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Contemporary Creative Practices and Chicago Design History

Presented by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago in conjunction with The Time Is Now!, four art and design practitioners discuss the role of Chicago's design and history in their work.

The panel will address research on AfriCOBRA's fashion designs; the 1970s interiors of 820 South Michigan, the former Ebony/Jet building; new digital technologies for scanning and viewing historic architecture; and mentorship of a new generation of Chicago designers.


  • Tom Burtonwood, multidisciplinary artist, curator and educator
  • D. Denenge Duyst-Akpem, Afro-Futurist space sculptor, performance artist, designer, writer, and educator
  • Barbara Karant, photographer of architecture and interiors in Chicago and beyond
  • Vernon Lockhart, exhibition designer for Art on the Loose and founder of Project Osmosis

Facilitated by Maggie Taft, co-editor of Art in Chicago: A History from The Fire to Now and founding director of the Haddon Avenue Writing Institute

The roundtable is organized by is organized by Jonathan Mekinda (Assistant Professor, School of Design, University of Illinois at Chicago) and Bess Williamson (Associate Professor, Art History, Theory, and Criticism, School of the Art Institute of Chicago), as part of Art Design Chicago, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art exploring Chicago's art and design legacy, with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Image: Jae Jarrell, Revolutionary Suit, 1969.