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MICHELLE HARTNEY

In Hartney's UNPLANNED PARENTHOOD—a collaborative, textile-based piece—she explores historical attacks on reproductive health access and calls for intersectional reproductive justice. Launching in honor of Power to Decide’s #ThxBirthControl Day, Hartney will work with volunteers from across the country to tell the stories of more than 250,000 women who penned desperate letters in the 1920’s asking for help ending and preventing pregnancies. Hartney’s practice is to weave the political into the fiber of her art practice. The former Albert Schweitzer Fellow at the Art Institute of Chicago founded the Women’s Health Collective in 2016—an art collective dedicated to linking artists, writers, musicians and activists advancing change. Read more about her most recent project in Ms. Magazine.

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LAVA THOMAS’ MUGSHOT PORTRAIT AT BAMPFA THROUGH JANUARY 2022  

Lava Thomas’ Mugshot Portraits: Women of the Montgomery Bus Boycott (Jimmie L. Lowe) (2018)—part of the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) permanent collection—is on view through January 30, 2022 in New Time: Art and Feminisms in the 21st Century, a major survey exploring recent feminist practices in contemporary art. Thomas’ seriestakes a contemporary look back at a powerful, yet under-acknowledged legacy of black women’s activism through a series of graphite and conté pencil portraits based on mugshots of women who were indicted under Alabama’s anti-boycott laws. While mugshots aim to dehumanize and criminalize, the life size, highly detailed portraits offer a counter narrative, illuminating the leadership and sustained labor of women to the boycott’s success. Open Fridays and Sundays 11am-5pm and Saturdays 12-5pm.