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Conversations with Artists: Theaster Gates

Theaster Gates, artist, and Sarah Newman, exhibition guest curator and James Dicke Curator of Contemporary Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum. Over the past decade, American artist Theaster Gates (b. 1973) has explored the built environment and the power of art and culture to transform experience. For the second exhibition in the reopened East Building Tower 3 galleries, Gates presents a new body of work—The Minor Arts—featuring several pieces created for the Gallery. The installation examines how discarded and ordinary objects, including the floor of a Chicago high school gym and the archives of Ebony magazine, acquire value through the stories we tell. In this conversation recorded on February 26, 2017, Theaster Gates and guest curator Sarah Newman discuss the works and themes of his exhibition Theaster Gates: The Minor Arts, on view at the Gallery from March 5 to September 4, 2017.