The American Dream Denied, Newcomb Art Museum

Exhibition Dates: September 5 – December 14, 2019
Opening Reception: September 5, 2019, 6-8pm

Photo by Jeffrey Johnston. Courtesy of the Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University, New Orleans

Over the past 40 years, a series of man-made environmental crises have caused forced evacuations and unprecedented health disparities in communities across America. From the relocations of entire neighborhoods, such as Love Canal, New York and Times Beach, Missouri in the 1980s, to disproportionate cancer rates in residents currently living in “Cancer Alley” (an eighty-five mile stretch of industrial plants alongside the Mississippi River in Louisiana), to the federally declared state of emergency in Flint, Michigan in 2016, the effects of these crises cross geography and time. An increase in coverage from national media, growing awareness in the American public, and the persistent voices of those directly impacted have put a spotlight on issues of environmental pollution and its consequences on marginalized communities resulting in a demand for enhanced scientific research on the subject.

The two exhibitions on view at the Newcomb Art Museum through December 14, 2019 explore issues of environmental justice. LaToya Ruby Frazier’s Flint is Family and the accompanying The American Dream Denied showcase the lived experiences of affected communities in Flint and New Orleans as they operate their daily existences – going to school, going to work, raising families – among life-threatening environmental pollution.