The art of Kevin Blythe Sampson

THE ART OF
KEVIN BLYTHE SAMPSON

9/20/14

Sharp Details, Fuzzy Lines: Images of Ferguson, MO / artcritical

Sharp Details, Fuzzy Lines: Images of Ferguson, MO / artcritical



#kevinblythesampson

Wiegand Gallery - Belmont, CA | Yelp

Wiegand Gallery - Belhe genesis of The Roots of the Spirit goes back to 2011 when the four
artists were invited to participate in the 54th Venice Biennale by the
American Folk Art Museum in New York and Benetton in Treviso, Italy to
create large site-specific installations at the Fondaco dei Tedeschi.
mont, CA | Yelp




#kevinblythesampson

Wiegand Gallery - Belmont, CA | Yelp

Wiegand Gallery - Belhe genesis of The Roots of the Spirit goes back to 2011 when the four
artists were invited to participate in the 54th Venice Biennale by the
American Folk Art Museum in New York and Benetton in Treviso, Italy to
create large site-specific installations at the Fondaco dei Tedeschi.
mont, CA | Yelp




#kevinblythesampson

Museum gotta see ‘um

http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/arts/2014-09-19/museum-gotta-see-um/1776425130290.html
Museum gotta see ‘um
September 19, 2014, 05:00 AM By Susan Cohn Daily Journal


The Roots of the Spirit: Lonnie Holley, Mr. Imagination, Charlie Lucas and Kevin Sampson, at the Wiegand Gallery in Belmont, presents the West Coast debut of four notable Outsider artists. The opening reception is 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21.
THE ROOTS OF THE SPIRIT ON VIEW AT NOTRE DAME DE NAMUR UNIVERSITY. The Wiegand Gallery, part of Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, hosts the West Coast debut of four of the country’s most notable Outsider artists in The Roots of the Spirit: Lonnie Holley, Mr. Imagination, Charlie Lucas and Kevin Sampson. The exhibit is curated by Robert Poplack, Director of the Wiegand Gallery, and Martha Henry.
While Lonnie Holley, Mr. Imagination (Gregory Warmack), Charlie Lucas (Tin Man) and Kevin Sampson have all achieved renown as self-taught African American artists, they refer to themselves simply as American artists. Born in the mid-20th century, they came of age during the Civil Rights movement when deep and abiding racial discrimination was the norm. Lacking opportunities, education and artist role models, they managed to become artists despite great social and economic obstacles.
Martha Henry said, “Their artworks express their African and American culture, their everyday lives, dreams and aspirations. When we look into the mirror of the black experience we have a better understanding of American culture, values and spirituality. Black artists have played a vital role in distinguishing our culture throughout the world, indeed the black experience is so interwoven into our larger culture that it defines much of what the world perceives today as American.”
Notions of divine intervention and spiritual renewal are at the heart of much of the foursome’s work. It is art that honors ancestors as an antidote to death and private grief. Examples are Kevin Sampson’s shrines to deceased friends and relatives; the ancestor thrones of Lonnie Holley and Mr. Imagination; and Charlie Lucas’ metal sculptures that honor his grandparents by their material and method. Their use of assemblage, found object sculpture and installation invite comparisons to contemporary art practices dating back from the beginning of the 20th century when Picasso and Braque, inspired by African art, began to use found objects in their work.
Gallery Director Poplack said, “The processes of painting, assemblage, construction and found object sculpture reveal restless minds capable of expression that ranges from the serious to playful. The work shows an openness to the spirit of imagination as well as a desire to entertain. Their immersive, layered environments — often located in their yards and inside their homes — need to be experienced to be fully appreciated.”
The Wiegand Gallery is part of the Madison Art Center, a stone building built as a carriage house on the country estate of the financier William Chapman Ralston. The exhibition space, with its porthole windows and skylights, is an inviting environment in which to experience art. The gallery’s mission is to focus attention on the contributions and accomplishments of important artists who are less recognized, as well as to exhibit lesser-known works of established artists. The Wiegand Gallery is located at 1500 Ralston Ave., Belmont, on the campus of Notre Dame de Namur University. Admission is free. For information call 508-3595. The Roots of the Spirit: Lonnie Holley, Mr. Imagination, Charlie Lucas and Kevin Sampson runs through Nov. 26; The public is invited to the opening reception 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21.
LAST DAYS OF MODERNISM FROM THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART, AT THE DE YOUNG MUSEUM IN SAN FRANCISCO. The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco present Modernism from the National Gallery of Art: The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection, an exhibition of 46 paintings and sculptures which includes works by Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Brice Marden, Barnett Newman, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Rothko and Frank Stella. The de Young Museum is located at Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. For information call (415) 750-3600 or visit www.deyoungmuseum.org. Through Oct. 12.
PROJECT MAH JONGG: THE MEMORIES AND MEANING OF THE GAME, AT THE CONTEMPORARY JEWISH MUSEUM THROUGH OCT. 28. The 1920s through the 1960s were the heyday of the Chinese game of mah jongg in the United States — a game with a rich history in the Jewish American community, especially among women. The Contemporary Jewish Museum examines this cultural phenomenon with Project Mah Jongg, an exhibition that includes images and items from the mah jongg craze of the 1920s, including vintage advertisements, Chinoiserie and a colorful array of early game sets distributed by companies such as Milton Bradley and Parker Brothers. A game table at the core of the exhibition space encourages players and non-players alike to take part in a game of mah jongg and there are both American and Chinese sets on hand for visitors to play. 736 Mission St. (between Third and Fourth streets), San Francisco. For general information visit thecjm.org or call (415) 655-7800.
Susan Cohn can be reached at susan@smdailyjournal.com or www.twitter.com/susancityscene.

 

9/18/14

The Roots of the Spirit’ brings in outsider artists at Wiegand

http://www.sfgate.com/art/article/The-Roots-of-the-Spirit-brings-in-outsider-5762906.php

'The Roots of the Spirit’ brings in outsider artists at Wiegand

Published 4:40 pm, Wednesday, September 17, 2014
  • “The Roots of the Spirit,” an exhibit at the Wiegand Gallery in Belmont, features artists Lonnie Holley, Mr. Imagination (Gregory Warmack), Charlie Lucas (Tin Man) and Kevin Sampson. Photo: Courtesy Of Wiegand Gallery / Courtesy Of Wiegand Gallery
    “The Roots of the Spirit,” an exhibit at the Wiegand Gallery in Belmont, features artists Lonnie Holley, Mr. Imagination (Gregory Warmack), Charlie Lucas (Tin Man) and Kevin Sampson. Photo: Courtesy Of Wiegand Gallery / Courtesy Of Wiegand Gallery

The four artists whose work will have its West Coast debut at the Wiegand Gallery in Belmont have this in common: They are self-taught, use found objects and became artists out of some personal tragedy.
They have been called outsider artists because they were not a part of the art establishment, didn’t know what they were making was art until someone gave it that label and have lives even more colorful than the objects they create. The more than 75 sculptures, drawings and paintings by Lonnie Holley, Mr. Imagination (Gregory Warmack), Charlie Lucas (Tin Man) and Kevin Sampson are part of a new exhibit, “The Roots of the Spirit.”
Although the four men — Warmack is deceased — are known as outsider artists and African American artists, they refer to themselves simply as American artists.
“The works reflect each artist’s vision and ideas about art and why they make art,” said Martha Henry, curator of the “Roots” exhibit. “Is there a commonality? They all use found objects and feel that the found objects came to them. They all feel they are doing something that teaches about the present while preserving the past.”
Henry added, “Mr. Imagination wanted to make people happy. Kevin Sampson’s subjects are about class warfare. Lucas is making art to express the fears and joys and dreams of his neighbors and community. Lonnie feels he is rescuing materials and reintroducing it as sculpture.”
The works also tell a story of the artists’ ancestry. For Holley and Lucas, who live in the Deep South, there is a “Southern vernacular,” Henry said. Born in the mid-20th century, the men came of age during the civil rights movement, and faced racial strife and discrimination. Sampson has created shrines to deceased friends and relatives; Holley and Mr. Imagination have made “ancestor thrones;” and Lucas’ metal sculptures honor his grandparents through their materials and methods.
“This is a type of art that is much more prevalent in the South and in New York and Chicago,” said Henry, whose co-curator on the exhibit is Robert Poplack. “This is exciting to have a West Coast debut.”
The exhibition sees the foursome’s work reunited for the first time since a controversial 2011 Venice Biennale showing that happened despite having their invitation to represent the American Folk Art Museum within the framework of the international art world suddenly rescinded. With the help of Henry, the four secured a venue in Venice in an 11th century garden. Some of the works shown in “The Roots of the Spirit” exhibit were created while in Venice.
Holley, who recently expanded his art to include music and recording, will create a site-specific piece made from materials found on the university grounds.
“As boundaries break down between self-taught and formally educated artists,” says Henry, “I felt it important to celebrate the achievements of these four who emerged from the depths of personal despair to make valuable contributions to the American visual experience.”
Julian Guthrie is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: jguthrie@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @JulianGuthrieIf you go
The Roots of the Spirit: Opens Friday; reception 2-5 p.m. Sunday. Through Nov. 26. Noon-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Notre Dame de Namur University’s Wiegand Gallery, 1500 Ralston Ave., Belmont. (650) 508-3595. www.ndnu.edu/arts-events/wiegand-gallery.
 

'The Roots of the Spirit’ brings in outsider artists at Wiegand - SFGate

'The Roots of the Spirit’ brings in outsider artists at Wiegand - SFGate



#kevinblythesampson

9/6/14

Outside Chicago Tour: John Michael Kohler Arts Center

Outside Chicago Tour: John Michael Kohler Arts Center

October 11, 2014
8am-6pm
$125 / $100 Intuit members
Join Intuit’s staff on a special day trip to Sheboygan, WI, where we will visit the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. Enjoy a guided tour of This Must Be The Place, a series of five exhibitions inviting viewers to consider “place” as far more than a particular point on a map. Exhibitions include: Kim Morgan: Range Light, Borden-Carleton, PEI, 2010; Martin Prekop: House; Kevin Blythe Sampson: Ironbound; Building Stories; and Brent Green: Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then. Between exhibition tours, our group will also have exclusive one-on-one time with self-taught artist Kevin Blythe Sampson and a VIP behind-the-scenes viewing of permanent collection.
Event fee covers round-trip charter bus transportation, lunch and guided tours. Space is extremely limited.
#kevinblythesampson

9/3/14

The Roots of the Spirit Kevin blythe Sampson



September 19th - November 26th
Opening: 
September 21st 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM 
 
> DESCRIPTION
The Wiegand Gallery, part of the Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, is proud to announce the West Coast debut of four of the country’s most notable Outsider artists in The Roots of the Spirit: Lonnie Holley, Mr. Imagination, Charlie Lucas and Kevin Sampson. Curated by Martha Henry and Robert Poplack, Director of the Wiegand Gallery, the exhibition sees the foursome’s work reunited for the first time since a controversial 2011 Venice Biennale showing that occurred despite having their invitation to represent the American Folk Art Museum within the framework of the international art world suddenly cancelled. The Roots of the Spirit will include works created while they were in Venice, as well as throughout their careers.
Lonnie Holley, the subject of a recent piece in The New York Times Magazine that tagged the artist as “the insider’s outsider,” and noted the expanding breadth of the artist’s work—which recently has included music and recording—will create a site specific work derived from materials found on the university grounds as part of the exhibition.
The genesis of The Roots of the Spirit goes back to 2011 when the four artists were invited to participate in the 54th Venice Biennale by the American Folk Art Museum in New York and Benetton in Treviso, Italy to create large site-specific installations at the Fondaco dei Tedeschi.
The inclusion of the four self-taught Outsider artists during the 2011 Biennale promised to be revolutionary because it offered the opportunity to exhibit within a broad international context, all while finding themselves excluded domestically from the American art canon. Due to an unexpected loss of funding, the invitation was rescinded, which drew coverage in the art press, including Artnet, Art Forum, Art in America , ArtClaire, Art Info and others. But the artists—under the aegis of gallery director and curator Martha Henry who against all odds and without funding ultimately managed to secure a venue in an 11th century garden—decided they would still attend.
While Lonnie Holley, Mr. Imagination (Gregory Warmack), Charlie Lucas (Tin Man), and Kevin Sampson have all achieved renown as self-taught African American artists, they refer to themselves simply as American artists. Born in the mid 20th century, they came of age during the Civil Rights movement when deep and abiding racial discrimination was the norm. Lacking opportunities, education, and artist role models, they managed to become artists despite great social and economic obstacles. “Their artworks express their African and American culture, their everyday lives, dreams, and aspirations,” says Martha Henry. “When we look into the mirror of the black experience we have a better understanding of American culture, values and spirituality.
Black artists have played a vital role in distinguishing our culture throughout the world, indeed the black experience is so interwoven into our larger culture that it defines much of what the world perceives today as American.”
Notions of divine intervention and spiritual renewal are at the heart of much of the foursome’s work. It is art that honors ancestors as an antidote to death and private grief. Witness Kevin Sampson’s shrines to deceased friends and relatives; the ancestor thrones of Lonnie Holley and Mr. Imagination; and Charlie Lucas’ metal sculptures that honor his grandparents by their material and method.
Viewing themselves as caretakers of the earth in some profound way, the artists harvest the overflowing debris of contemporary civilization and transform it into art as a means of preserving the rescued materials to teach future generations. Out of the enormous variety of free materials ready to be recycled, the artists choose those that exhibit the potential for being re-instilled with purpose and meaning. “The processes of painting, assemblage, construction and found object sculpture reveal restless minds capable of expression that ranges from the serious to playful,” says Gallery Director Robert Poplack. “The work shows an openness to the spirit of imagination as well as a desire to entertain. Their immersive, layered environments—often located in their yards and inside their homes—need to be experienced to be fully appreciated.”
The materials and methods practiced by these four virtuosos place them squarely within the wider context of the international contemporary art world. Their use of assemblage, found object sculpture and installation invite comparisons to contemporary art practices dating back from the beginning of the 20th century when Picasso and Braque, inspired by African art, began to use found objects in their work. These ideas were further developed in the mid 20th century by many artists including Tinguely, Arman, Beuys, and Rauschenberg, and continue to be expanded today by Willie Cole, David Hammons and many other contemporary artists.
While the regular use of recycled materials puts all four at the heart of the Eco Art movement, Kevin Sampson and Lonnie Holley’s art, loaded with political and social commentary, place them in a long line of U.S. socio-political artists. “As boundaries break down between self-taught and formally educated artists,” says Henry, “I felt it important to celebrate the achievements of these four who emerged from the depths of personal despair to make valuable contributions to the American visual experience.”
Their work can be found in many major American museum collections including: American Folk Art Museum, New York, NY; Birmingham Museum of Art, AL; American Visionary Museum, Baltimore, MD; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; High Museum, Atlanta, GA; and INTUIT: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Chicago, IL among others. \

A catalog will accompany the exhibition
#kevinblythesampson
 

8/31/14

KEVIN SAMPSON: IRONBOUND September 14, 2014–February 1, 2015

http://www.jmkac.org/index.php/upcomingexhibitions2/this-must-be-the-place/kevin-sampson-ironbound

 

KEVIN SAMPSON: IRONBOUND
September 14, 2014–February 1, 2015

The assemblages of artist Kevin Blythe Sampson trace the past and present of his neighborhood, known as Ironbound, as well as aspects of his entire Newark, NJ, community.
Sampson’s father, Stephen Sampson, was committed to civil rights and community issues. In fact, local marches and meetings were often organized at his kitchen table. National leaders, such as Ruby Dee, Malcolm X, and Robert Ferris Thompson, came to meet with his father about their challenges and victories. Those experiences had a profound effect on the younger Kevin; as a result, themes of activism, place, and identity recur throughout his work.
Primarily self-taught, Sampson continues to tackle the difficult issues of concern to him and his neighborhood. Reflecting what he calls the “community conscience,” his sculptures are made from found objects and gifts from neighbors, thus documenting his intimate understanding of the contemporary African American experience.
Photo: Kevin Sampson. Photo: Fred Scruton.

8/29/14

"The Roots of the Spirit: Lonnie Holley, Mr. Imagination, Charlie Lucas and Kevin Sampson: Four self-taught American artists invited — and later controversially disinvited — to take part in the 2011 Venice Biennale show together for the first time on the West Coast

My Drawing in the San Franciso Chronicle

Fall Arts Preview: Visual art
Kenneth Baker is The San Francisco Chronicle’s art critic

"The Roots of the Spirit: Lonnie Holley, Mr. Imagination, Charlie Lucas and Kevin Sampson: Four self-taught American artists invited — and later controversially disinvited — to take part in the 2011 Venice Biennale show together for the first time on the West Coast. Sept. 19-Nov. 26. Wiegand Gallery, Notre Dame de Namur University, 1500 Ralston Ave., Belmont. (650) 508-3595, www. wiegandgallery.org.
By Kenneth Baker." 

http://www.sfgate.com/art/article/Fall-Arts-Preview-Visual-art-5691423.php

8/27/14

Wanted Project-Collaborators Kevin Blythe Sampson

 

 

Collaborators

Dread Scott

Dread Scott makes revolutionary art to propel history forward. In 1989, the entire US Senate denounced his artwork and President Bush declared it “disgraceful” because of its use of the American flag. His work is exhibited internationally including in the Whitney Museum, MoMA/PS1, Pori Art Museum (Finland), BAM Fisher and galleries and street corners across the country. He is a recipient of a Creative Capital Grant and his work is included in the collection of the Whitney Museum.
http://www.dreadscott.net/

No Longer Empty

No Longer Empty’s mission is to widen the audience for contemporary art, to promote socially conscious artists, and to build resilience in communities through art. We do so by presenting professionally curated, site-specific art exhibitions where a community of artists, educators, scholars and the public come together to create and experience art, free of market imperatives and institutional constraints.
No Longer Empty draws together the vitality of the contemporary art world and the values of building community.
http://www.nolongerempty.org/home/

Stop Mass Incarceration Network

The Stop Mass Incarceration Network is building a movement to stop the injustice of mass incarceration and police brutality; and the racially biased policies and practices of the police, the courts and the U.S. legal system; and to support the rights of prisoners and the formerly incarcerated. We call on all to join us. SMIN was started by Cornel West and Carl Dix.
http://www.stopmassincarceration.net/

Kevin Blythe Sampson

Kevin Blythe Sampson, 59, is a sculptor, painter, Muralist, and a Retired Police Officer- Composite sketch Artist that is recognized for tackling difficult issues that concern him and his Newark, N.J., neighbors. His has accomplished this, both through his work and his activism in the city of Newark as it concerns its youth. Kevin has been a gallery artist with Cavin-Morris Gallery, NY.NY for over 22 years. Sampson created the sketches for Wanted, based on verbal descriptions of “witnesses” who described a youth they had seen only briefly.
For inquiries about his work, contact Cavin-Morris Gallery
http://www.cavinmorris.com/home.html

Street Attack

Street Attack is Creative Disruption Factory for an overstimulated world.  They assisted with some of the creative disruption that is Wanted.
http://streetattack.com/

8/22/14

THIS MUST BE THE PLACE Opening Celebration Friday, October 3, 6:00–9:00 p.m.

 http://www.jmkac.org/index.php/this-must-be-the-place-opening-celebration
THIS MUST BE THE PLACE
Opening Celebration Friday, October 3, 6:00–9:00 p.m.

Heather Benning, The Dollhouse: Blue Night #3, 2007. Digital C-Print 20x30.

Experience the emotion we feel for places despite distance in time or space. The Arts Center presents original installations, sculpture, photography, film, and work by vernacular environment builders that reveaI powerful places of influence in twelve artists' lives.

Heather Benning  
Brent Green  
Martin Prekop
Beverly Buchanan  
Frank Albert Jones  
Kevin Blythe Sampson
Scott Carter
Sanford Darling  
Alexandre Larose
Kim Morgan  
Sebura & Gartelmann

Enjoy a musical performance by Painted Caves, complimentary hors d'oeuvres, and a cash bar.

7:30 p.m.-Tour the galleries with curator of the series, Karen Patterson, and artists.

TICKETS
General public: $10. Arts Center members: Free
For membership information, call 920-458-6144 or click here to become a member today!

Our gratitude is extended to BMO Harris Bank, Herzfeld Foundation, and the Wisconsin Arts Board,with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National  Endowment for the Arts, for rma jor su pport of THIS MUST BE THE PLACE. Arts Center programs are also made possible by the generous su pport of its mem bers.

THIS MUST BE THE PLACE-IRONBOUND

http://www.jmkac.org/index.php/upcomingexhibitions2/this-must-be-the-place
Original installations, sculpture, photography, film, and work by vernacular environment builders reveal powerful places of influence in twelve artists’ lives.
This series of five exhibitions invites consideration of “place” as far more than a particular point on a map. Rather, it brings to light the humanity, meaning, and identity that can be drawn from and invested in a place when the experience of it transcends materiality.
Kim Morgan: Range Light, Borden-Carleton, PEI, 2010
               September 14–January 4

Martin Prekop: House
               September 14–January 4

Kevin Blythe Sampson: Ironbound
               September 14–February 1

Building Stories: Including works by Heather Benning, Beverly Buchanan, Scott Carter, Sanford Darling, Frank Albert Jones (1900–1969), Alexandre Larose, and Sebura & Gartelmann
               October 3–February 15

Brent Green: Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then
               October 3–February 1

8/18/14

On the 'A' w/Souleo: Artist Creates Mock Police Sketches To Address Issue Of 'Wanted' Youth

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-souleo-wright/on-the-a-wsouleo-artist-c_b_5679679.html
Peter 'Souleo' Wright Headshot

On the 'A' w/Souleo: Artist Creates Mock Police Sketches To Address Issue Of 'Wanted' Youth

Posted: Updated:
Print Article
Over a nearly three decade period from 1980 to 2008, U.S. incarceration rates have accelerated from an estimated 500,000 to 2.3 million people. Disproportionately, African-Americans and Latinos totaled 58% of all prisoners in 2008, despite only representing one quarter of the U.S. population. So what does this have to with the world of visual art? If you're Dread Scott it has everything to do with art and what he believes is its responsibility to be a catalyst for change.
2014-08-14-WantedMockPoliceSketch_Courtesy_DreadScott.jpg
Wanted Mock Police Sketch/Courtesy: Dread Scott
Scott a longtime political artist--perhaps most famously known for his controversial 1989 work What is the Proper Way to Display a U.S. Flag? --has collaborated with the organization No Longer Empty for a project addressing mass incarceration and the criminalization of youth titled, Wanted. The multilayered project includes a series of mock police sketches created in and posted throughout Harlem depicting youth wanted for innocuous non-illegal behavior. This act of subversion is meant to call into question society's negative perceptions of youth of color that often leads to increased police harassment, arrests and death as evidenced by recent high-profile tragic cases such as the killing of Michael Brown. [Full disclosure: writer served as creative director of No Longer Empty's programming].

Check out images from the project and highlights from our conversation with Scott about the intersection of art, politics and revolution.
On the politics of mass incarceration:
"America is a country that was founded on slavery and genocide. But the war on drugs policies started by [Ronald] Reagan and presided over by all presidents, including [Bill] Clinton and [Barack] Obama have served to quadruple the prison population since 1980 with most of those prisoners being Black or Latino. The war on drugs systematically targeted this population and has resulted in what Michelle Alexandar appropriately labels The New Jim Crow. And coupled with the laws, police focus, prosecutorial proceedings, sentencing, and parole control; there is a cultural rationalization and ideology that Reagan put forward that was widely touted in the major media at the time that depicted Black youth as unredeemable criminals and monsters.
2014-08-14-Wantedposter_Courtesy_DreadScott.jpg
Wanted poster/Courtesy: Dread Scott
This continues to this day to the point where George Zimmerman can murder Trayvon Martin and get away with murder or where Staten Island police can choke Eric Garner to death, get caught on video and have no indictment for three weeks and counting."
On art as a tool for change:
"We need a revolution and anything short of that is not going to end the oppressive conditions people are confronted with. I'm not trying to change laws and while I hope for broader media coverage, I don't evaluate a project based on this. My work raises important questions that are confronting humanity. I hope to create space for people to think about these questions and in some cases think in new and deeper ways about them. This contributes to a broader process of people building a movement for revolution."

2014-08-14-PassersbyreadsWantedposter_Courtesy_DreadScott.jpg
Passersby reads Wanted poster/Courtesy: Dread Scott
On feedback from the community:
"The youth really got what Wanted is about and got what this was about right away. They saw it as a way to be defiant about how they are being treated. Some older folks were more hesitant and I believe that this cautiousness is unfortunately too common amongst older people who tend to overly focus on potential risks."
"Overall the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. When taking the Wanted project flyers to put up in barber shops, nail salons and bodegas people were overwhelmingly receptive. We talked with people and many shared stories of how the police had abused or harassed them or their friends and often wanted copies of the flyers to have. I'm certain that there will be some in the community who don't like this project, but I have not heard that sentiment yet."
2014-08-14-Wantedposters_Courtesy_DreadScott.jpg
Wanted posters/Courtesy: Dread Scott
On the future of Wanted:
"Wanted is going to be increasingly visible in Harlem in the coming days. And right now people can download copies of the poster and expand its reach, including to new cities. Beyond this, now that it is out in the world, I have to assess where things are at with the project and see what else I want to focus on and plot any next steps."
****
The weekly column, On the "A" w/Souleo, covers the intersection of the arts, culture entertainment and philanthropy in Harlem and beyond and is written by Souleo, founder and president of event/media content production company, Souleo Enterprises, LLC.

8/16/14

Dread Scott-Wanted Composite Sketch By Retired Police Artist Kevin Blythe Sampson


Dread Scott


flyers, community meetings, performance and website
Wanted is a community-based art project that address the criminalization of youth in America.  It is presented in an art exhibition as well as on the streets of Harlem, New York. It resembles a series of police wanted posters which each features a “police sketch” of a young adult, a description of them and a statement of what they are wanted for.  For example “On Saturday May 17, 2014, at approximately 12:30 AM, a male black, 16-24 years of age was wearing a black waist length jacket and dark pants.  The male was observed engaging in conversation with other males.  The police allege that the suspect moved suspiciously when officers approached…”
It is a multifaceted project that included: public forums on the criminalization of youth, the creation of Wanted posters, for things aren’t illegal but for which the police harass Black and Latino youth, a forensic sketch session as performance art where adults described specific youth to a composite sketch artist, and the posting of the posters in barbershops and other business in Harlem and the dialogues needed for the posting.
A more detailed description of the project with full resolution downloads of the Wanted posters, documentation photographs and videos of the sketching can be viewed at wanted-project.com