The University of Richmond Downtown is hosting a new exhibition in the Wilton Companies Gallery. “Richmond Justice,” opens Feb. 3 and will be on view through March 17.
“Richmond Justice” was produced by Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren with the documentary production company Field Studio. Each week in 2016, a new portrait and story about a Richmonder whose life was shaped in some way by the justice system was revealed on www.richmondjustice.org. Elected officials, artists, activists, social workers, attorneys and family members of currently and formerly incarcerated people, among others, were profiled.
The content collected for the year-long project was turned into this exhibition, which will feature more than 50 portraits, as well as interview excerpts, maps and a short film related to Richmond’s criminal justice landscape.
“Years of making media about incarceration helped us appreciate two essential facts,” Ayers said. “The number of people touched by the justice system is far greater than folks tend to imagine, and stories about institutions and individuals shaping one another through crime and punishment are too profound to go untold.”
“More often than one might expect, when we think about people affected by the justice system, we thinking about our neighbors. To care for them requires first that we understand them, through their own words,” said Warren.
Ayers and Warren, both trained in history, specialize in producing media at the intersection of history and social justice with an emphasis on race, incarceration and community. Their first film, “That World is Gone: Race and Displacement in a Southern Town,” won the Audience Award for Short Documentary at the 2010 Virginia Film Festival. Their most recent film, “An Outrage,” is about lynching in the American south and will premiere in spring 2017.
UR Downtown, located at 626 E. Broad St., will host an RVA First Fridays event on opening night, Feb. 3 from 5 to 7 p.m., featuring a Gallery Talk at 6 p.m. with the producers. The Wilton Companies Gallery is a public exhibition space used for visual art exhibitions that relate to the mission of UR Downtown and its programs. For more information, visit downtown.richmond.edu.