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Giertz Gallery Artist Lecture, "Chat & Chill" Feb. 2
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Giertz Gallery Artist Lecture, "Chat & Chill" Feb. 2

Stacey Robinson part of "In Blackest Shade, In Darkest Light" exhibit

A University of Illinois art and design professor who is currently exhibiting at Parkland College's Giertz Gallery will provide two talk sessions on Thursday, February 2.

University of Illinois Associate Professor of Graphic Design Stacey Robinson will speak at Parkland College's William M. Staerkel Planetarium at 10:45 a.m., followed by a "Chat & Chill" with the artist at noon. 

Robinson is one of seven artists participating in the exhibit, "In Blackest Shade, In Darkest Light," which runs in Giertz Gallery through Saturday, February 18. Robinson's talks are part of Giertz Gallery programming and is being coordinated with Parkland College's Black History Month Committee. The noon "Chat & Chill" event will also feature exhibit curator Patrick Earl Hammie. 

In addition to a full-length video, Robinson exhibits large digital drawings (70 x 44 inches each) in the gallery exhibit. The digital works are from an ongoing series inspired by Robinson's vinyl record collection and the difficult-to-find additions that eluded him during his three decades of research to connect golden-age hip-hop samples to their source material. His collection ultimately fuels the series that incorporates animation, illustration, and graphic media. Robinson intends to prompt audiences to think about the Black cultural wealth of hip-hop "as a collage culture of various influences that tether the past to the speculative future through the Ghanaian concept of Sankofa, meaning to 'go back and get it.'

"We go back and retrieve Black pasts, bring them into the future with us as a means of defining our Black liberated futures," he says.

Robinson was a 2019-2020 Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellow at Harvard University's Hutchins Center for African & African American Research. After completing his Masters of Fine Art at the University at Buffalo in 2015, the artist has traveled internationally, discussing the complexities of decolonized future spaces. As one half of the collaborative team "Black Kirby" with artist John Jennings, Robinson creates graphic novels, gallery exhibitions, lectures, and workshops that use world-building strategies to imagine new worlds inspired by design, hip-hop, the arts and sciences, and diasporic African belief systems. 

Robinson's latest graphic novels are I Am Alfonso Jones, written by Tony Medina (2017), available from Lee & Low Books, and Across the Tracks: Remembering Greenwood, Black Wall Street, and Tulsa Race Massacre, written by Alverne Ball (2021), available from Abrams Books. Recent exhibitions include Ascension of Black Stillness (CEPA Gallery in Buffalo, NY) and The Black Angel of History (Carnegie Hall's 'Afrofuturism Festival) in 2022.  

As with all Giertz Gallery programs, the exhibit, reception, and lectures are free and open to the public. For more information about upcoming Parkland events for Black History Month, visit parkland.edu/bhm.

Gallery Hours are Monday–Wednesday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Thursday, 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.; and Saturday, noon - 2 p.m; the gallery will be closed for spring holiday, Friday, March 17. For more information about the gallery and upcoming programming, visit parkland.edu/Gallery.

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. 

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 accessibilityservices@parkland.edu.

[Image: Stacey Robinson, Grace Jones, digital drawing, dimensions variable, 2022]

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