The big draw: Graphic storytelling night with Afrofuture artist Stacey Robinson

Publication Date

Afrofuturist Stacey Robinson, a former exhibiting artist in the Art Installation Series at Schaffer Library, will lead a virtual art-making night Tuesday, May 19, 5-6 p.m.

The event, hosted by the Mandeville Gallery with additional funding provided by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, is free and open to the public.

Click here to register.

Robinson’s lesson in graphic storytelling uses the simplest of everyday materials: paper (copy paper, construction paper, brown bags) and pencil or any other mark-making tool (ballpoint pens, colored pencils, highlighters). Using a step-by-step process, the artist will demonstrate how to build a “comic style” self-portrait, encouraging viewers to depict themselves as they’d like to be perceived by others.

The big draw: Graphic storytelling night with Afrofuture artist Stacey Robinson

Participants will begin by imagining a location or new world they would like to inhabit and then place themselves interactively into that world.

“This exercise will give you the opportunity to imagine what our tomorrow could look like and how to actualize that world through art,” said Robinson.

He also will give a brief introduction about his process and show examples of how he conceived of the artwork for the graphic novel, “I Am Alfonso Jones.” He will then work in real-time.

Those with questions for the artist can email them to

Robinson is assistant professor of graphic design at the University of Illinois and the 2019-2020 Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellow at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Harvard University. His work discusses ideas of “Black Utopias” as spaces of peace away from colonial influence.

His installation, Branding the AfroFuture, was part of the 2017-18 Art Installation Series.

This is the second in a series of virtual art-making nights hosted by the Mandeville Gallery. Last month’s event, featuring collage-making with Juan Hinojosa, drew 110 attendees from around the world.