This year, the galleries has acquired works by internationally acclaimed artist Carrie Mae Weems. These works, People of a Darker Hue (2016), All the Boys (Blocked 1), and All the Boys (Blocked 2) (2016), were made possible through the generosity of the Charina Endowment Fund, Richard Menschel ’55, and the artist. Menschel, along with his brother Robert ‘51, H’91, assisted with the 2004 acquisition of Sol Lewitt’s Six Curved Walls, in honor of former Syracuse University Chancellor Nancy Cantor. The work is installed as a part of the Art on Campus Program, on the hillside of Crouse College.
People of a Darker Hue, a 15-minute video and All the Boys (Blocked), archival photographic prints with screenprint, ask the viewers to contemplate the prejudicial law enforcement practices that impact communities of color. People of a Darker Hue was screened last year at the Syracuse International Film Festival and at the Anglim Gilbert Gallery in San Francisco, while the photographic prints have been seen at the Jack Shainman Gallery in New York City. These works investigate issues of identity and those aspects of police reports where ‘presumed guilt’ is often the norm. All the Boys (2016), on display in the Collection Galleries, specifically responds to the recent killings of young African-American men and suggests the bleak reality that is all too often conjured up by portraits of black men in hooded sweatshirts. The accompanying text panels remind us of police reports, underscoring the all-too-often ‘presumed guilty’ attitudes of our law-enforcement community.