Madlener House
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610
Telephone: 312.787.4071


Alicia Olushola Ajayi and Kelley Lemon in conversation with Katherine Simóne Reynolds
Apr 27, 2023 (6pm)
Panel Discussion

Reservations required

Alicia Olushola Ajayi, Kelley Lemon, and Katherine Simóne Reynolds discuss and explore overlaps and new discoveries in their practices in response to the Reynolds’ Graham Foundation Fellowship exhibition, A different kind of tender and the practice of overhealing. As Reynolds centered her focus for this exhibition on the towns Cairo and Brooklyn in southern Illinois, Ajayi’s research on Brooklyn and Black place making in American history, and Lemon’s initiatives exploring connections between Black owned farms and native landscapes across the state of Illinois provide critical context for considering the historic and current conditions—as well as potential futures—of these Midwest communities and landscapes.

Alicia Olushola Ajayi is an architectural designer, researcher, and writer based in New York and holds master’s degrees in architecture, social work, and criticism. She is currently the program developer for BlackSpace Urbanist Collective and is engaged in independent research about antebellum Black settlements.

Kelley Lemon is a registered professional landscape architect, LEED accredited professional, and EDAC certified. She practices both architecture and landscape architecture, with an emphasis in food, productive landscapes, and healthcare and mental/behavioral health environments. Her interests further dive into design and theory of the built environment by researching and uncovering histories and ecological processes, engaging the people of the community, and developing new techniques and strategies to provide a solution that is of the place and vernacular.

Katherine Simóne Reynolds practice investigates emotional dialects and psychogeographies of Blackness, and the importance of “anti-excellence.” Taking cues from the midwestern post-industrial melancholic landscape having grown up in the metro east area of Saint Louis, she formed an obsessive curiosity around the practices of healing as well as around a societal notion of progress spurning from a time of industrial success. Utilizing Black embodiment and affect alongside her own personal narrative as a place of departure has made her question her own navigation of ownership, inclusion, and authenticity within a contemporary gaze. She is the 2022–23 Graham Foundation Fellow.

Image: Alicia Olushola Ajayi, 1903 Regional Map Missouri and Illinois. Courtesy Alicia Olushola Ajayi

For more information on the exhibition, A different kind of tender and the practice of overhealing, click here.