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Gateway was the community newsletter of Pratt Institute published monthly by the Office of Communications, in the Division of Institutional Advancement through spring 2014. For current Pratt-related news, visit the News page on Pratt’s website.


Artist Kara Walker Speaks at Pratt About Her Life and Work

L to R: Acting Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs Sheila Pepe, Kara Walker, Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte, Dean of School of Art and Design Concetta M. Stewart

Hundreds of students attended a talk by artist Kara Walker, as she discussed her life and work in the context of modern black identity on September 19 before a standing-room-only audience that packed Memorial Hall.

Walker, who is best-known for using life-sized silhouetted figures to explore issues of race, gender, sexuality, and violence, told the audience that she addresses her work to “a very specific audience that has grown up around black arts and letters in the last decade” and that her installations of paper silhouettes are often narratives inspired by historical events. Walker talked about her experiments with film, video, and puppetry, all of which also place serious subject matter into the realm of entertainment.

During the Q&A, a student asked her what the response of the African American community is to her work. Walker replied, “From the earliest moments it was extremely contentious….because the work is beyond disrespect.”   

Walker’s cousin, the novelist and journalist James Hannaham, who is an adjunct assistant professor in Pratt’s Writing Program, introduced Walker.

Walker, who teaches in Columbia University’s Visual Arts M.F.A. program, continued the lively exchange at a reception for students that followed her talk. 

Text: Adrienne Gyongy
Photo: Jonathan Weitz

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Reader Comments (1)

never thought of doing this
March 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBest Whatsapp Status

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