Signed in as:
Signed in as:
The SOCIAL JUSTICE BILLBOARD PROJECT created in 2020 by NE SCULPTURE I Gallery Factory is funded again for 2022-23 by the National Academy of Design/Edwin Austin Abbey Memorial Trust Fund for Mural Painting, NYC & The Woodbury Foundation, San Antonio, TX.
The Social Justice Billboard Project elevates BIPOC voices and artwork in our community in Minneapolis, MN using the three billboards facing the intersection of East 38th Street and Chicago Avenue South, the site of George Floyd's murder and memorial. This Project was initiated in response to the murder of George Floyd and inspired by Peyton Scott Russell's "Icon of a Revolution" mural placed at Mr. Floyd's memorial site in the days following his death. Phase I of the project ran from July 2020 until the end of March 2021 and was entirely community funded thanks to contributions through social media promotion from supporters like you. Thank you!
Generous awards from the National Academy of Design/Edwin Austin Abbey Memorial Trust Fund for Mural Painting & The Woodbury Foundation make Phase III of the Social Justice Billboard possible. The artists in Phase III Currently: Franklin Middle School Social Justice Billboard Projects by youth. Created with their teacher Melodee Strong: Alinea, 8th grade, N'yana Morgan and Patricia James, both 8th grade, and Bayron-8th grade. Previous Artists who have contributed to Phase III are: Rico Gatson, Wang Ping, Jonathan Thunder, Carlos Barberena, Constanza Carballo & Kenneth Rivera, Patrick Earl Hammie and Endalyn T. Outlaw, Seitu Ken Jones, Bobby Marines, Helina Metaferia, Jefferson Pinder, Josué Rivas, and Bayeté Ross Smith. We are very grateful. Thank you very much!!!
Phase II ran from April 2021 thru March 2022, with an additional two months April & May supported by Clear Channel Outdoor, was supported by the National Academy of Design & The Woodbury Foundation where we exhibited the works of Julie Buffalohead, William Ransom, Gabriel Villa, Maria Cristina Tavera, Patience Zalanga, Jim Denomie, Seitu Ken Jones, Xavier Tavera, Luis Fitch, Heather Hart, and Peyton Scott Russell.
We are very grateful to Naima Green, Ivan B. Watkins, Jessica Wimbley, William Ransom, Peyton Scott Russell, and Melodee Strong for sharing their work in Phase I of billboards in 2020 at the George Floyd vigil site on East 38th Street and Chicago Ave South.
Each artist's billboard is up for three months. Every three months we commission three new artists to be funded to create & exhibit public art in response to the trauma of the murder of George Floyd.
The National Academy of Design/Edwin Austin Abbey Memorial Trust Fund for Mural Painting, NYC is a group of National Academicians who convene regularly to distribute awards from The Edwin Austin Abbey Memorial Trust Fund for Mural Painting in America, first established in 1932. Founded in 1825 by a group of forward-thinking artists and architects, the National Academy of Design was created to promote American art and architecture. Moving forward, the National Academy plans to sponsor mural projects every year across the United States in partnership with different non-profit organizations.
Franklin Middle School Social Justice Billboard Projects by youth.
Created with Melodee Strong
Franklin Middle School is made up of 6-8 graders in North Minneapolis, reopened in 2015 to help support enrollment into North High. The majority of students that attend Franklin identify as African American. Melodee Strong has been the visual arts teacher at Franklin since 2015 she has had the pleasure of being their art teacher for the past 8 years. The 8thgraders represented in the billboard project are my “COVID 6th graders''. They started taking art with Melodee virtually in 2020.
Melodee asked her 8th grade visual arts class to think about what they wanted to say about the things they care about or advocate for on a billboard, and they came up with a long list of very important topics & ideas. The students started out with a brainstorm session thinking about all the topics and why they were important to them. They had to narrow down their decision by critiquing & then voting for their top picks. The majority of students wanted to create billboards around BLM and Women’s Rights. Students could then decide if they wanted to work as a team or individual on their final concepts. Reviewing all the artwork, Melodee chose the designs to represent Franklin, to be used for the Franklin Middle School Social Justice Billboard Project boards in George Floyd Square.
“We Are One”
Created by Alinea, shows how no matter what religion or color skin one may have, all women need to support one another because what one woman faces, we all face.
Alinea, 8th grade, Franklin Middle School
“All Women Are Beautiful”
Created by N’yana Morgan and Patricia James, discusses how all girls, no matter their color, size, hair style, gender identification, or interests, women are all beautiful and unique in their own way.
Patricia James & N'yana Morgan, 8th grade, Franklin Middle School
“I Can’t Breathe”
Created by Bayron, depicts a smoky scene with a portrait of George Floyd, another Black man with fists up, and a chain connecting them or at least attached to George Floyd. The smoke or clouds represent racism and how it’s suffocating us, especially at the hands of police. We can’t breathe while racism continues to suffocate Black and Brown people.
Bayron- 8th Grade, Franklin Mid
Courtesy the artist and Miles McEnery Gallery
Rico Gatson is a multimedia visual artist whose work explores themes of history, identity, popular culture and spirituality, through sculpture, painting, video, and public art projects. He has been celebrated for politically layered artworks, often based on significant moments in black history.
Thunder infuses his personal lens with real-time world experiences using a wide range of mediums. He is known for his surreal paintings, digitally animated films and installations in which he addresses subject matter of personal experience and social commentary. Jon is an enrolled member of the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe, and makes his home and studio in Duluth, MN.
The Time is Now: Abolition: The Time Now by Carlos Barberena
Carlos Barberena is a Contemporary Nicaraguan Printmaker known for his relief prints and the use of images from pop culture, as well as from political and cultural tragedies. In his art, he has consistently reflected on the cycles of repression and resistance and its relationship to the Diaspora in which he has lived, throughout dictator
In 2018, Patrick Earl Hammie and Endalyn T. Outlaw debuted Counterpoint Project at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City. This project built on their public conversation on disciplinary mastery, and provided space for them to partner with six cross-generational ballerinas, a clothing designer, a documentar
Static Billboard by Jefferson Pinder
Jefferson Pinder’s work provokes commentary about race and struggle. Focusing primarily with neon, found objects, and video, Pinder investigates identity through the most dynamic circumstances and materials. From uncanny video portraits associated with popular music to durational work that puts the black body in motion, his work examines physical conditioning th
The Borders Crossed Us by Josué Rivas x Brian Prince x INDIGENA
Josué Rivas (Mexica and Otomi) is an Indigenous Futurist, creative director, visual storyteller and educator working at the intersection of art, technology, journalism, and decolonization. His work aims to challenge the mainstream narrative about Indigenous peoples, co-create with the community, and serve as a vehicle for collective h
#blues4george" by Seitu Ken Jones
Seitu Ken Jones is a multidisciplinary artist, advocate and maker based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Working between the arts and public spheres, Jones channels the spirit of radical social movements into experiences that foster critical conversations and nurture more just and vibrant communities from the soil up. He is recognized as a dynamic collaborator and a creati
"And Justice for All..." by Bobby Marines
Bobby Marines is a Minnesota-based artist whose work considers the influence of socio economics, race, and the criminal justice system on Chicano(x) identity. Growing up engulfed by poverty, gang culture, and drug epidemics, his interdisciplinary practice references personal experiences which reflect the candid reality of marginalized and underserved commu
"Families Belong Together"
by Constanza Carballo & Kenneth Rivera
Maria Constanza is best known for turning acrylic paintings as well as murals into voice pieces that highlight the marginalized. Inspired by her own bicultural and bilingual upbringing as an immigrant in the south Minneapolis Philips community, Maria Constanza began painting murals at the age of 13 and has since been recognized as a
"Come Celebrate with Me"
By Helina Metaferia
Helina Metaferia is an interdisciplinary artist working across collage, assemblage, video, performance, and social engagement. Recent solo exhibitions include Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA (2022); New York University's The Gallatin Galleries, New York, NY (2021); Michigan State University's Scene Metrospace Gallery, East Lansing, MI (2019); and Museum o
"What do you Notice?"
Bayeté Ross Smith is an interdisciplinary artist, photographer, filmmaker and education worker, working at the intersection of photography, film & video, visual journalism, 3D objects and new media. He is Columbia Law School’s inaugural Artist-In-Residence, a Presidential Leadership Scholar, a TED Resident, a Creative Capital Awardee, and a CatchLight Fell
"All Are Welcome?"
By Julie Buffalohead
Julie Buffalohead endeavors to create work relating to her experience as a native woman. Historically, stories about American Indian people were written by anthropologists or other non-natives. When American Indians today tell their own stories we can change their perspective. We can reclaim the narrative of ourselves as distinct.
Julie is an artist telling v
"Gospel Of George 9:29"
By William Ransom
William Ransom grew up on a dairy farm in Vermont where he had a physical, working relationship with tools and materials on a daily basis. Ransom was directly engaged with the biological processes and natural cycles dependent on the balance of birth and death, growth and decay, loss and regeneration, consumption and excretion that would later inform much of
"MAMA" by Gabriel Villa
Gabriel Villa's work addresses issues related to class and Mexican American culture, however his creative practice is centered around a lifelong fascination with the human condition. Throughout Gabriel's career he has explored ideas connected to family, religion, desire, surveillance, and greed. Symbols of societal constructs merge with idiosyncratic imagery collected from r
"ONE RACE" Peyton Scott Russell
"ONE RACE represents that we are all one: one race, one species, not many, divided by color. For example, I have a black father and a white mother (referenced in the art), so what “race” am i, or what "race" is any “biracial/multicultural” person? Race is a fallacy, a social construct created by those in power to keep control and promote oppression. We are human. W
Shown Left is the new work by Xavier Tavera titled Unified. His original work, Non-Violent Resistance, was graffitied a week after installation. Both Tavera and NE Sculpture have been open to healthy and constructive dialogue with the community. This has been an excellent opportunity to address different points of view, to listen, and to make changes. With this in mind, Xavier Tavera's Unified, pictured left, is now installed at George Floyd Square.
Non-Violent Resistance, original work by Xavier Tavera, was graffitied a week after installation.
Shown left is the "Non-Violent Resistance" original by Xavier Tavera.
George Floyd vigil site at 38th and Chicago
Also featuring "Icon of a Revolution I" by Peyton Scott Russell
Billboard "Unified" by Xavier Tavera at the George Floyd vigil site on 38th and Chicago.
Photo Credit: CNN
Thunderstorm at 38th and Chicago vigil site.
Photo Credit: Brandon Bell
With the launch of the Social Justice Billboard Project on GoFundMe in July 2020, we sought support from individual patrons, foundations, and businesses.
Thank you for helping us make the Social Justice Billboard Project possible!
As you are well aware, Phase I of the Social Justice Billboard Project was entirely community funded. It happened thanks to social media promotion and contributions from supporters like you. We continue to invite you to donate to the GoFundMe and please share with friends online and offline who may not have heard of the project. No donation is too small. Thank you!
Individual full-length artist interviews:
William Ransom - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNLn00CNVSc
Peyton Scott Russell - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dN1lq66N-ik
Melodee Strong - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9Q8m1x-M1w
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