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Here’s why there are ‘Black Teen Wearing Hoodie’ images up and down 12th Ave

The 12th Ave arts and business community has responded to an act of vandalism targeting a work exploring the visual legacy of the Black Panther Party by incorporating the image damaged in the attack into their storefronts and buildings.

12th Ave’s Photographic Center Northwest is at the center of the effort:

PCNW’s spring exhibition All Power: Visual Legacies of the Black Panther Party, on view from April 20-June 10, 2018, included work by Jasmine Brown—a life-size photograph of a young man reading a book. Brown was one of twenty black artists from Seattle and around the nation featured in this exhibition; her piece was installed on the exterior of PCNW’s building, facing 12th Avenue. On June 9, the day before the exhibition closed, PCNW staff discovered that someone had ripped his head off, and taken that portion of the piece. The same weekend her piece was destroyed at PCNW, white supremacist graffiti was found at another educational institution in the neighborhood.

In response to the vandalism and discussion with artist Jasmine Brown, the 12th Ave nonprofit reached out to other organizations and businesses on the street to host the image throughout the neighborhood “in a visual declaration that we as a community stand together and against these acts of violence.”

(Image: Brian Allen via Photographic Center Northwest)

You can find the work installed at locations including Seattle U’s Hedreen Gallery, Cafe Presse, Southpaw Pacific Supply, Northwest Film Forum, Eltana, and Velocity Arts, where the version of Brown’s “Black Teen Wearing Hoodie, 2017” image seen at the top of this post is hosted. Photographic Center Northwest also now hosts two of the images — a third was on display at this year’s Seattle Art Fair.

Photographic Center Northwest says that Alphagraphics Seattle, which produced the original piece of Brown’s work, made an in-kind donation of labor to assist PCNW in producing the additional copies.

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