In Conditions of Fresh Water: Artists’ Conversation with Torkwase Dyson and Rich Blint

March 20, 2017 - 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Center for Documentary Studies, 1317 W. Pettigrew St., Durham



Artists’ Conversation


Torkwase Dyson and Rich Blint

Torkwase Dyson_2016.jpg
Torkwase Dyson


Working through multiple forms Torkwase Dyson describes herself as a painter who uses the language of architecture and minimal geometric abstraction to generate descriptive fragments of space. The works are distilled deconstructions of natural and built environments and consider how individuals negotiate and negate various types of systemic orders that impact environmental justice.

Dyson’s work has been exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Corcoran College of Art and Design, the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art.

Dyson is the recipient of Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors award, Nancy Graves Grant for Visual Artists, Visiting Artist grant to the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, the Culture Push Fellowship for Utopian Practices, Eyebeam Art and Technology Center Fellowship, and the FSP/Jerome Fellowship. Dyson’s work has also been supported by The Drawing Center, Lower Manhattan Cultural Center, The Laundromat Projects, the Green Festival of New York, the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, the Mural Arts Program of  Philadelphia, The Kitchen, and the Rebuild Foundation. In 2016 Dyson was elected to the board of the Architecture League of New York as Vice President of Visual Arts. Torkwase is now based in Brooklyn, New York and is a visiting critic at Yale School of Art.


Rich Blint


A scholar and curator, Rich Blint is the 2016-2017 Scholar-in-Residence in the MFA Program in Performance + Performance Studies in the Department of Humanities and Media Studies at Pratt Institute.

He is co-editor of a special issue of African American Review on James Baldwin; contributing editor of The James Baldwin Review; and provided the introduction and notes for the eBook, Baldwin for Our Times: Writings from James Baldwin for an Age of Sorrow and Struggle. He is presently at work on his monograph, A Radical Interiority: James Baldwin and the Personified Self in Modern American Culture, and is the editor of the 1980s volume of The African American Literature in Transition series being prepared for Cambridge University Press.

Blint has held faculty, research, and administrative appointments at Columbia University, Barnard College, Hunter College, and the Murphy Institute at the Graduate and University Center, CUNY. He has received fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon and Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundations, among others.


An event of the In Conditions of Fresh Water project and exhibition by Duke visiting artist (in the Nicholas School) Torkwase Dyson and lawyer/Nicholas School environmental science PhD candidate Danielle Purifoy. (CDS Exhibit info here.)

Dyson and Purifoy’s community partners for In Conditions of Fresh Water: the Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise and the West End Revitalization Association. Duke University sponsors and supporters: Center for Documentary Studies, Council for the Arts, Nicholas School of the Environment, Department of African and African American Studies, Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute, and the Environmental Law and Policy Clinic.