Columbus, Ohio (June 2015) – Us Is Them (September 18, 2015 – April 2, 2016), is a powerful exhibition of over 60 paintings, sculptures, photographs, and video by a group of 36 international artists whose work confronts issues of politics, religion, and racism. The exhibition is organized to reflect timely and potent issues of social justice and current affairs across the world. There exists a long history of artists as social critics from Goya to Manet. Artists are in the unique position to create things of beauty that inspire reflection, elevate our consciousness and fuel a sense of responsibility. The artists in Us Is Them continue that tradition by creating enlightening and thoughtful works that challenge and rearrange stale notions of identity and obsolete notions of difference. As the title suggests this exhibition focuses on what connects rather than separates us. We live in a global society. What happens abroad impacts us at home. What happens at home reverberates across the world. While we experience dramatic social, cultural, economic, and environmental changes, people across continents share in a continuing fight for social justice, solidarity, and tolerance. This exhibition presents works that respond to and raise awareness about our common human condition. The exhibition is organized geographically, with a section dedicated to artist with roots in Africa and the Caribbean, which reveals a focus on the persistent legacy of colonialism. Galleries devoted to Chinese artists include works that address individual voices in a vast society. Artists from the Middle East contemplate religious freedoms and fights for equality while American artists address continuing racism and bigotry. Artists in the show include: Derrick Adams, El Anatsui, Nick Cave, Noah Davis, Edouard Duval-Carrie, David Hammons, Lyle Ashton Harris, Jonathan Hammer, Zhang Huan, Wang Jin, Hayv Kahraman, Titus Kaphar, Miler Lagos, Patrick Lee, Simone Leigh, Tianbing Lin, Mustafa Maluka, Wangechi Muti, Adi Nes, Shirin Neshat, Aminah Robinson, Yinka Shonibare, Jeff Sonhouse, John Sonsini, Marthine Pascale Tayou, Mickalene Thomas, Hank Willis Thomas, Diane Wah, Kara Walker, Nari Ward, Carrie Mae Weems, Judi Werthein, Kehinde Wiley, Fred Wilson, Hong Bo Xu, and Chang Xugong.
Image (detail): John Sonsini, Gabriel and Fernando, 2004, Oil on canvas, 72 x 60 in. (182.88 x 152.4 cm)