Projects A-E: Celebrating the Art + Social Justice Working Group

Sat 4 Jun 2016 12.00PM-4.00PM Bronx Museum, Lower Gallery
1040 Grand Concourse
Bronx, NY 10456

Free admission; lunch for all.
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The Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School co-hosts an afternoon of projects commissioned in response to the Art and Social Justice Working Group. Visual artist Jeanne van Heeswijk, who creates contexts for interaction in public spaces, is our travel companion at the Bronx Museum leading our discussion of the work together. Attendees are invited to spend approximately twenty to thirty minutes with each project as van Heeswijk leads the conversation. The walkthrough culminates in a dialog that underscores the key issues we identify as a group, their impact on the communities and political contexts we're engaged in as well as their relationship to the expanded field recognized as artistic practice today.

The Art and Social Justice Working Group is an informal, fluctuating group of artists, curators and other arts practitioners. The group met periodically over the past 18 months to examine core conflicts that propel, enrich, and complicate artistic efforts that assume agency to enact social change. It was launched by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics and A Blade of Grass, organizations dedicated to supporting individuals in pursuit of the intersection of art and social justice through programs and scholarship. Participating artists were commissioned to develop artworks in response to the ideas and perspectives shared at working group gatherings.

Add your ideas and reflections on this topic to the working group's growing knowledge base online.


12:00-12:30 Jeanne van Heeswijk, introductory remarks

12:30-2:30 Projects A-E Walkthrough

2:30-4:00 Culminating discussion led by Jeanne van Heeswijk with participating artists

Project A: Gabriela Ceja & Fran Ilich unite coffee and political discourse through the Diego de la Vega Coffee Co-op. The event also launches a new rebel coffee CSA in New York City.

Project B: Nobutaka Aozaki installs a horizontal city landscape made from found advertisements that reveals subtle arrangements in the social landscape, both the geographic composition of communities in the city.

Project C: The Rare Breed Collective invites children of all ages to touch, rearrange, demolish or rebuild a series of multimedia sculptures. Children four and under must be accompanied by their parents, five and older are welcome to participate on their own throughout the afternoon.

Project D: Gordon Hall offers a diptych of posters, free for the taking. Resonant of Felix Gonzalez-Torres' work, they raise the question of "usefulness" and "uselessness" and the risks entailed in assigning either quality to art.

Project E: Liz Slagus & Norene Leddy lead the SocialSocial, a discussion of social issues and socially engaged art open to all. The goal is to bring fresh perspectives to the SocialSocial, an ongoing series of discussions to model a format "for artists to work with people who actively engage with the public, but not in an art context, to bring a fresh perspective to socially engaged art." Conversations are held at 12:30 and 1:30, to RSVP call or text (646) 543-8244 or email

Lunch and refreshments provided. Family friendly and accessible.

The Art and Social Justice Working Group was launched with support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. This event is co-hosted by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School, A Blade of Grass, and the Bronx Museum of the Arts.