Romi Crawford, Ph.D., is a professor in the Visual and Critical Studies and Liberal Arts departments at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. Her research and courses explore areas of race and ethnicity as they relate to American visual culture (including art, film, and photography). She is co-author of The Wall of Respect: Public Art and Black Liberation in 1960s Chicago (Northwestern University Press, 2017). Additional publications include “Do For Self: The AACM and the Chicago Style” in Support Networks (University of Chicago Press, 2014); “Ebony and Jet on Our Mind” in Speaking of People (The Studio Museum in Harlem, 2014); and Theaster Gates Black Archive (with Thomas D. Trummer and Hamza Walker), published by Kunsthaus Bregenz, 2017. She was co-curator of the 2017 Open Engagement conference in Chicago and founding the Museum of Vernacular Arts and Knowledge (MOVAK), a project based platform for art making that is out of sync with museum and gallery values. She was previously Curator and Director of the Education Department at the Studio Museum in Harlem. She received a B.A. from Oberlin College and A.M. and Ph.D. degrees in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago.
Black Image Corporation
Artist and UChicago faculty member Theaster Gates and art historian Romi Crawford are brought together through a shared engagement with archival photographs made of and by black people, the deployment of which has rarely been controlled by black people. This Gray Center Mellon Collaborative Fellowship aims to redeploy the black image aesthetically, historically, economically, and for the public.
The Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry is pleased to partner with Logan Center Exhibitions to present Theaster Gates' and Romi Crawford's first curatorial collaboration: K. Kofi Moyo and FESTAC ’77: The Activation of a Black Archive. The exhibition resituates, and also finds a place for, a cache of images from the archive of Karega Kofi Moyo, a Chicago-based photographer active between 1968 and 1978, a pivotal time for Black liberation and cultural production.