Vacancy: Urban Interruption and (Re)generation

Amanda Williams, "Currency Exchange" and "Safe Passage," 2015
Monday, September 14, 2015 to Saturday, November 14, 2015

Vacancy features the work of artist-architects that challenge the identity, value and politics of empty or abandoned space. Through three multi-tiered and multi-located projects led by Andres L. Hernandez, Emmanuel Pratt and Amanda Williams, the notion of “emptiness” is reconceived, redefined and rebuilt. The featured works demonstrate how architectural practice builds on art and activist strategies to address racial, gender and class inequities and to drive social change. The exhibition extends beyond the gallery through site-responsive projects around the city in neighborhoods that have a disproportionate amount of vacant buildings and land, and are further punctuated by a lack of community resources. Projects include aquaponics systems to grow healthy food in any location, built environments of refuge for women of color in the public realm, and performances inspired by the stories of Chicago public housing residents. Though vastly different in content, the artists share strategies that turn the empty into open – as places for building, sharing, remembering and regenerating. The projects in Vacancy seek to catalyze social change and to present open space as a site of imaginative possibility.

Curated by Neysa Page-Lieberman

Featured Projects:

Amanda Williams in collaboration with Tatyana Fazlalizadeh: "Harriet’s Refuge: A Safe Passage for Free Movement in Public Space" 

Emmanuel Pratt in collaboration with Sweet Water Foundation, McCall Design Group, Katherine Darnstadt / Latent Design, Chantelle Brewer / Ross Barney Architects, Chicago Public Schools’ Career and Technical Education (CTE), Max Sansing and Agape Werks: "Constructed Ecology of Absence"

Andres L. Hernandez in collaboration with Urban Vacancy Research Initiative and former residents of the Cabrini-Green Homes: "Cabrini-Green and Other Urban Legends"



Friday, September 18, 2015 - 5:00pm

Special Event:

Panel Discussion: The Value of Vacancy
Glass Curtain Gallery
1104 S. Wabash Ave, First Floor Columbia College Chicago
Phone: 312-369-6643



Free and open to the public

Chicago-based artists include:

Emmanuel Pratt- Amanda Williams- Andres L. Hernandez-


What is a Badge?
What is a Badge?