US IS THEM is a powerful exhibition of works by 42 international artists who confront issues of politics, religion, and racism. The exhibition presents more than 50 individual contemporary artworks across a diverse range of media including painting, sculpture, photography, and video.
The exhibition is organized to reflect timely and potent issues of social justice and current affairs across the world. Artists are in the unique position to create things of beauty that inspire reflection, elevate our consciousness, and fuel a sense of responsibility. The artists in US IS THEM continue that tradition by creating enlightening and thoughtful works that challenge and rearrange stale notions of identity and obsolete notions of difference.
As the title suggests, this exhibition focuses on what connects rather than what separates us. We live in a global society. What happens abroad impacts us at home. What happens at home reverberates across the world. While we experience dramatic social, cultural, economic, and environmental changes, people across continents share in a continuing fight for social justice, solidarity, and tolerance. This exhibition presents works that respond to and raise awareness about our common human condition.
The exhibition is organized geographically, with a section dedicated to artists with roots in Africa and the Caribbean, which reveals a focus on the persistent legacy of colonialism. Galleries devoted to Chinese artists include works that address individual voices in a vast society. Artists from the Middle East contemplate religious freedoms and fights for equality, while American artists address continuing racism and bigotry.
Artists include: Derrick Adams, El Anatsui, Nick Cave, Noah Davis, Roberto Diago, Omar Victor Diop, Edouard Duval-Carrie, David Hammons, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Lyle Ashton Harris, Jonathan Hammer, Mona Hatoum, Zhang Huan, Wang Jin, Hayv Kahraman, Titus Kaphar, Miler Lagos, Patrick Lee, Simone Leigh, Tianbing Li, Mustafa Maluka, Wangechi Mutu, Adi Nes, Shirin Neshat, Aminah Robinson, Yinka Shonibare, Jeff Sonhouse, John Sonsini, Marthine Pascale Tayou, Mickalene Thomas, Hank Willis Thomas, Francis Upritchard, Diane Wah, Kara Walker, Nari Ward, Carrie Mae Weems, Judi Werthein, Kehinde Wiley, Fred Wilson, Joan Wobst, Hongbo Xu, and Chang Xugong.
Opening Night Event US IS THEM and Here + Now
Friday, January 27, 2016
UICA Member Preview: 5:30 - 6:00 pm, Public Welcome, 6:00 pm - 9 pm
UICA Members: Free, Public: $5
Join UICA as we celebrate the opening of US IS THEM: Art from the Pizzuti Collection and Here + Now. Enjoy light refreshments, hear remarks from UICA’s Exhibitions Curator, and learn about the works on view from docents stationed in the galleries.
UICA thanks the following for their generous support of US IS THEM and Here + Now
Ferris State University
The Daniel & Pamella DeVos Foundation
The Wege Foundation
Grand Rapids Community Foundation
MIchigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs