Press Release: Ashley Powell Confronts Environmental Racism in Artist’s Talk on First Friday April 1
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Under Attack: Environmental Racism for Economic Benefit and Convenience
First Friday Artist’s Talk by Ashley Powell on April 1 at 7 p.m.
Buffalo, NY (March 23, 2016) – Controversial artist Ashley Powell  will discuss her exhibit, Black on the Ground, White in the Air, on First Friday, April 1 at 7 p.m. at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art , 148 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo.
Powell will talk about her exhibit and its relation to environmental racism, a topic of special relevance right now in light of rising awareness of lead poisoning in children of color and from low-income families in Flint Michigan, as well as right here in Buffalo. Powell’s installation challenges people to think about the impacts of environmental racism and classism.
“Once again, we find ourselves attacked, and this attack isn’t physically immediate or verbally abusive, but it certainly is sinister, covert, and ongoing. Its onset is slow but the damage is long lasting. We are being attacked with environmental racism and classism. This type of racism doesn’t thrive off of foul words and violence, and this classism doesn’t inspire juxtapositions of economic disparity and grotesque frivolity. Instead, it is a type of racism and classism that perpetuates a system that lawfully allows for low-income and non-white peoples to be deliberately subjected to debilitating pollution, toxicity, and degradation, all for economic benefit and convenience.”
Powell’s Black on the Ground, White in the Air, is part of a the show Climate Change, System Change, Personal Change which also includes: Climate Change—Realities and Resistance, by international photographers from the Critical Information Collective makes its US debut after hanging at the UN Paris climate summit in December
The artist’s talk will be held on First Friday, April 1 at 7 p.m. at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art, 148 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo. The gallery will be open for Allentown’s First Friday from 6 – 9 p.m. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be provided.
This event is free and open to the public.
Gallery Hours: The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., Friday evening 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday afternoon 1 to 3 p.m., and by special appointment. The show runs through April 29.
 Ashley Powell is a graduate student in the art department at the University of Buffalo. She made national headlines last fall when she executed a controversial art project on campus consisting of “White only” and “Black only” signs on elevators, restrooms and benches around campus. See New York Times article: ‘White Only’ Signs in Art Project at SUNY Buffalo Draw Concern.
The name of the gallery, ¡Buen Vivir!, is a concept stemming from Indigenous and other cultures of the Southern Americas. ¡Buen vivir! means life in harmony between humans, communities, and the Earth–where work is not a job to make others wealthier, but for a livelihood that is sustaining, fulfilling, and in tune with the common good.