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Visions & Voices: R.A.P. Lessons: Bridging Race, Arts, and Placemaking: About the Artists

This guide was created to accompany the Visions & Voices event: R.A.P. Lessons: Bridging Race, Arts, and Placemaking. A six-week exhibition that will run from January 14 through February 28, 2019 at Wallis Annenberg Hall

Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson originated the Question Bridge concept with a 1996 video installation he created for the Museum of Photographic Arts and the Malcolm X library in San Diego, California. In 1994, he co-produced and directed The Roof is on Fire with Suzanne Lacy, which was broadcast on KRON. Additionally, he authored The Practical Zone System: for Film and Digital Photography; currently in its 6th edition. Currently, he is a full Professor and Chair of Photography at the California College of the Arts where for ten years he served as President of the Faculty Senate. He is also the Media Wall Project Manager and Public Art Management Team member for Oakland Museum/Port of Oakland.

Hank Willis Thomas

Hank Willis Thomas is a photo conceptual artist working primarily with themes related to identity, history and popular culture. He received a BFA in Photography and Africana studies from New York University and his MFA/MA in Photography and Visual Criticism from the California College of Arts. Thomas’ monograph, Pitch Blackness, was published by Aperture in 2008. He has exhibited throughout the U.S. and abroad including, Galerie Anne De Villepoix in Paris, Annarumma 404 in Milan, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, among others. Thomas’ work is in numerous public collections including The Museum of Modern Art New York, The Guggenheim Museum, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Brooklyn Museum, The High Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. His video projects include, Winter in America, In Search of the Truth, Along the Way, and The Long March. Thomas is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery in New York City and Goodman Gallery in South Africa.

Bayette Ross Smith

Bayeté Ross Smith is a visual artist, multi-media artist and photographer. His career began as a photojournalist with the Knight Ridder Newspaper Corporation. Bayeté’s work has been shown with the 2008 and 2012 Sundance Film Festival,
the Oakland Museum of California, the Brooklyn Museum, Rush Arts Gallery, the Goethe Institute (Ghana), and Zacheta National Gallery of Art (Poland). Community engagement is critical to Bayeté’s art practice. He has had fellowships with the Jerome Foundation, the McColl Center for Visual Art, the Kala Art Institute and the Laundromat Project. His photographs have been published in numerous books most notably the cover of DisIntegration: The Splintering of Black America. He has worked as a faculty member at the International Center of Photography, The New School and New York University. Bayeté is Associate Program Director of the Kings Against Violence Initiative, a violence prevention program based out of Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, NY.

Kamal Sinclair

Kamal Sinclair is a transmedia producer, theatrical director, community arts leader and multi-disciplinary artist. She serves as the Senior Manager of the Sundance Institute’s New Frontier Story Lab, which supports artists working at the convergence of film, art, media and technology; and, as artist and producer on the Question Bridge: Black Males collaborative transmedia art project. In 2012, she served as a Transmedia Producer at 42 Entertainment. Her professional career began as a cast member of the Off-Broadway hit STOMP and founding artistic director of Universal Arts. As a consultant she worked on projects for the Woodruff Arts Center, Fractured Atlas, Hank Willis Thomas Studio, the National Black Arts Festival and other arts entities that led to major funding for arts and arts education initiatives, the production of major audience engagement events, strategic planning for art programs and business training platforms for artists and arts managers. She graduated with her BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and her MBA from Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business.