Nov 12th 2015

Join Gallery 400 for The Art of Abandonment featuring an artist talk with Amanda Williams on her latest project, Color(ed) Theory, featured in the Chicago Architecture Biennal. The talk will be followed by a dialogue between Williams and Janet Smith, Co-Director of the Nathalie P. Voorhees Center, on gentrification, displacement and the role that a proliferation/concentration of vacant and abandoned housing stock plays upon the viability of many of Chicago’s neighborhoods.

The Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement has been working to track and slow gentrification through the gentrification Index and community toolkits. The Socioeconomic Change of Chicago’s Community Areas, also known as the Gentrification Index, examines neighborhood change across Chicago from 1970 to 2010. It uses key indicators to measure how much a neighborhood’s wealth or poverty has changed in this time.

In her latest project, Color(ed) Theory, Williams paints vacant homes throughout Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood to highlight and leave a trace of the lasting impact of the housing crisis and abandonment in neglected communities. Her work uses art as a means to render visible elements of the urban landscape that have become invisible in plain sight.

Janet Smith is an Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement, a research center that focuses on working to improve the conditions and lives of people in the Chicago metropolitan area. Janet’s teaching, research and community service focuses on equity issues in local housing planning and policy implementation.

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