A program partnership with Seattle Art Museum, Complex Exchange pairs Seattle community members from varying disciplines in a series of conversations related to issues of race, power, and the politics of representation.
Artists, technologists, activists, writers, and community builders tackle themes inspired by the exhibitions Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic—on view at the Seattle Art Museum, and The Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of African American Art: Works on Paper—on view at NAAM.
Kehinde Wiley is one of the leading American artists to emerge in the last decade. He has been ingeniously reworking the grand portraiture traditions of Western culture, in paintings of people of color in contemporary attire. Wiley’s portraits are highly stylized and staged, and draw attention to the dialectic between a history of aristocratic representation and the portrait as a statement of power and the individual’s sense of empowerment. Wiley’s work can be seen at SAM in the special exhibition, Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic.
The Kelley Collection features works from Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Robert Colescott, and other icons whose works were the first to represent black life in the America and paved the way for innovation.
Dr. Quinton Morris enjoys a multifaceted career as concert violinist, educator and entrepreneur. He has performed solo recitals and concerti and chamber music around the world: the United States, the Middle East, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa.
Dedicated to music education, Dr. Morris has given master classes around the world. He is the Director of Chamber and Instrumental Music and Associate Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at Seattle University.
Dr Morris is currently on his BREAKTHROUGH World Tour, which is taking him to all six continents. He just completed the first cycle of concert performances and lectures at Les Arts Decoratifs at the Louvre and the University of Paris – Dauphine.
Zithri is an award-winning STEM educator, nonprofit executive and social entrepreneur. He develops programs and conducts research to empower US colonized communities through STEM education, entrepreneurship, and public-private partnership.
Zithri’s portfolio includes the design and direction of Technology Access Foundation’s nationally recognized STEM programs and his current research asks, “How can we achieve equity through entrepreneurship in technology ecosystems.”
Zithri is a 2015 German Marshall Memorial Fellow and a Board Member on the Washington State Arts Commission. He holds a B.A. in Behavioral Science with a minor in Communications from Eastern Washington University, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Information Science at the University of Washington iSchool.
Barbara Earl Thomas
Barbara Earl Thomas is a Seattle-based artist, award-winning writer and arts administrator. With a career that spans more than 30 years, her works are included in many renowned collections including the Seattle Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Microsoft Art Collection, and Washington State and City of Seattle public collections.
An extensively published writer of both poetry and prose, she has won two Seattle Arts and Culture Commissions awards for new non-fiction. Thomas is a sought-after speaker as well as a social and cultural activist, and was instrumental in the creation of the Northwest African American Museum where she served as executive director from 2008 to 2013.
In 2013, she received the Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award for Cultural Ambassador. She can currently be found daily, in her studio, where she is creating new work for her solo exhibition at the Bainbridge Island Art Museum.
Complex Exchange will explore the following themes over the next few months:
Tradition | Innovation
February 24, 7 – 9 pm
Power | Privilege
March 23, 7–9 pm
Collaboration | Connectivity
April 13, 7–9 pm
Media | Representation
May 4, 7–9 pm