Artist Talk: Cecil McDonald, Jr.

Thursday, Sep 19, 2019 12 – 1 pm


Location: Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel, 163 East Walton Place

Cecil McDonald Jr will guide the audience in an exploration of how photographers, painters, writers, and designers have looked to social dance and club culture to depict the black experience. In context, he will share images from a forthcoming publication In the Heat of the Cool (Candor Arts), a meditation on celebration, in the pursuit of beauty.


Cecil McDonald, Jr uses photography, video, and text to explore the intersections of masculinity, familial relations, and the artistic and intellectual pursuits of black culture. McDonald studied fashion, house music, and dance club culture before receiving an MFA in Photography at Columbia College Chicago, where he currently serves as an adjunct professor. He is a teaching artist for School Partnership for Art and Civic Engagement at the Museum of Contemporary Art. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, with works in the permanent collection of The Cleveland Museum of Art, Chicago Bank of America LaSalle Collection, and the Harris Bank Collection. He was awarded the Joyce Foundation Midwest Voices & Visions Award, the Artadia Award, 3Arts Teaching Artist Award and The Swiss Benevolent Society, Lucerne, Switzerland, Residency. In 2019, McDonald participated in The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation’s Artist-in-Residence program. In The Company of Black, his first comprehensive monograph published by Candor Arts, was shortlisted for First Photographic Book of the Year 2017, by The Aperture Foundation and Paris Photo.