Remaking the Black Metropolis: Contemporary Art, Urbanity, and Blackness in America
GRANTEEJamilee Polson Lacy & Meg Onli
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610
Over the last two decades, the United States has been home to a growing movement of artist-driven intersections at the sites of art and architecture, sociological analysis, municipal and civic planning, and urban activism. In many key respects, contemporary artists have led this movement as documentary presences, urban provocateurs, and change agents within nearly every American metropolitan area. Riffing off of the integral work of St. Clair Drake and Horace R. Cayton, Remaking the Black Metropolis: Contemporary Art, Urbanity, and Blackness in America researches, documents, digitally archives, and interprets the activities of contemporary African-American and post-black artists whose productions mine African-American urban culture and history, including: the Great Migration, the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, and several strains of equality pursuits in regards to class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and spatial politics. The project aims to identify the generative trajectories and concrete outcomes of leading artists deeply engaged in cultural transformation as well as creating urban nexuses of art, architecture, and African-American community.
Jamilee Polson Lacy is a curator and writer whose projects focus on contemporary art, architecture, and urbanity. Currently, Lacy is the director and curator of PC Galleries at Providence College. Before relocating to Providence, Rhode Island in 2014, she was managing editor of Bad at Sports, founding director of Twelve Galleries Project, and a curatorial copywriter at the Museum of Contemporary Art, all in Chicago, and a curatorial associate at the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague, Czech Republic. In addition to numerous catalogue essays, interviews, and articles, Lacy has published Color: Fully Engaged and Rises Zora: An Exploration of the Urban Labyrinth, and has written for Art21, Art in America (online), and Flash Art's Umelec magazine. Lacy holds two undergraduate degrees in studio arts and art history from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a master's degree in comparative art and literature from Northwestern University.
Meg Onli is a Chicago-based writer whose work investigates the intricacies of black visual representations in America. Onli's writing is catalogued on the website Black Visual Archive, which she founded in 2010 and for which she was awarded a 2012 Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant. From 2006 to 2010, she was the associate producer and a regular blogger for the Bad at Sports podcast and blog. In addition, she has written for Art21, Daily Serving, and Art Papers. Onli holds an undergraduate degree in studio arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a master's degree in art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art.
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