February 1, 2022 — (Chicago, IL) From January 27 — April 1, 2022, Truth and Beauty in the Hard Places will be on display in Café Logan, located in the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts (E 60th St, Chicago, IL 60637). The exhibition represents the culmination of year-long residencies by creatives Tara Betts and Renaldo Hudson, Inaugural "Poet/Artist for the People" Practitioners-in-Residence Fellows at the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture and the Pozen Center Human Rights Lab at the University of Chicago.
The works featured in Truth and Beauty in the Hard Places excavate the brokenness and resilience evident in our shared humanity. For Tara Betts, "poetry has always been the wellspring of hope, where I could hew words into affirmation, analysis, metaphor, and storytelling." Betts' poems in Truth and Beauty explore what it means to live deeply, especially during a pandemic.
For Renaldo Hudson, art serves as a vehicle for truth-telling. He began to paint while he was on Illinois' death row to "escape" his harsh surroundings and the death sentence that had been imposed on him by the state. His paintings are illustrations of the hard truths that he believes the world needs to see. "Beauty can come from ashes," Hudson says, and his paintings reflect his unique lived experiences as a once condemned man who found his way to freedom.
Together, these works by Betts and Hudson invite viewers to consider who we are as a people and who we want to be by facing the truth and beauty in our past, present, and future.
Presented by the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, Pozen Center Human Rights Lab, and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture at the University of Chicago.
The "Poet/Artist for the People" Practitioners-in-Residence Fellowships are supported in part by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's grant to the Centering Race Consortium (CRC), a collaboration between UChicago, Brown, Stanford, and Yale Universities.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Dr. Tara Betts is the author of Break the Habit, Arc & Hue, and the forthcoming Refuse to Disappear. In addition to working as an editor, a teaching artist, and a mentor for other writers, she has taught at several universities. She is the Inaugural Poet for the People Practitioner Fellow at The University of Chicago and founder of Whirlwind Learning Center. Betts is currently teaching poetry classes at DePaul University and Northwestern University.
Renaldo Hudson identifies as an artistic expressionist committed to ending mass incarceration. His art is reflective of the pain and the beauty of resisting the status quo. While on death row, Renaldo learned to express himself with oil and acrylic paints to escape the horrors of death row. Now that he is free, he makes art to expose the inhumanity of death by incarceration facing people with life sentences, also known as the other death penalty. Renaldo is the 2021 Artist for the People Practitioner Fellow with the Pozen Center Human Rights Lab and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture. He is also the Education Director at the Illinois Prison Project.
For more information visit www.loganexhibitions.uchicago.edu/exhibitions/truthandbeauty .