Stamps Gallery is proud to kick-off the fall semester with Respond/Resist/Rethink: A Student Poster & Video Exhibition, which brings together powerful posters and playful videos made by the students of Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design.
Stamps Gallery is an incubator and lab for contemporary artists and designers to explore ideas and projects that catalyze positive social change. As the pandemic grips our nation it has exposed the social, political, and economic disparities that have disproportionately impacted Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. The world witnessed in horror and sadness the meaningless loss of African American lives with George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, among many others that we will never know. National and international outcries brought people together from multiple races, genders, and generations — on social media and in the streets — to publicly demand an end to police brutality, structural racism, and emphasizing that Black Lives Matter. What is the role of a university gallery in this time of crisis? How can we foster an inclusive platform for the stakeholders in our community to voice their ideas and foster a community based on equality, belonging, respect? We found inspiration in the thoughtful words of renowned civil rights leader and Congressman John Lewis (1940−2020) who wrote, “My fellow Americans, this is a special moment in our history. Just as people of all faiths and no faiths, and all backgrounds, creeds, and colors banded together decades ago to fight for equality and justice in a peaceful, orderly, non-violent fashion, we must do so again.” His powerful words are a reminder for all of us — present and future generations to stay hopeful, proactive, and resilient in our collective efforts to end racial discrimination and foster a true democracy.
In this spirit, Stamps Gallery invited the undergraduate and graduate students at Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, to design posters and make videos to respond and contemplate what each of us can do to build a stronger community, one that is based on the values of racial equality, justice and belonging. How can we acknowledge our own biases, learn from each other, and listen to the voices of those that have been silenced? We are at a pivotal moment in our history as the pandemic radically transforms everyday life. Through this exhibition Stamps Gallery asks the UM community to come together as artists and audiences and envision models for inclusion that are grounded in equality, belonging and empathy.
Respond/Resist/Rethink: A Stamps Student Poster & Video Exhibition includes work by Emily Albright, Adriana Alcala, Nathan Byrne, David Forsee, Eloise Jansenn, Rey Jeong, Sohyun Lim, Anika Love, Maggie McConnell, Willian Minzer, Judah Premble, Casey Rheault, Natalia Rocafuerte, Jenna Scheen, Ellie Schmidt, Abigail Seguin, LaKyla Thomas, Elijah Thompson, Benjamin Winans, and Molly Wu.
Artwork was selected through an open call by a committee of Stamps faculty, students, and staff including Nicholas Dowgwillo, Eloise Janssen, Keesa V. Johnson, Francis Nunoo-Quarcoo, Endi Poskovic, Destini Riley, and Stamps Gallery.