Co-Sponsored by the UIS Visual Arts Gallery and the Chicago Artists Coalition
Jeff Robinson will moderate a panel discussion with Chicago-based artists Mark Blanchard, Cass Davis, kwabena foli, and Kelly Kristin Jones. Through their artwork, these artists engage with place in order to clarify personal and collective identity, promote a sense of belonging, and spark agency and resistance against an alienation that results from attempts to erase difference and homogenize space. The conversation will center around each artist’s practice and how their artwork relates to these themes. The panel discussion will be followed by a question and answer session with the audience. This discussion will coincide with an exhibition of work from all four artists in the UIS Visual Arts Gallery. The gallery will be open for a light closing reception following the ECCE Speaker Series event and will offer an opportunity to experience the artworks on display to supplement and enhance the conversation surrounding the ideas addressed by the panel.
Mark Blanchard, Cass Davis, kwabena foli, and Kelly Kristin Jones are Chicago-based artists and current artists-in-residence at Chicago Artists Coalition. Blanchard received an M.F.A. at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work explores identity within the framework of considering the misrepresentations applied to persons of color propagandized through mainstream media in the U.S. Davis examines their Midwestern Evangelical upbringing in order to understand relationships between redemption, resurrection, embodied trauma, and the failure of the American dream. They hold an M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. foli holds an M.A. in Performance Studies from SIU Carbondale. He uses visual poetics & performance to address trauma, health, pop culture and social life, and works to fight against erasure and silence. Jones uses her photo-based installation work as a vehicle to explore competing narratives within urban cultural landscapes. She received an M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.