Citywide exhibit at SLUMA: ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’

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Solomon Thurman’s painting “Artist and Policeman” is part of SLUMA’s portion of this city-wide art exhibit. Courtesy of SLUMA Facebook

Recent events within the Ferguson and St. Louis community have inspired a new exhibit in the Saint Louis University Museum of Art.

Solomon Thurman’s painting “Artist and Policeman” is part of SLUMA’s portion of this city-wide art exhibit. Courtesy of SLUMA Facebook
Solomon Thurman’s painting “Artist and Policeman” is part of SLUMA’s portion of this city-wide art exhibit. Courtesy of SLUMA Facebook

The Visual Art Exhibition, “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot: Artists Respond” is presented by the Alliance of Black Art Galleries. SLUMA is one of 14 cultural venues that are hosting this exhibit.

The Alliance contacted various visual artists and encouraged them to form a response to the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown, Jr. as well as the worldwide reaction of the public, law enforcement and the media in a manner of visual art.

The motive behind the exhibit is to provide a story for future generations.

Several issues were introduced in order to help the artists create their pieces including: civil rights, voting, oppression, justice issues, prosecutorial conduct, free speech, racial disparities, police brutality, community empowerment, the right to assemble and other issues.

The visual art exhibition includes paintings, drawings, collages, photography, sculpture and new media. The art has historically been referred to as “protest art.” This type of artwork is a method of incorporating the voice of artists with social and political movements.

More than 100 artists have participated in this exhibition, from the St. Louis and Kansas City areas as well as Illinois, Iowa, California, Texas, Maryland, New York, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and New Mexico. Featured artists include Howard Barry, Jon Calvert, Najee Dorsey, Lenard Hinds, Melvin Jefferson, Venise Keys, Krystal Sutton and Soloman Thurman.

The Alliance of Black Art Galleries was founded Aug. 20, 2013 in St. Louis.