12 March 2019

Emerging Collective Unveils New Art Space in Atlanta with Installation on Police Brutality by Activist Artist Ann Lewis

Ann Lewis with her installation, ...and counting, in Emerging Collective's new art space in Decatur, Atlanta.
Ann Lewis with her installation, ...and counting, in Emerging Collective's new art space in Decatur, Atlanta.
On the anniversary of Martin Luther King's assassination, artist Ann Lewis will present her acclaimed work, …and counting, as the debut exhibition in Emerging Collective's new space in Downtown Decatur.

Lewis' chrono-reactive installation of 1,093 toe tags presents the details of each police-related death in the United States during 2016. 
"That year saw several reactions to police brutality – Colin Kaepernick's viral protest, the strengthening of the Black Lives Matter movement, and a multitude of news coverage," said Lewis. "…and counting was my way of trying to document this pervasive epidemic and through the process garner a greater understanding of the issue. My practice centers on using creativity to offer opportunities for solution-centered discussions on social justice and environmental issues."
Curated by Emerging Collective, this show is a call to action in response to the ubiquitous tragedy of deaths at the hands of police. From afar, the installation's beauty lies in its simplicity and symmetry. However, up close, viewers benefit from an experiential opportunity to confront the details of each stolen life. 

Completing the installation is Lewis' A History of Assault, a brooding 24-minute audio track summarizing life in the modern American police state.
"It's incredible to have our own space in Atlanta, a city that is in hyper demographic flux and well positioned to be a center of cultural change," said Raj Udeshi, Founder of Emerging Collective. "Our departure from New York is just more evidence of the larger creative exodus. It's clear that people in Atlanta are hungry for our kind of visual arts programming."


The exhibition will run from 12 March to 12 April 2019, at 115 North McDonough Street in Decatur, across from Decatur High School. 

An artist reception will take place on Thursday 04 April from 7-10 p.m., including a panel discussion with Ann Lewis and Atlanta artist Fabian Williams, whose activist mural depicting Colin Kaepernick and Muhammad Ali was destroyed just in time for the Atlanta Superbowl. 
The panel discussion will be followed by an open mic townhall, for those who wish to put forward ideas on solutions to police brutality.
On Friday 05 April, Emerging Collective will host a dinner, where local art patrons and activists will get the chance to engage with Ann Lewis, and discuss her crossover between activist and fine art. 

On Saturday 06 April, Emerging Collective will host a daytime activation with youth participants from neighboring schools followed by a screening of The Hate U Give, the polemic 2018 film which confronts police brutality head-on.

About Ann Lewis:

(Via Emerging Collective)
Ann Lewis (American) is a multidisciplinary activist artist using painting, installation, and participatory performance to explore themes related to American identity, power structures, and justice. She often creates these works in our public spaces. In early 2014 the artist garnered national media attention when she installed an oversized police tape banner that read ‘GENTRIFICATION IN PROGRESS’ at the former graffiti mecca 5 Pointz in Queens, New York. She exhibited at the White House in the fall of 2015 during the Obama Administration's reflection on mass incarceration. 

Most recently her mural See Her reflecting upon the humanity of incarcerated women received an Americans for the Arts 2018 Public Art Network (PAN) Year in Review Award. Her work has been acquired by the New York Historical Society Museum and the US Library of Congress. 

Since receiving her bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin- Madison, her art has been reviewed in Hyperallergic, Artnet, Interview Magazine, The LA Times, The Guardian, and The New York Times. She has exhibited in solo and group shows throughout the US and abroad including shows at Petzel Gallery in New York, Seyhoun Gallery in Tehran, Iran, and Truth to Power during the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia...

About Emerging Collective:

Emerging Collective is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization supporting artists working at the intersection of activism and the avant-garde. 

Pioneering the concept of Art NGO, Emerging Collective promotes fine art that advances political + social dialogue. 

Its aim is to catapult the most promising activist creatives, empowering them to serve as agents of cultural change.
SOURCE: Emerging Collective