsom's research lies in the space between real, tangible bodies made of flesh, steel, glass, etc. and the perception of these bodies through vision. As scholar Sarah Lewis has noted, "Seeing has become a mode of reading the world. We make meaning of what we see through conditioned sight, and the question becomes what conditions the mode of seeing? When it comes to race and equity, this has become increasingly important to understand." As an architect, she examines racial constructs in the context of built constructions, where these spatial metaphors act as mechanisms for connectedness and engagement. People are the activating agents in her work, and their presence is needed for a reconsideration — a "reconditioning," to use Lewis's term — of our bodies in relation to one another.
Academic Research/Specialty Areas
- Architectural design
- Architectural practice
- Installation art
- Public art
Awards, Grants, and Fellowships (Selected)
- McKnight Fellowship for Visual Artists to Dream the Combine (2021)
- AIA MN Special Award, American Institute of Architects, Minnesota Chapter (2020)
- J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize, Exhibit Columbus, Columbus, Indiana (2020)
- Young Architects Program, MoMA PS1, New York City (2018)
- Architect-in-Residence, Art Omi, Ghent, New York (2018)
- Faculty Design Award, American Collegiate Schools of Architecture (2018)
Exhibitions and Presentations (Selected)
- Curatorial ensemble for the second edition of Counterpublic, forthcoming (2023)
- Lure, MadArt Studio, Seattle, Washington (2019)
- Hide & Seek, MoMA PS1, New York City (2018)
- Longing, Minneapolis, Minnesota (2015)
- Newsom, Jennifer. "A Choice of Weapons: Image Notes from Minneapolis." MasContext33: Vigilantism. Barnes, Germane and Shawhin Roudbari, eds. Accepted for publication forthcoming in 2021.
- Newsom, Jennifer. "A Refusal of Border." Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America. Anderson, Sean and Mabel Wilson, eds. New York: Museum of Modern Art (2021).
- Newsom, Jennifer. "Architects, African-American." Africana: The Encyclopedia of African and African-American Experience. 2nd ed. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and K. Anthony Appiah, eds. New York: Oxford University Press (2005).