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“The Poetry of Protest” our show in the Gallery of Art and Design at the University of Central Missouri of large prints of photographs from rallies, protests, marches, and demonstrations opened on September 26th. The exhibit runs through October 28th.

We left an open notebook with blank pages and pencils on a podium next to the exhibit title wall. We get comments.

January 20, 2017 – Kansas City, Missouri – photo by Jerry Schmidt

September 5, 2017 – DACA Protest – Kansas City, Missouri – photo by Jerry Schmidt

August 6, 2017 – Keystone Pipeline Protest – Lincoln, Nebraska – photo by Michael Bersin

January 21, 2017 – Women’s March – Kansas City, Missouri – photo by Michael Bersin

Terrific shots, and an altogether thought provoking display. I couldn’t help but notice the intensity of expression that Mr. Schmidt caught in many of the portraits; when you combined that expression with the subject’s attire (or even that of the people around them) the photo took on a kind of time suspension. The photo of the man in a green hat was especially striking – between the man, [and] the woman just to his left who is wearing a yellow cap, I could almost imagine this having been taken in the 1930s which in itself is an interesting experience for the viewer.

Another favorite: the gentleman in a PYO t-shirt [and] a red bandana on his face. [….] The expression in the gentlemen’s eyes suggests to me a kind of resignation/fatigue that again reminds me that the struggle is anything but new.

[….] The horse group picture is interesting for the same reasons as the photos I’ve mentioned already. Their expressions are much “older” than their attire which makes for a jarring juxtaposition, something I (well, now you can tell, clearly) find thought provoking.

The lady in scarf photo I like for different reasons. Her expression coupled w[ith] the luminosity of the photo in general just speaks to me one word – “optimism”. So much so that, had you told me that it was a staged photo for an advertisement I would have aid, “OK, well, that’s laying it on a bit thick, no? [….]!” But the fact that it was a ‘real’ shot just makes it too good for words. Here again, the clothing adds an unexpected dimension to the way I perceive any “message” of the flag symbolism. The fabrics she wears are all soft [and] she is completely covered by layers of the things she wears. It gives me a message that we are “covered”/”encapsulated” by the notion of “country”, that, for good or bad, it is bigger than the individual. But the women’s face really draws the eye in (her smile is arresting) [and] then sends the viewer’s eye out, because you wonder what she was seeing that caused her to react. Coupled with the light, as I said before, it just gives a hopeful, optimistic effect.

[….] I just want you both to know that I didn’t just think “ah, these are nice shots”. I found them to be a thought provoking, multi layered experience. “Poetry” was a great title for this exhibition. [….]

This is an historical exhibition of the times we are living in. Having been in demonstrations in the 60s, I did not think we would have to do this again. Unfortunately we do.

We must never forget that progress has never occurred without such protests. These are pictures of the best in our country.

Let’s celebrate that and never forget that we must stand against the reactionary forces moving our country back.


The Poetry of Protest (September 9, 2017)

In the gallery (September 21, 2017)

In the gallery – part 2 (September 23, 2017)

In the gallery – part 3 (September 26, 2017)

In the gallery – comments (September 30, 2017)

In the gallery – comments – part 2 (October 3, 2017)

In the gallery – comments – part 3 (October 4, 2017)

In the gallery – comments – part 4 (October 6, 2017)

In the gallery – today (October 10, 2017)

In the gallery – comments – part 5 (October 16, 2017)

In the gallery – comments – part 6 (October 17, 2017)

In the gallery – comments – part 7 (October 19, 2017)

In the gallery – comments – part 8 (October 23, 2017)

In the gallery – comments – part 9 (October 26, 2017)