‘Bout It ‘Bout It: The Political Power of Just Being
From the Foreword by Louanne Greenwald
"The Hilliard Museum is proud to present the exhibition and publication, Vitus Shell: ‘Bout It, ‘Bout It, The Political Power of Just Being featuring the work of Louisiana artist Vitus Shell. Positioned within the long tradition of portrait painting, this body of work also has a local specificity in that many of the subjects are UL students and Lafayette residents.
"Depicting his subjects as they were photographed in their chosen dress and posture, Shell composes them graphically against backgrounds layered with text and image that speak to the history of black identity in America. As a tribute to subjects that have long been underrepresented in art and at our museum, this work plays an important role in reflecting and embracing the diversity of our campus and our community.
"In these pages, Shell talks about his vision to create a community center in the neighborhood where he grew up, bringing together artists and local youth for positive change. His is a vision that aligns with our own mission and is a welcome reminder of the political power of creative self-expression, the political power of art."