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Watie White: Social Portraits/LEAD Stories Opening

  • H-Space 1 9 1/2 Street Northwest Washington, DC, 20001 United States (map)

From Fundred Reserve Open Lab...

Visiting artist Watie White will show and discuss some of the work from Lead Stories, a public project created in Omaha, NE, featuring woodblock prints and narratives of individuals directly impacted by lead poisoning and those working on solutions. Each print was featured on the back page of the Omaha Star throughout the year in 2017.

Through this work, Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance, Watie White Studio, and the Omaha Star put a very human face on the devastating effects of lead in North Omaha, a community that has faced lead contamination through multiple sources for decades. Every month, LEAD Stories shared the perspectives of both residents and community leaders in North Omaha, examined how lead exposure affects their community, and elevate real solutions to remediate the problem. The city of Omaha, Nebraska, has one of the nation's largest superfund sites, where the surface soil is contaminated as a result of deposits of air emissions from historic lead smelting and refining operations. About one out of three residential yards have lead in the soil at concentrations above the health-based limit of 400 parts per million (ppm).

The Lead Stories original woodblock prints will be displayed alongside the newspaper ephemera, and White will create a new installation for H-Space.

Watie White is a painter, printmaker and public artist based in Omaha, Nebraska. Watie’s work has been featured in exhibitions at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (Bentonville, AR), the Minneapolis Institute of Art Minneapolis, MN), Museum of Nebraska Art (Kearney, NE), Joslyn Art Museum (Omaha, NE), the Telfair Museums (Savannah, GA), The Dixon Galleries and Gardens (Memphis, TN) and Mint Museum (Charlotte, NC). Watie’s studio has produced recent public art projects in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity-Omaha, InCommon Community Development, and Justice for Our Neighbors-NE, Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance, Omaha Housing Authority and Omaha Public Schools.