Colby College in Waterville, Maine, announced today that the Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates has been named the first distinguished visiting artist and director of initiatives at its new Lunder Institute for American Art. At the end of the three-year appointment, an exhibition of Gates’s work will be presented at the Colby Museum of Art in 2021.
“We feel immensely fortunate to be able to bring Theaster Gates to Colby, to help us realize the ambitious mission of the new Lunder Institute for American Art,” said Colby College president David A. Greene. “Having known Theaster for many years and having witnessed how his innovative work has changed people’s lives, I am thrilled that he will soon add to Colby’s strengths in the humanistic and creative disciplines that are essential to the liberal arts.”
Gates’s appointment follows his four-day residency at the Lunder Institute in 2017, when he visited with Colby College students in a number of classes. The institute was established through a gift of more than $100 million from Peter and Paula Lunder, who donated nearly 1,150 artworks to the college in February of last year.
Commenting on his new position, Gates said: “I am honored to be given this invitation by the Lunder Institute to be in residence. What I need at this stage in my career is time for reflection and research. This residency period allows me time to develop the most ambitious projects of my practice.”