We are delighted to welcome Barbara-Shae Jackson, PhD, to Slover Linett! She began her role as associate project director here on July 17, bringing training in cognitive psychology and varied experience working at the intersection of visual art, racial justice, and social research.

In her doctoral work at the University of Alabama, Barbara-Shae explored how racism, personality, and cognition influence people’s perception of art. In a 2017 TEDx Talk titled “The Color Line: Black and White Aesthetic Values,” she shared how growing up in the U.S. south and in Naples, Italy led her to ask questions about the experiences of Black people viewing art depicting white figures, in white cultural spaces. She went on to curate an exhibition about her research in 2020 at the university’s Paul R. Jones Museum, and to co-author a chapter on aesthetic preference and racial bias in a book due later this year, Creativity, Innovation, and Change Across Cultures.

“I’m so excited about helping cultural organizations project their voices in a way that’s more representative of their values and ethos,” Barbara-Shae says. “Being able to continue studying people’s experiences with the arts and with cultural connection, as I had done in my thesis and dissertation projects, is truly a gift. I’m looking forward to helping organizations see themselves through the eyes of the communities they serve, or hope to serve — and become more equitable, accessible and welcoming.”

Barbara-Shae is already engaged in our renewed work with the Barr Foundation in Massachusetts, our new collaboration with the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles, and other projects.

Slover Linett’s vice president & director of research, Tanya Treptow, is eager for our whole team — and our clients — to learn from and alongside Barbara-Shae in the coming months and years. “Her experience brings a vital lens on the research we’re doing in support of community changemakers and socially driven arts and culture workers,” Tanya says. “We especially want to highlight her role at Coming to The Table, where she facilitated conversations between the Black and White descendants of Thomas Jefferson about the ongoing legacies and effects of slavery.”

You can read more about Barbara-Shae’s work in her new bio page at Slover Linett, and in a terrific profile just published by the University of Alabama’s art history department.

Please help us give a big Chicago welcome to Barbara-Shae! She’ll be moving from Tuscaloosa, Alabama to the Windy City in the coming months, and her new email is barbara-shae [@] sloverlinett.com.


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