Open House Lecture: Amanda Williams, Margaret McCurry Lectureship in the Design Arts, “PRACTICE or Holding Space for ___________.”

Round structure inside brick building

Tom Harris photography. Courtesy of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago.

How do we make space for an expanded definition of what it means to practice? For the Spring 2020 Open House Lecture, visual artist Amanda Williams will highlight recent projects that navigate or dwell in between the disciplinary lines of art and architecture.


Amanda Williams is a visual artist who trained as an architect. Williams’ creative practice employs color as a way to draw attention to the complexities of race, place and value in cities. The landscapes in which she operates are the visual residue of the invisible policies and forces that have misshapen most inner cities. Williams’ installations, paintings and works on paper seek to inspire new ways of looking at the familiar and in the process, raise questions about the state of urban space and citizenship in America. Amanda has exhibited widely, including the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, a solo exhibition at the MCA Chicago, and a public project with the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis. She is a a 2018 USA Ford Fellow, a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors grantee, an Efroymson Family Arts Fellow, a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow and a member of the multidisciplinary Museum Design team for the Obama Presidential Center. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Art Institute of Chicago. Williams lives and works in Chicago.


This lecture is generously supported by the Margaret McCurry Lectureship in the Design Arts.

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the events office at (617) 496-2414 or