Jeffery Gibson, an artist, received the prestigious award of the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant this week. Gibson is known for combining the traditions of Native Americans with the language of modernism. He explored the contemporary confluence of personal identity and culture through his work. His work also explores the history and international social narratives.
Gibson lives in New York and he is a member of the Chocktaw and Cherokee nations. He lived in Germany, Korea, and the United States for long periods of time with his family. He was very much influenced by music during his visits to various countries. His work explores the sounds and social traditions of the punk and rave music. The Kavl Gupta Gallery in Chicago has the representation of Gibson. Can You Feel It, an exhibition of Gibson’s work, opened at the gallery on September 20.
Emmanuel Pratt, an urban designer from Chicago, has been named to the fellowship. The MacArthur Fellows Program aims to encourage people who have outstanding talent. Pratt is the co-founder of the Sweet Water Foundation. He studied urban designing and architecture at Cornell and Columbia universities. Pratt was the Interpreter in Residence at the Smart Museum of Art in 2017-18. The Smart Museum of Art is located at the University of Chicago.
Pratt installed a project known as the Radical [Re] Constructions at the museum and hosted a series of intimate dinners. He included the locally grown food in the dinners which he hosted. The food was grown by the Sweet Water Foundation. He also examined the different perspectives including housing, education, health, and work associated with the Radical [Re] Constructions.
Pratt said, “One of the challenges on the South Side and West Side of Chicago is there is been a depletion of resources, access to capital.” The MacArthur Foundation awards the individual directly which means the awards are not given through institutions. The fellowship is not a lifetime achievement award but it enhances the potential of a person for boosting his/her talent. The main aim of the program is to align the creative aspects of the recipients with the benefits of society.