Theaster Gates

Visual Arts, 2012

With masters’ degrees in both sculpture and urban planning, Theaster Gates’s work explores urban planning, public space and cultural development. Gates moves between various media and themes in his work. Through such major platforms as the Whitney Biennial, the Pulitzer Museum, the Milwaukee Museum of Art, and upcoming Documenta 13 and Dorchester Projects, the artist builds upon projects previously realized in Detroit, St. Louis, North Omaha and Chicago. Gates was chosen as the commissioned artist for The Armory Show 2012. Gates is the Director of Arts and Public Life and University Artist at the University of Chicago and is also the founder of Rebuild Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that supports the space needs of artists and cultural activation of abandoned sites.

Rebuild Foundation

Awards and Accomplishments


Gates receives a grant from the Knight Foundation


Gates’ Dorchester Artist+Housing Project has been completed in Greater Grand Crossing, a South Side neighborhood, and is accepting applications


Gates and four other Creative Capital Artists are included in Prospect 3: Notes for Now Biennial in New Orleans, LA


 Theaster Gates spoke during the Session 'Building CapaCity' at the Annual Meeting 2013 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland 


Gates is the 2012 Armory Show Commissioned Artist


Gates is a 2012 USA Fellow


Gates wins the inagural Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics