Bethany Collins

Lecture & Dining


Bethany Collins (American, b.1984) is a multidisciplinary artist whose conceptually driven work is fueled by a critical exploration of how race and language interact. In her Contronym series, Collins transposes definitions from Webster’s New World Dictionary of American Language onto American Masters paper and then aggressively obscures much of the entries with an eraser. What remain are specific snippets of meaning that are poetically charged through their isolation, as well as the crumbled paper bits left behind by her erasing.


Bethany Collins lives and works in Atlanta and Chicago. She has had solo exhibitions at the Center for Book Arts, New York; Locust Projects, Miami; Birmingham Museum of Art; and Atlanta Contemporary Art Center; among others. Her work has been shown in group exhibitions at the DePaul Art Museum, Chicago; the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus; the Studio Museum in Harlem; the Drawing Center, New York; and the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, East Lansing; as we as other venues. Collins has been recognized as an artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the MacDowell Colony, the Bemis Center, and the Hyde Park Art Center, among others. In 2015 she was awarded the Hudgens Prize. Collins will have a solo presentation of her artwork at the University Galleries, Illinois State University at Normal in 2019.

Bethany Collins, The Birmingham News, 1963, 2017. Eighteen twice-embossed archival newsprint, 19 x 25 inches each. Image from Material Fact, PATRON Gallery, Chicago, IL.