Amanda Williams: Redefining Redlining

Saturday, Oct 15, 2022 9 am – 4 pm
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GRAY Warehouse:
2044 W. Carroll Ave.
Chicago, IL 60612


Sat, Oct 15, 9 AM-4 PM CDT 
53rd and Prairie Ave, Chicago

Join artist Amanda Williams for Redefining Redlining, a communal tulip-planting project activating a series of vacant lots on Chicago’s South Side. Produced in collaboration with The Emerald South Economic Development Collaborative, community residents, and volunteers, the event will take place on Saturday, October 15th, from 9 AM - 4 PM at 53rd and Prairie Ave, Chicago.

Redefining Redlining is an expression of Amanda Williams's interest in using color as a central lens to map and mark how race informs our built environment. With this project, Williams invites participants to plant 150,000 red tulips across four vacant lots on Chicago's South Side that were previously designated as “red” or “hazardous” by the 1940s Home Owners Loan Corporation. For the artist, the red tulip acts as a symbol for the latent human and spatial potential these geographies possess. When Williams's tulips bloom in spring of 2023, they will serve as a tangible visualization of the economic impact redlining has had on the undervaluing of Black neighborhoods across the United States.

As with many of Williams’s other projects, Redefining Redlining is a participatory work that is as much about the collaborative process as it is about its final completed form. The communal planting event brings participants together in a moment of joy and collective action. While connecting residents and neighbors, the project invites a discussion about redlining and its ongoing effects. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to take bulbs home to plant in their own spaces.

The tulip planting event for Redefining Redlining operates in tandem with Williams's recent work, Semper Augustus Chicagous, now on view at GRAY Chicago in the group exhibition, Citing Black Geographies. A component of Williams’s expansive and ongoing tulip-planting project, Semper Augustus Chicagous consists of dozens of gold leafed, cast cement tulip bulbs which physically delineate GRAY's entryway. 

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