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Jill Freedman, Resurrection City. Residents outside their shelters relax in the shadow of the Washington Monument in Resurrection City, a three thousand person tent city on the Washington Mall as part of the Poor People’s Campaign. 1968. The Jill Freedman Irrevocable Trust.

Jill Freedman, Resurrection City. Residents outside their shelters relax in the shadow of the Washington Monument in Resurrection City, a three thousand person tent city on the Washington Mall as part of the Poor People’s Campaign. 1968. The Jill Freedman Irrevocable Trust.

Poor People’s Art: A (Short) Visual History of Poverty in the United States

January 13 – March 4, 2023
USF Contemporary Art Museum

Hours: Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Thursday 10am-8pm, Saturday 1-4pm, Closed Sundays and University Holidays (January 16 in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday), Special Hours January 13th 6:30-9pm. Admission: All events are free and open to the public.

Exhibition Press Release PDF - December 19, 2022

NEA Grant Award Press Release PDF - June 7, 2022

 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is well known for his “I Have a Dream” speech, yet much less emphasis is placed on his campaign to seek justice for America’s poor, “The Poor People’s Campaign.” This was a multi-cultural, multi-faith, multi-racial movement aimed at uniting poor people and their allies to demand an end to poverty and inequality. Fifty-three years after Dr. King’s death, the Reverend William Barber II launched a contemporary push to fulfill MLK’s ambitious brief — one that calls for a “revolution of values” that unites poor and impacted communities across the country. The exhibition Poor People’s Art: A (Short) Visual History of Poverty in the United States represents a visual response to Dr. King’s “last great dream” as well as Reverend Barber’s recent “National Call for Moral Revival.”

With artworks spanning more than 50 years, the exhibition is divided into two parts: Resurrection (1968-1994) and Revival (1995-2022). Resurrection includes photographs, paintings, prints, videos, sculptures, books, and ephemera made by a radically inclusive company of American artists, from Jill Freedman's photographs of Resurrection City, the tent enclave that King's followers erected on the National Mall in 1968, to John Ahearns' plaster cast sculpture Luis Fuentes, South Bronx (1979). Revival offers contemporary engagement across a range of approaches, materials, and points of view. Conceived in a declared opposition to poverty, racism, militarism, environmental destruction, health inequities, and other interlocking injustices, this exhibition shows how artists in the US have visualized poverty and its myriad knock-on effects since 1968. Participating artists include John Ahearn, Nina Berman, Martha De la Cruz, Jill Freedman, Rico Gatson, Mark Thomas Gibson, Corita Kent, Jason Lazarus, Miguel Luciano, Hiram Maristany, Narsiso Martinez, Adrian Piper, Robert Rauschenberg, Rodrigo Valenzuela, William Villalongo & Shraddha Ramani, and Marie Watt.

Poor People’s Art is curated by Christian Viveros-Fauné, CAM Curator-at-Large and organized by the USF Contemporary Art Museum.   

 

PRESS

01/17/2023 - Contemporary Art Museum’s new exhibit shares generational stories of poverty - By Julia Saad, The Oracle

01/08/2023 - Martin Luther King Jr.’s Overlooked Crusade And ‘Poor People’s Art’ - By Chadd Scott, Forbes

01/05/2023 - ‘Poor People’s Art’ exhibition coming to USF - The Weekly Challenger

01/03/2023 - January Arts Roundup: Tempus Projects, USF CAM exhibits and much more start the new year - By Michele Smith, 83degrees

 

Rico Gatson, Audre #2, 2021. Color pencil and photograph collage on paper. 22 x 30 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Miles McEnery Gallery.

Rico Gatson, Audre #2, 2021. Color pencil and photograph collage on paper. 22 x 30 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Miles McEnery Gallery.

 

Related Events

Art Thursday: Poor People’s Art Student-Led Tours
Thursday, February 16, 2023
6:00 pm, USF Contemporary Art Museum (CAM)

 

EXHIBITION WORKBOOK

Workbook spread

A full color, 48-page workbook is available to students and exhibition visitors without cost and includes an essay by Christian Viveros-Fauné. For more information call 813-974-4133. <View complete PDF (12MB)>

 

VIRTUAL TOUR

Explore this virtual 360 degree interactive walkthrough of Poor People's Art at USFCAM. For the best experience click the View Fullscreen icon in the lower right of the window. Virtual tour Courtesy of USF Access 3D Lab, Dr. Laura Harrison.

 

Hiram Maristany. Kite Flying On Rooftop, 1964. Courtesy of the Estate of Hiram Maristany.

Hiram Maristany. Kite Flying On Rooftop, 1964. Courtesy of the Estate of Hiram Maristany.

Poor People’s Art is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts; the Schaina & Josephina Lurje Memorial Foundation; the Stanton Storer Embrace the Arts Foundation; the Lee & Victor Leavengood Endowment; the USFCAM ACE (Art for Community Engagement) Fund Patrons; Dr. Allen Root in honor of his late wife Janet G. Root; and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.


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