Left:

Artists:

Mitsuko Brooks, Dennis Redmoon Darkeem, Damien Davis, Dominique Duroseau,
Uraline Setpembre Hager, L. Kasimu Harris, Olalekan Jeyifous, Mona Kamal,
jc lenochan,  Karen Lomax, Carina Maye, Kayla Muldrow, Shervone Neckles,
Iviva Olenick, Nicole Soto-Rodríguez, Aram Han Sifuentes, Marvin Toure,
and Antoine Williams

 

Exploring Segregation in  American Public Schools

On June 24th, Smack Mellon will present the second Race and Revolution exhibition in a series that utilizes a combination of contemporary artworks and historical documents as a platform to examine patterns of systemic racism in the United States. This edition, entitled Race and Revolution: Still Separate - Still Unequal, investigates the prevalence of segregation in the American public school system.

Since the inception of #BlackLivesMatter in 2012, the American population is reflecting on what happened after the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s-60s. That word “after” is part of the conundrum that surrounds our present-day conversation around race and racism. What exactly came to an end? The exhibition Still Separate - Still Unequal seeks to examine ongoing racial and economic disparity in the U.S. public school system. Reports in 2014, the year that marked the sixtieth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Brown V. Board of Education decision declaring segregated schools as unconstitutional, showed an increase in school segregation. How has this happened, and how can we use art to push the conversation into the public discourse in a new and provocative way?

The practice of segregating students by class, race, and “aptitude” in the interest of creating a “better” learning environment has produced a systemic crisis that reverberates within the education system across the United States. Results include the preponderance of controversial policies that adversely impact students and teachers. This summer, eighteen artists, many of whom teach in New York City public schools, offer their perspectives on the enduring legacy of racial and economic school segregation in the United States. 

EVENTS:

Saturday, June 24, 7pm Kayla Muldrow: A poetry performance exploring freedom, mental bondage, and her first-hand experience in the high school system as a creative individual.

Thursday, June 29, 6-8pm School Segregation: A roundtable discussion with Kyle Spencer and NYC Public School Educators investigating the current climate of school segregation and exploring solutions for systemic change.

Wednesday, July 19, 6-8pm Restorative Justice: An interactive workshop with The Morningside Center for Teaching and Social Responsibility equipping all stakeholders in the community with tools necessary for transforming relationships between students and authority. 

Wednesday, July 26, 6-8pm Teaching Artist Roundtable: A discussion with Michael Paul Britto, Uraline Hager, Clare Kambhu, jc lenochan, Shaun Leonardo, and Kameelah Janan Rasheed reflecting on how their experience in the classroom informs their practice and their practice informs their teaching.

Thursday, August 3, 7-9pm Rap on Race with Rice: An interactive performance with Dominique Duroseau inviting participants to separate black and white rice from each other as they discuss issues of race and racism.

Saturday, August 5, 12-2pm Open Book Test: An engaging performance with Dennis Redmoon Darkeem questioning how much we really know about “American History” and whose narratives are behind our understanding of past in the US.

 

Katie Fuller was an educator for eleven years before curating her first show, Race and Revolution: Exploring Human Injustices through Art, in the summer/fall of 2016. As a high school English teacher, she taught literature through the lens of historical events. While working in education at the New York Historical Society, she wrote curriculum and taught classes on civil liberties and the Fourth Amendment. Always passionate about social justice issues, she felt a pressing need to examine historical memory around race and racism in the United States. These experiences have led her to this specific path - curating the less known and often unspoken histories of systemic racism in the United States by pairing contemporary art with historical narratives. She has applied all she’s learned and continues to learn and challenge people’s perspectives in regards to history and social justice.

Race and Revolution: Exploring Human Injustices through Art looked at the exploitation of African, African-American, and Native peoples during the American Revolution. The show was reviewed in Hyperallergic and ArtForum and traveled to the UConn: Stamford campus. Race and Revolution: Still Separate – Still Unequal explores school segregation and inequalities. She has another project that just launched and will be ongoing through 2017 titled Unbroken by Bars. It examines the stories of mothers who gave birth while incarcerated, a topic influenced by Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow and the endless fight for women’s rights.

IG: @RaceandRevolution
http://www.racerevolution.org/ 

Larry Ossei-Mensah is a Ghanaian-American independent curator and cultural critic who has documented contemporary art happenings for various publications including NeueJournal, Uptown and Whitewall Magazine. His writings have profiled some of the most dynamic visual artists working today—Derrick Adams, Mickalene Thomas, Kehinde Wiley, Lorna Simpson and street artist JR. As a curator, Ossei-Mensah uses contemporary art and culture as a vehicle to redefine how we see ourselves and the world around us. He has organized exhibitions at commercial and nonprofit galleries throughout New York City featuring a roster of critically acclaimed artists including Firelei Baez, ruby amanze, Hugo McCloud, Brendan Fernandes, and Derek Fordjour to name a few. 
 
Ossei-Mensah is also the Co-Founder of ARTNOIR, a global collective of culturalists who design multimodal experiences aimed to engage this generation’s dynamic and diverse creative class. ARTNOIR serves as a tangible extension of Ossei-Mensah’s curatorial vision of “bridging gaps." ARTNOIR’s inaugural event was a conversation on art and gender justice featuring Wangechi Mutu, Julie Mehretu and Adrienne Edwards.
 
Recently, Ossei-Mensah has been named the 2017 Critic-in Residence at ART OMI in addition to serving as Co-Chair on Russell Simmons’ RUSH Artist Advisory Board and on the MoMA Friends's of Education Board.
 


This exhibition is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, New York City Council Member Stephen Levin, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and with generous support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Gilbert Mackay Foundation, Iorio Charitable Foundation, Select Equity Group Foundation, many individuals and Smack Mellon’s Members. Smack Mellon’s programs are also made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and with generous support from The New York Community Trust, Lambent Foundation, The Roy and Niuta Titus Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc., The Robert Lehman Foundation, The Greenwich Collection Ltd, Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation Inc., and Exploring The Arts.

Space for Smack Mellon’s programs is generously provided by the Walentas family and Two Trees Management. 

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