We Still Live Here
December 7—15, 2016
Curated by JoJo Gaon and Aaron Counts
Opening: Thursday, December 8, 6:00—8:00 pm
Gallery4Culture – 101 Prefontaine Place South, Seattle, WA 98104
Our region is changing. Fueled by the thriving technology industry, Seattle has become one of the fastest growing big cities in the country. But the booming real estate market isn’t enjoyed by everyone. Rents are rising at an alarming rate, while incomes remain stagnant for middle and lower class families. Schools continue to fail at reaching all students equally, and the opportunity gap widens.
This inequality means our affordable housing crisis is yet another burden disproportionately shouldered by people of color. The issue is much more than a discussion about dollars and cents. It is about the future of our area: its character and aesthetics as expressed by its diversity, or lack thereof. Those families being displaced by gentrification are real people, attempting—like all of us—to lead full lives. As neighborhoods change, their proximity to community may be in jeopardy, but their sense of place within it is not.
In WE STILL LIVE HERE, Creative Justice youth stake their claim as residents of our region, documenting their existence, showing us their struggles and their joys through the lens of their smartphones. The exhibition, inspired by the art of Martha Rosler and the Streetwise series by photographer Mary Ellen Mark, juxtaposes images from the daily lives of the artists with the construction of a new and changing Seattle. In many respects, it is a tale of two cities, but the tale hasn’t been completely written. These young artists are creating a new chapter, refusing to be pushed into history.
WE STILL LIVE HERE is a collaborative project by the Youth Leadership Board of Creative Justice, an arts-based alternative to incarceration for young people in King County. With the guidance of mentor artists, participants consider the root causes of incarceration like racism and other oppressions, focusing on the positive role their voices can have in building a more just and equitable society. The Youth Leadership Board consists of past participants who continue to shape the direction of the program through their creativity and vision. Celebrate and support their work on Thursday, December 8.
and the Creative Justice mentor artist team
and Marcus Lawson
Support for Creative Justice comes from 4Culture and the National Endowment for the Arts. This special project and exhibit was underwritten by The New Foundation.