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Amanda Williams

The University of Chicago Alumni Association and the Alumni Board have announced the recipients of the 2023 Alumni Awards.

The Professional Achievement Award recipients are accomplished people in any professional field. These alumni’s achievements have brought distinction to themselves, credit to the University and benefit to their communities.

Learn more about this year’s winners below:

Professional Achievement Award

Amanda Williams, LAB’92

Amanda Williams is a visual artist who trained as an architect. Her creative practice employs color as an operative means for drawing attention to the complex ways race informs how we assign value to the spaces we occupy. Williams’s installations, sculptures, paintings and works on paper seek to inspire new ways of looking at the familiar and, in the process, raise questions about the inequitable state of urban space and ownership in America.

Her breakthrough series Color(ed) Theory, a set of condemned South Side of Chicago houses painted in a monochrome palette derived from racially and culturally codified color associations, has been named by the New York Times one of the 25 most significant works of postwar architecture in the world. Her ongoing series What Black Is This You Say? is a multi-platform project that explores the wide range of meanings and conceptual colors that connote Blackness. Her work is in several permanent collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Smithsonian. Her accolades are many; she was most recently named a 2022 MacArthur Fellow.

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