May 27

/Dialogues: Amanda Williams, Andres Hernandez, and Shani Crowe with Stephanie Cristello

/Dialogues: Amanda Williams, Andres Hernandez, and Shani Crowe with Stephanie Cristello
Shani Crowe braid study, 2017
US Pavilion courtyard

Tackling questions of citizenship status, gender, and race at the intersection of art and architecture, Williams, Hernandez, and Crowe discuss the unique ways in which Black women have historically navigated and shaped space in American society and trace the impact of these struggles in American history on their own practices. /Dialogues, conversations on current issues with leading artists, curators, designers and arts professionals, is a partnership of EXPO CHICAGO and SAIC.


Shani Crowe is an interdisciplinary artist, who uses cultural coiffure, adornment, and beauty ritual, as as a tool for healing and connection among people of African descent. She is most known for creating intricate cornrowed hairstyles, then capturing them as large photographic portraits. Shani received her BFA in film production from Howard University’s John H. Johnson School of Communications. Her work has been featured at the Museum of Contemporary African and Diasporan Art (MoCADA), in Brooklyn, NY, the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, in Grand Rapids, MI, Columbia University, and Soho House Chicago.

Through his independent studio-based practice and community-based work with youth and adults, artist, designer, and educator Andres L. Hernandez reimagines the environments we inhabit and explores the potential of spaces for public dialogue and social action. Hernandez is co-founder of the Revival Arts Collective, and founder and director of the Urban Vacancy Research Initiative. He received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University and a Master of Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Art Education. He is also on the faculty of the Graduate Studies program in Art & Design Education at Vermont College of Fine Arts, and was recently a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design at Washington University.

Amanda Williams, a visual artist who trained as an architect, lives and works on Chicago’s South Side. Her practice often blurs the distinction between art and architecture, and highlights the complexities of the politics of race, place, and value in cities. She is best known for her series, “Color(ed) Theory,” in which she painted exteriors of soon-to-be-demolished houses using a culturally charged color palette to mark the pervasiveness of vacancy and blight in black urban communities. Trained as an architect at Cornell University, she is she is a 2018 USA Ford Fellow, the recipient of a 2017 Joan Mitchell Foundation painting and sculpture grant, an Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellow, and a 3Arts awardee. She recently had two exhibitions on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the Art Institute of Chicago. Williams, a Visiting Professor at Cornell University in 2018, frequently lectures on art and design in the public realm.

This program is part of the Citizen Lab programming series and takes place in the US Pavilion courtyard.