Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.
On Saturday evening, August 1, artists in Portland, Oregon set up a wall of easels around the scene of the violence incited by Trump-ordered federal agents who were sent to the city to suppress protests.
A group of 15 local artists, mostly painters, participated in the “Wall of Artists,” a live painting action organized by the Portland-based painter Jonny Luczycki.
The artists placed their easels and art equipment at Chapman Square in downtown Portland, not far from Multnomah County jail (commonly known as the Justice Center) and the federal Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse where protesters have been bombarded by tear gas, rubber bullets, and other anti-riot ammunition on a nightly basis for the past two months.
“People who read articles in the media have no idea what’s going on in Portland,” Luczycki told Hyperallergic in a phone conversation. “They don’t see the injustice of how police have been responding to protests, the violence, the tear gas, and how First Amendment rights are being violated.”
Luczycki, who has been painting during protests for the past two weeks, said that he was tear-gassed by federal officers while making his art. In spite of this, he kept returning to the protests with his easel.
“To me, art is the most sensitive, nonviolent form of protest,” he said.
One of Luczycki’s paintings is based on a hospital mugshot of Donavan La Bella, a 26-year-old protester was severely injured after federal police shot him in the head with a rubber bullet. Luczycki created the painting next to a sidewalk that was still stained with La Bella’s blood.
Carla Bartow, another Portland-based artist who participated in this weekend’s event, created a portrait of the late John Lewis, a Senator and civil rights leader who recently died at age 80.
“I found a way that I could use my art to contribute to the Revolution,” she told Hyperallergic in an email. Bartow enveloped Lewis’s portrait with quotes from an essay he wrote for the New York Times shortly before his death, which was published posthumously. “I put his last words in there because I found them inspiring and hopeful,” she said.
On Thursday, the federal forces started gradually withdrawing from Portland. Since then, protests have been relatively calm.
“When the feds left on Thursday, that was the first peaceful night we had in over 60 days,” Luczycki said.
Luczycki is planning another Wall of Artists event next Saturday, with even more participants.
“I want to see 100 artists there,” he said. “Artists were the original journalists; they recorded history with their brush. I think it’s important to capture and spotlight what’s happening in Portland.”
“Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants—11.3 per 1,000 black babies, compared with 4.9 per 1,000 white babies, according to the most recent government data—a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were…
he ownership of images has a long and nuanced legal history, which has evolved dramatically in recent years as cultural standards and photographic technologies have rapidly advanced
The show, which honors the 50th anniversary of an exhibition history once ignored, continues a series of projects documenting Wilmington’s contemporary art scene.
Renty and his daughter Delia. Renty was an enslaved African, kidnapped from the Congo, sold and forced into slave labor on the South Carolina plantation of B.F. Taylor
What is the relation between possessing a person, possessing their image, and dispossessing their progeny
As a scholar of African American history and photography whose work has focused on the status of violent images in museums and archives, I fully support the validity of Ms. Tamara Lanier’s claim and the amicus brief.
Two K-12 art teachers will each receive a $1,000 cash gift and an additional $500 to put toward classroom art supplies. Nominations are due October 31.
The daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor, Delia, Drana, Alfred, Jack, George Fassena, and Jem remained in an unused storage cabinet until 1975, when it was discovered by an employee of the Peabody Museum.
I am writing in support of the amicus curiae brief submitted by Professor Ariella Aïsha Azoulay of Brown University for the full restitution of the daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor and his daughter Delia, currently held by Harvard University, to their familial descendant, Tamara Lanier.
We cannot be indifferent to the long-lasting effects of photography. The photographs at the center of Lanier v. Harvard are relentless in making Renty and Delia Taylor work and perform as slaves. The pain inflicted on them has not ceased. Photography has the capacity to propagate harm, and we have the moral obligation to interrupt…