Giertz Gallery Presents Online Artist Lecture, January 26
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Giertz Gallery Presents Online Artist Lecture, January 26

Kumasi Barnett to discuss "In Blackest Shade, In Darkest Light" exhibit work

In tandem with its current "In Blackest Shade, In Darkest Light," exhibition, Giertz Gallery at Parkland College is pleased to announce an online artist lecture on January 26 at 6 p.m. by exhibiting artist Kumasi J. Barnett.

Curated by UIUC Associate Professor and Chair of Studio Arts Patrick Earl Hammie, the exhibition features seven nationally recognized artists and continues through Saturday, February 18. 

Barnett received his MFA from The Ohio State University, lives and works in Baltimore, Md., and has representation through Lowell Ryan Projects in Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited widely in the United States and abroad, including Bravin Lee Programs, New York; The Arsenal Gallery, New York; The Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, New York; The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town, South Africa; The Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, Florida; and most recently the Verge Center for the Arts, Sacramento, California. In addition, Barnett's work has been featured in Artforum, Vibe, Hyperallergic, AMMO, Huffington Post, and The Guardian, among others.

Barnett is influenced by the aesthetics and narratives of comic books. His work subverts and imbues the often-timeless genre with a present-day social consciousness. Riffing on classic superhero series including The Amazing Spider-ManThe Incredible HulkSupermanDaredevil, and Captain America, the work included in this exhibition are from a series that includes 100 hand-painted comic book works pinned up in their clear plastic sleeves. 

Through painting over old comic books, Barnett changes their narratives into critiques of systemic racism. By addressing real-world issues through a superhuman genre, Barnett's work dissolves the disconnect between contemporary American narratives and the reality of "justice," making us reexamine cultural conceptions surrounding the Good versus Evil paradigm.

Barnett's lecture is co-sponsored by Giertz Gallery at Parkland College, Black on Black on Black on Black Lecture Series, Krannert Art Museum, School of Art & Design, and College of Fine & Applied Arts. Please visit for more information or to register.

"In Blackest Shade, In Darkest Light" features drawings in various media, including works on paper, installation, video, and mixed media. Along with Barnett, artists exhibiting their work are from across the U.S. and include curator Patrick Earl Hammie, William Downs, Kenyatta Forbes, Robert Pruitt, Stacey Robinson, and Charles Edward Williams. 

Gallery Hours are Monday–Wednesday, 10 am–5 pm; Thursday, Noon–7 pm; and Saturday, Noon–2 pm.

To find the gallery, we suggest using the M6 parking lot on the north corner of the campus. Enter through door X7, turn left, and follow the ramps uphill to the highest point of the first floor, where the gallery is located. The gallery windows overlook the outdoor pond 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

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