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Flint Is Family In Three Acts Coming To Stamps Gallery

Photograph of a group of people  in a grassy lot playing in water that is being sprayed from a large truck with solar panels
LaToya Ruby Frazier: Shea Cobb, Amber Hasan, and Her Children, Nieces, and Nephews (Zari, DJ, Jayda, Justin, Justace, Jaylen) and Their Friends Playing in the Water Moses West Is Spraying from His Atmospheric Water Generator on North Saginaw Street Between Morengo Avenue and East Pulaski Avenue, Flint, Michigan, 20192020 

A new partnership by three leading art institutions in the state of Michigan will feature the compelling work of renowned photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier this fall. 

Flint Is Family In Three Acts is a multi-part exhibition by Frazier. Each art space will feature one of the acts, organized by the Stamps Gallery in partnership with the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, and the Flint Institute of Arts. 

For five years, Frazier researched and collaborated with two poets, activists, mothers, and residents of Flint, Michigan, Shea Cobb, and Amber Hasan, as they endured one of the most devastating ecological crises in U.S. history. Flint Is Family In Three Acts (20162021) tells Hasan and Cobb’s story in great detail through images, texts, and video against the backdrop of a city and its citizenry facing the lack of access to safe drinking water. The exhibition tells the stories of resilience, self-determination and grassroots activism to access safe and affordable water and the fight for environmental justice. 

Flint is Family : Act I and Act II have been shown in communities across the country, and was recently featured in June 2022 in the New York Times. Flint is Family In Three Acts premiers 24 new works with Act III and this is the first time that the entire series Flint Is Family In Three Acts is being shown in the US

It has been an honor to work with LaToya Ruby Frazier to bring her monumental series Flint is Family In Three Acts to public audiences in Ann Arbor and Michigan,” said Srimoyee Mitra, Stamps Gallery Director. The exhibition debuts the third and final Act III in the series and inspires us to consider the role of art and artists in our society as catalysts that enhance the lives of those who have been marginalized through systemic discrimination based on race, religion and, economic status.” 

The Stamps Gallery will be home to Act III of the exhibition. Photographed in 2019, the third act focuses on a new solution to provide safe water for community members in Flint. The Exhibition will begin at the Stamps Gallery on August 26, and an opening reception with book signing will be held on September 15 from 6:30 — 8:30 p.m. In addition, Frazier will be the featured speaker at the launch of the 2022 season for the Penny W. Stamps Speaker Series at the Michigan Theater. All events are free and open to the public. 

The exhibition is generously funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts.

About the Artist 

LaToya Ruby Frazier artistic practice spans a range of media, and centers on the nexus of social justice, cultural change, and the American experience. In various interconnected bodies of work, Frazier uses collaborative storytelling with the people who appear in her artwork to address topics of industrialism, Rust Belt revitalization, environmental justice, access to health care, workers’ rights, human rights, family, and communal history. 

In 2020, Frazier was named the inaugural recipient of the Gordon Parks Foundation / Steidl Book Prize for Flint Is Family In Three Acts, the most recent of her numerous awards and accolades. Frazier is also the recipient of many prestigious awards including an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Edinboro University (2019); an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute (2017); fellowships from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s MacArthur Fellows Program (2015), TED Fellows (2015), and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2014); and the Gwendolyn Knight & Jacob Lawrence Prize from the Seattle Art Museum (2013). Frazier is an associate professor of photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she currently resides and works.