ECA News Briefs

Traveling Public Monument by Hank Willis Arrives in Washington DC

In collaboration with Kindred Arts, All Power to All People—a traveling public art exhibition by acclaimed conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas—will tour multiple locations across the United States leading up to the US presidential election in November 2020 to maintain the momentum of the ongoing protests for racial equity and offer a platform for civic leaders and activists. After a successful unveiling in Atlanta in July, All Power to All People will be exhibited at the Human Rights Campaign headquarters in DC (1640 Rhode Island Ave) from August 13 to 28 . The closing weekend of the exhibit coincides with this year’s anniversary march celebrating the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech.


All Power to All People by Hank Willis Thomas, Atlanta, GA installation (2020). Presented by Kindred Arts. Photo credit: Marc Turnley.

All Power to All People is a provocative work, combining the Afro pick and the Black Power salute, two potent symbols of Black identity and social justice. At approximately 28 feet tall, the work stands as a symbol of community, strength, perseverance, comradeship, justice, and belonging that aims to inspire action and demand social change. While the title references a legendary Black Panther Party slogan, the activation welcomes anyone who seeks to participate in this watershed social and cultural moment.

In line with D.C.’s pandemic precautions, ticketed programming is on hold, interested locals can visit the exhibit on foot or by bike & take the self guided audio tour. Arts loving activists may also
experience the exhibit virtually, programming updates and locations can be found at www.AllPowertoAllPeople.org.

The original 8’ iteration of the sculpture was commissioned by Philadelphia’s Monument Lab. Replicated on a monumental scale, this public art work has exhibited in New York City, Miami, at
Burning Man, and most recently in Atlanta to critical and widespread acclaim. T he exhibit will offer audio companions, wellness programs, and live broadcasts, all of which collectively explore
the importance of symbols, the genealogy of the artifact, and power in all of its forms—from collective and political to personal and of course cultural power.

All Power to All People will provide a platform for the leaders and orators of this historical movement and a place for inclined citizens to participate, be affirmed, and become informed.
Kindred will work in alignment with social justice organizations on the ground, to build and to amplify voter registration and organizing efforts, and inform the public about the key policies,
laws, and government functions that affect systematic injustice, as well as the organizations that are focused on solving the conditions that create systematic racism.

Kindred Arts explores the significance of public sites and their function in enriching communities. Kindred produces culturally-specific programs in public sites that support tradition, history, and
ritual. The initiatives are a means to activate civic dialogue and to actively resist the incremental erasures of public cultural expression and artistic freedoms. Director Marsha Reid is an
interdisciplinary arts presenter, producer, cultural organizer, and arts activist, based in Harlem, New York. Her non-profit work and collaborative projects address cultural equity, public space,
community and communitas.

Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist working primarily with themes related to perspective,identity, commodity, media, and popular culture. His work has been exhibited throughout the
United States and abroad including the International Center of Photography, New York;Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain; Musée du quai Branly, Paris; Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong, and the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Netherlands. Thomas’ work is included in numerous public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Brooklyn Museum, New York; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC. His collaborative projects include Question Bridge: Black Males, In Search Of The Truth (The Truth Booth), and For Freedoms, which was awarded the 2017 ICP Infinity Award for New Media and Online Platform. In 2012, Question Bridge: Black Males debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and was selected for the New Media Grant from the Tribeca Film Institute. Thomas is also the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship (2018), AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize (2017), Soros Equality Fellowship (2017), and is a former member of the New York City Public Design Commission. Thomas holds a B.F.A. from New York University (1998) and an M.A./M.F.A. from the California College of the Arts (2004). He received honorary doctorates from the Maryland Institute of Art and the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts in 2017. Thomas is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery, New York; Ben Brown Fine Arts, London; Goodman Gallery, South Africa; and Marauni Mercier, Belgium.

(Source: Kindred Arts press release)