Monday, January 10, 2011

Carrie Mae Weems & Jeff Hoone

Syracuse, NY -- “It’s our public art campaign,” Carrie Mae Weems explains. She talking about breaking out signs against gun violence around the Syracuse community. Two large electronic billboards are already up and running. These follow printed street signs: “A man does not become a man by killing another man.” Carrie is a visual artist and photographer who works out of Syracuse. She has an international reputation. She’s working with several partners, including Social Studies, an artists collective founded by her about eight years ago. The collective is made up of African-American artists in several American cities. The collective is supported by Southwest Community Center and the Community Folk Art Center at Syracuse University. Carrie said the signs are the artists way of responding to the outbreak of gun violence in Syracuse. The team plans a six-month public art campaign that will include billboards, radio and TV public service announcements, comic books and coloring pencils, tee shirts, buttons, bumper stickers and other “meaningful slogans.” She explained that the idea behind what Social Studies is calling “Operation: Activate,” is to “start a conversation with the community, and the perpetrators. We need to involve more local people in this.” Social Studies is soliciting contributions to support the campaign. Contributions to the campaign against violence by Social Studies may be sent to Light Work, 316 Waverly Ave., Syracuse, N.Y. 13244. Social Studies is an artists collective founded by about eight years ago by Carrie Mae Weems. Light Work is the home base of Carrie’s husband, Jeff Hoone, who is executive director of museums and art center at SU. - Dick Case

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