There Are Black People In The Future
Responding to Censorship, Displacement and Gentrification:
The artwork-in-residence is a response to the events of April 2018, during which Wormsley’s text was removed without her consent from the billboard on which it was displayed. The text was the latest iteration of Rubin’s The Last Billboard project, housed on a 36-foot-long billboard on a building at the corner of Highland Avenue and Baum Boulevard in East Liberty. The artwork was removed by the building owner after reports of developer complaints. The artwork’s removal and the subsequent outcry of strong community support for the work garnered attention in local and national media. Although she was later invited to reinstall the work, Wormsley chose not to.
At the time of the artwork’s removal, Wormsley wrote: “I am deeply saddened by its removal. And yet I am comforted by how my Pittsburgh has stood up! I think we all know what it is to have discomfort. Let’s begin to work on methods to constructively investigate that discomfort without using power over anyone or anything else. It is not my calling to lead people in any given direction. An artist who inspires me told me, ‘Your job is to promote thought, not to tell people how to think. To provoke feeling, not to tell people how to feel.” Wormsley’s full statement can be read here.
In response to the outcry, Wormsley and Rubin proposed the artwork-in-residence initiative, which will unfold over the course of 2019. OPA is supporting the residency, including providing project management and staff support. The artwork-in-residence is generously being funded by The Heinz Endowments. READ MORE…
Selected through an open call process announced on January 10, 2019, these awardees will help envision the next manifestation of There Are Black People in the Future. Each of the following awardees will receive an honorarium as well as support from to implement their submitted project proposals in the neighborhoods of East Liberty, Bloomfield, Garfield, Larimer, and/or Homewood…
An information session about this opportunity will be held on Thursday, January 17, 2019 from 5:30 – 6:30 PM at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – East Liberty, located at 130 South Whitfield Street, Pittsburgh 15206.
Artist Alisha Wormsley’s There Are Black People in the Future will become an Artwork-in-Residence
Wormsley will launch new residency in collaboration with the Office of Public Art