Omaha Art Gallery criticized, threatened use of N-word in art exhibition

The newest exhibition at the Union for Contemporary Art is attracting some attention and cause for concern in Northern Omaha. The three-part exhibition aims to shed light on racism and hate crimes that black and brown people are exposed to. The exhibition was created by Vanessa German, a black artist from Pittsburgh. “This is about injustice and murder that black people in our country suffer,” said the gallery’s curator, Brigitte McQueen Shew. “Man, woman, transgender, all of us, that’s what this is about.” The beginning of the exhibition hits visitors outside with a quote from a passage that contains the N word. “It’s really meant to make you feel like you’re on the street, the level of verbal and physical abuse black, brown and local people are exposed to in everyday life,” said McQueen Shew. “People are essentially being forced to deal with, see and acknowledge the violence that is inflicted on black and brown bodies on a daily basis.” Some residents disagree with McQueen Shew’s use of the word. According to the curator, some have posted notes about the display asking them to take it off and others have threatened to break their windows. Dozens of people protested outside the North Omaha art gallery on Tuesday morning. Nebraska Senator Ernie Chambers was among the protesters. “You reach people, and you may never convince someone like me to be happy with it, but you reach them,” Chambers told McQueen Shew a corner about how you express your blackness, how you express your identity, “said Othello Meadows. “The fact that this black woman is quoting the work of another black woman to talk about violence against the bodies of other black women is offensive to the black men who have come to me and asked me to put it down ironic and insane. ”McQueen Shew said. Ron Clark is not on board the exhibition. “The way it’s posted, I think they should have chosen not to use it at all,” said Clark. “You could have used another paragraph from the book to promote the exhibit. If you had an exhibit on black hanging, would you like to see a large photo of blacks hanging from a tree for art reasons?” McQueen Shew says the point of the art exhibition is to start a conversation. She believes that many of the people she contacted about the exhibition did not take the time to learn the purpose of the exhibition. “I’m 99 percent convinced that no one who protests this piece has actually seen this piece, knows anything about Vanessa, knows anything about me or our work,” added McQueen Shew. “If you are uncomfortable with that word, then it does what it is supposed to.” Regardless of the complaints and threats, McQueen Shew does not plan to dismantle the exhibit until November 30th. The curator mentioned Tuesday that she is considering placing a sign next to the display alerting visitors that the passage contains a racist arch. The curator added: “If you are in the street and you want to encourage people to throw bricks at our windows without engaging in conversation, then we are not as miserable and horrible as the people who act violently on us To run?”

The latest exhibition in the Union of Contemporary Art is causing a stir and concern in northern Omaha.

The three-part exhibition aims to shed light on racism and hate crimes that black and brown people are exposed to. The exhibition was created by Vanessa German, a black artist from Pittsburgh.

“This is about injustice and murder that black people in our country suffer,” said the gallery’s curator, Brigitte McQueen Shew. “Man, woman, transgender, all of us, that’s what this is about.”

The beginning of the exhibition hits the visitors outside with a quote from a passage that contains the N word.

“It’s really meant to make you feel like you’re on the street, the level of verbal and physical abuse black, brown and local people are exposed to in everyday life,” said McQueen Shew. “Essentially, forcing people to deal with, see and acknowledge the violence that is inflicted on black and brown bodies on a daily basis.”

Some residents disagree with McQueen Shew’s use of the word. According to the curator, some have posted notes about the display asking them to take it off and others have threatened to hit their windows.

Dozens of people protested outside the North Omaha Art Gallery on Tuesday morning. Nebraska Senator Ernie Chambers was among the protesters.

“You reach people, and you may never convince someone like me to be happy with it, but you reach them,” Chambers told McQueen Shew.

“What frustrates me is that I think black people corner themselves, how you express your blackness, how you express your identity,” said Othello Meadows.

“The fact that this black woman is quoting the work of another black woman to talk about violence against the bodies of other black women is offensive to the black men who have come to me and asked me to put it down ironic and insane. ”McQueen Shew said.

Ron Clark is not on board the exhibition.

“The way it’s posted, I think they should have chosen not to use it at all,” said Clark. “You could have used another paragraph from the book to promote the exhibition. If you had an exhibition on black hanging, would you like to see a large photo of blacks hanging on a tree for art reasons?” “

McQueen Shew says the point of the art exhibition is to start a conversation. She believes that many of the people she contacted about the exhibition did not take the time to learn the purpose of the exhibition.

“I’m 99 percent sure that no one who protests this piece has actually seen this piece or knows anything about Vanessa [the artist], knows something about me or the work we do, “added McQueen Shew.” If that word makes you uncomfortable, then do what it’s supposed to do. “

Regardless of the complaints and threats, McQueen Shew has no plans to dismantle the exhibit until November 30th. The curator mentioned Tuesday that she is considering putting a sign next to the display to alert visitors that the passage contains a racist arch.

The curator added: “If you are in the street and you want to encourage people to throw bricks at our windows without engaging in conversation, then we are not as miserable and horrible as the people who act violently on us To run?”

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