Photographer Hank Willis Thomas to Discuss His Explorations of Race, Class, Gender
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 1, 2013) — Known for his work exploring race, class and gender, Hank Willis Thomas will be the next artist to present for the 2012-2013 Robert C. May Photography Endowment Lecture Series presented by the Art Museum at the University of Kentucky. Thomas' free public lecture begins at 4 p.m. Friday, March 1, in the Worsham Theater, at the UK Student Center. A free public exhibition of Thomas' work is on display in the Art Museum at UK through March 10.
A photo conceptual artist, Thomas works with themes related to identity, history and popular culture. He was recently chosen by the Huffington Post as one of the "30 Black Artists Under 40 You Should Know," for creating images that are at once immediately accessible and symbolically loaded.
"My work brings history forward through framing our experience of race, class, and gender as conditioned by popular culture then and now," Thomas said. "Ultimately, my goal is to subvert the common perception of 'black history' as somehow separate from American history and to reinstate it as indivisible from the totality of past social, political, and economic occurrences that make up contemporary American culture."
Thomas received his bachelor's degree from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and two master's degrees in photography and visual criticism from California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco.
As an educator, Thomas has acted as a visiting professor at CCA and in the Master of Fine Arts programs at Maryland Institute College of Art and ICP/Bard and has lectured at Yale University, Princeton University, the Birmingham Museum of Art and the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris. His work has been featured in several publications including "25 under 25: Up-and-Coming American Photographers," "30 Americans" and his monograph "Pitch Blackness." Thomas received a new media fellowship through the Tribeca Film Institute and was an artist in residence at Johns Hopkins University as well as a 2011 fellow at the W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University.
The photographer has exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the U.S. and abroad. Thomas' work is in numerous public collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum and Museum of Modern Art. His collaborative projects have been featured at the Sundance Film Festival and installed publically at the Oakland International Airport and the Oakland Museum of California. Represented by Jack Shainman Gallery in New York City, Thomas is an Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media, Columbia College Chicago Spring 2012 Fellow.
The May Lecture Series explores photography's roots in the 19th century and its reinvention in the digital world. The lecture series is made possible through the Robert C. May Photography Endowment, a museum fund established in 1994 for the support of acquisitions and programs relating to photography. The last photographer coming to town as part of this season's series will be Martha Rosler.
For more information on the Hank Willis Thomas lecture or the 2012-2013 Robert C. May Photography Endowment Lecture Series, contact the Art Museum at UK at (859) 257-5716 or visit www.uky.edu/ArtMuseum.
The Art Museum at UK is located in the Singletary Center for the Arts at the corner of Rose St. and Euclid Ave. Home to a collection of more than 4,500 objects, including American and European paintings, drawings, photographs, prints and sculpture, the Art Museum at UK, part of the UK College of Fine Arts, presents both special exhibitions and shows of work from their permanent collection.
MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, (859) 257-8716; firstname.lastname@example.org