Professor and Director of Arts + Public Life, Visual Arts Department, University of Chicago; Founder and Artistic Director, Rebuild Foundation; Aspen Institute Arts Program Harman-Eisner Artist-in-Residence
Theaster Gates Jr. is an artist and professor in University of Chicago’s Visual Arts Department, where he directs its Arts + Public Life program and leads the Place Lab urban research initiative, which will create frameworks for reimagining the role that culture plays in the transformation of African-American communities. Gates is also founder and artistic director of Rebuild Foundation, a nonprofit endeavoring to rebuild cultural foundations of neighborhoods and incite community revitalization. He has spearheaded numerous development projects in underserved parts of Chicago, which function as an extension of his studio work. The latest example of Gates’s work on black space is Stony Island Arts Bank, opened in 2015.