Why I turned Chicago's abandoned homes into art | Amanda Williams

  • Published on Mar 20, 2019
  • Amanda Williams shares her lifelong fascination with the complexity of color: from her experiences with race and redlining to her discovery of color theory to her work as a visual artist. Journey with Williams to Chicago's South Side and explore "Color(ed) Theory," a two-year art project in which she painted soon-to-be-demolished houses bold, monochromatic colors infused with local meaning -- catalyzing conversations and making the hidden visible.
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Comments • 100

  • sakuya hime
    sakuya hime 3 months ago

    "I thought Prince was coming". Prince? He means Prince of Wales? Prince William? or Prince Edward? I'm not sure which one the man implies, but since he says that when he looks at the crown royal blue, I guess he's talking about British Royal family.

  • Tina
    Tina 3 months ago

    Color should ONLY matter when your painting! GOD loves US ALL 🙏🙏🙏🙏

  • Jomo Cheatham
    Jomo Cheatham 8 months ago

    Here's the deal simps, being a good presenter is one thing, making thought provoking art is another. To the taste makers that posted "Chicago is a s#!+hole," and " why not do something before they (houses) rot," thanks for sharing, but we'll let the artist and the passionate ones take over now. Not surprising, but unless you possess an artist's heart you'll never understand what motivates them to action. I don't place the heart of an artist above others, but you wouldn't understand unless your mind has germinated an idea and won't let you rest until you've undertaken the task to see it through. Professor Williams didn't mention it, but she's an architect and instructor by profession. Her training as an architect is what keeps her house warm and her children feed, but her passion as an artist is what led her to use abandoned houses (the foundation of her profession) to make a complex statement about her neighborhood. Her work and this talk was layered with the personal stories of the inhabitants and the social structures that led to the challenges facing neighborhoods like Englewood. Artists aren't anymore special than anyone else, but they are relevant. Too many people are just focused on their career paths, the next smart phone or how to put food on the table, while artists like Williams and others are always attempting their quixotic best to expand our voice, awareness and understanding. So yeah, I get it if you don't get it. Just don't be so obvious about it.

  • Rachel Fang
    Rachel Fang 8 months ago

    She's good at public speaking!!

  • bob
    bob 8 months ago

    Stuffy old 'white' guys- please you are the problem when it comes to racism

  • David Arteaga
    David Arteaga 9 months ago

    True Brilliance.

  • Julie Jay
    Julie Jay 9 months ago

    The Purple Rain neighborhood!😃😉

  • celestialcircledance
    celestialcircledance 9 months ago

    This wasn't a grant so where did she come up with the time and money and work force ? Glad she pulled to off though and looks like a powerful message !

  • Hussein Nour
    Hussein Nour 10 months ago

    Wonderful talk.

  • Marcel F
    Marcel F 10 months ago

    Abandoned homes homeless people?? Wtf is it with humans

  • Shaney Sze
    Shaney Sze 10 months ago +1

    Wow, such an interesting association from seemingly independent fields -- visual art and segregation. Loved it.

  • Kurt E. Clothier
    Kurt E. Clothier 10 months ago +1

    This is a great presentation, and I envy her passion. The project is a lot of fun and has untold non-monetary value (which many people do not understand). But stuff like this is not beneficial:
    @0:55 "hardly a day that goes by that somebody is not reminding you of your color"
    @1:50 "all these stuffy, old white guys, with their treaties and obscure terminology"
    These experiences are not unique to large urban centers or people of a certain color. I grew up in a poor, farming community a ways east of St Louis. My Grandma told stories of being so happy to have gravy with dinner that they'd drink it from a straw. The ghetto in my home town was a mess of junk cars on blocks in people's front lawns and meth labs in their basements and garages.
    Even in our small town, we had zoned districts, and many people were automatically ruled out for loans. Some areas were policed heavier than others, and some people were targeted more than others. But we were white. We were all white. I remember when one Hispanic family moved into a house on Main street, the man still owns the hardware store there, great people. There was a black family that moved there when I was in high school, they had a few kids younger than I was.
    It's not just color of skin that defines our experience, our oppression, and our privilege, and we will all get along much better once everyone realizes that. Then we can work together to collectively fight off the oppressive tyranny that affects us all.

  • Nonnof Yobiznes
    Nonnof Yobiznes 10 months ago

    TED has gone down the drain. I unsubscribed long ago.

    • Cerbyo
      Cerbyo 10 months ago

      why u keep coming back then. u make no sense. ur insane by definition.

  • Emma Wiley
    Emma Wiley 10 months ago

    How about get a job and off of welfare and you won't have to live in a dump. I cannot believe she's trying to say since she lived in the ghetto because her parents didn't work that she was segregated. 🤔
    I was going to say racism in America doesn't exist but since you used the phrase "stuffy old white men" then I guess I can't. What if I said "ghetto old black men" would that be ok? No, but if you do it to a white person it's ok because somehow I contributed it to slavery that happened over a hundred years ago. How stupid are you?

  • Lunareon
    Lunareon 10 months ago +3

    What a fascinating project and great talk! This reminded me of the teardrops painted around the windows of beautiful, old, wooden buildings which the city had let deteriorate to the point of ruin in a place I visited. Art is powerful.

  • shani bharti
    shani bharti 10 months ago


  • day6creation breathing
    day6creation breathing 10 months ago +3

    if you dont mind me saying art takes away hunger pains

  • Matt Mahoney
    Matt Mahoney 10 months ago +1

    Lolol killing it. Love my art torn down quicker than it can be put up

  • Wheelsmcdeals ace
    Wheelsmcdeals ace 10 months ago

    abandon means ppl with money dont think it is worth being robbed and or killed when working on them.

  • 20alphabet
    20alphabet 10 months ago +2

    Chicago is a ****hole.

  • premier69
    premier69 10 months ago +1

    take a look at what the rest of the western world does when the government spends more on ANYTHING other than the defence budget

  • Vritti Echo
    Vritti Echo 10 months ago +21

    I'm really happy that she talked about redlining and zoning laws in Chicago.

    Z1BABOUINOS 10 months ago

    Just imagine what masterpieces Michelangelo or Caravaggio would have made
    if they used just *a paint roller* and *a bucket* (!)
    Apparently, "stuffy old white guys" have a lot to learn about true _art_ ... 🙄

  • May Rose Bradley
    May Rose Bradley 10 months ago +2

    Such an inspirational speech it really moved me xx thank u xx

  • Nico Smets
    Nico Smets 10 months ago

    Isn't this a sizeable waste of paint and hence a useless attack on the environment?
    Shoddy paintwork also

  • Coach Bahman
    Coach Bahman 10 months ago

    Amazing way to make something out of nothing..

  • jemeriah
    jemeriah 10 months ago +1

    Fine line between genius and crazy, too many adopting crazy, in a failed attempt at genius.

    • Brenda Rua
      Brenda Rua 10 months ago

      Try, fail, and try again.

  • Cynthia Akana
    Cynthia Akana 10 months ago +3

    Amazing! Why would you paint a house they gonna tear down anyways!? Ultra sheen! That's why! ❣️❣️❣️

  • JBizzle
    JBizzle 10 months ago

    Let's do the same for our neighborhoods here in Colorado! Let the homes be our canvas!

    H5AUTO SALES 10 months ago


  • Janet Pingrey
    Janet Pingrey 10 months ago +2

    Thank you for your chat. The remarks shown here in the comment section are very eye-opening.....like your opinions can dismiss, disregard, exclude, and erase her .....that she does not deserve to express her creativity and experiences, her views, her words and works. If her words and works strike home hard enough for you to be on the defensive, there must be truth in both.

    • Nila Curry
      Nila Curry 10 months ago

      Thank yoy Janet! I was thinking the same thing.

    • Antunesia Harris
      Antunesia Harris 10 months ago +2

      While at work, typing away I listen to all sorts of things. I found this talk sweet, gentle and a way she gained strength and solitude by using her hands to create. Then I read the comments. Sheer Confusion. Did we listen to the same talk? Bless your heart Janet, you helped me focus away from the disappointment of negativity.

  • Alexander C
    Alexander C 10 months ago +5

    Yeah great idea, instead of working to fix the reason these homes were abandoned to begin with (libtard policies), you make them into a 3rd grade arts and craft project. You sure have it figured out.

    • Sinnerxxs4385
      Sinnerxxs4385 10 months ago +1

      Alexander C I know you feel better about yourself now that you got that off your chest. You can troll elsewhere now

    • francis bélanger
      francis bélanger 10 months ago +1

      In anyways, it sure looks that Alexander C thinks with is heart while ignoring to use his brain. In that sense, his comment is an art form.

    • Brenda Rua
      Brenda Rua 10 months ago +3

      I can't decide if you are trolling, knee jerking or just dumb. The problem is far bigger than she can address and you should know that.

  • World's Netizen
    World's Netizen 10 months ago +2

    Love and hate are the same emotions but in the opposite direction. Black supremacy is the same thing as white supremacy, just different color, race in supreme social status. It doesn't equal to equal rights but reversed racism. Why don't try to see people with not only eyes but also brain?
    On one hand, differences between races are objective, just like colors that no one can deny.
    On the other hand, one has one's own characteristics other than race, which includes some common, general characteristics.

  • Hirmuinen Trolli
    Hirmuinen Trolli 10 months ago +2

    Chicago is what happens when blacks rule and populate a Western city.

    • MagicMachineGun
      MagicMachineGun 10 months ago

      Your profile pic is what happens when internet weirdos degenerize Japanese cartoons

  • Nicholas Ashley
    Nicholas Ashley 10 months ago

    SMH lol

  • hjmclark
    hjmclark 10 months ago +1

    Awesome presentation and project! (Love your coat, btw. It really looks good on you.)

    • hjmclark
      hjmclark 10 months ago +1

      @sonoki82 Go hungry, troll. I'm not feeding you any more.

    • sonoki82
      sonoki82 10 months ago

      You aren't helping her by lying.

    • hjmclark
      hjmclark 10 months ago +2

      @sonoki82 you are just being nasty.
      I didn't find her homely at all.

    • Rnd.0M
      Rnd.0M 10 months ago +2

      sonoki82 better than all of us walking around naked, that would be cold and impractical.

    • sonoki82
      sonoki82 10 months ago

      Homely women hide behind layers of clothing.

  • Cannon Lord
    Cannon Lord 10 months ago +8

    so so amazing

  • Livin' The Dream
    Livin' The Dream 10 months ago +3

    This is consider vandalism.

  • Glenford E. Bridgeton-Wood
    Glenford E. Bridgeton-Wood 10 months ago +7

    Dislikes are from those people who use Dax.

  • mhtinla
    mhtinla 10 months ago +15

    Artists prefer a colorful house that's not livable. Homeless prefer a livable house that's not colorful.

  • Shaun
    Shaun 10 months ago +2


  • Fondil Mabols
    Fondil Mabols 10 months ago +4

    I can't wait to order "Crown Royal Bag" from Sherwin Williams!

  • Dan
    Dan 10 months ago +1

    Undoubtedly the worst speaker I have ever seen on Ted. And probably the most boring also.

  • mhtinla
    mhtinla 10 months ago

    Detroit did it first by turning abandoned homes into fireworks.

  • TTLt106
    TTLt106 10 months ago +9

    "Stuffy old white guys" is what you think of when you hear color theory....... That's a bigoted comment. Why do you have to repeatedly throw race in this sesquipedalian talk? Yuk.... I'm so sick of "reverse" racism! I grew up in the ghetto and I'm a stuffy old white guy.

    • TheBlackRufio
      TheBlackRufio 10 months ago

      @TTLt106 You can't speak of Unity in one breath while having the mindset that black people Hate all white people. A TRUE ally knows when a black person is speaking in terms of race issues, that they are targeting their frustration at very certain people. Are you a true ally or do you just speak empty words of unity to make yourself look good?

    • TTLt106
      TTLt106 10 months ago

      @Fancy Pants Who's playing Uno here....? I'm talking about black peoples undeniable hate for all white people. Wake up..... PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!

    • TTLt106
      TTLt106 10 months ago

      How are we EVER going to unite if this is the way black people respond to racism. The word theory should NEVER make you think of white people and the word ghetto should never mean black people. DO YOU SEE THE PROBLEM YET??? Coming from the people that are SO sensitive to anything evolving the term "Black People" this argument is mighty hypocritical.

    • TTLt106
      TTLt106 10 months ago

      @Janet Pingrey How about quit using racial terms to sell your point?

    • Fancy Pants
      Fancy Pants 10 months ago +1

      It takes a special kind of narcissistic, self-diagnosed victim to create a term that exclusively describes a perceived attack against them. There is no such thing as "reverse racism." Racism is not an Uno card.

  • NismoFury
    NismoFury 10 months ago +3

    All these stuffy old white guys ... She's racist. Be grateful where you're at bc it ain't better in Africa. And that's a continent.

    • TheBlackRufio
      TheBlackRufio 10 months ago +1

      Thought you guys WANTED us to go back to Africa...

  • Hayden H
    Hayden H 10 months ago +13

    TED is now SJW BLM Commie Knowledge.

    • Avenger
      Avenger 10 months ago +1

      @djoecav Which is exactly the problem with people like Hayden. A black women talking about making abandoned homes into art in Chicago? This *HAS* to be "SJW BLM Commie" propaganda. Why engage with it when you can just dismiss it by throwing buzzwords at it?
      But obviously you're not a hypocrite, so your criticism is probably directed at both Sid AND Hayden right? In which case that's valid.
      [edit: fixed type in "your"]

    • djoecav
      djoecav 10 months ago

      @Fancy Pants Yeah but what if you want to continually reinforce your own opinion and not accept any new information

    • Hayden H
      Hayden H 10 months ago

      @Fancy Pants Autophogy is a dynamic way our bodies heal. After a 5 day fast I felt great.

    • Hayden H
      Hayden H 10 months ago

      @Avenger Red Pilling normies is my pleasure, thank you.

    • Fancy Pants
      Fancy Pants 10 months ago +4

      You should stop visiting the dejected hellhole on the internet that has you speaking like this. It has reached a point where you are unable to effectively communicate a simple message without injecting a litany of buzzwords.

  • Abhishek Tripathi
    Abhishek Tripathi 10 months ago +15

    A new perspective to see the world with color

    • John Hillman
      John Hillman 10 months ago +1

      nice way to achieve distance from everyday needs and concerns

  • David
    David 10 months ago +3

    ( imagine a white guy say that in a room full of blacks,! You would hear the wailing, screams of bigotry and victimhoodm) Old stuffy white guys?! Its better than being black and ignorant. Black is voided of color whereas white is all the colors. Why not demand your savior Hussein Obama/ Barry Santos along with his husband Michael give back to his home town rather than build a library that doesn't even benefit the majority of the people in Chicago.

  • Perspeii
    Perspeii 10 months ago +5

    Imagine....hang with me here for a sec:

    *turning abandoned houses into actual houses for people to live in*

    • ILY
      ILY 10 months ago +2

      So I guess you dont know.
      *no one will buy them*
      Think about it, these houses are left there because everyone knows they won't be sold

    • John Hillman
      John Hillman 10 months ago

      What a novel idea; perhaps you should apply for a genius grant :)

  • Nila Curry
    Nila Curry 10 months ago +25

    Such an inspiration--thank you for providing hope and color-filled perspective in communities that need it the most!

    • Nila Curry
      Nila Curry 10 months ago +1

      @sonoki82 Learn how to form an unassuming, coherent, and concise thought. Then we can talk.

    • sonoki82
      sonoki82 10 months ago

      Stop being so selfish Nila. Think about what you can give, not take.

  • jemeriah
    jemeriah 10 months ago +8

    Art that requires a lot of rhetoric to explain its dubious merits, probably not art.

    • francis bélanger
      francis bélanger 10 months ago +2

      Art is not to confond with a communication picture. The last one must be self explaining, but an art work doesn't.

    • jemeriah
      jemeriah 10 months ago

      @MagicMachineGun Not only that, she wasted 2 years doing it, if she got payed doing it,then it becomes an expensive waste of time.

    • MagicMachineGun
      MagicMachineGun 10 months ago +1

      Not with that attitude

  • jankkhvej
    jankkhvej 10 months ago

    3 views 7 comments

  • niel Gt
    niel Gt 10 months ago +4

    3 views 11 likes?

    • #
      # 10 months ago +3

      Welcome to youtube

  • Sumit V Bhardwaj
    Sumit V Bhardwaj 10 months ago +11

    wonderful ideas....

  • Mike Haun
    Mike Haun 10 months ago +6


  • مجرد اشتياق
    مجرد اشتياق 10 months ago +4

    first comment and like