published Thursday, June 6th, 2013

'The Fair Game Project' at Bessie Smith (June 7-Aug. 30)

"Fair Game" is part of a solo exhibition by Shanequa Gay going on view Friday at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center.
"Fair Game" is part of a solo exhibition by Shanequa Gay going on view Friday at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center.
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

IF YOU GO

What: "The Fair Game Project" solo exhibition by Shanequa Gay

When: June 7-Aug. 30. Museum open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, noon-4 p.m. Saturday

Where: Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 200 E. M.L. King Blvd.

Admission: $7 adults, $5 senior citizens and students, $3 children 6-12

Phone: 423-266-8658

Website: www.bessiesmithcc.org

The Bessie Smith Cultural Center will welcome back Shanequa Gay for a solo exhibition opening Friday, June 7. "The Fair Game Project" will be on display in the museum galleries through Friday, Aug. 30.

According to museum officials, "The Fair Game Project" begins a conversation on what the Atlanta-based artist sees happening to black men in America -- issues with crime, disease, education, family, economic wealth disparities, poverty, homelessness, voter suppression, oppression, the prison system, unjustified arrests, murders and genocide.

"What really pushed me over the edge to move forward with this project was the bloodshed in Chicago, the deplorable graduation rates and the Bobby Tillman, Trayvon Martin, Robert Champion, Ariston Waiters and Troy Davis cases, to name a few," Gay says.

These "plagues within the black community," she says, have become everyday news.

"The reporting of a black male being murdered or going to prison is commonplace. People are unmoved, not shaken, not stirred by the damage that is being done."

"Fair Game," she says, is inspired by her belief "that African-American men are being hunted like game and are an endangered species. It seems as though everything and everyone in this world is trying to annihilate this being, including the black male through self-inflicted genocide."

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