Featuring Theaster Gates

We have reached capacity for this event, and registration is now closed. Walk-ins are still welcome to attend but cannot be guaranteed seating.

Where do craft and labor meet art? How can we reimagine—and literally rebuild—neglected urban spaces, and how can this process draw upon the history and traditions of the communities most impacted? These questions are addressed by renowned American artist Theaster Gates. Gates’s recent exhibition, The Minor Arts, at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, showcased materials salvaged from African American schools, businesses, and churches on the South Side of Chicago. Gates created the Rebuild Foundation in 2009 to transform vacant Chicago buildings into vibrant cultural and residential spaces, while training community members in construction trades such as masonry and demolition.

Contact harperlectures@uchicago.edu or 773.702.7788.

Event Details

6:30 p.m.  Registration and networking
7:00 p.m.  Presentation and discussion
8:00 p.m.  Reception

$10/recent graduate (College alumni of the past 10 years and graduate alumni of the past five years)
Free for current academic year graduates and current students
Two complimentary registrations for members of the Chicago, Harper, Phoenix, and Medical and Biological Sciences Alumni Association philanthropic societies

Parking Information

Garage parking is available nearby. No valet or self-parking is available at the venue.

Featured Faculty


Theaster Gates, a professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago, is an American artist and institution builder. His work integrates performance, painting, sculpture, and social practice, and is rooted in African American history and culture. Gates attended Iowa State University and the University of Cape Town. He has received numerous awards, including the Kurt Schwitters Prize (2017), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Award (2016), and the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award for Social Progress (2015). Gates is the chairman and founder of the Rebuild Foundation and director of the Arts + Public Life initiative at the University of Chicago.

Learn about the Rebuild Foundation and UChicago's Arts + Public Life initiative.