Derrick Adams and Barbara Earl Thomas in Conversation
On the occasion of the opening of Packaged Black, join us in welcoming exhibiting artists Derrick Adams and Barbara Earl Thomas in an in-person dialogue moderated by artist and Wa Na Wari Co-founder/Curator Elisheba Johnson. Adams and Thomas will share stories about the multi-year and cross-country exchange that eventually became Packaged Black, adding their insights and reflecting on the constellation of relationships, identities, and artistic and cultural practices that are represented in the exhibition.

This conversation will also be live-streamed on the Henry’s YouTube channel.         


Derrick Adams earned his BFA from Pratt Institute and MFA from Columbia University. He has completed residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Madison and Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program, New York. He is a recipient of a Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship, Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize, and Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award. Adams has held solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver; Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersberg; and Museum of Arts and Design, New York, among other institutions. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including at the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem; National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati; and Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. His work is held in the notable collections of the Birmingham Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. He recently established The Last Resort, an artist program and residency in Baltimore.

Barbara Earl Thomas earned her BA and MFA from the University of Washington. She has been the recipient of the Howard S. Wright Award, Stranger Genius Award, Mayor’s Arts Award, and Hauberg Fellowship. Thomas has completed residencies at the Pilchuck School of Glass, Stanwood; Museum of Glass, Tacoma; and Goathead Press, Tieton. She has held solo exhibitions at the Evansville Museum of Arts and Science; Seattle Art Museum; Bainbridge Island Art Museum; and Whatcom Museum of History and Art, Bellingham. Thomas has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including at the Bellevue Art Museum; Northwest African American Museum, Seattle; and Savannah College of Art and Design Museum of Art. Her work is included in the public collections of the Portland Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum, and Tacoma Art Museum.

Elisheba Johnson is a curator, public artist and administrator. Johnson, who has a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts, was the owner of Faire Gallery Café, a multi-use art space that held art exhibitions, music shows, poetry readings and creative gatherings. For six years Johnson worked at the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture on capacity building initiatives and racial equity in public art. Johnson is currently a member of the Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders Network advisory council and has won four Americans for the Arts Public Art Year in Review Awards for her work. She currently co-manages Wa Na Wari, a Black art center in Seattle’s Central Area that uses the arts to build community and resist displacement.
General Admission
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