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Local News

Art And Social Justice Intersect With Exhibit At Main Street Gallery

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Kevin Kotzian
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Gallery owner and artist Susan Swartz brings a social justice art exhibit to her Main Street gallery. The exhibit is in conjunction with the premier of a film about an art collector committed to social justice reform.

The Susan Swartz gallery hasn’t closed, nor has it been leased out for Sundance. Instead, it’s brought a curated exhibit with some of the art and artists from Agnes Gund’s private collection. Gallery Director Robin Marrouche talks about the exhibition called “Art and Social Justice,” which is on display in conjunction with a Sundance film about the art collector Agnes Gund.

“And what this is is a ground-breaking three-part exhibit featuring the work of beloved local artist but internationally acclaimed artist Susan Swartz and select women artist from the collection of Agnes Gund and then a preview of artists from the art for justice foundation fund.”

The film, “Aggie,” premiers at Sundance this year in the documentary category. It profiles the life of a renown art collector, Agnes Gund who has donated over a thousand paintings to MoMA.  A film about the 13th amendment inspired her to take steps to address criminal justice reform.

“She has been working with uplifting minorities and women in New York and bringing art to public education there for many years, but this took it to a whole new level. She has biracial grandchildren and she was so incensed by what she saw in Thirteenth that she sold a beloved Lichtenstein painting from her own personal collection for $165 million. It’s the only piece of art she's ever sold. The rest she's just donated, and she gave over $100 million to the Art for Justice fund to create it, to help fight for criminal justice reform.”

Marrouche explains the fund provides grants and programs to help artists who have been incarcerated.

“So, we have with us here this week some of the artists that are in the show.  So that'll be exciting to have them here, but their work will be on preview through February 2nd."

The film “Aggie” was made by Gund’s daughter, Katherine Gund.  Marouche says the event intersects art and film and is in concert with Swartz’ work in social justice.

“It’s a natural for Susan Swartz who is a founder of Impact Partners, the documentary film producers who have produced hundreds of documentaries that highlight injustice and create social change.”

The exhibit will include women artists from Agnes Gund’s collection including their works that have been hanging in MoMA.

“Kara Walker, Kiki Smith and some incredible artists. And then Mark Bradford is a renowned artist in Los Angeles and when he heard about Aggie's generosity, he donated a work called life size. And we have it in the show and what it is is a life-sized police body camera and he sold a series and he raised $1 million for the Art for Justice Fund. And so, we have his work and then two of the formerly incarcerated artists one is on a prison bed sheet and they're just incredible and they will be with us as well.”

The exhibit will be at the Susan Swartz Gallery at 260 Main Street near the Wasatch Brew Pub. It is open to the public and will run through February 2. 
 

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