Theaster Gates works in creative mediums including ceramics and sculpture, music, object-making, performance, and installation. He has exhibited and performed internationally, with venues including the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Whitechapel Gallery in London, England; Punta della Dogana in Venice, Italy; and Documenta 13 in Kassel, Germany. Theaster is the winner of Artes Mundi 6, and has received multiple awards from the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, Creative Time, U.S. Artists, Creative Capital, and Artadia, among many others.
Through “creative placemaking,” Theaster works to revitalize the South Side of Chicago with the transformative power of art. As he puts it, “This part of my practice is about the politics of staying. I believe in the place, and I’m invested in it. I can leave the block when I can afford to live somewhere else, or I can transform the block.” Theaster is the founder of the Rebuild Foundation, a non-profit that revitalizes culture in underinvested communities, and Place Lab, a think-and-do tank dedicated to mindful urban transformation for equitable lives and livable cities.