theaster gates fast company

 

FAST COMPANY NAMED Theaster Gates one of the 100 Most Creative People of 2014. The magazine ranked Gates No. 11, recognizing him for mastering the art of urban renewal. A conceptual artist whose multi-disciplinary practice explores the intersection of art, culture and community, Gates (above) is founder of the Rebuild Foundation and serves as director of Arts and Public Life at the University of Chicago.

Some of his most engaging projects involve the redevelopment and reuse of buildings in his neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. Transformations include the Dorchester Projects, a pair of vacant two-story houses renovated for reuse as a library featuring an inventory of 8,000 LPs from Dr. Wax Records, a record store that closed in nearby Hyde Park; 14,000 volumes from the now-shuttered Prairie Avenue Art and Architecture Bookstore; a collection of glass lantern slides (60,000 images) from the University of Chicago’s Art History Department; and temporarily, an archive of Ebony and Jet magazines; as well as a and soul food kitchen. His latest acquisition is historic bank building that will house an African American history library and a restaurant space.

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PAGES 78-79: “Most Creative People 100,” Fast Company, June 2014.

 

“One thing that’s really important to me is thinking about the role ­artists play in public life. In addition to painting and drawing and sculpture, ­artists can imagine they have the right as creative people to transform the city and the world.” — Theaster Gates, Fast Company

In its June 2014 issue, Fast Company asked Gates to identify the common thread in his work and the artist replied: “One thing that’s really important to me is thinking about the role ­artists play in public life. In addition to painting and drawing and sculpture, ­artists can imagine they have the right as creative people to transform the city and the world.” CT

 

TOP IMAGE: Theaster Gates by Daniel Shea via Fast Company

 

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