Installation view: Justified Art! at the Overture Center for the Arts

Installation view: Justified Art! at the Overture Center for the Arts

Exhibition postcard (front) produced by the Overture Center, featuring Jerry Jordan's Just a KID

Exhibition postcard (front) produced by the Overture Center, featuring Jerry Jordan's Just a KID

Justified Art! | Curators
Gallery I, Overture Center for the Arts
Madison, Wisconsin, USA
March 10 - May 31, 2015

A juried group exhibition staged in Gallery I at the Overture Center for the Arts, responding to racial disparities locally and across the nation.

Artists were asked to read and respond to Dr. Rev. Alex Gee's Cap Times essay, "Justified Anger," in which Rev. Gee details his personal experience with racial profiling and discrimination as an African American living in the Madison area. The resulting exhibition presented 43 artists, whose works reflect the lived realities and hopes of individuals and communities plagued by state violence and racial injustice, in Dane County and across the country. Works were juried by three local artists and scholars: Freida High W. Tesfagiorgis, Linda Mathis-Rose, and Leslie Smith III.

The opening reception on May 1, 2015 during the city-wide gallery night included a special program of social justice-themed music in the rotunda lobby, sung by members of the choir at Rev. Gee’s church. In Overture's Promenade Lounge, the performances were opened with a speech by Lilada Gee, representing the Justified Anger Coalition, followed by poetry readings by Rosita González, Poet Fabu, and Andrea Musher. Closing the program were Milwaukee spoken word artists Brit Nicole and Na’ima, accompanied by pianist Montreal Cain, and Madison artist/activist T. Banks, a recent graduate of UW-Madison’s First Wave program and a member of the Young Gifted and Black Coalition.

In conjunction with the exhibition, T. Banks of YGB organized a Youth Art Showcase on May 20, 2015 in the Overture Center's Promenade Hall. The showcase featured 18 original acts by young poets, singers, MC’s, dancers, and visual artists responding to state violence and police brutality disproportionately affecting Black youth.

To document the show, we produced a fully illustrated catalogue, featuring an essay by juror Freida High W. Tesfagiorgis, image plates of all works in the exhibition, an introduction by Beth Racette (Overture Center), and statements by the artists. Order the catalogue directly from the publisher here. 30% of all catalog sales benefit the Justified Anger Coalition, a local group working to dismantle systemic racism in Madison.

ARTISTS
Sy Abudu, Brad Baranowski, Anthony Black, Janet Braun-Reinitz, Blanche Brown, Poet Fabu, Jiayu (Olivia) Chen, Halie Conyers, Rolando Cruz, Margaret DeLima, Linda Friend, Rosita González, Linda P. Hancock, Jovita Hogan, Kelli Hoppmann & Ann Orlowski, Tom Jenz, Mutope J. Johnson, Jerry Jordan, Molly Krochalk, Doran London, Michelle Louis, Stephen Marc, Fidencio Martinez, Vernon McCombs, Allen Moore, James Morgan, DarRen Morris, Christopher McIntyre Perceptions, Franklynn Peterson, Bonnie Peterson, Yvette M. Pino, Cynthia Reynolds, Leonel Salazar, Isaac Scott, Barry Sherbeck, Amber Sowards, Camaron Spencer, Wanda Tapp, Lynn Tarnoff, Rhea Vedro, Danielle Washington, Nafis White, and Jave Yoshimoto.

PRESS
Tone Madison | April 30, 2015
The Wisconsin Gazette | March 27, 2015
The Capital Times | March 18, 2015
Madison Magazine | March 5, 2015
Your Family Magazine | Spring 2015
The Capital Times | December 24, 2014

LINKS
Website
Press release
Postcard
Opening reception program
Youth Art Showcase program
Order the catalogue
Justified Anger Coalition
Young Gifted and Black