In Blackest Shade, in Darkest light

November 14, 2022 - February 18, 2023

  • Reception: Thursday, November 17, 5:30 pm, curator's Talk by Patrick Earl Hammie at 6:15, and music by participating artist and DJ, Stacey Robinson 
  • William Downs Artist Talk: Thursday, November 10 at 6 pm, Krannert Art Museum (Lower Level Auditiorium)
  • Patrick Earl Hammie Artist Talk: Wednesday, November 30, at 1:15 pm, William M. Staerkel Planetarium
  • Gallery Closed: 
    • November 24-27 for Thanksgiving
    • December 23 - January 2 for Winter Break 
    • January 16 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Curated by UIUC Associate Professor & Chair of Studio Arts Patrick Earl Hammie, "In Blackest Shade, In Darkest Light" features seven nationally recognized artists, including Hammie. 

The exhibition will show drawings in various media and include works on paper, installation, video, and mixed media. 

Included in the exhibition are artists and faculty across the U.S., including Kumasi J. Barnett, residing in Baltimore, MD; William Downs, residing in Atlanta, GA; Kenyatta Forbes, residing in Chicago, IL; Patrick Earl Hammie, residing in Champaign, IL; Robert Pruitt, residing in New York, NY; Stacey Robinson, residing in Champaign, IL; and Charles Edward Williams, residing in Georgetown, SC. 

On curating the show, Hammie explains, "This exhibition centers around drawing as a technology from which artists speculate, recover and collect communal histories, manifesting stories of desired futures from the margins of imagination into the realities of the everyday. Drawing serves as an instant gateway for dreaming, recording, and sharing ideas. It moved from a mainly private practice to a form that asks questions as equally bold as other media. The show's title takes inspiration from DC's Green Lantern Corps' oath, 'In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil's might, beware my power, Green Lantern's light,' from which members of the fictional space guardians access magical strength and gather the will to challenge adversaries using their imagination."

Hammie elaborates further, "The artists in this exhibition revel in horror, Afro-futurism, magical realism, Ethno-gothic, fantasy, Black Quantum Futurism, utopias and dystopias, and superheroes. They draw from cultural aesthetics and philosophies of science and history to explore and improvise within set boundaries and beyond. Their work speculates toward un-fixing the physical, political, and social knowns and imagine otherwise how we will be and become." 

The exhibition will feature a temporary installation drawing by William Downs on two walls in the Giertz Gallery. In addition, a lecture by William Downs, sponsored by the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois, will be held at Krannert Art Museum on November 10 at 6 pm in the lower level auditorium.

As with all Giertz Gallery programs, the exhibit, reception, and lectures are free and open to the public.

In tandem with "In Blackest Shade, In Darkest Light" exhibition, Krannert Art Museum is hosting an exhibition featuring Black faculty in the School of Art & Design. This exhibition includes participating artists Patrick Hammie and Stacey Robinson. The exhibition looks 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. The reception for this exhibition, with additional programming, is on September 24, noon to 6 pm. For more information, please visit the Krannert Art Museum website.

Gallery hours are Monday through Wednesday, 10 am to 5 pm, Thursday, 10 am to 7 pm, and Saturday, 12 pm  to 2 pm.

To find the gallery, we suggest using the M6 parking lot on the north corner of campus. Enter through door X-7, turn left, and follow the ramps up to the highest point of the first floor, where the gallery is located. The gallery windows overlook the outdoor fountain area. Face coverings are recommended.

All events in the accessible gallery are free and open to the public. Parkland College is a section 504/ADA-compliant institution. For accommodation, call 217/353-2338 or email

Giertz Gallery acknowledges support from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. All events in the accessible gallery are free and open to the public. Parkland College is a section 504/ADA-compliant institution. For accommodation, call 217/353-2337 or email


Image: Quantum Conjuring, charcoal, conte pastel on paper, 30 x 22 inches, 2022, courtesy of Mike Rea