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Parkland College will host an artist lecture by Stacey Robinson on Thursday, February 2, at 10:45 am in the William M. Staerkel Planetarium. Robinson’s talk is part of Giertz Gallery programming for “In Blackest Shade, In Darkest Light” and in collaboration with Parkland College’s Black History Month programming. After Robinson’s presentation in the Planetarium, the event will migrate to the gallery for a “Chat & Chill” with the artist at noon. Patrick Earl Hammie, the curator of the exhibition and participating artist will also be joining for this!
Robinson, a UIUC Associate Professor in Graphic Design, is one of seven artists participating in “In Blackest Shade, In Darkest Light,” which is on exhibit in the Giertz Gallery through Saturday, February 18. In addition to a full-length video, Robinson’s work includes three large digital drawings that are 70 x 44 inches each. The images are inspired by the artist’s vinyl record collection and difficult-to-find additions that elude him during research to connect golden-age hip-hop samples to their source material. His collection ultimately fuels the series that incorporates animation and comic book illustrations ignited by the Black cultural wealth of hip-hop. He explains his process “as a collage culture of various influences that tether the past to the speculative future through the Ghanaian concept of Sankofa, meaning to ‘go back and get it.’ We go back and retrieve Black pasts, bring them into the future with us as a means of defining our Black liberated futures.”
Robinson was a 2019-2020 Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellow at Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African & African American Research. After completing his Masters of Fine Art at the University at Buffalo in 2015, the artist travels internationally, discussing the complexities of decolonized future spaces. As one half of the collaborative team “Black Kirby” with artist John Jennings, Stacey creates graphic novels, gallery exhibitions, lectures, and workshops that use world-building strategies to imagine new worlds inspired by design, hip-hop, the arts and sciences, and diasporic African belief systems.
Robinson’s latest graphic novels are I Am Alfonso Jones, written by Tony Medina (2017), available from Lee & Low Books, and Across the Tracks: Remembering Greenwood, Black Wall Street, and Tulsa Race Massacre, written by Alverne Ball (2021), available from Abrams Books. Recent exhibitions include Ascension of Black Stillness (CEPA Gallery in Buffalo, NY) and The Black Angel of History (Carnegie Hall’s ‘Afrofuturism Festival) in 2022.