Award Winners / Artist Profile

About the Artist

Christopher Paul Jordan (Tacoma) integrates virtual and physical public space to form infrastructures for dialogue and self-determination among dislocated people. His paintings and sculptures are time-capsules from his work in community. His 7,000 sqft panoramic mural from #COLORED2017 is now buried into the walls of the Carpenter’s Union Building in Tacoma where it can only be rediscovered through demolition. Christopher's installations and public projects have been implemented internationally including Trinidad and Tobago, Taiwan, and Mexico. His work has been recognized with the Neddy Artist Award in painting, the James W. Ray Venture Project Award, the GTCF Foundation of Art Award, and the most recent commission for Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park.

Christopher received a 2017 James W. Ray Venture Project Award for Mission Black Satellite, a framework for collaboration across space and time, harnessing mediated-reality, social media, and public art to create permanent public portals for dialogue between Afro-diasporic communities which have been separated by external forces. "Much of the infrastructure that exists for Black communities to be in dialogue across diaspora is colonized. In other words, it is rare that we have opportunities to create, collaborate, exchange witness and support one another across boundaries of the state without relying on white museums or other white-centric media infrastructures to connect," says the artist. Mission Black Satellite will launch with a series of permanent public murals across the island of Trinidad and Tobago in conjunction with the call and response exhibitions #COLORED2017 and #NEGRO2018 curated by Christopher and collaborator Arnaldo James.

In 2015, Christopher received GAP Award funding to support his public project "OPEN AIR" an extension of his project "COLORED" and "COLORED2015," which was exhibited during Art Basel Miami. He sees public art as "a vehicle for protest against the exclusive culture of formal fine art galleries and institutions" and this series as one that "reclaims and reimagines the gallery as a powerful context to address critical social issues." Through this project, which included a large scale mural, Christopher began freeing works from the body of "#COLORED2015" to exist as physical public artifacts and to reside in public as living monuments of Black authorship.

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.
From the Artist

In arithmetic, teachers tell us to show our work. Art is how I do that. In other words, creativity isn't guided by answers but by shared problems. It's crucial to have support for not already resolved ideas, for thoughts that aren't neatly packaged on an application form. This unrestricted support allows me to do the real work, which is to learn in public.

Christopher Paul Jordan