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Acknowledging American Moral Debt and Removing the White Supremacist Lens: Retelling Black History Through Portraiture

  • 02 Mar 2017
  • 4:00 PM
  • Fouts Center for Visual Arts, Room 201 150 S. Park Walla Walla, WA 99362

The Whitman College Department of Art welcomes artist Jason Patterson, who will speak about his work at the Fouts Center for Visual Arts, Whitman College.


Jason Patterson is an Illinois-based artist whose work predominantly focuses on African American history, underscoring the role of the not-so-distant past in creating the current conditions of American politics and culture. His figurative chalk pastel drawings are often based on archive photos, film and video stills, or news coverage, and retain the integrity of the original source in order to investigate the way different types of images structure the way history is viewed. His choice of images, unique framing techniques, and approaches to installation combine to reassess both prominent historical figures and relatively unknown persons alike into new narratives. His works are regularly accompanied by text derived from Patterson's research from historical sources as well as contemporary scholarship and activism. His active studio practice leverages social media to connect the day-to-day experience of art-making to urgent conversations across disciplines.

Jason Patterson has exhibited his work regionally and nationally, including solo exhibitions at Northwestern University’s Dittmar Memorial Gallery, and Nych Gallery in Chicago. His most recent solo show, “Selections from Black History & the African American Condition” was held Eureka College in Eureka, Illinois. Patterson has also been selected for numerous group exhibitions, including “Respond” at Smack Mellon in NYC, “Venturing Out of the Heart of Darkness” at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts+Culture in Charlotte, North Carolina, and “A Dark Matter . . .” at the Tarble Art Center at Eastern Illinois University. He has been an artist in residence at the University of Illinois’ Figure One gallery. Patterson currently lives and works in Urbana, Illinois.

Links to images of Patterson’s work, as well a social media accounts cataloguing research efforts, can be found at http://jasonpattersonart.com. Patterson’s Instagram is a daily breakdown of the studio process behind his work.

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