Press Release The Andy Warhol Museum Announces the Launch of Public Art Project Activist Print
For immediate release
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
The Andy Warhol Museum announces the launch of the public art project Activist Print. Activist Print is a collaboration between The Andy Warhol Museum, BOOM Concepts (a creative hub for artists to incubate ideas), and the North Side printmaking studio Artists Image Resource (AIR). This project is inspired by the long history of artists using silkscreen and print-based media to raise awareness of contemporary issues and inspire change. The intent of Activist Print is to present perspectives on important societal issues that are often ignored and to create a forum for action on timely community concerns.
Three Pittsburgh artists, Bekezela Mguni, Paradise Gray, and Alisha B. Wormsley, have been invited to create socially and politically inspired print work in this year- long project. The Activist Print series will be exhibited on the windows of the Rosa Villa, a building across the street from The Warhol. The museum was given the Rosa Villa property and has used the façade of the building for public artworks while working on a plan to rehabilitate the site. Project leader and artist D.S. Kinsel launched the project with the installation of What They Say, What They Said on the Rosa Villa façade.
In December 2015, 201 people pledged $20,257 to the Activist Print campaign on Kickstarter, a popular crowd-funding website, in order to successfully fund and bring this project to life.
What They Say, What They Said
Rosa Villa (Sandusky and E. General Robinson Streets, North Shore)
What They Say, What They Said is an introductory iteration of prints created by Activist Print project leader and artist D.S. Kinsel. His work invites open dialogue by providing insight into community and police interactions. The background text represents collected responses to the prompt, “What do the police say when they see you?” The respondents were African American men between the ages of 15 and 45, living in Pittsburgh’s East End. The foreground displays police silhouettes with excerpts from President Obama’s “Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing” displayed within each silhouette. This layering of text offers a conversation within the mural and strives to broaden understanding.
Activist Print Community Dialogue and Project Launch Saturday, May 21, 2016
The Warhol theater and entrance space
This community dialogue and launch of Activist Print focuses on artist D.S. Kinsel’s mural What They Say, What They Said and invites open discussion by providing insights into community and police interactions. The community dialogue includes panel members Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay, Pittsburgh Police Commander Eric Holmes, and D.S. Kinsel, and the discussion is moderated by The Warhol’s Director Eric Shiner. Kinsel’s mural is the project’s introductory iteration of prints installed on the Rosa Villa, a building across the street from The Warhol. FREE
D.S. Kinsel’s work focuses on themes of escapism, space keeping, urban tradition, pop culture, hip-hop, informalism, and cultural appropriation. Kinsel’s primary practice is painting, but he works in a variety of additional media, including window display, installation, action-painting, non-traditional performance, and social media. Kinsel is the co-founder of BOOM Concepts, and he works with youth, community artists, and community partners in order to identify ways for youth to express issues of social justice through drama, dance, music, visual art, and technology. Kinsel is a board member of Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse, and he serves on the advisory board for The Heinz Endowments’ Transformative Arts Process.
Bekezela Mguni is a librarian, activist, artist, and abundant bodied femme. She collaborates with various artists, educators, healers, and activists seeking to create new worlds, believing that the collective sharing of knowledge, beauty, and inspiration is a part of life’s purpose, and she brings that intentional spirit to her work. She holds a master’s degree in library and information science and participated in the first Librarians and Archivists with Palestine delegation in June 2013. She was a 2015 Penn Ave Creative fellow with the Kelly Strayhorn Theater and examines the relationship between literacy and liberation by engaging libraries as sites of possibility. She works to create spaces that center and honor the cultural contributions and storytelling of black women through the Black Unicorn Project, a black, queer, feminist library and archive.
Paradise Gray is a community organizer, author, artist, producer, hip-hop artist, historian, and chief curator of The Universal Hip Hop Museum, New York. He was manager and promoter for the hip-hop club “The Latin Quarter” in New York City, a teacher of the 1Hood Media Academy, and professor of hip-hop at Monroe College, New York. A founding member of 1Hood, Pittsburgh’s Coalition Against Violence, and the Alliance for Police Accountability, Gray has received numerous awards, including: “Community Communicator of the Year” by the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation (2008), Thomas Merton Center’s “New Person Award” (2009), African American Leadership Association’s “Trailblazers” (2011), and “50 Men of Excellence” by the New Pittsburgh Courier (2014). Paradise Gray is a board member of the Heinz Endowments African American Men and Boys Task Force, Mothers against Conviction of The Innocent, Three Rivers Community Foundation, and a member of Pittsburgh’s Arts Commission.
Alisha B. Wormsley is a collaborative and community-oriented interdisciplinary artist and cultural producer. Wormsley has been honored with a number of awards and grants to support her programs: afronaut(a) experimental film series; Homewood Artist Residency (recently received the mayor’s public art award); art: the Children of NAN video art series; There Are Black People in the Future body of work; and her collaborative works with performance artist Lisa Harris. Her work has been shown in the 2014 Carnegie International and the HTMLLES festival in Montreal as a part of the Montreal Biennial 2014. Wormsley currently teaches electronic media at Carnegie Mellon University.
The Warhol receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; and The Heinz Endowments. Further support is provided by the Allegheny Regional Asset District.
The Andy Warhol Museum
Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the place of Andy Warhol’s birth, The Andy Warhol Museum holds the largest collection of Warhol’s artworks and archival materials and is one of the most comprehensive single-artist museums in the world. The Warhol is one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.
Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh
Established in 1895 by Andrew Carnegie, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a collection of four distinctive museums: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. The museums reach more than 1.4 million people a year through exhibitions, educational programs, outreach activities, and special events.