Director of Arts Program Development + Faculty Artist in Residence –University of Chicago
Keynote - 3:45pm, April 7th, Thursday
American, Born 1973, Chicago. Lives and works in Chicago.
Writing for New City Art, Monica Westin recently labeled Gates as an “urban planner, sculptor, coordinator of arts programming (and an established eccentric-in-residence) at University of Chicago.”In addition, Gates has been described as an “activist, community organizer, and performer” as well as a “potter and woodworker.”The truth of Gates as an artist lies somewhere in the collaboration and conglomeration of all of these terms and roles.
At the core, Gates lives, breathes, and produces work in which he draws inspiration from minority issues, overlooked laborers and the unacknowledged yet real segregation in American cities. Yet, Gates does not stop there, pulling in inspiration from a long-standing interest in Japanese cultural practices and sculpture as well as other areas of the fine arts such as music. As a result, his exhibits are often a multi-sensory experience and the crowd he draws from various walks of life becomes a part of the artmaking process in itself.
Gates’ work has received wide recognition. Most recently, he was chosen to participate in the 2010 Whitney Biennial in New York. His exhibition, Theaster Gates: Resurrecting Dave the Potter, will open April 15, 2010 at the Milwaukee Art Museum. His work is also included in Hand+Made: The Performative Impulse in Art and Craft at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston