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Elizabeth Cohen/Michael Talley, FF Alumns, in show at UMASS, April - May, 2002

Several works of Elizabeth Cohen and Michael Talley (FF Alum) are included in the Exhibition The Culture of Violence at the University Gallery, University of Massachusetts Amherst Fine Arts Center
February 2 - March 15 and
April 2 - May 17, 2002
Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. The Gallery is also open during evening performances held in the Concert Hall of the Fine Arts Center. For further information please call (413) 545-3670.

Opening reception: Friday, February 1, 5 to 7 p.m.

The Culture of Violence examines the pervasive influence of violence as reflected in contemporary American culture spanning the last 20 years. The exhibition presents a broad, multi-cultural view of the disturbingly wide spread phenomenon through the work of 25 artists in all media. The project was organized by guest curators Donna Harkavy and Helaine Posner.

The subject of violence, always one of the most compelling issues on the minds of Americans, has become painfully relevant since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11. Devastated by terrorist acts committed within our borders, alarmed by mass killings in the schools and at the workplace, and mindful of rampant domestic violence, our consciousness is saturated with violent images. Though we have been chastened by recent events and claim to deplore our fascination with violent themes, we continue to seek them out and reward those who purvey them in news coverage, the movies, popular music and video games.

The Culture of Violence looks at the cultural, social, political and personal aspects of violence in America with the intentions of posing significant questions that encourage dialogue, possibly leading to greater understanding. The exhibition contains a number of thematic categories such as terrorism, hate crimes, youth violence, domestic violence and street crime, among others, which cut across class, color and gender. The strategies and viewpoints of the participating artists reflect this diversity, and affirm the widely held belief that artists are the conscience of the society in which they live.

Accompanying the exhibition is a fully illustrated catalogue with contributions by James Cain and Henry Jenkins, Geoffrey Canada, Donna Harkavy, Michael Leininger and Helaine Posner. The publication will be available during the spring semester. A related film series titled At Human Cost will be presented. Support for The Culture of Violence has been provided by the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, the LEF Foundation, the Dorsky Foundation, an anonymous donor, Robert H. Fuller and the UMass Arts Council.