Labor Art Exhibits in the Lopez Room

The rich labor history of Washington State and the Pacific Northwest was on display at the 2013 Northwest Folklife Festival in five exhibits mounted in the Lopez Room.

 

Cargo-Loading-in-the-1950sImages of Labor and Social Justice: The Art of Richard V. Correll

Richard V. (Dick) Correll (1904-1990), was one of the leading masters of printmaking in the West. For most of his life he earned a living as a commercial artist in the book publishing and advertising fields.  But he is best known for the powerful black-and-white linoleum cuts, etchings, and woodblock prints that he produced while working on his own time.

Correll’s themes ranged widely:  from landscapes, agricultural scenes, and harbors and ships to animals and music and dance.  Most of his work  reflected his lifelong concern with political and social issues.

This exhibit features selections from several core areas of Correll’s recently donated collection, housed at the Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections.  The entire collection includes images of labor, social justice, civil rights, anti-war themes, work he did for the Great Depression-era Federal Art Project, and his work for the progressive Depression-era newspaper the Voice of Action.

 

Journey for Justice: 223 Years of APA Labor History in the Puget Sound

This exhibit tells a workers’ epic story of the Asian Pacific American (APA) labor communities in the Pacific Northwest from the 1850s, to the Seattle General Strike of 1919, up to the present day APA Islander communities in Washington state. Journey for Justice captures the frequently overlooked story of APA workers in this region through a photographic narrative, historical timeline and portraits of contemporary APA workers. This exhibit sends a powerful message by recalling the Pacific Northwest region’s troubled past of discrimination against APA workers, and the efforts of solidarity by the IWW and ILWU against racism. This exhibit underscores the point that, for APA labor communities, the journey for justice continues.

 

Men Along the Shore and the Legacy of 1934

The International Longshore Worker’s Union (ILWU)  was one of the unions in solidarity with APA workers in the 1920s. Through photographs, graphics and newspapers, this historical exhibit by the Longshore Division of the ILWU chronicles the story of how longshoremen, considered little more than transients at the time, stood up and made history. The Pacific Coast Maritime Strike and the subsequent San Francisco General Strike are two of the most significant events in the labor history of both San Francisco and the United States. The exhibit’s chronicling of the past provides a mirror of events occurring with workers of today

 

Voices from the Tidelands: A portrait of geoduck farmers from South Puget Sound

The exhibit by independent folklorist Elaine Vradenburgh provides a glimpse into the experience of geoduck farming in the South Puget Sound from the perspectives of a few local growers.  Through stories and photographs, the exhibit explores how shellfish farmers develop a personal connection with both the tidelands and the community of people who engage in this tradition through their daily work on the Sound.

 

Using Art to Awaken: Posters about Labor and Globalization Issues

Selected works by students enrolled in the “Labor, Globalization and Art” class at the University of Washington, Tacoma, under the direction of Dr. Beverly Naidus.

The Lopez Room was open daily from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

 

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