August 20, 2022, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Making Down time

Chicago Public Library Bezazian Branch
1226 W. Ainslie Street, Chicago, IL 60640

Art historian Leslie Wilson discusses the 2019 exhibition Down Time: On the Art of Retreat, organized by University of Chicago students in collaboration with Wilson for the Smart Museum of Art. The exhibition, which featured works by Chicago-based artists and others, explored how artists have represented Black subjects in places of respite, and how Black artists have aspired to, imagined, performed, and created spaces for sustaining themselves at a remove from everyday life and extreme events. This talk examines how that deeply collaborative experience and its central themes have influenced Wilson’s current curatorial practice and her role as Associate Director, Academic Engagement and Research, Art Institute of Chicago.

Presented by Red Line Service, an organization that creates cultural programming by and for Chicagoans with a lived experience of homelessness, this program is part of a series of talks by Chicago-based art historians that examines a variety of creative practices and settings where art is produced, questions ways in which art history is written, and introduces new audiences to art history. Programs focus on often overlooked American art, design, and cultural artifacts (past and present) with a specific focus on Chicago. Each program is free, open to the public, and includes a meal, bringing together audiences who don’t typically interact to develop community together through learning.

This talk is followed on August 26, 2022, 12-2 p.m. by a writing workshop for attendees who wish to explore writing their own art histories. For more information and to RSVP for the workshop, please email