Newcomb Art Museum opens two exhibitions examining environmental pollution across America

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Newcomb Art Museum opens two exhibitions examining environmental pollution across America
LaToya Ruby Frazier, Shea doing crochet braids in her cousin Andrea’s hair for Andrea’s daughter’s wedding. Gelatin silver print, 2016 / 2017. Edition 2 of 5 + 2 AP. Courtesy of the artist and Gavin Brown's enterprise, New York / Rome.

NEW ORLEANS, LA.- Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University announced its exhibitions LaToya Ruby Frazier: Flint is Family and The American Dream Denied: The New Orleans Residents of Gordon Plaza Seek Relocation, the latter organized by Tulane’s environmental studies students. On view August 21, 2019 with a scheduled run through December 14, 2019, these two exhibitions explore the lived experiences of communities impacted by pollution, and its concomitant effects on health and environment.

In 2016, artist, activist, and MacArthur genius awardee LaToya Ruby Frazier spent five months living in Flint, Michigan with three generations of women–the poet Shea Cobb, her mother Renee, and daughter Zion–observing their day-to-day lives as they endured one of the most devastating human-made, environmental tragedies in US history: the lead contamination water crisis in their hometown. The artistic result of Frazier’s time there is reflected in the works presented in the exhibition Flint is Family.

“Through photographs, videos, and text I use my artwork as a platform to advocate for others, the oppressed, the disenfranchised,” says Frazier. In Flint is Family Frazier explores at the level of community, the effects of the water crisis in Flint–where black residents make up 54% of the population and 40% of the population lives below the poverty line. “When I encounter an individual or family facing inequality, I create visibility through images and story-telling to expose the violation of their rights.”

By portraying the daily struggles of the Cobb family, Frazier used a tight focus to create a story about the impact of a systemic problem disproportionately affecting marginalized communities. Frazier rejected the voyeuristic photographs that emerged from outside media sources and instead collaborated closely with her subjects through photographs, capturing intimate moments along with the myriad challenges the family faced without access to clean water.

Similarly, in the concurrent exhibition The American Dream Denied: The New Orleans Residents of Gordon Plaza Seek Relocation students from the Critical Visualization and Media Lab (CVML) led by Tulane sociology and environmental studies professor Christopher Oliver, PhD collaborated with New Orleans’ Residents of Gordon Plaza –Shannon Rainey, Lydwina Hurst, Jesse Perkins, Sam Egana, Marilyn Amar, Lionel Youngblood, Sheena Dedmond– and representatives from the New Orleans People’s Assembly to showcase the impact of living among life-threatening pollution with limited access to resources and raise awareness of the environmental crisis facing contemporary Louisianans and New Orleanians. As Rainey describes it, “we feel enslaved in our own homes.”

In 1981, the City of New Orleans utilized funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to build the residential neighborhood Gordon Plaza in the Upper Ninth Ward on top of the Agriculture Street Landfill–a toxic waste dump that serviced the entire city for more than half a century. “What was initially branded as a way for working class Black and African American New Orleanians to access the American Dream of homeownership turned into a nightmare as the residual outcomes of living on top of a landfill began to effect the residents in real and adverse ways – often having deadly conquences for those living there,” says Oliver.

The exhibition – equal parts art show, social history, and critical visualization project – presents, in a myriad of ways, a chronological and visually engaging look at the residents’ fight for a fully funded relocation with an emphasis on the role of women in activism, the effect on day-to-day living, and the frustrations of the “promised” American Dream.

“By hosting the Louisiana premiere of Frazier’s work at the Newcomb Art Museum alongside an in-depth look at the issues facing the residents of Gordon Plaza, we are bringing meaningful, enriching, and transformative exhibitions of socially-engaged art to Tulane and New Orleans,” says Monica Ramirez-Montagut, Newcomb Art Museum Director. “These exhibitions explore the concerns of communities both on and off campus, while recognizing underrepresented communities and the contributions of women to the field. Frazier’s artistic practice centers on the nexus of social justice and cultural change and tells an important story of the American experience that certainly echoes with our own Louisiana environmental crisis as seen in The American Dream Denied. It is our hope that all who visit the museum this fall will engage with the stories told through the art and leave with a renewed understanding of the effects of environmental pollution on marginalized communities.”

Today's News

August 22, 2019

National Gallery of Denmark features finest of Danish painting from 1807-1864

Royal Ontario Museum celebrates opening of Bloor St Terrace and Plaza

Two breakthrough sculptors intertwine at Boca Raton Museum of Art

Exhibition brings together twenty mid- to large-scale works from the 1970s to the present by Lynda Benglis

New book offers a treasure trove of 100 carefully selected letters written by great artists

Newcomb Art Museum opens two exhibitions examining environmental pollution across America

On September 8, 'Rembrandt to Yoshida ' goes up for vid at Turner Auctions + Appraisals

Prinseps will host online auctions of rare books and prints this September, alongside the launch of their online store

Martin Parr Foundation opens an exhibition of photographs taken on the North East coast of England

Bonavista Biennale 2019 - FLOE features artworks by Jordan Bennett, Wanda Koop, D'Arcy Wilson

Back to school: New online materials based on accurate and comprehensive native peoples history

Western Front welcomes Susan Gibb as new Executive Director

Technology and data fuel the work of three prominent artists featured in the Moss Arts Center's latest exhibition

Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum + Wende Museum join forces

Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art opens a solo exhibition by Yasuaki Onishi

Public invited to help choose winner of University of Birmingham sculpture competition

Cape Ann Museum's Maritime Curator Erik Ronnberg, Jr. to receive award at Antique & Classic Boat Festival

Ho Tzu Nyen solo exhibition on view at Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art

'Northern Plains Native Americans: A Modern Wet Plate Perspective' by Shane Balkowitsch

The Birmingham Museum of Art hires new Curator of Asian Art

Edinburgh International Festival creates new board for the future

1992 Rolls-Royce owned by the late songwriter Les Reed for sale with H&H Classics

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful