2019-02-23

WORKING GROUPS: Conversation

Janeil Engelstad and Vicki Meek have demonstrated expertise in art and relational practices. Collaboratively and independently, Engelstad produces exhibitions and multiform projects throughout the world. Her creative practice and community advocacy work often dovetail into projects that address political, social and environmental concerns through writing, photography, and art. She is the Founding Director of Make Art with Purpose (MAP). Meek is a nationally recognized artist, independent curator and cultural critic, and community leader. As a writer, she addresses issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. As an artist, Meek’s practice often relates to the African diaspora. Although each has their own unique practice, both Engelstad and Meek often address similar concerns in their work, including considerable thought to issues related to libraries.The MAC’s current exhibition, Working Groups, celebrates the permanent installation of books and other materials assembled as part of the OccuLibrary project. Working Groups contextualizes these materials and reviews some of the accomplishments of the Occupy movement and its offshoots, seeking “empowering info” and inspiration for next steps in both art and “reality.”The OccuLibrary project was initiated in 2011 following the eviction of Occupy camps across the U.S. and the destruction of the libraries that had spontaneously sprung up within them (more than 3,000 books were lost in New York City alone). The project was conceived as a rolling collaboration in which various artists were invited to create reincarnations of the destroyed libraries, “using aesthetically-informed strategies to lure awareness toward empowering info.”

© JANEIL ENGELSTAD 2019
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