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Artistic displays of injustice make up art exhibit

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News across America shows stories of racial turmoil and injustice, and those same scenes are what tie together the paintings, sculptures, videos and photographs in the new Pizzuti Collection exhibition, “Us Is Them.”

Over 40 international artists collaborate with the Pizzuti Collection, including Titus Kaphar, Mickalene Thomas and Simone Leigh.

“You turn on the news in the morning and every day it’s something else whether another police shooting or a discussion of the borders or a discussion of the rights for people who want to get married,” said Greer Pagano, assistant museum curator. “I just hope we are the springboard to conversation.”

Pagano mentioned the title, “Us Is Them,” was given by the artist, Hank Willis Thomas.

“[The title is] that attempt to say that there really is no them — we are all us,” Pagano said.

All of the art in the exhibition was chosen from the personal collection of Ron and Ann Pizzuti. The Pizzuti Collection is a nonprofit organization that presents temporary exhibitions of art from the Pizzutis’ collection.

“Ron and Ann  have been collecting for 40 years, so this has been a passion and lifelong activity,” said Pagano.

Mark Zuzik, programs coordinator, said that this has been his favorite exhibition since the museum opened in 2013 because of the pertinent subject matter.

“There are a couple of things that I’ve heard, while working on this show, that have stuck with me and one of those is that compassion is a choice, and you can either choose to keep the other ‘the other,’ or look for those commonalities,” Zuzik said.

Kaphar, a contributing artist and advocate for African American art, whose painting is included in the exhibit, will speak at the gallery tonight at 6:30 p.m.

This new fall exhibition is located at 632 N. Park St. and runs through April 2.

The museum is open from Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. 
The cost of general admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and free for all students.


Editor’s note: This story was updated on Oct. 2 to correct the spelling of “Pizzuti,” nonprofit status of the Pizzuti Collection and prices of admission.

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