Black on Black on Black on Black

Opening: Saturday, Sep 24, 2022 12 – 6 pm
Saturday, Sep 24 – Dec 10, 2022

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
College of Fine and Applied Arts
500 E Peabody Dr.
Champaign, IL 61820

Black on Black on Black on Black will open to the public at 4pm, preceded by a day of events celebrating Black creativity through writing, music, and art. 12 noon to 3 pm | In partnership with Pygmalion, Krannert Art Museum and the School of Art & Design will host a daylong celebration, including food trucks, live jazz, and a reading by a special Pygmalion guest. (Watch for that announcement!) 3 to 6 pm | Join us for an Artists Talk about the exhibition at 3 pm, followed by the public reception catered by Neil Street Blues with music by DJ KamauMau and DJ Silkee in the Link Gallery. From 4 to 6 pm, be sure to come inside the museum to experience the exhibition.

This exhibition will feature Black faculty in the School of Art & Design through the lens of the Black Quantum Future as proposed by Philadelphia-based activists and theorists Rasheeda Phillips and Camae Ayewa. The collaborative exhibition will explore Black identity, collectivity, positionality, healing, innovation, and education as explored via a multi-leveled/multi-dimensional immersive, critical, and openly reflective space.

This re-visioning of the Faculty Exhibition recognizes the legacy of Black knowledge and production in ways that supports the ongoing efforts by the School of Art & Design, Krannert Art Museum, College of Fine and Applied Arts, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign towards addressing and celebrating our unique diversity, equity, and inclusion.

A lecture series, community conversations, sound installation, and a catalogue is planned in conjunction with the exhibition.

Co-curated by Patrick Earl Hammie, Stacey Robinson, Blair Ebony Smith, and Nekita Thomas


About the Artists 

Patrick Earl Hammie is an American visual artist and educator who specializes in portraiture, cultural identity, storytelling, and the body in visual culture. Hammie’s projects examine personal and shared Black experiences and offer stories that expand our understanding of others. He is Associate Professor and Chair of Studio Art. Hammie’s works are included in public and private collections, and have been supported by fellowships and grants from the Mellon Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, Midwestern Voices and Visions, Puffin Foundation, Tanne Foundation, the States of Illinois and Connecticut, and other private foundations

Stacey Robinson is an illustrator, graphic designer, and Assistant Professor of Graphic Design. Robinson’s artwork discusses ideas of “Black Utopias” as decolonized spaces of peace by considering Black affluent, self-sustaining communities; Black protest movements; and the art that documents them. Individually and as part of collaborative teams, Robinson creates graphic novels, gallery exhibitions, lectures, and Afro-futurist digital art that engages Black joy, resistance, and possibility.

Blair Ebony Smith is Assistant Professor in Art Education and Gender and Women’s Studies. She recently curated the yearlong exhibition Homemade, with Love: More Living Room at KAM. Smith, also known as lovenloops, is a learner from Richmond, Virginia who loves to make celebratory spaces, art, and sound with Black girls and those who love them. As a DJ and homegirl with Black girl celebratory collective/band, Saving Our Lives, Hear Our Truths (SOLHOT), Blair has deepened her love for Black sound, music and making space for Black girlhood celebration with Black girls. Currently, she is dreaming, teaching, and making space and sounds that open us to listening, slowly and voluminously, especially to Black girls, people, and living beings. Her art and scholarship explore themes of memory, loops, home, and gathering.

Nekita Thomas is a visual designer, researcher, and educator with expertise in critical race design, participatory design, and social practice. She is Assistant Professor in Graphic Design and works primarily with themes of perspective identity, race and representation, racial equity, commodity, media, popular culture, urbanism, and resiliency to focus on the analysis, explication, and disruption of racially driven exclusionary and oppressive sociocultural practices.