Episode 11: Hank Willis Thomas

(un)making

Episode 11: Hank Willis Thomas

By Weston Teruya May 26, 2017

Weston Teruya welcomes artists, arts administrators, and cultural workers of color to get real about their lives, practices, and careers. Each episode is an in-depth look into how art gets made, but more importantly how these folks are seeing to the system of art’s (UN)making.


In this episode we talk with artist, community mobilizer, and political advocate Hank Willis Thomas. Hank is one of the most business savvy and generous artists in our community, so I wanted to get insight into the tools he deploys to enable his practice and the strategies he utilizes to conceptually position his projects. We discuss his plans to start an artist-led advertising agency, making work for the audiences of tomorrow, and building “the road to progress.”

You can follow Hank’s work at @hankwillisthomas on Instagram, @hankwthomas on Twitter, and hankwillisthomas.com. Question Bridge: Black Males is at @questionbridge on Instagram & Twitter and For Freedoms is at @forfreedomspac on Twitter and @forfreedoms on Instagram. Also be sure to check out Ashley Stull Meyers’s recent interview with Hank on Daily Serving.

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Hank Willis Thomas is a photo conceptual artist working primarily with themes related to identity, history, and popular culture. Thomas’ monograph, Pitch Blackness, was published by Aperture. He has exhibited throughout the U.S. and abroad including, The International Center of Photography, Public Art Fund, The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Studio Museum in Harlem, Musée du quai Branly, and the Cleveland Museum of Art among others. Collaborative projects include Question Bridge: Black Males and In Search Of The Truth, Cause Collective. In 2015 Thomas co-founded For Freedoms, the first artist run super PAC. Thomas is a member of the Public Design Commission for the City of New York.

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