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A Conversation with Bethany Collins + Amber Rose Johnson

October 10, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Bethany Collins. Photo: Chris Edward
Amber Rose Johnson. Photo: Christian Hayden

Exhibiting artist Bethany Collins joins Philadelphia-based writer and editor Amber Rose Johnson in conversation about the uses and abuses of language in art within the context of the exhibition The Politics of Rhetoric.


Bethany Collins (b. 1984, Montgomery, AL) is a Chicago-based multidisciplinary artist who examines the relationship between race and language in her work. She earned a BA in studio art and visual journalism from the University of Alabama, 2007 and an MFA in drawing and painting from Georgia State University, 2012.

Collins has had solo exhibitions at The University of Kentucky Art Museum, Lexington; University Galleries of Illinois State University, Normal; and Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, all 2019; Patron Gallery, Chicago, 2017 and 2018; Locust Projects, Miami, 2018; Center for Book Arts, New York, 2018; Davidson College Smith Gallery, Davidson, NC, 2016; and Athens Institute of Contemporary Art, Athens, GA, 2015.

Selected group exhibitions include Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Smart Museum, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; and Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, all 2019; Tarble Arts Center at Eastern Illinois University, Charleston; DePaul Art Museum, Chicago; and the Richard M. Ross Art Museum at Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH, all 2018; the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, both 2017; as well as The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, 2014 and 2017. Additional selected New York group exhibitions include those at Galerie Lelong, The Drawing Center and Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University, all 2016. Collins’ work has been included in exhibitions internationally at Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa; and the University of Toronto Art Centre Barnicke Gallery, both 2015.

The artist has received awards, grants, fellowships and residencies including The LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Artadia Award, 2019; Artist Fellowship Award, Illinois Arts Council Agency, 2019; the Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship, 2018; Jackman Goldwasser Residency and Hyde Park Art Center Residency, 2016; Bemis Center for Contemporary Art Residency; Hudgens Prize; and Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, all 2015; The Studio Museum in Harlem, Artist-in-Residence, 2013-2014; and the Artadia Award, 2014, among others.

Her work is part of many public collections including the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; Birmingham Museum of Art, AL; University of Virginia, Special Collections Library, Charlottesville; The Art Institute of Chicago; Smart Museum of Art, Chicago; The University of Chicago; Agnes Scott University, Decatur, GA; Zuckerman Museum of Art, Kennesaw, GA; Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, AL; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Illinois State University, Special Collections Department, Normal; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Museum, Philadelphia; and The Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.


Amber Rose Johnson is a creative and critical thinker from Providence, RI currently based in Philadelphia. In her practice, she is invested in exploring the intersections between experimental poetics, performance and critical theory throughout the Black Diaspora as well as how various manifestations of “poetics of relation” can move us toward new ways of thinking, knowing and being together. She currently is pursuing a PhD in English and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and previously held a research appointment in the Women and Gender Studies Department at the University of Toronto as a Fulbright Scholar. Her editorial projects include the exhibition catalog for Colored People Time at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia and the exhibition catalog for Great Force at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Richmond, VA. Her writing has been featured in BOMB Magazine and Jacket2. Johnson is the curator of a conversation and workshop series on creative process entitled Mess + Process and is the co-coordinator of the Black Cultural Studies Collective, both in Philadelphia.


The Print Center is pleased to acknowledge the support of The Libby Newman Visiting Artist Lecture, Fine Arts, Expanded Drawing+Printmaking, The University of the Arts.

All of The Print Center’s Exhibitions and Programs are free and open to the public.



October 10, 2019
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm